Getting off on dance
In his choreographic work Frank uses text, exhausting physical states, presence, subtle energetic exchange, and everything dance-related. The workshop explores the dancing body, the being body, and the phenomenon of "being-danced" as a starting point for deeper investigations. Frank delves into and shares his performative and choreographic experiences of the past 20 years of professional work. He opens up his toolbox, steals from his own biography, remixes it with the material in the room, and exploits these concoctions in order to collectively forge into unknown territories.
ARTISTBIO: Frank Willens
Frank Willens is a dancer/choreographer/performer based in Berlin since 2003. Originally from California, he studied dance at UC Berkeley, and on that end of the world worked with the avant-garde ballet company Kunst-Stoff in San Francisco, danced in the first English-language adaptation of the French rock opera Notre Dame de Paris in Las Vegas, and toured with Paul McCartney as dancer and dance captain throughout the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
Upon arriving in Europe he delved deeply into the contemporary dance world and has collaborated with a wide multitude of choreographers and creators including Meg Stuart, Tino Sehgal, Boris Charmatz, Falk Richter, Peter Stamer, and Susanne Kennedy as well as countless collaborations in Berlin’s free dance scene.
He was an integral part of the creation of Tino Sehgal’s seminal documenta 13 work This Variation and produced Tino’s ensuing work Yet Untitled for the Venice Biennale in 2013.
He won a prize for the best performer for the piece "Tanzstück 1: Bildbeschreibung von Heiner Müller", a collaboration with Laurent Chétouane.
His own works are visceral, physically dynamic, unpretentious, exhausting, and generous. They deeply question how we work, how we exchange, and what it means to be on the stage in front of an audience.
His collaboration with Maria Scaroni, "towards another miraculous", committed to the idea of the dérive, aimless drifting through the urban landscape, as a mode of creation.
His works have been presented in Tanz Im August, Theater der Welt (under the direction of Matthias Lillienthal), the Transform Festival in Leeds, the Ponderosa TanzLand Festival, and at the Manchester International Festival, for example.
He tours extensively in the works/events of Boris Charmatz (10.000 Gestes, Danse de Nuit, 20 Dancers, Manger, A Dancer’s Day) and is a member of the ensemble at the Volksbühne in Berlin as well as a solo-performer in the production Am Königsweg from Elfriede Jelinek under the direction of Falk Richter at Schauspiel Hamburg.