US Premiere of above under inbetween comes to Philadelphia Live Arts

photo credit: Lisa Rastl

“Is it possible to give a conventional object a new meaning and a new perspective?”– Willi Dorner, director of above under inbetween.

Viennese choreographer Willi Dorner, who worked with a group of local dancers for last year’s traveling outdoor dance event bodies in urban spaces, will return to the Live Arts Festival with the U.S. Premiere of above under inbetween, performed by a roster of Austrian dancers, with Philadelphia dance artist Megan Bridge.

above under inbetween uses human bodies to redesign our home. How would you act around a chair if you didn’t know it was a chair? Or a doorway? Or a banister? And what if your body were joined with these objects for an architectural building project? Like bendable, multi-jointed building materials, dancers’ bodies are stacked, folded, and fitted together to create “a new living space” constructed of human beings. Set to new music by composer Bernhard Lang, the result is a compelling, absurd, and very humorous view of the ordinary.


What’s the process of creation in such a work? What is the format you use or have created in order to achieve a complete work?

“I chose objects and pieces of furniture of a house. We start to research on these objects by raising questions like: How can I use/approach or put myself in relationship to a chair without having in mind that that is a chair? What kind of spatial volume contains a chair? Which possibilities of movements and positions does the chair allow or does not allow me? How does this object affect the space around it and my relationship to a second person? How can we communicate through the chair? And which new responses does it provoke?”

How do you see audiences relating to the work?

“As the settings are changing, the distance of the audience to the performers will sometimes be closer than in a usual theatre. In one version they will have to walk or follow the performers along a street.”

Willi Dorner is a contemporary dance choreographer and performer hailing from Austria. His productions have been shown all over the world, including Europe, Africa, China, and North and South America. As a guest choreographer he has worked for the ballet of the Vienna Opera, the Dance Theatre Ireland in Dublin and the Scottish Dance Theatre. Dorner has worked with Andrew Harwood, Dani Lepkoff, Irene Hultman and Stephen Petronio and was a member of Nina Martin’s company in New York and Mark Tompkins’ I.D.A. in Paris. He has studied dance, dance pedagogy and dance therapy at the Austrian Society for Dance Therapy and is a certified Alexander technique teacher.

above under inbetween
Cie. Willi Dorner
Fri. 9/11 at 8:00 PM with Post-show discussion
Sat. 9/12 at 4:00 PM
Sat. 9/12 at 8:00 PM
ICE BOX Projects Space, 1400 North American Street
Audiences should be prepared to stand and walk during the performance.
Tickets & Information:

“above under inbetween” is a follow-up project of the outdoor performance ‘bodies in urban spaces- a moving trail for a group of dancers’.