Anna Konjetzky & Co

songs of absence // Reviews

songs of absence // Reviews

Anna Konjetzky «Songs of Absence»

Salzburg // March 2024 // Author: Carmen Kovacs

Not every loud work is a good work – but this one is. Anna Konjetzky has something to say that must not disappear. In Munich, she and her team have been a ground-breaking institution for many years, actively seeking, facilitating and shaping local and international connections and networking within the dance scene. Songs of Absence”, which premiered at the Munich theater festival “spielart”, can be understood in the context of this exchange, as part of a queer-feminist, socio-politically anchored artistic practice.

While the focus is urgently on making voids visible, on the forgotten and repressed, this content is presented in a charming album structure. Two stand-up microphones are positioned in a semicircle of projection screens, indicating from the outset that there is a lot to say. And indeed, the text, the pronouncing and addressing, the swallowing, mutating and virtuoso morphing of words and sentences into one another play a key role. In an almost symbiotic relationship with the soundtrack (Sergej Maingardt), the phenomenal cast of seven performers leads us through embodied attitudes, personal address, ecstatic speech, rap, slogans, poetry. Some moments of expressing become a difficult birth, the movement a side effect of the meaning.

How all this looks in movement language seems secondary in many moments anyway – and yet the forms of expression are so concrete and specific that the experienced choreographic directive behind them can be clearly felt. Sometimes they are static images, beautiful complications in which the bodies slip in and out of each other, supporting and holding each other. And sometimes they are liberated dance phrases that conjure up the affirmative power of movement. At one moment you see the group obsessively working on itself. And in the next, an electric guitar being worked on by two performers with objects and made to sound in wild ways.

We experience gestures of negation, which in the collective performance become affirmative gestures of togetherness, a sisterly embrace. We watch an ensemble that has its resources under control and understands its self-empowered approach right down to the design of the light. The craftsmanship and dramaturgy are so good that at times you forget what it is actually about. Fortunately, the finale is a caring slap in the face that tells you whether you’re still there.

On the bright side of the shake

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 06.11.2023 // Authors: Yvonne Poppek/Egbert Tholl

In beautiful contrast, there is the world premiere of “songs of absence” by Munich choreographer Anna Konjetzky, conceived like an album, interspersed with strong images, cleverly positioned in a feminist way.

The art of playing

Abendzeitung München, 02.11.2023 // Author: Vesna Mlakar

Songs of absence” is full of lyrics (…) Powerful words, peppered with thoughts that continue to have an effect on her – inwardly – violently moving performance. (…) Emotionally, the whole thing escalates into an increasingly agitated enumeration that culminates in a hiccup of vowels that are merely uttered one by one. Again and again, words get stuck in the throats of the seven dancers. (…)
Anna Konjetzky is well versed in the art of playing with content and form. But the choreographer, who has been regularly staging dance pieces characterized by a socio-political debate in Munich and around the world for 18 years now, is never merely concerned with the formal. Her almost insatiable desire to impulsively and thematically capture an audience seems to be too great. And this is exactly what Konjetzky succeeds in doing thanks to her famous protagonists Sahra Huby, Amie Jammeh, Sotiria Koutsopetrou, Jin Lee, Quindell Orton, Martha Pasakopoulou and Hannah Schillinger.

||:ein Bein hier und ein Bein dort:||

||:ein Bein hier und ein Bein dort:||

||:ein Bein hier und ein Bein dort:||

a dance piece by Anna Konjetzky

||:ein Bein hier und ein Bein dort:|| is a journey in the head of a child. A visit to all the imaginary creatures, memories, dreams and thoughts that have a place there. To the parallel worlds that live in our heads, fed by our imagination and our memories. They are the places where monsters reside (good and the bad ones), places of darkness and places of comfort, where we feel at home.

“The questions which I asked myself and the children were: “What would happen to you, if you changed your world and almost all your familiar relations in it? If you changed the relations between your fantasy, the images in your head, your movements and your body, how would this influence you? How do we develop strategies to deal with foreignness? How do we/can we appropriate space and do we gain space from this? And: Can our home country become with time, an imaginary place?”
(Anna Konjetzky)


Choreography, Scene: Anna Konjetzky // Dance: Viviana Defazio, Sahra Huby, Quindell Orton, Damiaan Veens, Tim Gerhards, Samuel Geller // Music: Eric Thielemans // Video: Canan Yilmaz // Light: Barbara Westernach // Project Coordination: Laura Martegani (RAT&TAT kulturbuero)

Partners & Support

Funded by the Department of Culture of the City of Munich. Supported by the THINK BIG! Festival, the Muffatwerk GmbH, the Bayerischen Landesverband für zeitgenössischen Tanz (BLZT), the Culture Fund of the Stadtsparkasse München and the Italian Culture Institute Munich.


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Theater Heidelberg
Theater Heidelberg
Berlin Augenblick mal!
Marburg KUSS Festival
Muffathalle München
4. – 5.12.2014
Tafelhalle Nürnberg
Festival think big, Muffathalle München