NOV 2020 | us | The Empathic Body Vol. 1

NOV 2020 | us | The Empathic Body Vol. 1

The Empathic Body Vol. 1
us | 2020

We are emotional.
We are resilient.
We are dependent.
We are loving.
We are uncertain.
We are envious, assaulting, grateful.
We are strange – tender – ignorant – freaky.
We are diverse.

Man as a social being has the ability to empathize with others, to put himself in their place, to take the place of the other. Can we not do otherwise? “Us” transfers the natural forms of emotional contagion into dance-choreographic settings. The performers take a tightrope walk between attraction and aversion, affection and assault.
Silke Z.’ Ensemble DIE METABOLISTEN negotiates in “us” about empathy and faces the invasive, encroaching side of empathy. This first production of the project “DER EMPATHISCHE KÖRPER” lays the foundation for a perennial examination of the topic “empathy”. The intergenerational company is looking for new performative perspectives to approach the complex of themes and cultivate “us” feelings.


“The encounter with artists changes because it confronts the students with different ways of working. At the core of every work of art the question arises as to the method with which it was created. This opens up new horizons for pupils in a world that threatens to perish due to its “neglect of prosperity”. ”(Thomas Linden, Choices)

Magazin O-Tone Köln:


Thu., March 11, 2021 at 8 pm
Fri., March 12, 2021 at 8 pm
Sat., March 13, 2021 at 4 pm / Family performance

ehrenfeldstudios, Cologne
Wissmannstr. 38
50823 Köln


Artistic direction and choreography | Silke Z.

Performance | Daniela Riebesam, Vivien Kovarbasic, Caroline Simon, Florian Patschovsky, Dennis Schmitz, Angus Balbernie, Bettina Muckenhaupt, Jimin Seo, David Winking, Lisa Kirsch, Karel Vanek, Rebecca Bednarzyk, Hanna Held

Music composition | Nikolaj Grunwald, André Zimmermann

Lighting design | Wolfgang Pütz

Dramaturgy Consulting | Barbara Fuchs

Dance education | Andrea Marton, Caroline Simon

Administration/Management | Olivia Bott

Public Relations | Vinya Cameron

Press work | Kerstin Rosemann

Photo documentation | Jacqueline Stade

The overall concept is supported by the following partners:

Co-production: Fokus Tanz e.V. / Think Big! Festival Munich, Junges Schauspielhaus Bochum. Cooperation: Albertus-Magnus Gymnasium, Cologne, Ruhr University Bochum, German Sport University, Cologne, ehrenfeldstudios e.V.

Funded by the State of NRW as part of the 3-year concept funding and the City of Cologne as part of the multi-year project funding.



DEC 2019 | the others

DEC 2019 | the others


THE OTHERS (DIE ANDEREN), Dance performance by Silke Z. & die Metabolisten

Digitalization and networking in our societies make us think of an apparently direct, immediate proximity. But the supposed abolition of distance does not create more closeness but destroys it. Real closeness to others is becoming increasingly difficult. In order to create closeness, the other must first be identified benevolently. And diversity must be allowed to endure. Processes of rapprochement, however, are increasingly giving way to a growing lack of distance. Identity-less pseudo-equality that remains meaningless.
So who are: THE OTHERS?

Silke Z.’s new dance performance DIE ANDEREN negotiates with the intergenerational ensemble DIE METABOLISTEN the phenomena of proximity and distance in a powerful associative way. Tableaux Vivants emerge in an escalating physical mixture, catapulting us – sometimes desolate, sometimes ordered – into a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Premiere on December 6th 2019


Friday, December 6 – 2019 (Premiere) at 20.00 h

Additional performance

Saturday December 7 -2019 at 20.00 h
Entrance fee: € 8 – € 15 (sliding scale)


Wissmannstrasse 38
50823 Köln

+49 221 846 395 80

Premiere: 2019 | December

Artistic direction | Silke Z. Co-Director | Angus Balbernie Assistant | Meike Kattwinkel Performance | Angus Balbernie, Malina Hoffmann, Lisa Kirsch, Abine Leao Ka, Bettina Muckenhaupt, Florian Patschovsky, Caroline Simon, Alice Smith, Charles Ripley, Karel Vanek Lighting Design | Garlef Keßler Sound Design | Andre Zimmermann Text and Creative Management | Andreas Richartz Photo/Design | Stefan Henaku-Grabski PR | Konfetti Design

In cooperation with Angus Balbernie, … [Silke Z.] … developed this evening. The Others is the title of their play, that will captivate the audience in an entertaining hour. … Meanwhile, a touching final picture emerges on the stage. And if one sprinkled snow over it, it would be the perfect Christmas story. But it shouldn’t be so much emotion after all. It’s also enough to get the audience to enthusiastic applause. Silke Z. presented a piece that deals with the topic of closeness without sentimentality, but with wit and original ideas. One can look forward to the coming year when Silke Z. will tell us what the emphatic body is all about.

Michael Zerban (O-Ton, Düsseldorf)

Foto: @JacQue Photography

NOV 2019 | comfort zone

NOV 2019 | comfort zone


COMFORT ZONE, dance performance by Silke Z. with John Kendall (Newcastle) and Dennis Schmitz (Cologne)

What happens when we consciously decide to break out of the comfort of streamlined habits? If we dare to return the economy of vanity to a non-designed physicality? Does that bring us back to forgotten originality?

John Kendall and Dennis Schmitz invite us on a circular journey into worlds of movement, which demands our imagination, which abducts us into the total presence of an intimate pact. The two performers dive into a unanimous alliance between their bodies, into an interaction of unknown intensity. Their mutual promise to deny any comfort to each other leads them and the audience out of the comfort zone.

Premiere: 2019 | November



Fusion Festival, Müritz 2020 (postponed to  2021 – Corona-Pandemic)


The Briton John Kendall and Dennis Alexander Schmitz from Cologne deliver a gripping encounter from man to man. They run and gesticulate and always dance with determination and dynamism in every action. André Zimmermann’s sound design heats up the brute feat of strength with a subtle increase in tempo”.
(Kölnische Rundschau)

“It’s breathtaking how Kendall and Schmitz keep up this endurance run in a thousand variations over a long period of time.
Garlef Keßler uses a cold white light that once again makes it perfectly clear that this evening is not about pleasure…
Silke Z. shows a choreography that is so out of the ordinary that it is definitely worth a visit.”

Photography © Meyer Originals

SEP 2019 | best of 65

SEP 2019 | best of 65

BEST OF 65 |

BEST OF 65  celebrates aging – in life and on stage. On the occasion of his 65th birthday, the performer Angus Balbernie embarks on an entertaining journey through time: He recalls weird, comic and intense performance moments of his career and dives into the past – and 20 years of collaboration with choreographer Silke Z. With joint productions, such as the performance series “Unter Uns! Das Generationenprojekt”, the performance “machtMUT” or the dance production “DIE METABOLISTEN – STOFF WECHSELN”. The result is a performance medley that deals with aging on stage and the challenges associated with it in a natural, deeply human and sympathetic way, while at the same time celebrating life and the aging body in a dance performance context.

Premiere: 2019 | 60 min. | 1 performer


Guest performance:
Danswerkstaedi, Reykjavik, Island
1 April 2020 postponed to 2021 due to the Corona Pandemic


“Z. has built up the evening scenically beyond any chronology. So you remain Room for humour, fantasy, poetry and clever remarks. The projection screen becomes a Communication offer. Here Balbernie may express his thoughts, about the physical ailments, which have made his dancing life a very difficult one. Report on its philosophical development, in which dance increasingly takes place in spiritual confrontation, and refuse to answer questions such as “how long does he still want to dance?




Concept/Choreography: Silke Z.

In collaboration with the performer: Angus Mc Lean Balbernie

Light/Stage: Garlef Keßler

Production assistance: Steven Sander

Photo: © Meyer Originals

A production by Silke Z. resistdance.

Supported by the Cultural Office of the City of Cologne, Minister President of the State of NRW