Residency 1 – August 2019 | Josef Stiller

In co-operation with Zirkus On

Josef Stiller came to the ehrenfeldstudios for a one-week residency to work on his production titled Responsive Round. “Within an intimate circle, a performer moves among balancing and falling bamboo sticks. However, who is catching the sticks remains unclear. This simple idea allows the performer to play with the audience’s natural reactions, thus not only manipulating the bamboo but also the focus of the public’s attention.” The residency comprised a work-in-progress presentation accompanied by a discussion with the audience.

Josef Stiller attended „Die Etage – School for Performance Art“ in Berlin in 2014-2015. He then graduated from the Academy for Circus and Performance Art (ACaPa) in Tilburg (NL). In 2019, his project Responsive Round was elected for the grants “Zirkus On” (DE) and “Keep an Eye Project” (NL). The creation is based on two years of experimentation with bamboo as a juggling prop. In 2017, Josef Stiller, Julian Vogel and Laurence Felber founded the collective for contemporary circus “KLUB GIRKO”. Their first production entitled 122×244 – and a lot of little pieces won the newcomer award for circus direction by Pro Cirque (Swiss Association of Circus Professionals) and the SSA (Swiss Cooperative Society of Authors). Since 2017, Josef is also an active member of the interdisciplinary collective “Compagnie Trottvoir”.

Residency 2 – Oktober 2019 | Critical Mess & Stefan Sing

Co-produced as part of the festival 2020

In autumn 2019, the group „Critical Mess“ directed by Berlin based juggler and performer Stefan Sing was in Cologne for a two-week working residency which included a workshop to exchange ideas with the local scene. It resulted in an urban intervention tour with site-specific improvisations in the public space.

Organic improvisation

The workshop’s focus was on exploring a metaphorical approach to movement. Movement is communication, is language, is readable. It achieves a higher, a more intense level when being a medium for something else: a feeling, a mood, a thought, an image – a content of consciousness. It is not we that move, we are being moved. The workshop was given by Stefan Sing and had the wonderful side-effect of connecting the Berlin group with the local scene.

Stefan Sing

Stefan Sing is a contemporary juggler and performer, his very unique style is inspired by dance and juggling principles and has been developed continuously since 1985. Sing studied performance and dance at the ICAT Berlin, since 2009 he is director of the „Katakomben Center for Performing Arts“, a venue for training and performance in the heart of Berlin. Stefan Sing teaches regularly at circus academies all around the world, such as the ESAC in Brussels, the Lido in Toulouse, the Flic in Turin, the Circus Space in London, the École Nationale de Cirque in Montreal and many more.

Critical Mess

Critical Mess was founded in 2016 by Stefan Sing with the aim of combining dance, theater and juggling. The group participates in the festival edition 2020 with the coproduction “Dodai” and organizes a flash mob-like urban intervention in the Cologne city center and at the Ebertplatz.