Residency 2020

Residency 3 – April 2020 | Overhead Project

NRW Premiere at CircusDanceFestival

The TPZAK Zirkus- und Artistikzentrum is home to What is left, the festival’s in-house production, and welcomes the ten members of the production’s team.

The symbioses of (spatial) geometry and politics currently takes center stage in Overhead Project‘s artistic work: What is the role of architecture and spatial configuration in a political context and how do they affect social “systems of power”? How can these observations be staged and transposed, choreographically and dramaturgically, in a performative space which, spatially speaking, discards the audience’s traditional, passive role, providing the space for performers and audience to interact.

There will be a work-in-progress showing [DATUM] as part of the residency. Details and invitations coming soon.

Team: Tim Behren, Simon Bauer, Charlotte Ducousso, Eric Eggert, Mirjam Hildbrand, Mijin Kim, Leon Börgens, Maria Madeira, Maiol Pruna, Franceso Germini

Since 2008, Overhead Project have been developing plays that combine dance, contemporary circus and performance, both within the independent scene and as guest choreographies for municipal theaters. Acrobat and choreographer Tim Behren is the artistic director of the label, which is funded by the North Rhine-Westphalian promotion-of-excellence program. Overhead Project initiated the CircusDanceFestival, a project by TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund [DANCE PACT Local-Regional-National]. 

Residency 4 | Xenia Bannuscher

Due to the corona-situation the residency by Xenia is postponed to spring 2021.

Residency 5 | Roman Skadra

ABSURD HERO is a solo by and with Roman Škadra. The piece combines contemporary circus with absurd theatre and is characterised by a state of mind à la Buster Keaton. Presented in a minimalist setting, the focus is on the relationship between the artist and a large, red, heavy running ball. In memory of the great slapstick artists, circus is shown here as a potentially joyful but endless effort. ABSURD HERO is planned as a full evening piece for an audience of all ages.

Roman Škadra, born 1985 in Slovakia, successfully completed his training at the artists’ school DIE ETAGE in Berlin in 2017 with his piece “Expat”, in which he choreographed ball juggling and ball running together. With his final piece he was awarded at the festival “Cyrkulacje 2017” in Poland and presented it in 2018 at the Off Night of the Berlin Circus Festival in the Chamäleon Theater. Since 2017 he is a permanent member of the company Critical Mess under the direction of Stefan Sing. As an artist and educator Roman 2016-2019 worked with the Zentrum für bewegte Kunst, an inclusive and artistic project in Berlin. Since 2020 he has been working on his first full-length solo piece “ABSURD HERO” – inspired by the philosophy of Albert Camus.

Roman Skadra ©Andrea Galad

Cancelled: Public Work in progress Showing Roman Skadra

Unfortunately, the public showing of our resident Wrtist Roman Skadra on sunday, 16.09. in the ehrenfeldstudios has to be cancelled. We are not able to implement the current requirements of the corona protection ordinance of 12.8. But we are working on it and are hopefully looking forward to the public showing there on 1.9.!

(The Showing of Overhead Project on Saturday, 15.8. at TPZAK can take place as planned.)

Residency 6 | Overhead Project

Overhead Project continues its work on the piece “Circular Vertigo” within the residence. The duo between the dancer Mijin Kim and a 100kg pommel horse hanging from the ceiling is the deepening of a research with a motor-driven air object.

“Circular Vertigo” deals with the geometric form of the circle as the original form of the attraction and thus establishes, among other things, the historical reference to the management round in the circus. – As a result of the horsemanship of the 18th century -. especially women in the circus, among others as celebrated artist stars on horses, could find a place far away from classical family roles.

With the playful occupation of the centre by an abstracted power object that dominates the circle, Tim Behren reflects on a social space in which female creative freedom, equal treatment and self-determination must be worked out again and again.

Team: Tim Behren, Mijin Kim, Breno Caetano, Simon Bauer, Charlotte Ducousso, Eric Eggert, Mirjam Hildbrand
Overhead Project has been developing pieces on the borderline between contemporary dance, circus and performance since 2008. The label is artistically directed by the acrobat and choreographer Tim Behren and receives top funding from the state of NRW. Overhead Project is initiator of the TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund project “CircusDanceFestival” in Cologne.

Overhead Project | ©Ingo Solms

Work in progress Showing: Saturday, aug 15, 1pm @TPZAK – Zirkus und Artistikzentrum Köln

Due to the corona pandemic the number of spectators is limited. If you are interested please register at

Residency 7 | Erin Skye

Erin Skye focuses in “A Circle of Exchange” on relationships between strangers and the delicate art of telephone conversations with cans and strings. Conversation, communication and mutual recognition are part of human nature. ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) is a path to subconscious relaxation that can create intimacy that we rarely experience with anyone outside our closest friends. Erin Skye summarizes all these themes in an intimate and abstract show with the working title “A Circle of Exchange”.

2019 Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) at Codarts in Rotterdam. Her final performance “Welcome to the Void”, in which she explores the combination of ASMR and circus, was performed at the Perplx Festival 2019 in Belgium, at the Korzo Theatre as part of Cirque Mania 2019 and at the HUBS Immersive Festival 2019 in The Hague.

Erin Skye ©De Schaapjesfabriek

Work in progress Showing: Thursday, aug 20th, 2pm @TPZAK – Zirkus und Artistikzentrum Köln with DAS Arts Feedback Session afterwards

Following: DASArts – Feedback Session with Jenny Patschovsky (Bundesverband Zeitgenössischer Zirkus and Atemzug e.V.)

The DasArts feedback method is primarily about sharing knowledge and expertise. The central goals of our feedback session are to empower the artist who receives feedback on his*her work and to go beyond passing judgement as a critic in order to increase the joy of giving and receiving feedback.

We want to invite the Cologne performance scene – dancers, circus artists, musicians and actors are very welcome.
The participation in the session is free of charge. It is important that the participants are present during the whole session (about 3 hours).

Due to the corona pandemic the number of spectators is limited. If you are interested please register at

Residency 8 | Maria Madeira and Laura Schönlau

We perceive time in a different measurement than before. The present is no longer short, but seems to be rather long and expansive. We want to explore the present with the sensations of our body and the images of our mind. Perhaps we are in the middle of the fusion of fantasy and reality?

Based on their common interest in visual arts, movement and video/photography the idea for their joint project was born. The focus of this first residency will be on bodily and visual sensory research to explore physical and visual
to connect stories.

Maria and Laura both studied in Tilburg at the Fontys Fontys Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. Maria is a dance acrobat and works on projects in the border area between circus and dance
Laura has a degree in choreography. Her artistic interest lies in the creation of spatial bodies with the means of dance, movement and the fusion with other art forms such as architecture or visual arts.

Work in progress Showing: Tuesday, sep 1, 4pm @ehrenfeldstudios

Due to the corona pandemic the number of spectators is limited. If you are interested please register at

Residency 9 | Arachnur

The first creation of the Cie kraD ” Arachnur ” shows a fusion of contemporary circus and experimental music with a strong predilection for the obscure.
“Arachnur” is beyond evil or good, definitely cathartic but still poetic. An enduring hymn to the dark and what lies behind it, directly inspired by the quote by the painter Pierre Soulages: “Mon instrument n’était plus le noir, mais cette lumière secrète venue du noir.” (My instrument was no longer the darkness, but the secret light from the darkness…).

A deep immersion into the abyss of the human soul through acoustic boundaries and dark imagery. A macabre ritual that embodies a spiritual crawl to the gallows through despair and the shattering loop of dark thoughts.

Leïla Maillard
Born in Geneva in 1997, Leïla Maillard began her circus training at a very young age at the Circus School Théâtre-Cirqule. She began her circus training at the Ecole Nationale de Cirque de Châtellerault, France, where she specialized in vertical rope, then completed the Bachelor’s program in Circus at the DOCH, School of Dance and Circus at the University of the Arts in Stockholm, graduating there in 2018. Her artistic interest is in dark aesthetics and the exploration of dark areas.

NuR is self-taught in the performing arts. Her approach is transgender, she redefines boundaries and mixes styles and types of all art genres, which she applies technically or uses as a source of inspiration. Her latest obsessions are acoustic feedback and hair suspension.

Arachnur ©Alison Johnson

Work in progress Showing: Friday, sep 11th, 4pm @TPZAK – Zirkus und Artistikzentrum Köln

Due to the corona pandemic the number of spectators is limited. If you are interested please register at

Call for entries

Calls for entries exclusively address professional artists in the fields of circus and dance. Please send a short cover letter, project description, necessary background information, short CVs of the core performers and, if possible, video links to previous productions.

Calls for upcoming residencies will be published in the news category of this website.