Philippe Kratz (IT)
22 October, 8:00 pm
A4 – space for contemporary culture
Born in 1985 in Leverkusen, Philippe Kratz first encountered dance in German tanztheater through pedagogue and choreographer Suheyla Ferwer and has since remained fascinated by what makes people move.
He studied classical ballet at École supérieure de Danse du Québec in Montréal and at Staatliche Ballettschule Berlin. As a former long-term company member of Italian Aterballetto he has worked with numerous international dance makers before deciding to move on and deepen his personal understanding of, and artisanship in, choreography. This endeavour was particularly encouraged by Cristina Bozzolini, Aterballetto’s then artistic director. After various smaller pieces for the company, a turning point in his work was Phoenix (2017) with its improvisation-based creation process and a strongly conceptual structure. By analysing, de- and recomposing everyday gestures, therefore abstracting them, these movements were re-given their innate poetry. The piece’s original music, composed by Italian singer-songwriter Borderline Order, did not necessarily inform the musicality of the movement, but rather enhanced its meaning and acuteness.
In general, in Kratz’s work the focus lies on the resilient core in processes like construction, destruction, deconstruction and re-composition. Rhythmicity, too, whether in collective footwork or individual virtuosic action, becomes an important aspect in creating movement that feels honest as well as urgent.
In 2018 he created O as a reaction to a 2017 press conference held in Hongkong between two humanoid robots. The duet is meant as a celebration of the achievement of eternity, where inorganic material supposedly manages to pass on the entirety of the human experience. In a transcendental state two beings move to the groove of their ever-beating hearts. The duet won Hanover’s Choreography Competition, as well as a residency with the Australian Dance Theatre. In 2019, Kratz was awarded “best choreographer” by Italian magazine Danza&Danza for his group work cloud|materia, which was inspired by the writings of Anni Albers, German essayist, Bauhaus textile worker and designer. Albers’ words „We must come down to earth from the clouds where we live in vagueness, and experience the most real thing there is: material.“ resonate strongly in Kratz’s creations: for him there is hardly a greater way to experience existence than through purposeful, physical effort. Always interested in installing a direct dialogue and exchange with each dancer, he has created or is currently creating works with Aterballetto, Gauthier Dance Company, Nuovo Balletto di Toscana, Wiener Staatsballett, Bayerisches Staatsballett and, by invitation of Manuel Legris, Teatro alla Scala in Milan.