Sophiensæle 23/24


The programme 23/24 of Sophiensæle starts on 07.12.2023

On 7.12.2023, after urgently needed renovation work, the 2023/2024 season will begin at the Sophiensaele under the new artistic direction of Andrea Niederbuchner and Jens Hillje. We will publish the programme for the opening and the season on 26.10.2023, which is also the day when the pre-sale begins.

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© Jan Grygoriew


Every new year, the Tanztage Berlin is not only the city's very first festival, it has also established itself nationally and internationally as an important platform for emerging dance artists since its founding in 1996. The next edition of Tanztage Berlin will once again take place under the artistic direction of Mateusz Szymanówka. The festival is currently planned for 5-20 January 2024. The festival offers emerging dance artists based in Berlin a framework for their new productions and revivals. The programme of the last two editions can be found at:

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Alexandre Achour, Angela Alves, Diana Anselmo, Saša Asentić, Marko Bašica, Rita Mazza, Auro Orso & Dalibor Šandor Dis Contact

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February 15 17 19 | 19.00


In English and German spoken language with captions as well as in German Sign Language (DGS) and Italian Sign Language (LIS) | German captions also available via an audio channel

All dates | Performance with German audio description. The preceding stage tour takes place from 17.45 h to 18.15 h. For audio description and pick-up service, you can register by email at or by telephone Monday to Friday between 10 h and 18 h via 030 27 89 00 30.

Please klick here for the German Audioflyer.

The idea for this work came up in 2018, when the artist Dalibor Šandor asked the critical question of why Pina Bausch never made a version of her most famous work Kontakthof with disabled artists. Pina Bausch, perhaps the most famous German choreographer and co-founder of dance theatre, developed the original version in 1978 with her ensemble of non-disabled dancers and later re- staged a version with non-disabled senior citizens in 2000 and with teenagers in 2008.

Dis Contact is neither a reinterpretation nor a reconstruction of Kontakthof, but a work that creates new places of contact between artists belonging to communities and cultures that are systematically oppressed in the world where Pina Bausch's Kontakthof has a prominent status.

Each of the invited artists for Dis Contact had their own observations about Kontakthof, out of which different non-normative perspectives to choreography, body and language were developed. The work is based on ethics and aesthetics of care, solidarity and accessibility.

DGS-Ankündigungs Video

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  • One story has content on sexual harassment (in Italian Sign Langauge and captions in English & German).
  • One story narrates about an imaginary creature swallowing human beings and trees, but nothing violent or shocking is happening on stage (in English spoken language with English and German subtitles).
  • A song in Balkan Romani is performed on stage about victims of the Holocaust and the Second World War.
  • In the last third of the performance oppression, discrimination and the structural experience of violence are addressed. The themes here are classism, racism, colonialism, imperialism, ableism, patriarchy, capitalism, Second World War, Holocaust, Porajmos, Nazi propaganda and cultural hegemony. 

If any questions remain from the following information, please feel free to contact Hannah Aldinger at or 030 27 89 00 35. Please note that details may change up until the day of the event. Therefore, if you find out after you have purchased your ticket that the performance is no longer accessible to you, you can contact us for a ticket return at or 030 27 89 00 45 until 5 business days after the event (Monday through Friday between 10am and 6pm).


  • 50-60 minutes


  • German spoken language
  • English spoken language
  • German Sign Language (DGS)
  • Italian Sign Language (LIS)
  • Song in Balkan Romani
  • German and English subtitles
  • The German subtitles can also be heard through headphones.

Audio Description

German audio description for blind and visually impaired people is available for all performances.


  • The stage space is kept in dimmed, mostly coloured light.
  • Light tubes hang from the ceiling, delimiting the stage space to the right and left.
  • Red, blue, green, yellow and white light is used on stage.
  • The lighting mood changes frequently between brighter/darker and warmer/colder. Sometimes only the silhouettes of the performers are visible and sometimes they are lit almost lit in full light.
  • The dance floor is black, reflecting the cooler light at times.


  • Several times during the performance there is a deep bass drone sound that gets louder and softer in places.
  • There are live vocals that create a spherical mood at times.

Other effects

  • Smoke is used once at the back of the stage.
  • Video is projected onto the wall at the back of the stage. The content of the video alternates between text, subtitles and DGS interpretation.


  • Seated grandstand
  • 8 beanbag seats bookable subject to availability
  • 2 wheelchair places bookable according to availability
  • The audience never sits completely in the dark.
  • There is one scene where visitors are invited to imagine certain landscapes and imaginary creatures.
  • In the last third of the performance, the performers sit/lie at the front edge of the stage, close to the audience.
  • There are some beanbags in the foyer and at the Bar. The audience can move there during the performance and also come back.

Early boarding
If, for artistic reasons, the door to the auditorium does not open until very shortly before the performance begins, there is the option of early boarding.


  • reservations can be made via the ticket telephone at 030 283 52 66, Monday to Friday from 4pm-6pm
  • via the online ticket shop
  • at the box office

You can also find more information about accessibility here.

Alexandre Achour works in the field of contemporary arts and disability arts. It has been an on-going practice to re-evaluate his personal experiences of racism, and cultural assimilation. In his artistic practice, he addresses eurocentrism and ableism in dance by implementing de-centered models of work based on principles of solidarity.

Angela Alves is a performer, artist, activist, researcher and mother. After some years of struggle, she found comfort in the mode and art of unavailability and unpredictability. The question of how to handle an unavailable and unpredictable body she transfers back to the dance itself by using its conditionality as a choreographic tool box.

Diana Anselmo is an artist and activist for anti-ableism and intersectional trans-queer feminism. They study theatre and performing arts at IUAV University in Venice. Diana Anselmo is also a vice president and co-founder of Al.Di.Qua Artists.

Saša Asentić is a choreographer and cultural worker. He was born in former Yugoslavia. After being a victim of homophobic and xenophobic violence and fundamentally disagreeing with the corruption in public sector in Serbia, as well as right-wing renaissance, he moved to Germany. His artistic practice is based on the principles of solidarity and resistance against cultural oppression and indoctrination.

Marko Bašica is a singer and performer with interest in traditional and popular music of different origins. He is a member of Per.Art group of disabled and non-disabled artists.

Rita Mazza is a deaf queer freelance artist working as an artistic director and performer on visual sign performances. Rita Mazza is also the artistic director of Festival del Silenzio, an international performing arts event focused on sign language and deaf arts. Rita Mazza speaks Italian Sign Language fluently as well as German, French and International Sign.

Auro Orso is an artist of Austrian-Mexican descent whose experience of being racialized and trans are part ofhis artistic research on decolonizing practices within spirituality and gender-riots. His performances include a spectrum of topics ranging from food and spirituality to genderless worlds.

Dalibor Šandor is a performer and member of Per.Art group of disabled and non-disabled artists. He is interested in video games, fantasy and horror genres, self-advocacy and in reflecting on the social reality of disabled people. He actively speaks in public events, television, radio, as well as on internet about his artistic work and Per.Art.

CONCEPT Saša Asentić ARTISTIC DIRECTION & PERFORMANCE Alexandre Achour, Saša Asentić ARTISTIC COLLABORATION & PERFORMANCE Angela Alves, Diana Anselmo, Marko Bašica, Rita Mazza, Auro Orso, Dalibor Šandor COSTUME DESIGN Julia von Leliwa MusiC Arrangement Gregorio Rodriguez Orozco LIGHT DESIGN Anja Sekulić TECHNICAL DIRECTION, SOUND, CAPTIONS Rastko Ilić German Sign Language Interpretation Oya Ataman, Mathias Schäfer AUDIO DESCRIPTION Emmilou Rössling, Silja Korn Reading of German Captions Sophie Thomas PERSONAL ASSISTANCE to Marko Bašica and Dalibor Šandor Olivera Kovačević Crnjanski Participation in rehearsals Perel Participation in the research Heike Bröckerhoff, Laila Regner PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Miriam Glöckler, Stephan Wagner 

A production by Saša Asentić & Collaborators in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE, Kampnagel Hamburg, HELLERAU - European Centre for the Arts Dresden, Théâtre de la Ville de Paris. Funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Supported by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK Coproduction Funding Dance, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The project TanZugang - Breaking Down Barriers in Contemporary Dance is funded by Fonds Soziokultur e.V. Special thanks to Tanzerei, Per.Art, Festival Theaterformen. Media partner: taz.