Photo: Cheers for fears festival, Dance: Antonia Koluiartseva


Our creative process started at the Folkwang University in Essen. In the beginning of UNBOX.ME, we occupied ourselves with fears. The fears that come along with long distance relationships, with proximity and distance. We examine the effect of the participating people. Is there just a digital and bodyless possibility of contact? Do we lose or find, in the virtual world? The needs and viewpoints are often twisted, misunderstandings and miscommunication happen, whether that be deliberate or inadvertent. Our first vision for this piece was to work with a video artist. We planned to simulate a FaceTime-Conversation, by using a life-size projection of the dancer on a screen, which the dancer can only leave by disappearing from it and entering the ‘real world’.

Therefore, we invited a composer to our working process, to try various compositions related to concrete situations. During the process, we rethought and transformed our first idea, concluding with the decision to set this play on stage without video projections. We found ourselves more interested in another way of making this complex topic visible without being posterlike. Instead of using a screen, we wanted to create a separate room. Therefore, we place two stands in the center of the space, with neon lights outside, and a light-room-construction imitating the virtual realm. The electric music composition supports, creates the action-packed scenery and atmosphere. The motion here, a solo danced by Antonia Koluiartseva, takes a close look at the isolation, the real loneliness, where the often shallow, virtual communication tries to obscure its artificiality and the conflicts it produces.

Program booklet text
UNBOX.ME – „Hey, it’s been a while, how are you? What are  you doing now? Where are you? Do you have time? Can I see your face? Can you see me? Do you hear me?!“
Does it matter to us if meeting each other is only possible in the virtual world, but no longer in reality? If the physical distance increases so much, that we must resort to other means? Do we not stay, above all else, – alone? And how does the state of loneliness transform our feelings? What happens, If we can only create artificial contact, Where can we find safety and protection? We can find different examples of this phenomenon in nature. Insects undergo processes of complete isolation, by building up cocoons in order to grow and reach the next stage of life. Here, a certain level of solitude is essential for further development and the ability to restart. What can we learn from loneliness?
Concept, choreography and contact person: Hakan Sonakalan
Dancer and choreographer: Antonia Koluiartseva
Composition, Music: Marco Girardin
Duration: 20~ min.
Genre: Dance, Performance