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Nitsan Margaliot & Sasha Portyannikova

The project Touching — Moving Margins was initiated by Nitsan and Sasha in 2019 and reinforced by Anna in 2021.

Our endeavour emerged from the observation, as well as the lived experience of being part of the contemporary dance scene (the Berlin one in particular) and the established narrative of the dance history, as we learned it to be. If we’ll have a brief look at the people on the stage and behind it, we’ll see the multicultural and diverse (hopefully) community that brings their culturally inherited embodiment and knowledge to the stage. However, if we’ll have a look at the historical narrative of contemporary dance history, we’ll see that the lineages of those actors, who made the international scene flourish, kept on the margins and still are labelled as folk, exotic, oriental, barbaric, indigenous, etc. Those labels mark the heritage as foreign. This gesture of alienation also serves the intention (hopefully unconscious reflex) of policing the proper history of contemporary dance. It is even more ambiguous since from the very beginning modern dance has been speculated on the foreign and exotic images – Ruth St. Denis, Mary Wigman, and others.We cannot change the past or rewrite history, but we can start to complete this hi-story (perhaps to fill up the gaps with alter-stories), and by this build a more accurate and full picture of dance development. The picture where current actors of the scene can relate to and one which is more suitable for the future, where the systematic disparity of the previous cultural eras will be overcome and remade.