trans ≡urop ≡xpr≡ss

körpermaschine #5

Premiere: September 22, 23, 24 2023, Uferstudios, Berlin

Jo Kolski welcomes his passengers on a transtemporal journey. Encountering fragments of George Perec, the French author of Judeo-Polish origin, this posthume dialogue raises the question of European memorial legacy – from Shtetl to Triskell.

Körpermaschine is a series of choreographic investigations of industrial society, articulating the body with kinetic sculptures. By inserting playfulness into unexpected contexts, Jo Kolski deconstructs the seriousness of functionalism.

Sound & Music | Ernesto Cárcamo Cavazos
Light | Hanna Kritten
Dramaturgy | Bernardo de Almeida
Costume | Joana Lucas
Choreographic assistant | Nolwenn Samson
Light design assistant | Cécile Boos
Pictures | Joana Lucas
Logo | Joran Tabeaud

Project supported by the City of Berlin, Senate for Culture and Community

Co-produced by Jo Kolski – movingcells, Espace Périphérique, GSE gGmbH, Le Volatil

trans europ express by jo kolski

accident contrôlé

variation on rotation

Publication to accident contrôlé: variation on rotation, a dialog between Jo Kolski and dramaturg and scholar Jonas Rutgeerts

In the dance-theater piece sp( ! )n – accident contrôlé, Jo Kolski explores the tension between the zen practice of the “controlled accident” and the western idea of utilitarianism, in the context of the amusement industry. accident contrôlé: variation on rotation is an adaptation of the piece, created for Out of the Box. It focuses on the interaction of the body with a useless machine: a rusty pantograph. Combining a fascination for geometrical patterns, industrial civilization and purposelessness, soft shapes and rough materials collide to create a poetic landscape.
accident contrôlé comprises two chapters of körpermaschine, Jo Kolski’s ongoing investigation and questioning of heritage – ruins? – of industrial society. “körpermaschinen” are kinetic sculptures, objects, and spaces that set bodies in motion and create narratives. Science meets tinkering, show culture meets social critique. By inserting playfulness into objects and areas associated with work, Jo Kolski deconstructs the seriousness of functionality.

Choreography, objects, performance: JO KOLSKI
Interaction design and visuals: BARIŞ PEKCAGLIYAN
Dramaturgy and choreographic assistant: BERNARDO DE ALMEIDA

pictures: Joana Lucas

The experimental performance project Out of the Box, organized by MMpraxis and CAA Berlin, provides a platform for Berlin-based emerging choreographers to adapt existing stage works to a gallery space. After having been selected through an open call, the second part of Out of the Box will present works by choreographers Robert Ssempijja and Jo Kolski. Zönotéka, the gallery hosting this iteration of the project, will be open to the artists for a week of rehearsals before presenting their work to the public. In addition, the artists are invited to receive support from a mentor of their choice.

Organized by MMpraxis and CAA Berlin in collaboration with Zönotéka. Supported by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK – STEPPING OUT, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR.

sp( ! )n

accident contrôlé

Uferstudios, Berlin, July 1 and 2, 2022

«Work hard, play hard» the frenzy of modern life has obscured the line between playfulness and seriousness. Where have we left our joy for pure play? Maybe in the ruins of an amusement park, for example at the Spreepark. There, the Communist Party had to buy carousels from capitalist companies to bring joy to its citizens – a recognition that amusement is more “universal” than politics or space conquest? Later surrendered to free economy, the Park ended up in ruins.

Inspired by the glory and failures of amusement cultures and carrousel engineering,sp(!)n celebrates the possibility of a pure purposelessness, without ignoring the threat of creeping utilitarianism.

Choreography, Stagedesign, Videodesign : Jo Kolski

Performance: Lito Anastasopoulou, Ángel Fontaneda, Pamela Moraga, Jo Kolski

Music: Antuantu

Dramaturgy: Bernardo de Almeida

Light design: Andreas Harder

Mentor: Sergiu Matis

Construction and video mentors: Ingo Mewes, Isabel Robson, Julian Jungel

cell farming

Cellular automata was a landmark discovery, enabling scientists to model and more deeply understand evolving social dynamics. LifeViewer, one of the leading software for simulating cellular automata, allowed these complex, emergent patterns to be viewable in 2D. Our vision extends the concept of LifeViewer: instead of a single pixel replicating on a board, abstract patterns are composed of dance-made traces. The dramaturgical core of this project is the translation of cellular automata into a dance framework. As the cells that colonize space over time are quite literally produced by a human performer, we bring awareness to our sense of agency within our own evolution.

Concept / Research: Maria Pyatkova, Jo Kolski, Georgica J. Pettus
Visual design / Creative tech: Bariş Pekcagliyan
Sound design: Katrine Bregnum

Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the framework of NPN | Stepping Out | NEUSTART KULTUR

The installation/Performance was running during the full time of OPEN LAB.

More information here:


A dance, sound and object composition by Jonathan Kolski and Connor Shafran

Premiere: October 29th, 2021 – Berlin HfS Ernst Busch

Concept, development: Jonathan Kolski, Connor Shafran
Sound: Connor Shafran
Choreography, Performance: Jonathan Kolski, Nolwenn Samson
Programming support: Jakob Kilian

Is it possible to delight all muses at the same time? When a choreographer and a composer dream of a temple of sound and movement, it unexpectedly transforms into a monstrous instrument reminiscent of a modern Prometheus – a Frankenstein.
ti/l\t acts out the relationship between body, object and sound.
Who/what manipulates what\whom?

Pictures by Connor Shafran and Sophie Krabbe

geometrical monsters

Residency “Moving the Forum“, may / june 2021

Pictures: copyright Maluva Pictures

The monumental geometrical patterns of the public spaces of the Humboldt Forum symbolise and (re-)enact the power of past and present governments and institutions. The building imposes seriousness and stiffness on present bodies. To counteract this, the dancers play with a “soft” geometry, experimenting with different properties of the cubic form, within, beyond and between their bodies, and with materials found digging in the rubbish containers of the Forum, remains of the construction site.