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Press Releases

Presse release October 28, 2019
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE & Rabih Mroué: Elephant & You should have seen me dancing Waltz (Premiere) in Athens and Hamburg

Press release August 8, 2019
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: First Premiere der DANCE ON 2.EDITION - Berlin Story - A re-imagining of Story by Merce Cunningham

Press release August 16, 2018
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: Call for Applications

Press release June 30, 2018
Der Haushaltsausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages beschließt: 1,87 Millionen Euro für DANCE ON 2. EDITION

Press release February 26, 2018
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE at Tanzplattform 2018

Press release January 18, 2018
DANCE ON FESTIVAL: Out of Now at HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin

Press release December 7, 2017
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE & Berliner Ensemble: Premiere Die letzte Station by Ersan Mondtag

Press release September 13, 2017
DANCE ON EXTENDED: Premiere show to be true by Johannes Wieland in Sweden

Press release February 17, 2017
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: 2 Premieres - Man Made by Jan Martens & Tenacity of Space by Deborah Hay

Press release September 13, 2016
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: Premiere - Untitled Duo (AT) by William Forsythe

Press release June 7, 2016
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: Premiere - Those specks of dust von Kat Válastur

Press release March 24, 2016
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: 2nd Premiere - Water between three hands by Rabih Mroué

Press release February 18, 2016
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE bei der Tanzplattform 2016

Press release January 22, 2016
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE: First Premiere - 7 DIALOGUES by Matteo Fargion

Press release November 25, 2015
Die ersten drei Auftragsproduktionen mit Matteo Fargion, Rabih Mroué und Kat Válastur stehen fest.

Press release September 13, 2015
Introducing the DANCE ON ENSEMBLE


Press Review


A mature, multi-layered and moving work that cleverly and skilfully transfers images of violence and longing for humanity into the bodies and thus makes them directly experienceable for the audience.

Annette Stiekele, Hamburger Abendblatt, 16.11.2019


This evening is a highlight of the festival “Tanz im August” .

Sandra Luzina, Tagesspiegel, 24.8.2019

The Dance On Ensemble avoids doing what other mature dance artists often practice: repeating routines while resisting any kind of engagement with the ongoing changes in society and the arts. The ensemble doesn’t fall into the trap of imitating a circus of youthfulness, neither does it lose itself in self-worship – as was the case from 1991 to 2006 with NDT III, Jirí Kylián’s renowned company of mature dancers.
Helmut Ploebst, Der Standard, 25.3.2018

“Start training at 10, arrive on stage at 20, reach the pinnacle of your career at 30, quit at 40. The absence of wrinkles and flab virtually defines professional dancers, but physical decline will of course hit home eventually. When tweaks and twinges can no longer be ignored, it is time to change careers. Years of experience and a huge treasure of bodily knowledge suddenly count for nothing; aesthetic refinement and theatrical charisma are useless appendages. Unless someone like Madeline Ritter comes along, lawyer, pragmatist, pluralistic thinker. Why, she asked herself several years ago, do dancers quit their profession so early – or are rudely forced to do so? Ritter founded Dance On, an ensemble of six dancers. The main selection criterion was age: they had to have crossed the threshold of 40. In a short period of time, the sextet has shown great thrust and promise, making pioneering work. From ‘7 Dialogues’ to ‘Water between three hands’ and ‘Man Made’, they created a small repertoire tailored especially for mature – that is, expressive and self-assured – dancers.”
Dorion Weickmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23.02.2018

“DANCE ON shows fantastic, skilful dance, making it entirely obvious how much potential would be lost if such dancers were not allowed to keep dancing.”
Eva-Maria Magel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 2.12.2016



“Tellingly, the Dance On idea is delivered on this night not by a choreographer but the director Rabih Mroué and his duet ‘Elephant‘. Shaded pencil drawings of bodies lying on the ground are projected on to the back wall. They look like crime scene markings. Ty Boomershine recreates the figures in a square of light, watched by Jone San Martin. A photo of a dead body in water appears for just a moment. Refugees, death in the Mediterranean – the associations are inevitable. They are then strangely distorted into a dance for a couple in which the two dancers circle each other ever more closely. It seems they have lived a long life together. Something indescribable hovers in the background, a presence, a moment in the past that points to the future. All at once. It is an impressive piece.”
Michaela Schlagenwerth, Berliner Zeitung, 02.03.2018

“’Elephant’ is the name of the evening’s premiere. It was created by Rabih Mroué, a Lebanese artist living in Berlin who moves between the visual and the performing arts. He sends Ty Boomershine and Jone San Martin, both dressed in casual clothes, on a quest to find themselves. Imitating projections of pencil drawings by Mroué, they assume different poses on the floor. Then strips of lighting guide them through a labyrinth. Their angular strides and movements are accompanied by hissing and growling sounds and startled gasps. Even aggressive crowding out is part of their interactions. Every so often new connections light up on the floor. When the grid of light disappears and the entire stage of the HAU2 becomes visible, the two have to walk for an eternity along complicated, labyrinthine pathways – ironically to a recording of Hans Albers’ stirring ‘La Paloma’ – before they meet in the middle. Darkness envelops the pair, leaving everything open. An enigmatic, aesthetically pleasing piece of dance theatre for two of the presently five Dance On artists.”
Volkmar Draeger, Neues Deutschland, 02.03.2018



“The director did his research. He visited retirement and care homes, collected memories and fragments of being. His collage of texts weaves countless strands of stories together, distilling them into gripping, often infinitely sad episodes with hilarious undertones. None of this, however, would be nearly as effective as it is without the two ensembles performing this evening together. The BE contributes electrifying actors, first and foremost Constanze Becker as Hanna, an old woman wearing a nightie, and Judith Engel as her counterpart, a nameless seer of fate elegantly dressed in head to toe Escada. Hanna’s dead relatives, her fellow care home residents and surviving family members are played by members of the Dance On company – all of them dancers over the age of 40, whom the make-up department transformed with monstrous fake tear sacks, beer bellies and large areas of padding. Despite such extra weight, the quartet smuggles delicate waltzes, rustic polka steps and unison Parkinson’s shaking on to the forest clearing that opens up in Stefan Britze’s stage design, amidst firs and the skeleton of a timber hut.”
Dorion Weickmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19.12. 2017

“The performers of the DANCE ON ENSEMBLE peel themselves out from under the firs. Their engrossing choreographies, their clear singing create the most beautiful scenes of the evening.”
Patrick Wildermann, Tagesspiegel, 17.12.2017


Yearbook tanz 2017 – Critics’ choice, September 2017

Dancer of the Year:

“Christopher Roman’s concentrated experience in Dance On, the company where only experience counts”
Arnd Wesemann, Berlin, tanz

“Christopher Roman/Dance On in ‘Man Made’ by Jan Martens and in ‘7 Dialogues’ by Matteo Fargion – an inexhaustible spectrum of dance, play, and embodied thinking”
Irmela Kästner, Hamburg, freie Autorin



"The movements are angular, unnaturally decelerated, then the dancers freeze in cramped poses, knees and arms bent. The piece is brittle and hermetic, but a fascination develops nonetheless. You focus on tiny changes, observe how the atmosphere changes, follow the meditative movement sequences, accompanied by recorded sounds. Hay creates universal moments, for example when a dancer silently cries and the others try to comfort him, or when a man and a woman hug each other and become knotted, their togetherness becoming cramped." Marion Meyer, Rheinische Post, 27/3/2017

"Tenacity of Space is a performance that is uneventful yet stirring, rich in movement yet still, tackles association and isolation at one and the same time. The piece emphasises these contrasts, develops them then dissolves everything again, until the parts give rise to a whole. But you can only understand this whole if you appreciate the dance's own language: the five dancers of the DANCE ON ENSEMBLE speak above all using the limbs of their bodies and thereby open up their own perspectives that need no words." Katharina Tiemann, tanzhaus nrw blog, 10/4/2017



"At the end, all five dancers in Jan Martens' premiere Man Made rotate to hypnotic electronic music in a growing, fascinating frenzy of dance. Experience and quality involve each other – even and precisely in dance." Annette Stiekele, Hamburger Abendblatt, 13/3/2017

"Here, too, the dance manages at the start without any music at all; only the dancers' rhythmic foot movements can be heard. Each one shapes his or her own part with new individual patterns emerging time and again before dissolving imperceptibly into synchronicity, everyone doing the same thing together, then landing immediately back in separation again. At a certain point, a distant beat starts, rising gradually and mixing with other sounds (sound: Mattef Kuhlmey). In parallel with the increasing and decreasing intensity of light (lighting: Dominique Pollet) and the dynamic of the movements performed by the ensemble in simple black dancewear (costumes: Sophia Piepenbrock-Saitz), a hypnotic whole emerges that increasingly mixes and interweaves until the crescendo finally leads into fortissimo and the music stops suddenly, the dancers continuing to move in unison until the movement also reduces and dies away. Once again, we can see here that dancers aged over 40 bring precisely the degree of intensity and confidence to the stage that you'd like to see in every dance performance, the technique and agility of all these dancers also making a mockery of their age. One can only hope and wish that this ensemble continues for a long time yet, and that it may even get bigger." Annette Bopp, tanznetz.de, 13/3/2017



"The game they are playing amidst the silence appears effortless: hands touch four points, hip, hip, shoulder, shoulder. They perform the same movements, but not identically. One of them slows down, the other follows with a delay. Slowly, the hands move higher, torso and head become more articulated – all the while following the precise set of patterns introduced early on. A series of repetitions and variations unfolds, where it seems as if the dancers were offering each other a pulse or rhythm. […] It is a delightful duet, celebrating togetherness and a shared sense of doing." Melanie Suchy, tanz, November 2016

"William Forsythe, the grand master of choreography, demonstrates in his duet Catalogue how time and space are defined by movement – entirely independently of age. (...) Looking at each other, [the two dancers] slow down their inner rhythm or give new impetus to the perpetuum mobile. And in the process, something remarkable happens: time ceases to pass inexorably but is instead generated by the bodies themselves. The dancers seem ageless. Hopefully the company that wants to ‘dance on’ will produce many more pieces like this." Antje Landmann, Die Rheinpfalz, 10.10.2016

"Stunning technique meets the creativity and composure of experienced dancers. When their hands touched at the end of this wonderful piece, they seemed to become part of one continuous artistic cycle." Natalie Kurth, SWR 2, 08.10.2016


tanz Yearbook 2016 - critic`s survey

"Company of the year: Dance On (Water between three hands)" Dorion Weickmann, in: tanz Jahrbuch 2016

"Postive development...the establishment of DANCE ON - an ensemble of six fantastic experienced dancers with character" Elisabeth Nehring, in: tanz Jahrbuch 2016

Jone San Martin is featured as 'beacon of hope' in Yearbook tanz 2016

Jone San Martin speaks – it is part of her dancing. […] The fifty-year-old wants dancers to be valued: There is nothing embarrassing or inferior about performing other people’s choreography. […]
Jone San Martin now belongs to the newly founded DANCE ON ENSEMBLE and, in its first piece 7 Dialogues, bewitched the audience with her expressive gaze and fingers. Just like her colleagues Amancio Gonzalez, Christopher Roman, Ty Boomershine, Ami Shulman and Brit Rodemund, she delivered a performance that gives us hope: strong individuals, experienced artists, all of them. […]
Good, to have someone like Jone San Martin sticking up for just dancing – for being a dancer.
Melanie Suchy, "Jone San Martin", in: tanz Jahrbuch 2016



Water between three hands sees the body as a surrealist object and pays homage to it through language and movement. Chambers of spooks and wonder under the skin are depicted in nightmarish passages about transience, remembrance, distortion and the alienation of perception. (...) A whiff of New York drifts from the stage and William Forsythe’s experimental academism resonates, like a matrix archived in the arms and legs of his ex-protagonists, activated by the percussionist Philipp Danzeisen, the dancers’ adversary and associate. And they deliver (...) a magnificent batch of goods.”
Dorion Weickmann, “Prototype on twelve legs”, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung online, 25/4/2016

“The formulation ‘three hands’ points to the fact that here a group is embarking on an experiential journey together. The dancers shuttle between the microphone and dance area. (...) In the artistic exchange, percussionist Philipp Danzeisen is also included in the performance. Not least the audience, the addressee of scenes about age and parting, reality and reflection, scenes in which it also thinks along, plays its traditional key role in a Mroué work. Fortunately, there’s plenty of room for laughter, about amusing pointers, self-mocking tales of woe, and poses. But above all it is the cluster of individuals still dancing so exquisitely that makes this 75-minute dance piece so captivating.” Marieluise Jeitschko, tanznetz.de, 26/4/ 2016

“Dancers aged over 40 as the protagonists in a piece? Nothing new, yet not self-evident. (…) The pilot project Dance On: Dance Repertoire for Dancers 40+ gains enormous strength from this knowledge. Water Between Three Hands is the name of the second production by the Dance on Ensemble, three women and three men in a choreography by the Lebanese director and actor Rabih Mroué and premiering at Kampnagel. Helped by his sextet, Mroué, close to visual art, a novice dance creator, wrote a notebook in which everything is held together, from the working method to things that affect the dancers, be they nightmarish, bizarre, moving or funny. From the archive of their memories and bodies, they have developed a seemingly improvised collage-style lesson that initially comes across as cryptic pathology. The marvellous dancers dismantle their bodies, so to speak, and put them together at the end as a concentrated snapshot of dance. ‘Every time we say goodbye,’ sings Ella Fitzgerald, but it looks as if these dancers won’t be saying goodbye for a long time yet.” Monika Nelissen, “The dance of age can be a lively affair”, Die Welt online, 25/4/2016

“The main threads of the piece are the body, death and therefore also war. Water between three hands has no daring springs or youthful fragile beauty, yet Rabih Mroué has nonetheless created touching, thought-provoking moments with the dancers. (...) The production offers plenty of space for individual interpretations, something we’re used to from dance theatre. This is nice and allows the evening to echo in the mind. Something unusual: the dancers are given a voice, are allowed to articulate what age is doing with them. Intimate insights for dance enthusiasts.” Thorsten Schaubrenner, “Water between three hands”, 3SAT, Kulturzeit, 25/4/2016



There was “(...) a reunion with the one-time Forsythe dancers Jone San Martin, Amancio Gonzalez and Christopher Roman: they’re now members of Dance On, a company that (...) aims to explore how the experience of dancers aged over 40 on stage can be used by other artists and even in everyday projects. The snapshots of these magnificent dancers were a pleasure to watch, what they’re developing something worth talking about.” Eva-Maria Magel, “See you in Essen. What’s on offer: German Dance Platform 2016”, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 7/3/2016

“If you look at it close up, it becomes clear that this is less about validating tedious clichés. These say – in contrast to the rampant obsession with youth – that dancers beyond the age of 40 are still great on stage because older people are incredibly expressive. No, this is far more about the essential question of what a dancer is today, what he or she can be, is allowed to be, should be.” Melanie Suchy, Tanz, March 2016

“All the dancers have (...) brilliant technique, body control and charisma – there’s no doubt there. Pantomime and language enhanced and underlined movement. The motivations for continuing to dance are interwoven with sarcastic winks (...) But above all the barely eight-minute performances from each dancer reveal artistic emphasis and personality.” Marieluise Jeitschko, “The Dance On Ensemble introduces itself with ‘7 Dialogues’ at the Holland Dance Festival”, in: tanznetz.de, 30/1/2016


Johanna Lühr
Press and Communication
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