Ernest Berk – The Complete Expressionist

Part of “CTM 2018 – Turmoil”


2h 45min

A special emphasis on the intersection of music and dance will be ongoing at the HAU2 during CTM 2018, via focus points on pioneering artists and art forms. The story and legacy of choreographer, electronic music composer, improviser, dance therapist, and pedagogue Ernest Berk will be explored over three consecutive nights.

Berk’s versatile, innovative career spanned decades and reflected deep involvement in leftist politics and non-Western aesthetics. The Cologne native’s pairing of modern dance with musique concrète is one of the most unusual stylistic combinations of the 20th century. In the project “The Complete Expressionist”, the celebrated Berlin choreographer Christoph Winkler will oversee the long-overdue reconstruction of Ernest Berk’s dance pieces and performances of selected musical compositions as live concerts.

To kick off the evening, theatre and dance researcher Patrick Primavesi, Professor of Theater and Dance Studies, Universität Leipzig, will give a talk and present images from the Berk archive in the HAU2 foyer.

In the first performances of the event, Winkler’s dancers (Martin Hansen, Lois Alexander, Emma Daniel, Sarina Egan-Sitinjak, Julia B. Laperrière, Luke Divall, Lisa Rykena, Dana Pajarillaga, Riccardo De Simone, & Gareth Okan) will interpret various shorter pieces by the pioneer. Following this, they will reenact the improvised “trance dance sessions” Berk regularly hosted in the 1970s, and lauded Japanese avant-noise duo group A will provide the live soundtrack using samples of Berk’s original rhythmic patterns.

After an intermission, a collaboration between celebrated Berlin-based experimental musicians Rashad Becker and Pan Daijing presents new material inspired by Berk’s working methods, musical structures, and textual directions.

Lastly, on January 28th only, the performances will be followed by a lecture and film screening by British experimental musician Ian Helliwell in which he discusses Ernest Berk's output and position within the history of early British electronic music. Helliwell will also show a 25-minute edited version of his 2011 film on British electronic experimenter FC Judd to give a sense of the cultural and musical contexts in which Berk was situated.

Throughout the three performance days, listening stations featuring Berk’s numerous compositions will also be installed in the HAU2 foyer.

For the complete CTM Festival programme, please go to:


  • Past
    Sun 28.1.2018, 18:30 / HAU2
    Mon 29.1.2018, 19:30 / HAU2
    Tue 30.1.2018, 19:30 / HAU2


Ernest Berk – The Complete Expressionist is funded by TANZFONDS ERBE – an Initiative by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

CTM 2018 — Turmoil is funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, German Federal Cultural Foundation, Capital Cultural Fund, Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, TANZFONDS ERBE – an initiative by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Initiative Musik, Goethe Institut, Federal Foreign Office.

CTM 2018 is a project by DISK – Initiative Bild & Ton e.V. and DISK / CTM GbR in cooperation with transmediale, Kulturprojekte Berlin, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, and many other partners.

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Hallesches Ufer 34, 10963 Berlin

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