East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

TanzLaboratorium, Ukraine

Sylwia Śmigiel
phone: Larysa Venediktova +380673957135 , Olga Komisar +380674457122

Risk Assessment



Clinamen III

Information about institution: 

TanzLaboratorium is an independent performance group that works with time in given, randomly found or consciously chosen spaces. The group’s artistic strategy manifests itself in permeating the gaps between contemporary art forms and destroying the linguistic conventions of said forms.

TanzLaboratorium views art as life’s process being realized through performativity. Performativity in this case means a particular mode of artistic activity that somehow thematizes temporality.

The group realizes its artistic practice primarily through working with the body as medium, with its own unique body-consciousness and body-imagination. The body is not used as an instrument but acts as author of the image and the critical agent for thinking. Physical practice is regarded as a method of critical analysis, and dance – by investigating its perception – becomes a way of thinking.

TanzLaboratorium is not concerned with progress or the future – whether it will be better, happier, freer or apocalyptic. The group is interested in practices that enable movement toward the past, and precede art.


  • “Rose smells of rose” 2000-2002,
  • “Sequence” 2001,
  • “Kandinsky” 2002,
  • “Signs of life” 2003-2005,
  • “and finish and start again…” 2006,
  • “Quetzalcoatl” 2006,
  • “Serial box” 2007,
  • “Kurbas. Reconstruction” 2007
  • “Recreation” 2007, made at Schloss Broellin, Germany as part of the Artists in Residents program,
  • “Event” 2008, collaborative project with pianist Yevhen Gromov (music by Karlheinz Stockhausen),
  • “Proprius” (dance piece with music by Karlheinz Stockhausen), 2008,
  • “Clinamen”, 2008-2009,
  • “Value” - project in collaboration with Transforma (Swedish dance group) presented in Ukraine and Sweden in February-May 2009,
  • “Laboratory work #1” 2010,
  • “BUZA” 2010,
  • “Headless” 2010,
  • “Use your head to build!” 2010,
  • “10.10.10” 2010,
  • “Laboratory work #2” 2010.

Festivals :

  • Actual dance stage (Kyiv, Ukraine) 2000-2002,
  • ADF (Durham, USA) 2001,
  • Evolution (Tallinn, Estonia) 2002,
  • Lublin dance theatre festival (Poland) 2002,
  • PERFEST (Moscow, Russia) 2002, 2003,
  • Theatre platform (Kyiv) 2002,
  • Kyiv Music Fest (Kyiv) 2006,
  • ECITE (Haslach, Austria) 2006,
  • Laboratory of performance (Kyiv, Ukraine) 2007,
  • Festival “ART-ALTERNATYVA” (Donetsk, Ukraine) 2008/2010,
  • Underground Theatre Festival (Arad, Romania) 2008/2009,
  • GogolFest (Kyiv, Ukraine) 2008,
  • Black/North Seas Festival (Odessa, Ukraine), participation in “Black Sea Oracle Game” (performance installation of SIGNA (Denmark) 2008,
  • 2days&2nights of New Music (Odessa, Ukraine) 2009,
  • INFANT (Novi Sad, Serbia) 2009,
  • Days of Contemporary Art (Bialystok, Poland) 2010,
  • Tyzhden/Week of Contemporary Art (L'viv, Ukraine) 2010,
  • Spielstrasse/Strassen (Kyiv, Ukraine) 2010.


  • Artists in Residence (Les Kurbas National Theatre Arts Center, Kyiv, Ukraine) 2006-2010,
  • Artists in Residence (Schloss Broellin, Germany) 2007.

Grants: Swedish Institute, SWIZHE for collaborative Ukrainian-Swedish project “Value” 2008-2009.

Selected projects:

“Serial box” (“Quetzalcoatl”):

 “The world premier of Danylo Pertsov’s electro-acoustic performance titled “Quetzalcoatl” could be considered as the concert’s shocking climax, intriguing many in the auditorium. The composer (who was also the performer) entered the stage barefoot, abruptly leapt into the orchestra pit and began performing his work with the participation of actors. Parts of the audience rushed toward the epicenter of the event, and the rest – annoyed that they couldn’t see anything – left the hall. In short, the effect – positive or negative – was there…” (Elena Zhukova, “Den’”).


This performance is a continuation of “Unfashionable,” a project that began when TanzLaboratorium worked as resident artists at the Schloss Broellin International Theatre Research Location in Germany. Influenced by the place and its unpredictable residents, an unusual form of performance gradually emerged.

“Kurbas.Reconstruction” (In collaboration with Les Kurbas National Theater Art Center): Les Kurbas, Ukrainian movie and theater director, considered by many to be the most important Ukrainian theater director of the 20th century, shot on the 3rd of November 1937 in Sandormakh, Kareliya.

1111 political prisoners were executed between October 27th and November 4th - " in honour of the preparations for celebrating the XXth anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution."

In 2009, the performance was awarded the Grand Prix at the international theatre festival INFANT (Serbia).


Ukrainian - Swedish art project.

We are interested in searching differences more than finding similarities. We are using the concept of "value" for researching, exploring and understanding the "differences". What are the limitations of what we can buy? What exactly are we buying when buying art? Is it a material object, an experience, or a talent? Is it possible to purchase contemporary art if it is immaterial? Is it possible to purchase a dance? How do you set the value of a work of art, an experience, or a human being? In the first part, we stage an auction. The works auctioned will be six solo dances based on famous artworks. The audience will be invited to bid on each dance – represented by the dancer standing beside the artwork which inspired it. In the second part, the audience members who purchased dances will be invited to view them in their entirety.


“Clinamen” unites Baudrillard’s idea of the spontaneous creative act, artworks by Kyiv artist Vlada Ralko, images from contemporary Ukrainian literature and Handel’s music. The performance manifests themes from the works of contemporary Ukrainian writers – suicide, beauty and doom (fatality).

Olga Ostroverkh of 24.ua writes, “…here aesthetics probably dominate over meaning; when the dancers freeze against the background of Ralko’s paintings, soaking with pink-bloody nightmare, for some reason the entire composition becomes clear, peaceful, completely rafaelite…”

 “Laboratory Work No. 1”:

Contemporary research is not defined by a search for something, the search becomes the object in itself and proposes impossible answers to possible questions. Every question formulates its own answer, yet the research paradigm of contemporary dance looks for answers which the question does not take into account. Each project participant is simultaneously a performer, observer and researcher.

 “BUZA” (In collaboration with Les Kurbas NTAC)

This work was occasioned by the 70th anniversary of the execution of world-renowned Soviet director Vsevolod Meyerhold. His vision of the theatre and his fate in the context of the common destiny of the Soviet people provided the impulse for creating this piece. Fear as a phenomenon of human existence. Fear that reigned in the Soviet person’s consciousness. Fear that even now remains a defining factor in the thoughts and actions of contemporary people.

 “Use your head to build!”:

This project is a part of the festival “Spielstrasse/Strassen spiele” devoted to the reconstruction of Andriivskyi Uzviz in Kyiv, organized by the Goethe-Institut and Soviart gallery. Using a very labor-intensive method, the project participants tries to express a very simple thought: “If you put your mind to any task, it greatly increases the chances of a favorable outcome.” Using your head (intellect) in the conception of urban planning is awidely understood, but by all appearances, abstract idea. In the given project, thisabstraction materializes in the human minds embedded in the wall under construction.

This concretization of the idea is similar to the manifestation of architecture, instantiating ideas and affecting human life and society through form. Taking the idea of architecture as a starting point, an artistic object (specifically, an action) emerges, which in turn, on account of its irreconcilable components (building materials and the human body), mustinfluence the discussion process.

Project “10.10.10”:

curator – Larysa Venediktova

10 performers, artists, dancers, actors with various backgrounds were invited to show a 10-minute solo performance about how they experienced the last 10 years (impressions, conclusions, events, etc.). The duality of the structure that proposes thematizing the subjective time of personally experiencing 10 years and revealing the essence of theatrical practice, which organizes the time of the observer, makes the structure itself performative.