The dance piece «Nothing Left» by choreographer Tabea Martin has its première in June. That means the third co-production of the cancelled Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps 2020 is now finally making it onto the stage. Isabella Spirig, Artistic Director of the dance festival, explains how the collaboration on this piece came about – and also reveals the dancers will be sharing the stage with a drum kit.
What actually is a co-production? What does the term mean?
It refers to a production that involves several parties. Migros Culture Percentage of course provides financial backing for a co-production, as well as expertise and coaching as necessary. We identify projects that we consider to be highly promising and get involved in the development of the work. The artists retain full artistic freedom – we don't get involved in that side of things – but we are always there to lend our support. As a patron of the arts, we uphold the fundamental ethical principle that we should not seek to manipulate art, but should instead try to give creativity the time and space to unfold.
How did the collaboration between Steps and Tabea Martin come about?
Tabea could almost be described as a child of Migros Culture Percentage. We have already supported her outstanding work in the past through other projects. Having served on numerous juries, I got to know her early on in her career; and I have been following her work with interest for a number of years. The advancement of women is hugely important to me. Our current cooperation came about very naturally: I'm as captivated by her work as she is by Steps. So putting on something together was an obvious move.
Why does Migros Culture Percentage have such a strong commitment to dance?
Migros Culture Percentage's wide-ranging involvement in dance in Switzerland goes back decades. That tradition means we feel a strong connection to the dance scene in Switzerland. Steps has been, and will remain, an important platform for contemporary dance in Switzerland.
What awaits audiences in «Nothing Left»?
Although the subject is death, the audience's experience will be anything but bleak. The piece presents an array of movement, colour, humour and live music. The dancers share the stage with a drum kit. The work builds a life-affirming bridge to a subject that our culture would rather steer away from. The piece took shape before the pandemic – but how we handle death has become more topically relevant than ever.
Tabea could almost be described as a child of Migros Culture Percentage.
Isabella Spirig, Artistic Director of the dance festival Steps about Tabea Martin
Photo/Stage: Caroline Minjolle - Steps 2020