CocoonDance was founded by dramaturge Rainald Endraß and choreographer Rafaële Giovanola in 2000. Baltimore-born Swiss native Giovanola first worked as a soloist in Turin, following her studies with Marika Besobrasova in Monte Carlo, before landing an eight-year engagement at the Ballett Frankfurt with William Forsythe. Afterwards, she worked with Pavel Mikuláštiks Choreographic Theatre, which landed her in Bonn at the end of her stint.
Since 2004, the Company has been playing and directing the dance section at the freelance Theater im Ballsaal, a venue that receives institutional funding from the Bundesstadt Bonn (Federal City of Bonn), a venue that hosts producing artists and acts as an intersection and a sphere of action for a diverse range of contemporary dance. Thus, the work CocoonDance does is marked by an enormous continuity in artistic development and the deployment of a diverse, international and inter-disciplinarian network. The productions that have been staged since 2000, round about 40 pieces, are currently touring five continents. In 2018, the company was selected to participate at the TANZPLATTFORM DEUTSCHLAND, the most important biannual forum for contemporary dance in Germany, with their production “Momentum”.
At the core of the drive to make further artistic leaps lies work in improvisation and within the group. Collective decision-making and an enormously continuous team work are the foundations of the works’ density. The questions, developed in body and movement research, are not looking for answers, they rather open spaces for re-evaluation and movement. The Bonn-based ensemble has been close to its audience in the quest for the yet un-thought body during the last years. This brought about more than just originality in the dance pieces: “Experiments in the perception of the body, of the other, of oneself.” Pieces that grant the audience a new perspective on bodies and on movement. Bodies that transformed into something new, something alien, and movements that permeated not only the dancers’ bodies but also those of the audience.
Photo: © Jörg Letz