Interview with Dorothea Rust
by Dimitrina Sevova, Corner College Zürich
Interview with Dorothea Rust by Dimitrina Sevova, 15 February 2016 at Corner College, for the launch of Internet platform www.panch.li and LUPE Zürich
Additional language editing and proofreading: Alan Roth
DS: Can you tell me about your own practices, and how they relate to the so-called performance scene, and the idea of a performance?
DR: My background is in dance. First, it was rhythmic gymnastics influenced by German expressive dance. All these movements that happened before WWII in Germany, also connected to Dada and Laban and all that. I was very influenced by the Laban method. Later, when I went to New York, I got in touch with post-modern dance. And sure enough, there, dance and performance and all that was not so separated. There were lots of things happening in lofts, dancers were performing in lofts, and you didn’t know whether this is now dance, or performance art, or whatever. The audience was mixed. Still, I think it was influenced by what happened in the Judson Dance Theater, or Judson Group, in the 1960s, and when I was in New York I was very intrigued by all these ideas. I saw that they also relate back to Black Mountain College, Bauhaus, Josef und Anni Albers, and Xanti Schawinsky, all these refugees from Europe who went to the States and got together with the artists there. For me this is what happened in post-modern dance in New York when I was there in the 1980s. Maybe a kind of post-modernism was already unfolding, but you could still feel the direct vibes of the 1960s and 1970s. I could always relate it to Europe, to what had happened here. This is just the surface where my dance practice comes from. Then, in the 1980s, dance was very provocative in some ways in the arts. Nowadays I think it’s not really the same any longer, but let’s come back to this later, because I think this term of performance also tends to blur everything.