The point of departure for Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz’s works is the body in society and its movement – coded, context-dependent, reflected and interpreted. They are, in a broad sense, choreographic works: works on movement. Precise questions and an equally precise use of theatre instruments is what characterises them, as well as an almost unruly ease even when the gravity of the moment becomes as bitter as in Violent Event x. Their study of violence, the powerful effects of which consist of what it provokes in the observers, premiered at Frankfurt’s Mousonturm in February 2015. This is where Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz began their professional venture in 2009/10 after having studied Applied Theatre Science in Giessen. At the beginning of the millennium, they danced as adolescents in projects by Ives Thuwis at the FFT Dusseldorf. This was clearly an influential experience that stayed with them and seeped into their own artistic work – in fact, Billinger and Schulz often continue with themes from their past. This is probably the reason why they have been working with children and adolescents to the present day. While Computerised Movement, their first work as a project ensemble of the Tanzlabors 21 / Tanzbasis Frankfurt Rhein-Main, investigated the bodies and movements of computer game characters, Romantic Afternoon * (2011) unveiled kissing as a standardised act of intimacy; the six performers kissed for a whole four seasons throughout Europe’s art houses. In First Life – ein Melodram (2012), Billinger and Schulz also played with the clichés of romantic relationship and the audience’s desire for authenticity. Soon, their attention will be centred on the body that doesn’t want to accord to our body image: Billinger and Schulz’s body questions are taken from daily life and they are always moving.
Kummerkasten Menschenstadt (2014)
Violent Event x (2015)
UNLIKELY CREATURES (1) who we are (2016)
UNLIKELY CREATURES (2) we dance for you (2016)
The performances by Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz have been shown in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia and Sweden. The production Romantic Afternoon * was honoured at the festival Favoriten in Dortmund in 2012 and included in the NRW Cultural Administration’s performance network. In 2014, the duo was awarded the NRW Achievement Award. From 2015 to 2017, their artistic work is supported by a Promotion of Excellence Grant from the Federal State of NRW. In tanz magazine’s 2015 yearbook, Billinger & Schulz were selected as “hopeful prospects for dance”. Both studied Applied Theatre Studies, Dance, Choreography and Performance in Giessen, Frankfurt and Hildesheim.