Sebastian Matthias creates performance situations with two consistent characteristics: they are intense physical experiences of the highest standard of dance, and they allow the dancers and audience to share in artistic processes of exploration. Since 2010 he has gradually extended his modular improvisation system for generating movements by closely overlapping movement characteristics. His groove space series over several years has focused this research on the complexity and specificity of urban movement patterns in cities including Berlin, Zurich, Basel, Freiburg, Hamburg, Jakarta, Dusseldorf and Tokyo. With his long-time team of dancers, and a changing cast of artists and collaborators from other genres in each of the respective cities, such as a choir made up of Freiburg residents, he creates groove spaces that always involve the audience members, too: by their movement choices at the moment of performance, they become part of the collective research process, investigating the affective potential of movement. These temporary choreographic gatherings exert a tremendous magnetic pull. For the duration of the performance, all those present are connected by their individual somatic reactions to movements and synchronising rhythms. Sebastian Matthias’ concept of redefining the idea of the ensemble as a research group, and his intelligent way of questioning production conditions in the independent scene, add a deeper dimension to his outstanding choreographic work.
maneuvers / groove space (2014)
synekism / groove space (2014)
chorus / groove space (2015)
volution / groove space (2015)
people looking at people looking at people (2016)
x / groove space (2016)
Sebastian Matthias studied Dance at the Juilliard School in New York and completed an M.A. in Dance Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. As a choreographer, he focuses on modular systems of improvisation, which he develops together with his team of dancers in independent productions for venues including tanzhaus nrw and Kampnagel, and institutions such as Theater Freiburg and the Cullberg Ballet. Since March 2012, he has continued his artistic research with a doctorate grant under the postgraduate programme “Versammlung und Teilhabe” (Assembly and Participation) at the HafenCity Universität Hamburg. Expanding his approach to include participative processes, he conducts group trials with audience members within the framework of the groove space performance series.