Intimacy is that elusive feeling of warmth, eroticism, vulnerability, or softness that can be both familiar and uncomfortable at the same time.
For the disabled community, access means being themselves. In the society in which they live, they must allow intimacy in moments of assistance with fleeting strangers or long-time familiars. For this specific connection, Mia Mingus, disabled and queer author and activist of color, gifted the term "Access Intimacy".
In WITH OR WITHOUT YOU, the disabled dancers Fia Neises and Irene Giró invite you into spaces of access intimacy. They will confuse the habits of seeing, hearing and timing, and hang in the air with the illusion of independence.
Accompanied by musician Jana Sotzko, they generously share stories of ambivalence and intimacy in assistance. If you want, you can become an active part of it, or enjoy watching it.
You squeeze my hand when the steps start.
We dance after the hospital called.
You lead me, holding hands, don't we have a date?
I say thank you and you just ask: what for?
Admission and access intro 30 minutes before the start of the performance.
A production by Sophia Neises, supported by the Making a Difference network in cooperation with Uferstudios. Supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Community / IMPACT funding.
Artistic direction/performance: Fia Neises
Silktraining/Performance: Irene Giró
Live music/audio description post-production: Jana Sotzko
Dramaturgy: Tanja Erhart
Artistic co-creation: Liv Schellander
Production management: Agnieszka Habraschka/Anne Rieger (Making a Difference)
Technical direction: Lola Tseytlin
Stage design: Lea Kissing
Light design: Gretchen Blegen
Costume design: Xenia Taniko
Overalltitles: Maria Wünsche
Film documentation: Tanja Brzaković
Photos: Xenia Dürr, Mayra Wallraff
Communication assistance: Florian Köhler
Public Relations: Gina Jeske (Making a Difference)
Sophia Neises is a freelance performer, choreographer, access dramaturg, theater educator (MA University of the Arts Berlin) and disability rights activist in the cultural field. She has been living and practicing in Berlin since 2015. Among other things, she has been developing the dance form "Non-visual Dance" with choreographer Zwoisy Mears-Clarke since 2016. In 2019 she collaborated with Jess Curtis/Gravity for the performance "(In)visible" to explore an accessible aesthetic of dance for blind and visually impaired audiences. Since then, Sophia began investigating the spectrum of audio description as accessibility tool and audio description as art form. Thus, in 2021 she collaborated with Ursina Tossi, in 2022 with Michael Turinsky and in 2023 with the collective Rykena/Jüngst for dance performances at Kampnagel Hamburg, for which - in artistic collaboration - she realized poetic audio descriptions embedded in the artwork’s sound. She identifies as disabled artist and encourages to value the individual perception styles of each person to the highest degree and to create unconditional access to art in the very process.