Coming away from home can be inspiration. Here in Potsdam we have encountered some fantasy version of the Stan’s Cafe / @ A E Harris situation.
Soon after the wall comes down a group of dancers pile out of West Berlin into Potsdam, squat a venue and make dance pieces there. They change homes a few times over the years, their residence gradually growing more official. Their dance pieces become successful, tour internationally and win awards. They invite other people to make and present shows in their space.
Finally (though who knows, perhaps it is not final) they move into a run down industrial unit, in a beautiful location beside a lake close to the centre of town, the City Council invests heavily in the area, converting the surrounding Gas Works and Military Establishment into a series of arts venues and whilst they are doing it give the dance company the means to do up their space.
Fabrik is not just a dance company but a major dance venue. They have a beautiful studio space as the square centre of a building with the surrounding spaces adding a technical workshops, two small rehearsal rooms, administration offices, four bedrooms for visiting artists, showers, toilets, kitchen and sizable bar. It is breathtaking.
The company still has a couple of shows out on the road. They run dance workshops. Host companies and program the Tanztage festival, which runs over a fortnight, bringing companies in from far and wide. The festival spills out of the Fabrik venue into a number of the surrounding venues including a very large room in which we are building The Cleansing of Constance Brown.
It’s quite a story.