A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY / ANDREA HAENGGI
Born in Switzerland, Andrea Haenggi is an interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, dancer, embodied scientist and somatic – dance educator based in New York City. She holds an MFA in Creative Research Practice from Transart Institute/Plymouth University. In 2017 she co-founded the artist collective the Environmental Performance Agency (EPA), which investigates the potential of eco-social art and movement-based practices to disrupt damaging human-centered narratives of earth systems. In her current commitment
she performs embodied ecological Fieldwork in public spaces as an artistic act.
This allows her to explore open, publicly accessible exchange between the power of movement and sciences and between human and nonhuman forms of life. A recent project “der Garten ist leer” at the Allotment Vulkan Zurich-Altstetten looked into the transition phase of 120 garden plots that made way for an Ice-Hockey arena, which culminated in a sensorial movement plant-walk and the rescue of a piece of land – plants and soil – that became a living Micro-Ecological Red Cross Monument which flourishes in the allotment garden plot 921 in Zurich. Andrea holds an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute/Plymouth University in the UK, is an Ecotopian Toolkit Fellow of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (Philadelphia) and is a Swiss Canton Solothurn Dance Prize recipient. As a Certified Movement Analyst, she is on the faculty at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York and teaches somatic movement practices, experimental contemporary dance and public fieldwork workshops nationally and internationally, with residencies in Chengdu (China), Lagos (Nigeria), Berlin (Germany) and Zurich (Switzerland).
In my field research practice I gather “data” through the act of noticing, the act of observation and the act of dancing through drawing, moving and writing. I create strategic tools that allows spontaneous urban plants to have agency in the process of creating – they become collaborators, teachers and as well performers. In this “transmitting” of being in the field of gathering the “data”, I develop tools that allows for sensorial, visceral places of multi-species connections. I share them with others in form of performances, drawings, videos, installation, writings and embodied plant field workshops.
The creations are provocations to allow to de-colonize and de-socialize nature and humans and to allow to re-connect, re-build and re-wild co-evolution and co-existence of all forms of living.
In my “dance” studio practice I allow observation “data” to be entangled with nonhumans and human body memories and I’m open for our imagination to find new ways of being in the world.
The performance practice is a place of challenge and to create a moment of sociality of uneasiness to allow pleasure, healing and resiliency of plantpeoplehumanpeople to grow.
andrea haenggi’s artist collective EPA in Washington DC “EPA meets EPA”
she performs embodied interspecies dialogues in theater settings:
I’m in the search for an other kind of theater, which I call Ethnochoreobotanography, in this practice with plants I search for more-than-human knowledges. been in search for another kind of theater; an “ethnochoreobotanography” to explore notions of colonialism, feminism, ecology, migration, labor, and care for a world beyond humans. Spontaneous urban weeds are her mentors, collaborators, and performers.
I’m an artist who is “thinking with the body” and since Summer 2015 my choreographic practice explores the various social, ecological and political mediations of spontaneous urban plants we often call “weeds”. The weeds “have a question for me” and “have to tell me something”, they become my choreographic directives and as well my performers, mentors, collaborators and healers. I’m drawn to the urban spontaneous plant, because they don’t give up, they show up even when we are totally “abuse” and “overuse” land. These weeds are often considered mundane, useless and the forgotten but by re-evaluating and re-considering them we are changeling language that couples with weediness words like invasive, uprooted, foreign, immigrant and border.
Haenggi’s works have been presented in numerous theaters, galleries, and public spaces around the world, including the Queens Museum, Dance Theater Workshop, and MASS MoCA, all in North America, and the Society for Performing Arts in Lagos, Nigeria.