Some thoughts about my practice
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. 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.
In my field research practice I gather “data” through the act of noticing, the act of observation and the act of dancing. I create strategic tools that allows the spontaneous plants to have agency. In this “transmitting” of being in the field of gathering the “data”, I develop tools that allow for sensorial, visceral places of multi-species connections. I share them with others in form of weed walks, field workshops, performances, videos, installation, drawings and writings.
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.
bio: andrea haenggi (CH/USA) is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, dancer, somatic movement educator, embodied scientist, fieldwork movement specialist and EPA agent. In the last few years, she has 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. 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. Haenggi holds an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute/Plymouth University UK and is a Swiss Canton Solothurn Dance Prize 2008 recipient. She is on the faculty of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York and is the co-founder of the artist collective Environmental Performance Agency.