Philipp Gehmacher

Arkadi Zaides/Moves Without Borders in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Israel, the city of Vienna and  BMUKK  are happy to host Philipp Gehmacher in Israel.


Unfolding Aboutness - Workshop by Philipp Gehmacher 
12-15Dec. 2013 11:00-17:00 at Kelim, Bat Yam, Israel

''The notion of aboutness in choreography, the arts and even in everyday actions has been a troubling issue yet driving force for me all along. What does a body-in-performance communicate and transcend? How can I direct it whilst letting it direct myself i.e. the body’s organic expressions challenged yet used as a source? I believe more and more that it is the ‘way we are holding ourselves’ that creates our presence as much as the context we are perceived in.

In this workshop I will attempt to share my practice of creating movement and physical states. It is a practice that is always embedded in the knowledge of being and having a body, trying to surface physicality that is highly formalised yet grounded in sense perception and awareness. Dissociation and the will to put your body under it is as much part of my movement as a sense of split consciousness creating constant change between activity, throw and initiative and passivity, arrest and interruption. Arms become gestures become almost readable signs. Arms are just straight lines that however can touch. Words tell but also yield the desire of utterance. Movement is interrupted: a still, someone waiting, a halt?

So that dance I’m interested in takes place on several levels, is always already a dance about being embodied right here right now. Sometimes almost paraphrasing the everyday body but actually constantly transforming. This transforming body is uncertain of its meaning and perhaps desires the control over its apparent readability in ‘theatre’ too much. Yet the constant shifting can be seen as an unfolding over time representing a form of existence that attempts to make the initiative and the waiting run parallel.'' Philipp Gemacher


'Walk + Talk' lecture performance by Philipp Gehmacher
17-18 Dec. 2013, Tmuna Theater, Tel Aviv, Israel

In 2008 Philipp Gehmacher invited ten choreographers to talk about their language of movement on a large empty stage in a Viennese theatre. The result was a surprising multiplicity of voices and stories: every solo testified to a unique view of the body, movement and the confrontation with space.

Philipp Gehmacher: ''Going through parts of my physical history of making movement, trying to make this history available, my voice will be at times personal yet public. My words will mean as much as they can mean and my actions will accept and hold your gaze upon me. Postures, gestures, an extended arm, carrying her across the stage. No sound, no costume, no props.''

Concept and Dance: Philipp Gehmacher Produced by: Mumbling Fish Co-produced by: Tanzquartier Wien Supported by: Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien, MA7 Premiere: Tanzquartier Wien, März 2008


Philipp Gehmacher lives in Vienna. From 1993–99 Gehmacher studied at the London Contemporary Dance School and at the Laban Centre London. ‘in the absence’, ‘Holes and Bodies’ and ‘embroyder’ are his first choreographic works, created between 1998 and 2000 in London. Based on his occupation with gesture, touch and space, he developed the duo ‘good enough’ for the opening of Tanzquartier Wien in 2001, followed by ‘mountains are mountains’ (2003), Gehmacher’s first ensemble piece. In 2004 he created different versions of ‘incubator’ for Vienna, Berlin, Brussels and Lyon. Further works are ‘das überkreuzen beyder hände’ (2006) and ‘like there’s no tomorrow’ (2007), his first pieces in which he does not perform on stage. 

Since 2007 he has collaborated with US American choreographer Meg Stuart on ‘MAYBE FOREVER’ and ‘the fault lines’ (2010), and since 2008 with visual artist Vladimir Miller on the video installations ‘dead reckoning’ and ‘at arm’s length’. In March 2008 Gehmacher developed a new form of lecture performance in which choreographers talk about movement while moving: ‘walk+talk’ was presented at Tanzquartier Vienna and Kaaitheater Brussels (2011) with different choreographers. A detailed online documentation of the ‘walk+talk’ series was created in cooperation with Sarma and is available on

In 2010 the group piece ‘in their name’ premiered at the festival steirischer herbst, Graz (A).
In September 2011 Gehmacher started working in the museum. An invitation from the Leopold Museum led to the installation ‘grauraum mit Egon Schiele’. At the end of 2011 Philipp started a cooperation in the field of theatre. By invitation of Schauspiel Köln, he joined the theatre project ‘Das Erdbeben in Chili’ under the direction of Laurent Chétouane. In June 2012 Philipp Gehmacher and Rémy Héritier settled and intervened in Hans Schabus’ room-filling installation ‘Vertical Endeavor’ at the 21er Haus. In July 2012 Gehmacher’s stage work ‘solo with Jack’ premiered at Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz as part of the festival ImPulsTanz.

In July 2013 the one-off project ‘SAY SOMETHING: Six Speech Acts’ took place at Burgtheater Wien. Five artists from Dance, Theatre, Performance and Music were invited by Philipp Gehmacher to stand on the Burgtheater stage, to speak up and out, voicing their thoughts on language whilst practicing a public speech in a personal manner. In November 2013 Gehmacher will present ‘my shapes, your words, their grey’ – his first exhibition-performance to occur in two spaces at the same time: his Vienna studio ‘grauraum’, which will thereby become a public space, and Halle G, Tanzquartier Wien.

Philipp Gehmacher has received the Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award, the renowned Jerwood Choreography Award, and the Austrian Advancement Award for Dance from the BMUKK– Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.