Goethe Institut and HIBA Art Project presents

Contemporary dance performance


by COCOONDANCE (Germany)

Nominated for “Performance of the Year”

June 3 & 4 @7:30pm

Sima Performing Arts, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

The Performance in Dubai is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science ofNorth Rhine-Westphalia.

  •  Dancers: Fa-Hsuan Chen, Martina De Dominicis, Tanja Marín Friðjónsdóttir, Margaux Dorsaz
  • Choreography: Rafaële Giovanola
  • Composition, Sound: Franco Mento
  • Light, Space: Gregor Glogowski
  • Costumes: CocoonDance
  • Choreographic assistance: Leonardo Rodrigues
  • Dramaturgy, Concept: Rainald Endraß
  •  Management: Mechtild Tellmann

Funded by: Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bundesstadt Bonn, Théâtre-ProVS, Le Conseil de la Culture Etat du Valais, La Loterie Romande


VIS MOTRIX creates some strange as well as fascinating beings. The dancers seem to come from another world, they move through space and merge into an organism, a mixture of human being and machine, creating a hypnotic power that one can not escape.

What is the driving force, the soul (Vis Motrix) behind the movements of these hybrid beings? CocoonDance continues with this production its research of the “unthought” body: transhumanism as a traumatic round dance that does not leave our unconsciousness untouched.

VIS MOTRIX was invited to the Tanzplattform Germany in 2020
in Munich and nominated for “Performance of the Year” in the critics’ survey of the professional magazine “tanz 2019 “by Bettina Trouwborst (Westdeutsche Zeitung).

Watch the TRAILER here (the trailer link

For more information about performance in Dubai kindly please reach out to: Beata Stankevic, 050-9271226 or hello@hibaartproject.com

CocoonDance, VIS MOTRIX, Prmiere 2.3.2018


“Since, wielding wire or thread, the machinist simply has no other point at his disposal than this one, all the other bodily articulations are as they should be, dead, pure pendulums, and merely follow the law of gravity; an admirable quality that one may seek in vain among the vast majority of our dancers.”

As in previous works, such as “Vis Motrix ” or “Momentum” which were guest performances in Darmstadt and Mainz, Cocoon’s totally unique dance style was fascinating. This time, the undertow is maybe even a little stronger as well as the admiration for the astonishing technique of the five (dancers) who are in a steady flow and exercising therein minimal, but almost infinitely long balancing acts in the lateral position on only a few support points of the body or with all fours in the air, which gives you abdominal muscle pain by just looking at it. In the changing light under a squared white stage sky, on a squared white dance floor, it goes so far that the bodies seem aligned vertically instead of horizontally, as if they were floating in weightlessness.(Eva-Maria Magel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

An encounter between the traditions of Thai boxing and early 20th century romantic ballet in search of the “unimagined body”. CocoonDance dispels the physical imagery stereotypically associated with martial male warriors and fairylike female ballerinas and transforms its performers into floating, transcendent creatures. These bodies alternate between strength and fragility, explosiveness and paralysis, human and animal, desire and rejection and ultimately blend into hybrids. With this, choreographer Rafaële Giovanola once again pushes the boundaries of the human body and draws ties to her acclaimed productions “Momentum” and “Vis Motrix”.

Using rigorous virtuosity and hybrid energy, «Vis Motrix» creates beings that are as bizarre as they are fascinating. The dancers move through space like creatures from another world, merging into a symbiosis of man and machine while generating a hypnotic pull. But what exactly is this «Vis Motrix», this moving force, the soul of these hybrid beings’ movement? COCOONDANCE embarks on a search for a post-human body. Transhumanism as a traumatic round dance which inevitably touches the audience.

What is the driving force behind a hybrid organism of man and machine? “VIS MOTRIX” (Latin: the moving force), created by the Bonn-based company Cocoon Dance is the second part of a trilogy on the “unthought” body. Based on the dance techniques of breaking and krumping, choreographer Rafaële Giovanola explores how bodies can be perceived in a “post-human” way. The dancers move through the room with dazzling rigor, as if they came from another world. Their bodies are tense, as if wanting to deflect an invisible electrical energy. The upper body and hips connect like hinges, holding them down to the ground. They begin to dominate the flow of energy in constantly changing formations. Bizarre and fascinating structures emerge that evoke tribal dances and rites: transhumanism as a traumatic round dance that connects with the subconscious mind. “VIS MOTRIX” by Cocoon Dance is an impressive female counterpart to the preceding production “MOMENTUM” which featured three male dancers and was invited to the TANZPLATTFORM DEUTSCHLAND in Essen in 2018.

VIS MOTRIX is a research with four female dancers. Again, non-academic forms of movement such as breaking and crumping are the starting point.

Four faceless bodies are lying motionless stretched out backwards on the floor. Then increasingly pronounced a moving force (lat. Vis Motrix) sets in that seems to flow through the bodies. With extreme body tension, they move horizontally on their hands and feet, staying in a position with their backs turned to the ground and their faces looking upwards almost to the very end, thus creating an expression which alternates in the perception between the biological organism and mechanism. Not human, not animal, not machine – and yet something of everything: hybrid beings. (Broschüre tanz nrw 19 (Editorial Department: Heike Lehmke, Kerstin Rosemann, Translation: Lynnette Polcyn)

CocoonDance Company conjures creatures just as bizarre as they are fascinating – with its virtuoso rigour and hybrid energies “Vis Motrix” is a “visual stroke of genius” (Kölnische Rundschau). As if from another world, the dancers move throughout the space and meld into hybrid beings of body and machine, inducing a hypnotic pull in the process. What force, what soul (vis motrix) is propelling these hybrids’ movements? With this production, the company continues to pursue its search for “unimagined” bodies: Transhumanism as a traumatic round dance that touches us on a subconscious level.


CocoonDance was founded in 2000 by choreographer Rafaële Giovanola and dramaturg Rainald Endraß. Since 2004 CocoonDance has been performing and curating in the theaterimballsaal in Bonn and is now touring five continents.

CocoonDance was founded in 2000 by choreographer Rafaële Giovanola and dramaturg Rainald Endraß. Swiss-born Giovanola was a soloist in Turin before being brought to the Frankfurt Ballett by William Forsythe for the duration of eight years. After this, she worked with Pavel Mikuláštik’s Choreographisches Theater, with Bonn as the last station. Since its founding, the company has produced about forty full-length productions that have toured through five continents and been invited to ase festivals in Germany and Switzerland like the TANZPLATTFORM DEUTSCHLAND in 2018 and 2020.

The engine behind these 20 years of artistic development is the improvisation, a strong dramaturgy and a pronounced focus on continuous teamwork. With its productions CocoonDance not only breaks down spatial barriers of the conventional stage experience, but also plays in a sophisticated way with our perception of bodies. The work of CocoonDance can best be explained as a reflection about the dance and the body itself, as a shift of the dance space away from the narrative space into a space of distance and thinking.

More about the company and their works at www.cocoondance.de