What migrant birds tell us
Within the context of the exhibition Bon Voyage! Travelling in Contemporary Art a special project took place in summer 2020: Together with an interdisciplinary project team – dance, design, music and film – a large group of kids and teens from Aachen’s north worked on a dance film about the movements of migrant birds that tells a story of the adventures and encounters of cranes, brants and swallows.
In a two-week summer workshop, the participants intensively inspected the live of migrant birds and formed their personal impressions with the support of a choreography team and a design team into dance, costumes and drawings. Along with the dance rehearsals poetic bird costumes were designed, so that the dancers could really feel like birds. After one week of rehearsing and costume crafting, the dances were filmed in different locations in Aachen’s north. Thus, Monheimsallee, rose pavilion, LUFO park and even Ludwig Forum became scenery for the film. The dancers were musically supported by Cello students from Aachen’s music school.
A second part of the project took place in schools and day-cares in Aachen’s north after the summer holidays, were kids and teens created fantastic imaginative drawings of the different birds. And the kids didn’t want to stop drawing! The manifold bird drawings were animated and now accompany the viewer through the film, from one dance scene to the next.
On the journey through this project, participants and tutors have grown together to a big family that shares a special experience. Everyone felt the wonderful enrichment that came from an exchange of different art sections, of diverse home countries, and between kids, teens and adults. Confronting challenges like the boiling summer heat and working with the always changing Corona restrictions has led to a strong bond and great support within the group, and many new friendships were found on this shared journey.