Closeness does not only denote little spatial distance, but also a feeling of intimacy between one another: “We are NEAR (NAH in German)”. NAH starts a search for the form that this mutual intimacy between dancers and audience may take, and how it comes about. Contemporary dance, especially, is often surrounded by secrecy: Why do the dancers move in this or that way? Is that even still dance? Does dance need to look pretty?

In NAH, the dancers continually approach the audience members scattered about the stage, sharing their movement motifs, choreographic processes and the emotions connected to this. Does this knowledge engender intimacy? The audience will also be enabled to keep changing the perspective in space. And the space, too, moves along and is part of the choreographic landscape that permanently transforms. This is about the attempt to shift the boundaries between audience and dancers while never completely dissolving them.

With NAH, Essen-based choreographer Marie-Lena Kaiser resumes her on-stage artistic exploration around questions of hierarchy and structures while the production of transparency regarding allegedly impervious processes becomes an artistic method.

Do we need boundaries to reach intimacy between each other? NAH does not strive to find answers but aims for a critical assessment of the terms authenticity and participation, therein suggesting that there is more than one correct approach to dance.

Further dates: 24.-25.11.23., 13.05.2024 in Krefeld

performance, 20.10.2023 – 21.10.2023 , tanzhaus NRW


Marie-Lena Kaiser


Islam Elnebishy

Jordan Gigout

Kati Masami Menze

Bianca Sere Pulungan

Johannes Schropp


Johannes Schropp


Alex Piasente-Szymańsk

light design

Laura Salerno


Eva Budniewski


Frederike Marsha

production management

Elena Martin Casai

coproduced by

tanzaus nrw

A co-production with tanzhaus nrw. Supported by the Landesbüro freie Darstellende Künste with funds from Ministeriums für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, City of Essen, Kulturstiftung Essen. Cooperation partners: Maschinenhaus Essen, PACT Zollverein, performing:group.