I have the great opportunity to speak with each of this years TANZFAKTOR participants at the Theater ROXY Birsfelden/Basel (16th & 17th of March, 8pm). TANZFAKTOR makes it possible for dance producers and young professionals to present their current work in different places, beyond their usual scope and to a wider public. The gala character of Tanzfaktor offers the opportunity to get an overall view of Swiss contemporary dance culture by means of concise and concentrated presentations. The inter-regional cast of the expert judges is meant to question local assessment patterns, confront different viewpoints and break mechanisms that are too insider- or scene-associated. New contacts to the dance scene outside of their own region will emerge for the organizers. They can profit from the inter-regional exchange that opens up space for new inspirations, projects and commitments.

What does it mean to you to be participating at TANZFAKTOR?

Tanzfaktor enables us to tour « Into Pieces », a recent work especially re-staged in the context of this project. BUFO MAKMAL is a collective based in Basel, so we look forward to the opportunities Tanzfaktor will give us in accessing different regions and exposing our work to new audiences. We will also be able to network with various institutions, theaters, program directors and artists. This opportunity to travel will no doubt challenge the brain and stimulate fresh thought which is great for exploring new ideas and making original statements in dance.

Tell me a bit about yourself and your training.

BUFO MAKMAL is a choreography/dance collective, comprising Stefanie Fischer, Zoe Gyssler, Margarita Kennedy, Clea Onori and, most recently, Rosie Terry Toogood. We all have different training backgrounds, which contributes towards the creation of a multi-layered, complex composition based on a movement language inspired by the toad, bufo marinus. ‘Toads are able to jump far, with lightness and unexpected height.’

Do you have a mentor? Someone who advises you on your work?

Yes, we work with a dramaturg, Yves Regenass, and coach Edan Gorlicki from Outside Eye.

A source of inspiration for you? For your work?

We draw inspiration from many things: a wise Japanese man; a horse; rain; intuition; the beautiful creative space that we work within…

Photo by Roland Schmid

Struggles or hard moments during this creation?

We have been on a journey of discovery to understand the many skills an artist should have and to accept that we cannot be good at them all. We have learnt to make a start, to simply do something… and to let go of ideas, expectations and judgement.

Organizational challenges?

We have encountered communication challenges and a requirement to be more flexible in rotating the roles we take on within the collective. We have also become aware of not allowing ourselves to be blocked or to get stuck, especially when dealing with technical issues.

Benefits of participating in the TANZFAKTOR?

We expect to grow in confidence by being able to present our work in such a variety of places, but particularly in the supported environment of a festival. The piece can grow, and so can we, as we get feedback from our audiences and enjoy the time to communicate to them more about what we love.

Something you look forward to learning or discovering in the TANZFAKTOR process?

We anticipate being exposed to exciting, original ideas and artists, which will in turn ignite our own creative process and personal development in the future.

Will you expand this short piece?

It is already the seed that is informing the start of another piece by Bufo Makmal called « ALL.ES ».

Do you have a specific dream or goal to achieve?

We work to reach and even surpass our limits without incurring injuries. As a collective, we aim to give pleasure to audiences as well as ourselves by showcasing our work in such a way that those who engage with it can lose themselves in it – in time and movement.

If you could change one thing for young choreographers growing up in Switzerland, what would it be?

We would like to see choreographers offered more open platforms to produce and research their work without financial restraints.



TANZFAKTOR 2016 — (Basel edition) — Theater ROXY — Wed 16 March, 20h — Thur 17 March, 20h.


Organization in Basel: ROXY Birsfelden & Tanzbüro Basel (IG Tanz)

Organization on national level: RESO Swiss Dance Network

Programme at the ROXY
Video trailer by Zelda Productions


Supports in Basel: kulturelles.bl Kanton Basel-Landschaft / Präsidialdepartement Basel-Stadt – Abteilung Kultur / Fonds Edith Maryon / Fonds Warteck pp
Supports on national level: Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council, Foundation Ernst Göhner, Migros Culture Percentage

TANZFAKTOR 2016 on tour in Switzerland:
Lucerne: Südpol, 10th March. / Neuchâtel: ADN – Hiver de Danses, 12th & 13th March / Birsfelden/Basel: Theater ROXY 16th & 17th March / Losone/Locarno: Performa Festival Fabbrica di Losone, 2nd April / Steckborn: Phönix Theater, 21st & 22nd April / Lausanne: Théâtre Sévelin 36, 13th & 14th May / Bern: Dampfzentrale, 12th & 13th June / Zurich: Fabriktheater Rote Fabrik 23rd & 24th September / Geneva: Théâtre de l’Usine, 30th September 2016.