Outstanding Female Performer 2015

Simone Aughterlony

Outstanding Female Performer 2015

Simone Aughterlony was born in 1977 in New Zealand, and completed her training in dance at the New Zealand School of Dance in 1995. She has been professionally active in Europe since 2000, and now lives and works in Zurich and Berlin. Her career began as a dancer with the American choreographer Meg Stuart and her group Damaged Goods in Brussels, in such pieces as “Alibi” and “Highway 101”. She went on to work with the British theatre and performance group Forced Entertainment and the filmmaker and director Jorge León, among others. In addition to a variety of collaborative efforts, Simone Aughterlony has since 2004 also been developing her own projects, which routinely feature herself along with others, such as the solo works “Public Property” (2004) and “We need to talk” (2011). Since 2013, with Gessnerallee in Zurich and the HAU Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin, among others, she has been co-producing a trilogy of duos: “Show and Tell”, “After Life” and “Supernatural”, which examine the body under extreme conditions.

 

The body is Aughterlony’s primary means of expression; her physical presence is unmistakable and unusual. She often enhances her pieces with texts or specially contrived spatial concepts. She sees the stage as a place to investigate issues of life and the body, which she pursues by means of radically conceived projects as well as with performances that test the limits of physical experience. In “Supernatural”, the third duo, which was shortlisted by the jury in the Current Dance Works 2013 to 2015 competition, Aughterlony and Antonija Livingstone appear naked, armed with sturdy axes, and perplex the audience with their masculine vigour and physical presence; as they ostensibly go through the motions of chopping wood, they implicitly interrogate normative gender types.

 

Karin Hermes, member of the jury:

Simone Aughterlony moves with humour through a series of contrasting kinetic modes, and experiments with her powerful physical intelligence and lucidity. Together with major proponents of other artistic genres she embarks on challenging voyages of discovery and dares to tread risky theatrical landscapes. Aughterlony’s stage presence fascinates audiences, but that’s not enough for her. She sees dance as interaction with the world: a courageous woman, a dance personality, and a contemporary performer of abundant flexibility, power and radicalism, she takes on current topics and social problems.