January to December 2015
The German-Israeli science/dance project brought together scientists, dancers and people with Parkinson’s disease for an entire year. The participants from Freiburg and Tel Aviv worked toward a multi-perspective access to the issue of movement and movement disorders.

Together with the company from the choreographer Yasmeen Godder in Tel Aviv, the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools at the University of Freiburg, the Freiburg Theater and four institutes for neuroscience in Israel designed a long-term interdisciplinary project that addresses the disorder’s phenomenon. The project is based on a long-standing collaboration with its partners and enlisted around 40 people living in Germany and Israel with Parkinson’s along with 16 young scientists and internationally renowned scientists from the fields of neuroscience, medicine, microsystems engineering and ethics and dancers, choreographers and dramaturges.

Cooperation Partners
Freiburg Theater, Yasmeen Godder Company
Target Group
scientists, patient groups, dancers, interested public

Participants explored the subject of movement and movement disorders with resources from scientific and artistic research. All participating groups have the opportunity to integrate respectively the experiential space of the other in their own living reality and research world. A particular emphasis was placed on intercultural exchange about country-specific work methods and intellectual traditions in science and art.

The project took the approach of providing the possibility for participating scientists, dancers and people with Parkinson’s to change their view of neurological illnesses that accompany movement disorders. The holistic approach were lead to a sensitization for neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s and to a better social integration of those who have the disorder. Furthermore, young scientists were inspired to give new impulses for exploring movement disorders and the development of possible treatments for them. Not least the already existing connections of participating institutions (BrainLinks-BrainTools and Theater Freiburg) with their respective Israeli partners were deepened.

Maya Rothschild's film »Störung« accompanied the project.

The term disorder breaks down into prismatic (neuro)pathological, social, philosophical and artistic diagnoses and patterns of interpretation. In modern medicine, the disease that encompasses the entire person and its cure are replaced by the elimination of a disorder, thereby changing our understanding of the person. Starting as early as university, the scientific and medical view of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease gets limited to the brain as a technically and chemically correctible organ.

Contemporary dance has taken on disturbances of this kind and mobilized an experiential knowledge that we wanted to short-circuit with clinical, philosophical and sociological diagnostic terms. Dancers and choreographers have become experts in what is being discussed internationally in philosophy and neurology as »embodied cognition«: theories about how our self is formed, going as far as neuronal structures, against the backdrop of embodiment, movement sequences and physical self-perception. For this reason, we wanted to explore the experiential space between movement and movement disorders in an interdisciplinary expedition, using methods of artistic research. We wanted to make people with Parkinson’s and artists into pioneers of corporal understanding that undermines both the cerebralization of clinical practice as well as the medially and (performance) socially generated body fetishisms as well as the staging of digital disembodiments.


2017 the Störung/Hafraah project was awarded the German Federal Foreign Office's Shimon Perez Prize.

Tänzer, Wissenschaftler
und Menschen mit Parkinson
aus Israel und Deutschland
wirkten zusammen an dem Projekt

February 2015
Winter School
Freiburg Theater/University of Freiburg
During the one-week Winter School at the project’s start, theoretical fundamentals for a continuing collaboration were set. The young scientists worked out a methodology for the respective fields – supported by invited experts and mentors from science and dance – during workshops, lectures and roundtable discussions. The aim of the Winter School was for young scientists and dancers to develop joint research projects in which they would like to work in the further course of the overall project.

The dancers, who alternately led the courses in Freiburg, dealt with one of these topics in their workshops. The same topics were at the center of work by the dancers in Tel Aviv.
Topics of the workshops
During the year 2015
dance classes and open practices
Theater Freiburg, Freiburg University und Yasmeen Godder Company, Tel Aviv
In the ensuing months, the scientists partook in dance places (weekly in Freiburg, in blocks in Tel Aviv). In return, dancers visited the laboratories of the scientists. At the same time, dance classes were held for people with Parkinson's. Each month was dedicated to a topic that both scientists and dancers face in their daily work, e.g. balance.
Regular open practices and open houses were held in Freiburg and Tel Aviv – events that gave the audience an insight into ongoing project work.
Der Blog wurde zur Plattform für den Austausch der Teilnehmer.

December 7 and 8, 2015
Final Conference in Tel Aviv
Lectures, workshops and discussions
Mandel Cultural Center
In workshops, scientific lectures and discussions, the results and experiences gained during the course of the project were exchanged and long-term perspectives were considered.
December 18 and 19, 2015
Final Conference in Freiburg
Workshops, scientific lectures, info course, work-in-progress presentation
Theater Freiburg
The second final event took place at the Freiburg Theater, during which the scientists also had the opportunity to present their findings in the form of posters and stations in the theater. Dance workshops and scientific lectures provide the visitors with a look at the participants’ experiences and the research about dance and Parkinson’s. The conference ended with a work-in-progress presentation by Yasmeen Godder’s new choreography that emerged during the course of the project: Common Emotions.
In theme congresses for the public, insights and open questions from one year of dance and exchange on the subject of movement were presented.
May 2016
Common Emotions
German premiere
Theater Freiburg
In May 2016, the piece Common Emotions by the choreographer Yasmeen Godder from Tel Aviv was premiered at Theater Freiburg.
The piece was performed in Jerusalem, at Tanzhaus NRW, Tanztage in Potsdam, Center Chorégraphique National de Rillieux-la-Pape, France, and at CSC Garage Nardini in Bassano del Grappa, Italy.
More information about the piece:
A collection of photos from the first performance
Texts, videos and reviews of the piece

additional funding by
cooperation partners
On this page you will find the complete list of the project's participants.

04   Experiment