What role do clothing and uniforms play for young people?

ESTHER (13+)

A dance piece about Youth & Uniforms | Reut Shemesh (Tel Aviv/Köln)  

04 May – 13 Jul 2024Dance / performance

In Esther, the new production for young audiences, Reut Shemesh and five professionel performers of different ages focus on the self-discovery process and identity development of young people. What do the clothes of young people and children say? How aware are they of an overarching ideology and beliefs in their presentation?
The piece explores the nuanced relationship between uniforms, symbols, behaviours and rituals as well as social class. In doing so, it shows how young people deal with the delicate balance between conformity and individuality.During the research phase, Reut Shemesh involved the project's target group and worked with them in Dresden, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne and Potsdam.

With Sophie Huber, Milana Kusnezov and Jessica Storek
Time: Sat 04 May, 18:00 / Mon 06 May, 09:00 / Tue 07 May, 09:00
at the fabrik Potsdam, duration 30 minutes

This introductory format is intended to sensitise the senses and the mind to the subject matter of the following performance. Through movement and improvisation, the warm-up invites you to discover uniformity, collectivity and your own individuality. The formats were designed and developed by and with students of the Dance and Movement in Social Work programme at the Clara Hoffbauer University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, under the direction of Professor Peggy Meyer-Hansel.


Jugend und Uniformen
An interview with Reut Shemesh

What inspired the theme of your latest stage production Esther?

The theme of Esther revolves around youth and uniforms. Over the last seven years, I've dealt with this topic a lot in previous plays, for example with women and military uniforms in Israel and with the Funkenmariechen in Düsseldorf. For me, it's also about uniforms in society and how young people can be instrumentalised with uniforms. The uniforms usually come from adults and I'm interested in how the view of children and young people changes with the uniforms. I was a gymnast myself as a girl. Today I think we wore very tight clothes. There are a lot of questions that need to be asked!

How and with whom are you working specifically for the premiere in Potsdam?

I want to work with "re-enactment" - in other words, re-enacting and recreating existing photos of young people in different uniforms. Some of the photos were taken by myself, others are from an open call that we shared in Potsdam, Hamburg, Dresden and Munich, sometimes with old uniforms that are no longer in use, like the Pioneer uniform. We have a large collection of pictures. I also met young people from different cities: a boys' choir in Dresden, scouts in Munich, hockey players in Hamburg, as well as young people from Potsdam.

What can the experience of dance pieces trigger in young people?

Dance pieces can bring a lot to young people! Teenagers' bodies change a lot, but when I was young I was already dancing and I was proud of it. Dance can be a little remedy to look at the body in a different way. Dance can be experimental, surprising and unexpected. It's something very cool and appealing for young people to experiment with.

What is your background? What was your youth like?

I grew up in Israel. My youth wasn't easy - my parents got divorced, I wasn't so good at school - and I literally escaped into dance. It was a very beautiful and helpful place to strengthen myself. Then I studied choreography and art. I moved to Germany 10 years ago. Coming to Europe was a kind of liberation for me, which had to do with the fact that I was identified in a certain way in Israel, which was no longer the case abroad. In Germany, I was simply someone from Israel...



Price info Ticket

Price group E
Advance sale: 13 € / red. 6 €
Evening box office: 14 € / red. 6 € 
School classes: 4 €




Concept & Choreography: Reut Shemesh
Dance and co-choreography: Juliana Oliveira, Kelvin Kilonzo, Mihyun Ko, Brit Rodemund, Enis Turan
Lighting and stage design: Ronni Shendar
Costume design: Marie Siekmann
Music: Micha Kaplan
Choreographic assistance: Katja Pire
Photo: Reut Shemesh, Ronni Shendar
A joint production by fabrik moves Potsdam and Reut Shemesh, in co-production with K3 | Tanzplan Hamburg, Fokus Tanz | Tanz und Schule e.V. München and HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden as part of the cooperation explore dance – Netzwerk Tanz für junges Publikum. Funded by the Jupiter – Performing Arts for Young Audiences programme of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The explore dance network is supported by the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne.
Duration: 60 minutes