Force Majeure | Part II of a trilogy

“Justice will be served just when most people will have given up hope. I miss you.”  — N.S. / Human Rights advocate and activist

Force Majeure. An act of nature. Something that cannot be prevented. Like the elements, like a burning desire or the drive to free oneself. But what does freedom mean, what is justice? What price is every one of us willing to pay for it? And who else will be affected by this decision?

Following the performance of Undercover at the 2019 Rakete festival, this will be the second part of Ulduz Ahmadzadeh’s trilogy in which she presents the stories of women from Muslim societies – without giving in to stereotypes. In Force Majeure, the focus will be on women who have joined the resistance, who have been incarcerated and tortured, and who are continuously risking their lives. The starting point for her extensive research was documentary material, such as letters from detained activists, and historic Persian dances, which were originally only performed by men and which were thought to “mentally and physically prepare men to confront and fight the enemy”. Gently revised by Ahmadzadeh, these dances will be presented in Force Majeure as a choreography for three female dancers. What will be the consequences for political female activists and their friends and family when they engage in confrontation? What about personal relationships in times of political oppression? And what contradictions will remain, regardless of all the acts of bravery and sacrifice?

Force Majeure will give no answers, but it will address these issues boldly – without indulging in populist slogans – by acknowledging emotional and personal aspects that have too often been silenced in discussions about activism.

Premiere 13.03.–16.03. Tanzquartier Wien


Concept, choreography Ulduz Ahmadzadeh

Concept, dramaturgy Johanna Figl

Performance Desi Bonato, Magdalena Chowaniec, Cristina Sandino, Emma Wiederhold

Composition, live music Maya Contreras

Stage design, costume Till Jasper Krappmann

Light design Veronika Mayerböck

Assistant stage, costume Isabela Voicu

Production, PR Yasamin Nikseresht Masooleh, Maiko Karner Sakurai

Video Maximilian Pramatarov, Nestor Kovachev, André Harm

Video sound Marlene Brüggemann

Make-up Savitry Hehl

Translations Shirin Farshbaf

A co-production by ATASH, Tanzquartier Wien and Be My Guest – International network for the emerging practices. With support from the Municipal Department of Cultural Affairs, Vienna, and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport. Thanks to Amnesty International for supporting the research. A special thanks to all women sharing their stories with us.