The photo shows dancers sitting on the floor and interlocked with each other. Underneath is the title CRACKS.


The photo shows dancers sitting on the floor and interlocked with each other. Underneath is the title CRACKS.


CRACKS is the premiere of the Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr

Better worlds open up behind cracks

The co-production CRACKS by Pottporus and PACT Zollverein will premiere as part of the Street Dreams Festival on October 28, 2023: CRACKS deals with the major and urgent themes of flight and migration, being considered foreign and excluded, one's own body as a venue for discrimination, power relations in society, and dance and hip-hop. The renowned choreographer Rauf Yasit and the dancers of the Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr take up these themes courageously, playfully and based on their own experiences. Between hip-hop art and contemporary dance, they ask how individual and collective scars of urban life pulse, drift and give pause.

What is it about?

Hip-hop deals with social issues and is a way to test oneself and to rise above everyday life and exclusion. These peaceful and self-productive cultural techniques are often based on painful experiences - such as those shared by the CRACKS choreographer and the dancers: Experiencing fleeing, waiting in offices that decide on entire lives, or the general search for support and cohesion. In this context, graffiti on the walls of buildings seemed to Rauf Yasit like cracks behind other, better worlds opened up. But hip-hop and urban dance - beyond the positively seen hip-hop battle idea of self-assertion - no longer have purely hopeful connotations and have become in part an expression of capitalistic social relations. These conditions shape professional dance bodies. Urban dance has for a long time been a fiercely contested business in the international scene. Nourished by the different perspectives of the artists, the styles of breaking, hip-hop and krump come together with elements of contemporary dance in CRACKS and thematize the search for traces along the cracks that run through society in terms of participation, acceptance and accessibility. This is not a pure self-examination of the present and past of urban dance and the actors on stage, but rather about universal questions and experiences.

Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr

Urban arts, hip-hop culture and dance form a movement that includes a new, diverse and creative generation of artists and audiences seeking discourse, a home and an expression of their own voice and self-efficacy. The Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr is part and pioneer of this movement. It represents both the further development, visibility and establishment of hip-hop as a culture and the dance landscape in the Ruhr metropolitan region, throughout Germany and globally. The ensemble of seven professional dancers with different dance styles consists of Wenta Ghebrehiwet (Germany), Tonia Kyriakou (Cyprus), MelenaTortoh (Germany), Maksim Kuznetsov (Russia), Stefan Stiller (Germany), Leo Vara (Mexico) and Jonas Krämer (Germany). The choreographers change at the Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr depending on the piece. New productions with internationally demanded choreographers and innovative material are already being planned for 2024. PACT Zollverein will be a partner of Pottporus' own ensemble until 2025. The Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr is funded by New Arts Ruhr from the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.


by Rauf Yasit
with the Urban Arts Ensemble Ruhr

October 28, 2023, 8 p.m.
October 29, 2023, 6 p.m.

PACT Zollverein
Bullmannaue 20a
45327 Essen


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