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CHICKS. Ultimate production, maximum chick


Ultimate production, maximum chick


Look at that chick! Whether fledgling, hen, poultry or egg-laying fowl, the life of a chicken is as complex as it is short-lived. In these times of factory farming and overproduction of food, the Cologne-based dancer & choreographer Marion Dieterle dares to take a comparative look: human vs. chicken.


CHICKS shakes up and provokes. The piece lays bare the question: Who is actually the workhorse here? In powerful images it speaks of profit maximization and body cult, scheduled offspring, work performance and self-exploitation, on up to sacrifice.



Marion Dieterle and Emily Welther are the chicks on stage. They peck and scratch, flutter and brood, shed feathers and are roasted. Abstrusely animalistic, oppressively honest and hilarious at the same time, the production goes far beyond the mere transfer between humans and chickens. Through the staging, pulsating rhythms and dance performance, images of striking beauty emerge. Sometimes delicate and fragile, sometimes lascivious, sometimes aggressive, the gestures and actions captivate with their starkness, poetry and oddness.

Marion Dieterle extends the embodiment of the chicks by projecting and animating her own drawings. They are the disruptors in the operations, and are the blueprints of the troubled chickens' souls.




The staging opens up spaces and interpretations of social range: life like chickens on a roost, normalized and rationalized. Life in a henhouse or a golden cage - for CHICKS the stage becomes a meat market and a mere illusion of physical self-determination; a rhythm of life that is as much “on the clock” as it is treacherous. How far do economic principles already penetrate our bodies and our actions? And are the frenzied free-range chickens actually free, or kept?



Relentlessly and ambivalently, the piece also dedicates itself to the egg as object of desire. In a time of declining birth rates and large-scale overproduction, the egg represents both precious new life as well as industrial interchangeability.  Eggs seem to be available at any time, whether as food or to safeguard one’s own continued existence. Tightly packed, or isolated and transplanted, the egg becomes a commodity on an assembly line, a master clock for cycles, loops, and rhythms of life.



Concept/ Direction: Marion Dieterle

Dance/ Choreography: Marion Dieterle und Emily Welther

Music: Ralf Freudenberger

Stage and Light Design & Technical Direction: Wolfgang Pütz

Drawings/ Animation: Marion Dieterle

Artistic Advice : Barbara Fuchs

Animation Support: Mathijs Stegink

Photography: Michael Straßburger

Press Release: Anika Lecomte


CHICKS is a dance performance created by DOSSIER 3-D-Poetry in co-production with Barnes Crossing – Freiraum für TanzPerformanceKunst in Köln. Its realisation was sponsored by the Kunststiftung NRW, Landesverband Freier Theater Baden -Württemberg e.V. (from resources of the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst), NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste, Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, Sparkasse Freiburg- Nördlicher Breisgau, Silke Z./ resistdance as well as Dance Artist Service (iDAS) NRW.

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