what they are instead of

How can we coexist? To say "I" means turning the other into a foreign entity. Can intimacy embrace otherness to form a kind of common being? If our being extends beyond the limits of our skin can it reveal trace evidence of multiple ways of existing, symbiosis through belong-ing?

How intimate can we be? Where does the surplus intimacy go? How much of our physical indi-viduality is left at the end? How much debris of ego can I eliminate, and how much do I need?

Angela Schubot and Jared Gradinger met nine years ago. In 'What they are instead of' the two of them search for unconditional togetherness.

With and by Jared Gradinger and Angela Schubot

Lighting by Andreas Harder

Outside eye: Lisa Densem and Sigal Zouk


A production by Jared Gradinger and Angela Schubot

A coproduction with Les Grandes Traversées

Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Schwelle7

In collaboration with Pictoplasma


Foto : Florian Braun


Special thanks to: Gordon Spragg, Christoph Hetzer, Florian Braun, Leah Søvsø, Pablo Zuleta Zahr, Jill Emerson, Tatiana Saphir, Thomas Schütt, Lars Denicke, Peter Thaler, Johannes Malfatti, Nina Ere, Anja Lindner, Acid Mothers Temple, Laurie Young. Dasniya Sommer, Barbara Friedrich, Björn Pätz, Martin Clausen, and a special shout out to The Frottage Kids


Premiere and first shows: 23.4.2009- 25.4.2009

Haus der Kulturen der Welt

It's rare to see theater that pays off to this extent. „What they are instead of“ undertakes the desperate quest for a loophole into a paradise lost.

Leipziger Volkszeitung, 10.05.2010


A furious, courageous, exalted evening about the desire for perfect, complete union.

Dance has its own meta-physical utopian potential to express the unutterable: the pain of the isolation of the individual and the insatiable desire to return to a state of security in prestabi-lized harmony.

An evening that makes the audience feel their own painful desire to overcome separation and individuation as well as the impossibility of fulfilling this desire.

Henning Fülle, dramaturg


Hats off to this radical experiment [...] At once bewildering, funny, poetic and thought-provoking.

Weser Kurier, 11 May 2009


“What they are instead of” challenges us to abandon our habit of seeing either only individuals or groups. This is made easy by the impressive physical power of the two performers who cre-ate a rhythm almost impossible to resist. Connected by the strength of breath. “Human” as organ – an interesting alternative to the domain of subjectivity.

Thomas Schütt, performer and dramaturg


Angela Schubot and Jared Gradinger from Berlin, bring us excitement and pure ecstasy in "What they are instead of“, the most impressive guest performance: as a double-being. Rhythmically hyperventilating, they never stop to copulate in the most tremendous positions until they carry all established aesthetics and motion language to absurdity.

Badische Zeitung, 16.01.2010


“What they are instead of” searches for encounters, mechanical shocks and impersonal inten-sity below the level of social meaning.

How close can we get to an impersonal pre-reflective consciousness, a qualitative period of consciousness without self?

A.G., performer and advisor