“A happier age than ours once made bold to call our species by the name of Homo Sapiens. In the course of time we have come to realize that we are not so reasonable after all as the Eighteenth Century, with its worship of reason and its naive optimism, thought us; hence modern fashion inclines to designate our species as Homo Faber: Man the Maker. But though faber may not be quite so dubious as sapiens it is, as a name specific of the human being, even less appropriate, seeing that many animals too are makers. There is a third function, however, applicable to both human and animal life, and just as important as reasoning and making namely, playing. It seems to me that next to Homo Faber, and perhaps on the same level as Homo Sapiens, Homo Ludens, Man the Player, deserves a place in our nomenclature”

 – Johan Huizinga

– A shot from People doing moves directed by Nils Lüfke and Taet Vremya Kollektiv

 People doing moves begins its path as a short screendance film, but is actually a long-term study of the created in 2014 collective Taet Vremya. It is tempted by the idea of working with the broad concept of movement and functioning as an artistic platform, which is gaining more and more followers and participants from all over the world. The work of the collective is expressed through workshops, performances, exhibitions, films, and “free” creative experiments that examine different genres, creative approaches, directions, and courses, turning them into a multidisciplinary movement practice. This whole creative initiative is difficult to be perceived only through the prism of the film artwork – it is somehow impossible, and perhaps even unnecessary. Therefore, in this article, we will try to talk about both the screendance artwork and the bigger picture in which the artistic group positions its activity.

Curious about the physicality of the world, the guys from Taet Vremya assume that “the medium of artistic exploration is the body in motion as a tool and material”. They foresee in it an inexhaustible resource for creating new realities, for establishing a specific language, for giving us access to and connection with the world. In their approach transpires a delicate curiosity and playfulness through which absurdity makes its way to reveal to us everyday situations in an unsuspectingly “nourishing” way.

People doing moves (the movie), on the other hand, is a series of short micro-movements performed by human bodies, seemingly unrelated to each other, not motivated and originating from each other, unable to be presented as an exploration of a particular theme or issue, and can hardly even be grouped in entities. The series of movements flow freely; experiment boldly with basic cultural symbols and social gestures; surprise us with the potential of the human body and its habits, and sometimes make us laugh at the comical effect.

The performers master their bodies flawlessly, managing to isolate a specific body part and represent a form or interaction in an extremely funny and unusual way. In front of our eyes the familiar becomes unfamiliar and we see the unfamiliar as familiar. We are left to observe this game of fluid shifts and search for balance from one point in the body to another, as well as from one body to another, and we reach the key question for the work and the collective – who actually controls whom? The repetition of movement fragmentation, the hyper close-up shots, or just the opposite, the long shots help the viewer in this “wandering around’’ the question, which is deprived of a correct and precise answer.

The bodies of the performers create “sculptural situations” of social interactions – of the individual with themselves, of the individual with the Other, of the individual in Community. The collective makes us witnesses to a manifold of contexts created by a rich palette of movements that address key themes such as sexuality, spirituality, and aesthetics. Encountering everyday gestures of greeting, saying goodbye, yawning, working out, meditating, moving, or unpredictable movements for balancing a stick on the left palm, imitating a bird in flight with the right foot, “static” dry swimming experience,  we have the opportunity to read everyday life and reality in a new way and to be surprised, somewhat childishly, by that movement that we do on a daily basis and hardly realize that we are doing it, or that other movement that we allow ourselves to do only when we are alone and have no “audience”.

Thus, People doing moves becomes an awesome catalog of movement possibilities, an impressive archive of potentials, and a rare and precious collection that has captured human bodies in motion. Whether this catalog can claim to be absolute, whether this archive can be organized into precise sections, whether this collection is complete – we think the answers to these questions are rather negative. The formal proof of this is the series of workshops (online and live) that Taet Vremya has been holding recently, where they “assist’’ the birth of new movements. Because, as their manifesto states:

“[…] People doing moves is dedicated to everyone;

People doing moves maintains the human body;

People doing moves is self-designed;

People doing moves is an accumulation of moves;

People doing moves tries to push the boundaries and conventions of the body […];

There is no right or wrong. You are a person who moves in possibilities;

People doing moves is a universal language […]”

Taet Vremya strongly wants to create a community, providing a platform of innovative approaches to movement, and strategies to build one, for everyone interested in their project. Here is an excerpt from their list of instructions:

“001 Create a movement.

002 Use your body in unusual and witty ways.

003 Recognize the movements that relate to your body.

004 Recognize inappropriate movements. Complete them. What do you feel now?

005 Try to imitate the movement.

006 Try to repeat a movement and change a detail.


043 Inspire yourself, inspire others, inspire us too.


Our bodies are enough”.

Now it’s up to you and me to try.

The article is translated by Miryana Mezeklieva.

Ana-Maria Sotirova has a degree in Film from the University of Reading and a Master’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam. She is part of the team of the Moving Body Festival in Varna with the main organizers – Svetlozara Hristova and Iskra Ivanova.

Svetlozara Hristova is a culturologist, art manager, artistic collaborator, author of articles in the field of contemporary dance and theater, and co-organizer of the Moving Body Festival and RADAR Festival Beyond Music.

Miryana Mezeklieva graduated in Cultural Studies at Sofia University Kliment Ohridski. Since 2008 until today she has been working as a translator of feature films and series for dubbing mainly for the channels of Nova Broadcasting Group.

This material was created within the project Translation on Air – a section dedicated to dance for the screen or screendance. Every month we invite the professional and amateur audience, tempted by this intriguing symbiosis between cinema and dance, to join our readings, conversations, and discussions with active practitioners and choreographers in this field from the country and abroad.

The project “Translation on Air” is implemented with the financial support of the National Fund “Culture” under the program “Audiences” 2020.

Видеография и референции:

Short film  People doing moves

Online conversation with Nils Lüfke and David Voight

Act now document

Video Everything is Everything by Koki Tanaka

Huizinga, Johan, Homo Ludens, ed. Zahariy Stoyanov, 2000