About Kėkė

Experimental Arts

Trans-disciplinary sound artist (composer, producer and performer), abstract painter and CI dancer. I specialise in live music and compositions for improvised dance & movement performance. My research is inspired by a desire to find the crossroads between movement and sound, color and texture, contemplation and sensory meditation, body and nature integration. The common thread that I draw between my dance, visual art, music and poetic explorations is improvisation, which is the key for unlocking present, authentic self-expression and engaging in a self-actualizing creative process. My sound compositions and live music vary across genres, from ambient soundscapes to techno, electronic indie, emotive cinematic and minimalist acoustic. My music and sound projects can be found on Spotify and SoundCloud, under the name Kėkė Søl.

Presently, I am especially curious about resonance. Inspired by the Underscore in Contact Improvisation dance, I work with synthesisers, voice and movement to explore how white noise, silence and stillness can be points of access to sense the living space and connective spaces in-between. Improvisation is a means of leaping into the unknown and traversing this liminal space.

I studied German philosophy and literature at Yale University (class of ’17), with a focus on existentialism in the age of extinction risk. My fine arts studies included watercolor with Adam van Doren and the color blue with Jessica Helfand.

In 2019, I moved to Thailand, where I studied and performed Contact Improvisation dance with Reverse Rivers Company, founded by Sasha Dødø and Dolores Dewhurt-Marks. I opened my own atelier where I facilitated art therapy workshops and completed a collection of paintings, sculptures and several installations for exhibitions planned to take place last summer in Koh Phangan and Bangkok, though they were unfortunately postponed due to the corona virus pandemic. The collection is planned to debut in Berlin this coming year, simultaneously with the release of several atmospheric psybient albums and singles.

Recently, I worked as the assistant to the Head of Design at Studio Olafur Eliasson. I continue to collaborate with Olafur and several other dancers, musicians and visual artists in Berlin, London, Thailand and the US.

I am also deeply interested in healing/meditative somatic practices, particularly breathwork. I facilitated Wim Hof method breath and cold exposure while living in Thailand. I offer sound healing and somatic research in my home, where I recently founded a lab for somatic and sound experimental research.

Research Topics: somatic healing, sensuality and sensory touch/listening, physical and spacial presence, sense communication, body and nature integration, improvisation as a tool for authentic self expression, artistic practices that bridge the gap between spirit and the physicality of the human experience – between physical and metaphysical.

Performances, Residencies & More

BLIND
November 12th-13th, 2022 – Acker Stadt Palast Theatre in Berlin, Germany
A walk into the dark to discover how we see and what we believe in.
A solo performance that invites its audience to reflect on the nature of contemporary existence, BLIND is the Berlin debut of director, writer, and performer Paul Budraitis.
At the outset, audience members will be blindfolded and led into the performance space, where they will be asked to consider the ways in which they see the world, and the ways in which personal modes of belief animate their daily lives. When the blindfolds are removed, a series of hypnotic images and actions will welcome the mystery of our existence, and will bring with it a search and a plea for connection between ourselves, as well as for an acceptance of all that we can see, and all that we can not begin to understand.
Text, Direction, and Performance: Paul Budraitis
Sound Designer: Kėkė Creatur
Stage Design: Inga Aleknavičiūtė

Live Music at Ponderosa – PJAM 2022
October 13th-16th, 2022 – Ponderosa Arts Center, on the border of Germany and Poland
PJAM invites dedicated CI dancers to an autumnal gathering in the green grounds of Ponderosa. 
This year, an intimate group of 30 dancers came together to nourish our bodies, inspire our dances and in times of radical changes. With optimal time for dancing, we are created an event that explored new and vital forms of CI practice, invited questions, inspired investigations and cultivated community exchange. 
Kėkė’s solo sound performance accompanied CI jams and underscores, totalling to more that fifteen hours of live improvisational music and sound art over the course of three days. Kėkė played synths, guitar and sang, evoking minimal ambient sound to support the improvisational practices. These sounds were collected and arranged into an album, which is available for listening on SoundCloud. 

Gender Diversity and the Curious Body
October 12, 2022 – Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, Germany
A Diversity and Inclusion Workshop in collaboration with Alexander Hahne. Input to 4 dimensions on gender diversity and embodied reflections to explore. How do you relate to your gender from within and in relation to/ with others? We explored the politics of bodies, collaboration, and empathy through touch. Questioned how we are held, formed and supported or not in the gaze of a witness. Deepened-expanded our attention not only to our own soma/body but also to the social situation, the racial, gender, and politics that shape it. Negotiated the differences in power and desire through a practice of consent in pairs – being present and seen in one’s own gender/culturally differentiated being.

Silent Conversations Art Residency
October 1st-10th, 2022 – Donego, Italy
Silent conversations is an extra-ordinary ten-day art laboratory, an intersection of dance improvisation, poetry and performance. The laboratory is designed as an inspirational environment for focused practice and learning from self, other and the space. The approach of the laboratory: Dance improvisation as the art of listening, poetry as a deeper form of attention, that allows a new language to arise from the embodied experience, and performance as the process of revealing what is already in the space. The practice is grounded in being physically, attentionally, and poetically available for the immediacy, and intends to enhance and refine our compositional, relational and collaborative abilities. Creating conditions within ourselves to recognize and transform ordinary into poetic, the place where every thing is alive, interconnected and about to change. Most of the time we work outside in the village, surrounding nature and neighbouring towns. This is not a silent event, yet we practice mostly in silence.

Stone & Water: Being Nature Retreat
September 24th-29th, 2022 – Donego, Italy
Ecosomatics, Dance Improvisation and Embodied Poetry in the contemplative mountain village of Donego, overseeing Lago Maggiore lake, in northern Italy. The retreat centers on the tangible and metaphoric conversation betwen stone & water. Discovering the silence and resilience inherent in stone, the fluency and perseverance implicit in water. Their nature invites a dynamic dialogue within us, offering a vast landscape of meaning and experience. Connecting with these elements open an integrative perspective in the bodymind we inhabit; bringing relational insights, expanded imagination, and wholeness to our expression. We relate through our bones and fluids in touch based partner work and movement explorations. Embodying the elements’ qualities and behaviours while in physical contact with each other. Encountering stone & water sensorially and poetically; anchoring our attention in the immediacy and listening beneath its surface. Deepening our sensitivity and benevolence for our interdependency with nature.We work outdoors, in the forest, river, and lake. Part of our practice happens in silence, giving more space for direct experience, witnessing and contemplation. There are invitations to write and share poetry, perform in nature, and hike in the surrounding mountains.

TAHARA
October 21st-22nd, 2022 – Danses de Résistances by Maison de la Culture in Montreal, Canada
A dance diary of the exhaustive birthday and funeral rituals of trauma. Solo dance performance by Valerie Sabbath. Music and sound composition by Kėkė.

WEATHERING
September 8th-10th, 2022 – Dancehouse in Melbourne, Australia
Weathering is a new real-time choreographic work presented by [ two for now ], a duo of Emily Bowman and Joey Lehrer. This work delves into the interdependence of nature and human relationships in the emergent and continual process of becoming. Just as the rivulet carves the rocks, the channels of the rock guide the rivulet, and on and on. So too are human relationships formed in their emergent interconnectedness. Our actions do not transform the world, but are part of the world transforming itself. Weathering builds on the decade-long dance research practice of [ two for now ]. Their practice is improvisational and relational, and prioritises the physical sensations of the body—particularly in response to weight, gravity and physical contact. In performance, the dance is simultaneously discovered, negotiated and edited in real-time. With an appetite for ‘not knowing’ in the unfolding moment, Weathering seeks to bring the performers and the audience into their somatic bodies whilst considering our interconnectedness with one another, the natural world and the passage of time.
Choreographers & Performers: Emily Bowman and Joey Lehrer [ two for now ]
Sound Designer: Kėkė Creatur

Embodied Sound Festival
September 8th-11th, 2022 – Ängsbacka, Sweden
The first annual Sound and Music Festival at Ängsbacka is a brand-new four-day event aiming to arouse all senses with a total one-of-a-kind experience that combines sound healing, live music, learning, nature and art. Kėkė offered a sound & movement workshop, Resonant Spaces. The workshop offered a lecture about the physics of sound waves and vibration, followed by a guided movement practice inspired by CI to explore sensing the space between touch. 

#CIFuturism
July 10, 2022 – Oberlin College, Ohio (USA) – CI50 Critical Mass
Kėkė joined Keith Hennessy and Ishmael Houston-Jones in creating sound for an improvised and unrehearsed performance exploring practices at the confluence of, and in the gaps between, CI, post/ Contact, Black contact, queer contact, non-human contact, erotic contact, and other experiments of improvised dancing in relationship. The strategy is to celebrate the practices that have emerged alongside CI, in conversation with CI, and in resistance to CI. The goal is to generate a truly unpredictable and collaborative embodiment that might open both performers and witnesses to fresh experiences of connection, solidarity, and love. Prophetic and futuristic, we will dare to dance together. Since the 1980s, Ishmael and Keith have accumulated extensive knowledge leading or collaborating in improvised group performances, both one-time-only and following lengthy rehearsal. In addition to duo performances, most recently in Dresden 2019, Amsterdam 2020, and Berlin (2021), Ishmael and Keith were in “big” projects of ensemble improvisation: Unsafe, Unsuited (with Patrick Scully 1995-2000), Turbulence (2012-2013), and TRY (2021). We think-feel that this would be a beautiful and grounding way to enjoy CI50, and a way to center a few folks whose charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent might otherwise go uncelebrated.

Trying
July 9, 2022 – Oberlin College, Ohio (USA) – CI50 Critical Mass
Kėkė was invited to contribute improvised sound for Keith Hennessy and Ishmael Houston-Jones‘s movement lab at Oberlin’s CI50 Critical Mass event. Ishmael and Keith led a laboratory of sensing, dancing, improvising. Our work together explores the politics of bodies, collaboration, and empathy. We will propose solo, duet, and group practices that awaken sensibilities, wander towards the unknown, get lost in failure, and are curious about friendship. Our goal is to begin the dancing day by deepening-expanding our attention not only to our own soma/body but also to the social situation, the racial, gender, and economic politics that shape it, the ancestors and future dancers that guide us, and the symbiotic non-human relationships that are impacted. Intentionally negotiating differences in power and desire, an improvised dance emerges. This class will borrow, adapt, and renew scores from TRY, a performance choreographed by Ishmael Houston-Jones created in deep collaboration with jose e. abad, Snowflake Calvert, Keith Hennessy, Kevin O’Connor, and Gabriel Nuñez de Arco with visuals by Monica Canilao, Kendra Dorman and GG Torres.

Anime of the Space Between: a Movement/Music Lab
July 9, 2022 – Oberlin College, Ohio (USA) – CI50 Critical Mass
Kėkė joined Ophra Wolf‘s workshop as a supporting musician. The workshop invited dancers and musicians dedicated to improvisation and hungry for spaces where movement and sound are more fully alive and integrated for an afternoon of focused play. The thrust of the work is a rousing call to witness our own agency in shaping experience and to conspire to share that agency with one another. Simple scores will guide us as we explore paradigms of emergence between movement and music in the moment of improvisation.

Fusion Festival
June 29, 2022 – Berlin, Germany
Kick-off live solo music performance and non-verbal speed-dating facilitation at the Harbour stage

Vibrations
June, 2022 – Berlin, Germany
Music and dance improvised collaboration performance series with Rosalind Holgate-Smith and Keya Mosso
In Vibration, we explore the body as a collection of forces and what happens when we collectively enter a state of instability. In this immersive sound and movement ritual, they invite you to feel what resonates. From chemical hormones to industrial noise, what reverberates? Which frequencies propagate in them? What emotions permeate them and go beyond the skin? Prepare to be churned up like the sea as we seek to discover new ideas of middle from within.

Fluid Substances Residency
April, 2022 – Pembrokeshire, South Wales
Collaborative dance residency for dancers, poets and professional creative fools, who will bring together expertise in somatic practices, contact improvisation, ritual and performance.

Shared Body’s Water as Technology Residency
April, 2022 – Digital/Experimental
Inspired by Sonia Kiran (Raver Jinn)’s Gatebreaking Manifesto, this open residency seeks to be a space for collective thinking, creating, and spellwork around on water as technology. We value and support unfinished and unedited work, unprocessed thoughts, curiosities, and shared research.

Dasein
Feb. 3, 2022 – Berlin, Germany
Solo improvised Butoh dance performance, collaboration with sound artist and philosopher, Rüdiger AKA Phonoschrank

River City Gallery
April, 2021 – Bangkok, Thailand
Contact improvisation performance in River City’s Van Gogh exhibition with Spine Party Movement (Nitipat Ong Pholchai) and local Thai dancers and photographers

States of Improvisation
February, 2021 – Koh Phangan, Thailand
Intensive contact improvisation research, culminating in a series of group performances

The Hand
November, 2020 – Koh Phangan, Thailand
Solo performance, choreography by Kėkė

Papaya
November, 2020 – Koh Phangan, Thailand
Duet performance, choreography by Kėkė and Anya Weronika

Terra Incognita, CI Performance Lab
2020-Present – Koh Phangan, Thailand
contact improvisation performance LAB– for experienced movers interested In focused and regular practice in a closed group.
Performance – will have no structure, we will not use verbal or artificial sounds, or any objects. There can be solos, duos, trios, any size group formations with an option at any moment to become a witness.
During these 2 hours we are primarily meeting in the physical level; with awareness for the very physical space and physical body moving and interacting with other physical bodies. This is the significant core of contact improvisational performance. (Which is different to other styles & forms of improvised performance and to structureless open improv performance with no agreements).

Art Continuum, Nomadic Art Residency
2020-Present – Koh Phangan, Thailand
Continuous research, performance and workshops with Reverse Rivers dance company in Thailand, over the course of the year. Intensives averaging six hours per day for several weeks at a time. 
Art continuum residency is designed for international artistic exchange, development and production of art, focused in fields of dance improvisation, performance, poetry and film.
The residency is a supportive and inspiring environment for emerging artists and artists searching for new perspectives, multidisciplinary experimentation and artistic development in collaboration.
It supports the process of clarifying artistic vision and mastering its articulation.
It gathers people of different backgrounds and nationalities, both amateur and professional.
The program contains long and short durational workshops, projects and laboratories based on the art continuum method.
The methodis framework for artistic developmentongoing research of making collaborative multidisciplinary space for artistic exchangeemphasising practicesof attention, improvisation, inquiry and being with nature.
Art continuum is connecting artists internationally and feature their work. It has a seasonal projects and laboratories which offers to artists opportunity to join the program from wherever they are, despite the distance.
Currently the residency is not supported by a foundation or grant scheme. It is run by the team’s initiative and resources.
The program is based on donation, offering participants to contribute in realistic terms of their fiscal conditions.