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David Lakein

is a Berlin- & Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, director-choreographer, performer, teacher-facilitator, organizer and writer. His work swirls around the borders between dance, theatre, cabaret, performance art, and social gatherings, incorporating video and installation elements. Whether completely set or entirely improvised, a solo performance or community gathering, on stage or in the bushes, the work embraces and confronts the edge between the profoundly serious and ridiculously silly, and often includes a significant (potential) degree of interactivity, inviting and eliciting participation from the viewing-listening-reading audience.

Lakein is equally passionate about his teaching and organizing projects. Whether facilitating students in their explorations of image-making and improvisation or bringing artists together in laboratory or festival settings, Lakein is committed to dialogue as a creative act and research as a container for transformational encounters. 2002-2008, he was part of the organizational team of the Ponderosa Dance Festival & Artist Retreat Center outside Berlin. In 2008, he founded the international artistic platform Paradox Bay, which supports exchanges about how artists approach their work, nurture collaborations, interact with audiences, and connect with social activism efforts. In 2010, he launched RuckuSpace, a multi-faceted hybrid art project committed to responsible subversion and playful mayhem while creating a community oriented collaborative empowerment zone.

He studied philosophy & literature, and acting & directing at Wesleyan University  in the United States, trained as a dancer, choreographer and performer in Berlin and at the School of New Dance Development in Amsterdam and received his MFA in Studio Arts at The School of Art Institute of Chicago. His practice is built on a foundation of improvisation, physical theater, contact improvisation, presence and (meta-) physics, and is strongly influenced by his experiences with aikido, body-mind-centering, alexander technique and stand-up.

Lakein performs-researches-teaches throughout Europe, USA, and Japan.