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TRANCE 2024 
@ Sonic Acts Biennale

Somewhere between a rock concert, an underground rave, an immersive theatre production, and an otherworldly cinematic experiment, for TRANCE, visionary contemporary artist Tianzhuo Chen, the director of Asian Dope Boys, creates a synthesis of his work from the past decade. Taking place at the former church Paradiso, the 12-hour-long extravaganza presented by Sonic Acts and Hartwig Art Foundation includes a sprawling ensemble cast of international musicians and performers such as ¥ØU$UK€ ¥UK1MAT$U, Dis Fig, KIM KHAN, Ylva Falk, Kasimyn and Ican Harem (Gabber Modus Operandi).

Featuring Chen’s vibrant, spooky, tentacular, and lavish animations, the multidisciplinary performance incorporates live music, dance, installation, DJ sets, and audiovisual components, including an enormous sculpture of a micro-animal called a tardigrade suspended from the Paradiso ceiling. Underneath the stained glass window, the floor will be covered in a layer of real grass, tropical plants, and water features, metaphorising the church into a living, breathing organism. Offering a remarkable return to the inner workings of the body, time and space, the stage becomes a symbiotic entity that allows an ecstatic assemblage to take place.

Over the course of its six chapters, a web of narrations evolves; cultural codes are chewed up and then spat out again. Flowing through the stretched reality of TRANCE, critical beings with (or without) their identities reach psychedelic, transcendental states, experiencing a meticulous slowness that moves at the speed of light. These trembling bodies are prolonged, expanded, electrified, meditated, deformed, rendered, and then reactivated by the prehistoric memories stored in their biological cells, coming once again into the multiplicity.



TRANCE is a production of partner in crime and Kampnagel, in co-production with Komische Oper Berlin / Schall&Rausch and Dark Mofo.

TRANCE is co-presented by Sonic Acts and Hartwig Art Foundation.

Artistic Director, Director, Stage Design, Videos: Tianzhuo Chen
Concept: Tianzhuo Chen, Petra Poelzl, Johannes Maile
Dramaturgy & Research: Petra Poelzl
Live Music & Performers: Ylva Falk, Ndoho Ange, Gabber Modus Operandi (GMO), Siko Setyanto, OMI, Lavinia Vago, Léa Djyl, Felix-Florian Tödtloff, City, KIM KHAN, ¥ØU$UK€ ¥UK1MAT$U, Dis Fig
Visuals: Tianzhuo Chen, Guang Yang, Kim Laughton, Guo Fengyi
Costumes: Tianzhuo Chen, Chenting Yu
Text: Yiou Peng
Lighting: Akihiko Tanada
Sound Design: Martin Ortiz
Assistant Production & Stage Management: Diane Esnault
Production Management: partner in crime






Photo by Pierre Zylstra