it’s kind of strange but…. sometimes I just want to be something else 

sometimes I want to be 

2015 (KHM project) Performance & Short film 

White-scribbled masks– conceal, elongate, and make grotesque the faces of multiple female performers–They enact and present constructed, almost tribal identities; facing and circling one another, preparing as if to fight, taunting and teasing the viewer. In the process, the performers and their audience consider whether self re-invention is possible through the mask, through the appropriation of the other. A form of bizarre, Kabuki theater Wildwood Flowers deal with typical markers of identity—gender, age, race, and sexuality—by replacing them with a rougher and more brutal depiction of the early human.

Masks: Mona Kakanj

“Wildwood Flowers, created and choreographed by Reut Shemesh, is a gripping, edgy, and evocative movement piece”. Inna Tsyrlin, Stage Buddy NYC 


Choreography Reut Shemesh 
Dance and creation Susanne Grau, Lisa Kirsch, Liane Loer, Marja Hirvonen, Julia Riera
2nd cast Lenah Flaig , Charlotte Brohmeyer, Lenah Visser, Sabina Stücker 
NYC cast Maya Orchin, Schuyler Whittemore, Varina Kranak, Jessica McCarthy
Assistant Felix Zilles- Perels
Music Nico Stallmann
Masks Mona Kakanj
Dramaturgy Daniel Rademacher
Management Sandra Jasper
Camera & Photography Ronni Shendar
Photography NYC Verina Kranak
Photography Phillip Böll

Made possible by the City of Cologne, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Atelier Quartier am Hafen, iDAS nrw

Previous & upcoming performances

November 2014 Museumsnacht Köln Atelier Quartier am Hafen
20 & 21 & 22 February 2015 Kunsthochschule für Medien, Köln
24, 25, 26 September 2015 TheaterLab New York (NYC)
April 2016 Schauspiel Köln/Serpentine event
Juni 2016 Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
August 2016 TanzMesse NRW
October 2016 TanzFaktur Cologne
September 2016 Hochbunker, Köln Ehrenfeld
März 2017 Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck
November 2017 Jewish Museum Berlin, the opening event of res.o.nant!  invited by Prof. Mischa Kuball.
December 2017 Theater der Keller/ Köln


July 2015 Rundgang KHM
November 2015 PLAY- Video & Performance Festival, Galerie ampersand Köln
September 2016 – Mars 2017 Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck


Theaterlab’s Wildwood Flowers, created and choreographed by Reut Shemesh, is a gripping, edgy, and evocative movement piece. This piece, which premiered in Cologne earlier this year, has now been reimagined by Shemesh with New York performers, trying to capture the New York energy by exploring ideas of identity in multitude.

The all-female cast (Verina Kranak, Jessica McCarthy, Maya Orchin, and Schuyler Whittermore) are pushed to their physical and emotional extremes in this demanding work, called upon to form and re-form themselves as different representatives of gender, age, social class, and race. All four dancers wear freakish-looking masks, created by Mona Kakanj, which sometimes seem grotesque, at others sympathetic. These masks suggest at once a masking and unmasking of the self. Can someone be reinvented as soon as they take off that outer layer of themselves? And what we see underneath, is it attractive and honest and pure? When the masks do come off there is an element of surprise as we see the performers in a fragile, almost frightened form. We see them completely under the control of their ringmaster, the single performer who doesn’t take of her mask.

It is difficult to describe the music of Wildwood Flowers because the rhythm and style are minimalist, almost broken down to singular beats and sounds. And yet, at times there is a lyricism that moves both the dancers and the narrative of the piece towards a new transformation or revelation of another layer — again an unmasking. The entire space is painted white; the shadows of the performers almost hauntingly give further reference to the idea that there are layers that need to be removed to get to our essential core.
Inna Tsyrlin, Stage Buddy NYC 

Review: Wildwood Flowers
Manhattan at Sep 26th, 2015

Interview https://worksbywomen.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/interview-reut-shemesh/