The Woman My Mother Wants Me to be Like

2022/ short film COBRA
2018-2021/ performance, photography & text

Performance nominated for the Tanztheaterpreis Köln / Cologne Dance Theatre Prize 2021

COBRA BLONDE crosses an apparent boundary between two worlds of expression that rarely touch: traditional German carnival ‘Garde’ dancing and contemporary art. At the core of choreographer Reut Shemesh’s trespassing is the manifestation of gender roles and female representation during traditional carnival festivities. Between the prevalent approach in contemporary dance to emphasize the individuality and the power of community from which the ‘Garde’ dance draws, an unusual aesthetic emerges, as well as a political forcefield. With COBRA BLONDE, Reut Shemesh directs the gaze onto a desire for representation of an authentic identity – if such a thing can even exist.
The process started in 2018 as a research project under the working title WITNESS, by an invitation of tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf.

“It’s as if this brilliant performance suddenly conjures a deeply sad core of the carnival that upends our traditional knowledge” Martin Krumbholz, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24th June 2019

“Shemesh’s most impressive work so far.” Michael S. Zerban, O-Ton, April 2021


Concept, Photography: Reut Shemesh
Choreography: Reut Shemesh in collaboration with Ulla Gerling
Choreographic Assistant: Ele Rose-Krosch
Dance: Lisa Aydin, Laura Bremicker, Katharina Brink, Constanze Fischer, Claudia Hinkel, Carmen Meier, Ele Rose-Krosch, Emily Rose, Sarah Pullich, Janina Schentek, Franziska Simandi
Music: Simon Bauer
Stage, Light: Ronni Shendar 
Dramaturgy: Matthias Quabbe
Concept Development: Daniel Rademacher
Management: Sabina Stücker
Financial Dramaturgy: Béla Bisom transmissions

A production by Reut Shemesh, co-produced by tanzhaus nrw, in cooperation with the ‘Tanzgarde der Karnevalsfreunde der katholischen Jugend Düsseldorf’,

supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia within the framework of ‘Konzeptförderung’ and ‘Spitzenförderung’, Kulturamt der Stadt Köln, Kunststiftung NRW, Fonds Darstellende Künste, KunstSalon Stiftung / Step Up.

Supported by iDAS NRW and TanzFaktur Cologne.

Previous & upcoming performances:

  • 8th, 9th September 2023: TanzFaktur Cologne (DE)
  • 13th, 14th May 2022: EinTanzHaus, Mannheim (DE)
  • 9th, 10th October 2021: HELLERAU Dresden (DE)
  • 20th-30th June: tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf – 20-30 Jun (Stream)(DE)
  • 28th April, 8th May 2021: Festival tanz nrw 21 (Live Stream Viersen, Stream Cologne)(DE)
  • 9th (Premiere), 10th, 11th April 2021: tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf (Stream)(DE)
  • 26th, 27th September 2020: Preview at tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf (DE)
  • 13th June 2019: Opening Event Impulse Theater Festival at tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf (DE)
  • July 2019: Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf (DE)
  • 30th August 2018: Open Studio, internationale tanzmesse nrw, tanzhaus nrw iDAS NRW (DE)
  • June 2018: work-in-progress showing, tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf (DE)

Previous & upcoming showings:

Artist Book:


WDR September 20202