© Nikolas Giokoumakis

Private Song

Alexandra Bachzetsis

Art, as French philosopher Jacques Derrida remarked, depends on how you frame it – a painting’s frame, for example, delimits what is seen. In her piece «Private Song» Alexandra Bachzetsis follows this reasoning and proposes a new «frame» through which the work may be perceptively approached. The goal is to question, emphasize or neutralize the relationship between the audience and the bodies moving on stage. To this end she draws from heterogeneous sources, confronting the voices and codified gestures of Greek Rebetiko with those of Hollywood style fight scenes, as well as visual portrayals of love and war. On a chessboard, solos, duos, trios and songs intertwine. The bodies, though drawn one to the others, end up misunderstanding or misinterpreting and are finally incapable of coming together - because what is acceptable or not also delimits the possibility for action within each given context. Through a phantasmic staging the scenic mechanisms of «Private Song» succeed in channelling both perception and affect and thus impacting the viewer’s perspective.


Alexandra Bachzetsis (Zurich) is a choreographer and visual artist trained at the Dimitri School (CH), STUK Arts Center (BE) and Das Arts (NL). Her practice is founded at the crossroads between dance, performance, visual art and theatre. Inspired by a plurality of cultural references, she amalgamates the different spaces in which the body may manifest itself as an artistic and critical instrument. Her work thematizes the social and collective constructs of different human sensibilities and gender-related behaviours. Alexandra Bachzetsis has received numerous awards including the DESTE prize (2011), the Swiss Prize for Performance (2012), the Swiss Art Award (2016) as well as the Art Prize from the city of Zurich (2018).

Concept and choreography Alexandra Bachzetsis

Performance Alexandra Bachzetsis, Thibault Lac, Sotiris Vasiliou

Dramaturgy Tom Engels

Sound Tobias Koch

Costume design Cosima Gadient in collaboration with Yonatan Zohar

Light design Patrik Rimann

Stage design Peter Baur

Production Association All Exclusive

Production management Anna Geering

Commissioned by documenta 14

Coproduction Volksbühne Berlin, Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem

Support Schering Stiftung, Stichting Ammodo. In the period 2018-2020, Alexandra Bachzetsis receives subsidies as part of the cooperative funding agreement between the City of Zurich, Fachausschuss Tanz&Theater BS/BL and Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council.