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Thursday, April 11, 2024 | 7:30 PM

Friday, April 12, 2024 | 8 PM

von der Heyden Studio Theater | Rubenstein Arts Center


Production Credits:

Concept and Choreography: Michael Kliën
Music: Volkmar Kliën and Michael Grigoni
Lighting: James Clotfelter
Production Assistant: Marika Niko
Dramaturgy: Vitoria Kotsalou, Alexander Strecker, Steve Valk
Artistic Team: Octavio E.A. Arriagada, Simon Barros, Natalia Cervantes, Mauri Conners, Jeffrey Gormly, Roger Copeland, Lightsey Darst, Barbara Dickinson, Brooks Emanuel, Emma Geiger, Kate Guillen, Xueyan Han, Emily Liptow, Nicole Schwartz, Renata Garces Perez, Helen Pertsemlidis, Julia Piper

Created with the students of the Performance Praxis class DANCE 462/762 and members of the Laboratory for Social Choreography

Event Duration: 90 minutes

The 11th Organ was commissioned by Duke Arts at Duke University and co-sponsored by the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University and the Duke Dance Program.


“The landscape of this century (…) from the standpoint of the present: a world that has grown old, the exhaustion of both physical and nervous resources, extinction as the direction of our times. Only a new movement of imagination could possibly dispel this horizon of probability.”
— Bifo Beradi

The second part of the 11th Organ is building on Kliën’s participatory social choreographic work. 11th Organ II is an immersive situation centered around the premise to temporarily envisioning ourselves inhabiting a shared imaginary space. The metaphysical space will remain obscure to anyone outside of the situation–wholly constructed out of thoughts that resonate into the body. Slowly an impossible world of possibilities will emerge amongst everyone present. At the core of the work lies a matrix of shared imaginations, that produces this mysterious relational realm, a wild collective mind imbued with magnificence and prophecy.



A group of participants gather in a large, empty space. Propositions and instructions are shared to establish and act upon an entirely imagined dance floor that holds the deepest hopes, fears, and desires of each individual. Thereafter, over the duration of an hour and without words, we cultivate, a communal, shared Imaginarium that is as diverse, multilayered, and complex as the individuals inhabiting it. It contains our imagined abilities, relations, ghosts, dreams, and archetypes. To the outsider, our physical bodies might appear like strange avatars, shaken and alert, mysteriously enacting traces and initiating movement in an entirely invisible reality. The state of the metaphysical realm is governed by one rule only: the dignity of the other is sacred. This adapted line from the post-Holocaust, German constitution sets the scene for a stunningly different world to unfold, an ethical framework of community, unbound from the entrenched logics that govern our daily interactions.


About 11th Organ

This work is part of a new project: “11th Organ: Equipping the Imagination for the Project of Social Reconstruction”

11th Organ is an open matrix of intellectuals, artists, and concerned citizens dedicated to fundamentally reimagining our wounded world. The 11th Organ engages a poetics of relations, an intimate weaving of diverse minds to churn the psychic soil. Fearlessly embracing the unknown, the 11th Organ expands the social imagination to envision and reveal new ways of being.