Of wild hearts in winter

Each season holds its own unique charm, and while the days are gradually growing longer again and the crisp winter air makes for many a clear head and rosy cheek, it can sometimes lack the lightness and ease that we cherish so much during the warmer seasons.

For obvious reasons, the summer of 2020 proved to be a bit of a departure from the norm, but we still have fond memories of all the joys the season offered – the hours of sunshine, leisurely walks in the countryside, and feet traipsing through lush, warm grass.
And let’s not forget the very special concert series, that Wildling arranged together with KD Palme, which moved not only people’s feet to dance wildly, but their hearts as well.

Man, that was wonderful. How awesome would it be to be able to carry that feeling with you into the chillier months, too...?

That’s exactly what we want to do with #rewildourhearts, together with our partners who live and work in the world of art and culture: to feel freedom in body, mind, and soul, to find our way back to our roots, dancing, listening, sensing, moving.
Today we are introduced to choreographer Mike Planz and dancer Elke Waibel, who not only share what finding their way back to their roots means to them through their performances, they also give us some answers to our inquisitive questions.

In collaboration with videographer Tizian Arnholdt, choreographer Mike Planz presents his own interpretation of #rewildourhearts – and takes us into the forest and on a journey to ourselves. And since we already loved them so much at the concerts last summer, a piano piece by Hania Rani accompanies his movements. By the way, Mike’s sweater might look familiar to those of you who are acquainted with our partner Nordwolle.

Tell us, dear Mike, what does freedom mean to you?

Freedom for me means stillness of mind. I think a lot of people interpret freedom as being able to do whatever they want. But I’ve noticed that whether I’m lying on a beach in Thailand or on the cold floor in an empty theater auditorium, freedom has to come from within. As soon as all thought evaporates, I can just be and simply be aware of every moment.... Then I am free.

What mattered to you in terms of your performance?

With this performance, I want to portray my connection to nature. We tried to incorporate the environment into the dance – the stone breaks, the tree grows, the water flows, and all of this moves me inwardly, as well as outwardly. Even though the forest makes a lot of different noises, especially in the morning, I feel completely at peace and at home within my own being.

What sends your heart aflutter?

I’ll try not to make it sound cheesy, but I think it’s love. Whether it’s a love of nature, of my family, of animals, of dance itself, or of a particular place. Especially in times as surreal as these, it’s really important to ask yourself what makes your heart skip a beat – that way you don’t lose your focus.


Dancer Elke Waibel taps into her urban surroundings with fluid movements, both internally and externally, until finally the perspective shifts – the wind breezes past and the view becomes more expansive. Patrick Rosen captures her movements on camera, with musical accompaniment by Niklas Paschburg, whom we also recognize from our summer concert series.

Tell us, dear Elke, what does freedom mean to you?

Since everything in life is in motion and hence in constant change, freedom for me means building a solid relationship with the unknown.
The more self-confident I am in dealing with life’s surprises and the more intentionally I break down structures that are actually meant to provide me with security, and thus to surrender control, the freer I feel.

What mattered to you in terms of your performance?

In the video, we are toying with the juxtaposition between a linear, structured environment and free-flowing, organic movement, in order to demonstrate that the feeling of freedom is not contingent on external circumstances, but is in fact a part of who we are.

What sends your heart aflutter?

My heart skips a beat when people recognize the unifying element within difference, when they tear down boundaries and experience freedom together.

Team Wildling is already excited about going on their next walk, and who knows... when nobody’s looking, they might even dance a little. Special thanks to everyone involved for such wonderful inspiration!

 Cover image: Tizian Arnholdt


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