I.Basically, the ZDF report series “37 °” could be one of the TV formats of the hour. It has made empathy, inclusiveness, team spirit and optimism its motto, which is the current front runner in the program direction. Most of the reports, however, follow exactly the same, leisurely-looking pattern. Exposure, you get to know three protagonists with different views, original sounds, commentary, no time for deepening, positive outlook, and that’s it. The subject will be through in thirty minutes.
“Dance till you break – The Saxonz”, a rather cool “37 °” three-part series by Maike Conway, developed for the ZDF media library and the streaming habits of a younger audience, keeps up better. Playful, dynamic and freely told, this edition retains the characteristics of philanthropy and humanity, but portrays the protagonists in a more complex way, not only through conversation and observation, but through rousing dance interludes to driving hip hop.
The group’s self-made material is installed, there are excerpts from championship battles, from challenging rehearsals and quiet individual training in the ballet hall and lots of internal stories, sometimes about the exertions of breaking, about pain and tormenting the acrobatically maltreated body as in classical dance documentaries, sometimes of the parents’ migration experiences, for example from Kazakhstan or Croatia, or of plans for the future, of growing up in the East German record, of the difficulties of raising a child alone after losing a wife, of blending the family or being allowed to be introverts despite Breaks, of the expression of the Personality in dancing – and above all about the fact that the crew, the team, is always the star. Or should be.
The diverse team as a new star
Lehmi, founder and “mastermind” of “Saxonz” – a confessing cosmopolitan Saxon -, Rossi, who now also works as a physiotherapist after a bad shoulder injury and is the father of Feenja, and Kelox, who is the first breaker to study choreography at the Palucca University the dancers whose portraits are most evident. For them, breaking is food and purpose, and they share what dancers always have on their minds: the relationship to their body as an instrument of interpretation, their artistic development. Joanna, the only woman on the team, is studying psychology. Dennis, the marketing expert, shows the newly founded breakdance school in the third part. Anton, reserved, carefully chooses the words and moves of his battles. The crew is also the star because their integration of different characters is exemplary.
At the moment, one can speak of a real paradigm shift in production. In the stations, the signs point to warmth, diversity and digital presentation. Cynicism, elbows and selfishness are a thing of the past. The new star is the diverse team, preferably on demand online. It is not for nothing that Eckhart von Hirschhausen and the Mouse do programs together. And while the media libraries of ARD and ZDF are networked, the private ones take care of their information skills, but more clearly about entertainment in a new cuddly atmosphere, in which one forgets, out of sheer respect and love among the participants, that in the end only one or one “Let’s Dance” cup winner or DSDS winner or “Germany’s Next Top Model” can be. Which seems more and more irrelevant anyway. Where isolation was required for a year and a half, the broadcasters show nothing more than their postulate of community.
In the end, “Dance till you break” doesn’t believe in the usual dramaturgical victory highlights either. When the “Saxonz” with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann appear at the celebration of “30 Years of the Free State of Saxony” in the Aue Stadium and break to Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dances” – which looks a little strange – the film does not last long. Longer is the excerpt from Kelox’s master’s thesis, which was publicly performed in Hellerau, an autobiographical solo piece entitled “Layover”. But here, too, the film suppresses the result of the deliberations of the examination committee of the Palucca University. “Dance till you break” ends with a piece by the crew. Behind a wall of shadows, nine dancers and one dancer dance their best move anonymously. To then step forward together. Everyone can do something perfectly, together it will be great. That is all “37 °” again. Against which there is nothing to be said.
Dance till you break – The Saxonz, in the ZDFmediathek