Holding hands, the performers appear as one organism with two different personalities. Bright neon light floods both stage and audience areas. Almost nothing seems to happen, but what happens is in great detail and absolute precision. In the performers’ faces, posture and breathing a melodrama takes place where all narrative elements have been sifted out. The experiment reads: can one bear such a lack of narrative? Can one bear reading emotions without cause and effect? The public is repeatedly questioning its expectations. In the lit audience, the faces of the viewers start reflecting the performers faces and the audience becomes a distorting mirror of the stage…

Holding Hands

A performance by: Antonia Baehr
With: William Wheeler and Antonia Baehr
Production: Wheeler/Baehr and Podewil Berlin

Premiere: 2001
Duration: 35 minutes

Uncool Again… Finally, by Tom Mustroph, Theater der Zeit, 06.2001

The Berlin Performance Festival ”rich & famous“

[…] After all two productions took the audience still seriously, not only as a thinking, but also as an emotional sounding board. Antonia Baehr and William Wheeler position themselves with provocation. They take each others’ hands and just stand still. Minimally, they turn their heads or move their lips. They are literally grown together, possessed by something that doesn’t permit them to move. The cause is not perceptible for the viewer, fundamentally. Nevertheless the spectator follows each impulse, observes the extinguishing of each expression and the re-describing. Agitation spreads. People look around, perhaps wanting to leave. But the audience itself has become an organism, an instrument that emits glances and sounds. Nobody can dodge this situation, one endures and feels connected within a strange experiment that infuses new life into the minimalism of John Cage. What is so impressive with Wheeler and Baehr is how frankly they expose themselves to the audience. There is no security in the form, no ironic distance, no mere posing one could escape to. […]

At the End were the Hands, by Jutta Behnen, Der Tagesspiegel Berlin, 16.05.2001

The Berlin Performance Festival ”rich & famous“ presents stars & starlets

[…] Actually one from a total of 42 projects the festival-curators Kathrin Tiedemann and Aenne Quiñones had invited finally made it. Finally the irritation! ”Holding Hands” : Two human beings stand in a room coated in white. They are holding hands, say nothing, do not move. After endless time they start changing their features. They’re moving their facial muscles with synchronicity. Yet there exists no reason for the mimetic game. The characters harden into something grotesque, and the viewer is baffled.

The viewer slowly starts to realize that he is just witnessing the climax of ”rich & famous“.

Oder escape drücken, by Florian Malzbacher, Frankfurter Rundschau, 30.11.2002


Händchen halten by Mathias Bischoff, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 30.11.2002


Choreographing Relations, Petra Sabisch

Choreographing Relations undertakes the experiment of a conceptual site development of contemporary choreography by means of practical philosophy. Guided by the radically empiricist question „,What Can Choreography Do?“, the book investigates the performances of Antonia Baehr, Juan Dominguez, Xavier Le Roy, and Eszter Salamon, and the philosophical works of Gilles Deleuze and Fé,lix Guattari. It establishes a relation between these practitioners as an encounter in method, and develops method as a singular, material and experimental practice. In view of these singular methods and the participatory relations to which they give rise, Choreographing Relations offers a prolific inventory of arepresentational procedures that qualitatively transformed choreography and philosophy at the turn of the twentieth century.

The book contains a chapter on Antonia Baehr’s HOLDING HANDS (p. 188-208).Petra Sabisch:Choreographing RelationsPractical Philosophy and Contemporary Choreographyepodium VerlagISBN 978-3-940388-20-9

You can find the book here: epodium Verlag.

Interview with Antonia Baehr and William Wheeler, Gilles Amalvi


Interview in french on „Holding Hands“ and „Without You I Am Nothing“ with Antonia Baehr and William Wheeler lead by Gilles Amalvi for the festival Rencontres Chorégraphique Internationales de Seine-Sant-Denis in 2003

Here you can find the complete interview in a pdf version :


Holding Hands, William Wheeler & Antonia Baehr – text I –


„Here we stand holding hands. You are so cute – and you are too. We have obviously different personalities but we are holding on to and beholden to each other. Sometimes  I think our hair is really the same color. But your center of gravity is somewhere else than mine. The more synchronized we appear, the more differences get visible. Whose will are we following? We form a singular organism with one or two minds.“

Here you can find the text in a pdf version:


Holding hands, Antonia Baehr on William Wheeler & Antonia Baehr – text II –


„We work as a duo and switch places between director and performer from rehearsal to rehearsal, developing two shows simultaneously and cross-influencing each other’s work.“

Here you can find a English and German Version of the text:

English version:

Holding Hands.pdf

German version:

Holding hands de.pdf 

Entretien with Yvane Chapuis and Antonia Baehr and William Wheeler on Holding Hands & Without you I am nothing.


Interview with Yvanne Chapuis in the french review „Questions d’artistes“ number II, november/december 2011 publication. The magazin is created by Le collège des Bernandins.