Jacalyn made dances for over 15 years, for the most part creating evening-length choreographies. Her works often used literature as a basis, with or without music. Her choreography to ‘Schwitters Ursonate’ put the young berliner tanzfabrik on the radar at the time, catapulting the new company into the spotlight in Germany.

See excerpts from ‘Schwitters Ursonate 1994’ performed at Martin Groupius Bau, Berlin

Her dances to Ernst Jandl’s word games and concrete poetry remained in repertory for over ten years. She also created works to Gertrude Stein’s poetry and text, Andrej Bely’s ‘Second Dramatic Symphony’, and John Cage ‘Lectures on Nothing’.  Her most important literary partner-in-dance was the late, great Raymond Federman.

See an excerpt from Raymond Federman’s ‘Project X, performed at the opening of the Center for Fine Arts at SUNY Buffalo

Her works toured Europe and the US extensively, with support from the Berlin Ministry of Art and Goethe Institute. Choreographic commissions included  Berliner Festspiel in collaboration with the Komische Oper Berlin, Haus am Waldsee Berlin, German television, film (Ulricke Ottinger’s ‘Orlando’), Gropius Bau Berlin, Several Dancers Core Atlanta, Woo World Players Philadelphia.


See an excerpt from ‘Space for Cage’, with John Cage’s prepared piano works played by Daryll Rosenberg

One of her final works was to music for prepared piano by John Cage (performed live by Darryl Rosenberg. For other works she commissioned music by Bob Rutman’s Steel Cello Ensemble, the 15-piece band Die Elefanten, and Friedemann Graef. Her company, JC&CO Moving Wor(l)ds Dance, commissioned several works from Bardo Henning, which were also performed live.

Jacalyn’s choreographic signature, pitting dance to and against literature led to the creation of a new “theatre language” at the time. Dance/Text or Text/Tanz would continue to define tanzfabrik over the next several decades.

Carley Choreography 1977 to 1997 provides a complete list of Jacalyn’s choreographies including work descriptions, casts, and venues. Anyone interested in researching tanzfabrik, and/or Jacalyn’s oeuvre, should contact her. Also, documentation of her work as video and DVD, as well as related material such as posters, photos, programs etc are now archived at the Akademie der Künste and Mimecentrum’s Mediathek, both located in Berlin. Queries can be sent to: benutzerservice @ adk.de or info @ mimecentrum.de.