FLOCK returns to present “Somewhere Between” at Columbia College, March 23-25


German/American duo FLOCK (Alice Klock and Florian Lochner) continue to impress audiences around the world with their brand of dance, fluid and interconnected partnering, superb technique and introspective storytelling. This Spring, Flock returns to Chicago to present new work with an expanded roster of dancers.

“Somewhere Between” by FLOCK debuts at The Dance Centre, Columbia College from March 23-25. The work is an expansion of a recent FLOCK film project “Selkie,” a sixteen-minute short film produced in Germany last year and available now to watch on FLOCK’s YouTube channel. For the live action version, FLOCK will again work with long time collaborators, composer Angus MacRae and lighting designer Julie Ballard, and includes music by Wolff Bergen, Michael Wall and Brambles.

“Selkies” are from Gaelic and Nordic myths. My lineage comes from that part of the world,” Klock said in an interview. “It’s about these seals that can shed their skin, leave the ocean and live as humans. When they are out there living as humans, they don’t remember they were ever a seal, but they have this feeling that ‘I come from somewhere else; I’m kind of missing this mysterious past.’ If they find their skin, they return to the water and forget their whole human life. And if their skin is found by a human they are owned by that particular human.”

Not to be taken too literally, the concept is more about how stories can influence the listener long after they are first told.  “What is a story that meant a lot to you when you were young that maybe influenced who you designed yourself to be?” asks Klock. “Like, going back and finding those things that for some reason have stuck with us personally and then become a part of who we are… That’s sort of the starting point for each dancer.”

The challenge for FLOCK in “Somewhere Between” is to translate Klock and Lochner’s unique style of intricate partnering on a company of six dancers. “One thing that is our main focus is having a real emphasis on partnering that is equal between all parties,” said Klock. “For this show in particular, we’re drawing out how you can have that complexity, that unity and balance, with six bodies partnering at the same time. That’s something we’ll play with a lot and builds throughout the piece.”

Besides marveling at their signature aesthetic of woven, entangled limbs, viewers can keep an eye out for symbolic imagery. Klock provides one example: “We’ve developed certain gestures, certain positionings in the body that represent the different stories we are telling. There is this one shape which is just me with my arms outstretched, and then being sort of manipulated in space, which, for us, is representing specifically the moment when… [pause] Both of us have lost people in our lives. We feel like those people who have passed away, we now carry them forward, we continue their stories by being descended from them, by being a part of their family. This gesture represents that feeling of carrying on the lineage.”

FLOCK recently began development of “Somewhere Between” at The Schoolhouse in Michigan, an experimental residency program started by former Hubbard Street dancer Meredith Dincolo. “We are prepping some things [in Michigan],” explains Lochner, “We are working on duets for ourselves, and a few steps that we’ll teach the dancers.”

Following their residency in Michigan, the duo travels to Colorado Springs to take part in a multi-studio residency where they will begin setting the work on the other dancers, premiering it in Colorado before traveling to Chicago. “A lot of it we create when we’re there with the dancers because the dancers give us the inspiration to create movement, and it’s always different wherever we go,” said Klock. “The metaphors that exist in my [selkie] myth become the story of the entire piece, but each dancer has their own character, and their stories weave into the whole thing.”

The other dancers in “Somewhere Between” were handpicked by FLOCK based on a shared camaraderie with each other from past experience. Emily Krenik is a young dancer from LA who worked with them during their training intensives and first worked with FLOCK in 2019. “She’s like this beautiful, long-limbed powerhouse,“ said Klock, “who is just stepping out into the world, so we feel also like this is a special moment with her.”

Kevin J. Shannon, former Hubbard Street dancer turned freelancer, will join the cohort, as will Liane Aung, former dancer with Whim W’Him Seattle Contemporary Dance, who also appears in FLOCK’s “Selkie” short film.

Dancer Robert Rubama is the only one that Klock and Lochner didn’t know previously. “We’ve only met on Zoom,” said Klock, “but they have worked with people that we’ve worked with before and [Robert] comes highly recommended. We’ve watched a lot of their video work and they’re a gorgeous mover.”

While FLOCK has worked with other dancers in the past, this cohort is special due to the amount of time and number of performances with which they will be able to explore and shape the work. “Historically, those have been pretty short term,” said Klock. “We’ll make a piece, there’s one show, that’s it. This is our first time where we have this tour planned through the end of April, so we have more time to actually connect with these people and have the show keep evolving.”

The fast-paced and intimate rehearsal process is the secret to creating the deeply introspective kind of work that FLOCK is known for. “In the structure that we’ve built, we have a clear idea that we want to go through these different physical intensities and emotions,” said Klock. “We’re taking the audience through what it is to be a person. It’s not all high energy, or low energy, it’s not all happy, or all sad; it has this dynamic shifting the entire time. The piece will feel like a journey… it goes to a lot of different places.

“We flow throughout everything,” adds Lochner. “Transitions are very important to us and we’re always working on the smoothest transition, so you do not notice how we get from one movement into the next, from one lift into the next. We are interested in how to get the audience involved in an hour-long piece where they can just turn off their daily life and see something different, feel something different, and get them on this adventure with us.”

“Somewhere Between” is one of FLOCK’s most ambitious works to date in both scope and duration. If the “Selkie” video is any indication, audiences should be prepared for an emotional, but also an emboldening and uplifting experience.


“Somewhere Between” by FLOCK runs March 23-25 at The Dance Centre of Columbia College Chicago, 1306 S. Michigan Ave. Tickets are $30 General / $15 Faculty and Staff  / $10 Students and can be purchased at colum.edu, or by calling 312-369-8330, or emailing columbiatickets@colum.edu.