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Image Credit: Amos Mann

CARDIAC: The Heart is a Muscle (in Progress)

Katrina Bastian


21-25 February 2024, 10am-10pm daily

This new work by PA2020 and PA2021 artist Katrina Bastian offers an exploration of the heart as the site of mechanical and emotional significance in the body. It explores a universal desire for connection through a Heart Rate Zone training, circuit workout. Seamlessly weaving humor, introspection, and a brutalist gym aesthetic into an intriguing history and anatomy of the heart,  Bastian cleverly delves into the fetishization of effort, reshaping love from a battlefield to a cardio session. As the heart steps into the spotlight, unveiling its status as the organ with the most social media followers, Celine Dion's words, "Near, far, wherever you are, I believe that the heart does go on," echo through the container, setting the stage for laughter, irony, and a choreographed workout with the heart that refuses to cease. CARDIAC; The Heart is a Muscle (in progress) is a rendezvous with the heart in a distinctive and captivating brutalist container swimming in heart-shaped paraphernalia and lots of pop-songs.

Katrina E. Bastian is a hyper-empathy brutalist working within the field of dance/theatre. Hyper-empathy, a term coined by Octavia Butler, is the extreme experience of another, the ability to feel their pain, pleasure, and all the subtle feelings in between. With her work of endurance-based dance, Katrina exploits the productive capacities of her body, most often in a brutalist aesthetic, in order to create a contained experience of empathy between herself and an audience. 

After graduating from Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz (HZT) + Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch with a Master in Choreography in 2019, Katrina immediately moved to New Zealand. In New Zealand she focused on endurance sports, strength training, and high intensity interval training. In her three years in New Zealand Katrina worked predominantly as a dancer with The New Zealand Dance Company, Black Grace Dance Company, and Footnote Dance New Zealand. Her award-winning choreographic work of hyper-empathy brutalism has been presented in New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.


Katrina returned to Berlin in August 2022. Since then she has worked as a dancer in various projects with July Weber, Rachel Monosov, Haptic Hide, Yoriko Maeno, Svea Schneider, and Sergiu Matis.


She received support to research the heart’s history and biology from Fonds Darstellende Künste #takeheart as well as to do research on heart rate zone training in dance from Dachverband Tanz Dis-Tanz Program.

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