In the reconstruction processes of historical dance performances, questioning contemporary witnesses plays a special role, because their presence at the time vouches for particular credibility. But every memory has gaps. Former dancers often recall only parts of a choreography since, as participants on stage, they were not able to grasp the piece as a whole. Or they are today no longer able to again dance the past choreography for purely physical reasons.
The object of memory, then, is always also characterized by forgetting and the impossibility of complete rendition. In the light of such losses, questions arise as to what and how contemporary witnesses can relate, and in which relationship recollections stand with other performance fragments such as photos, video recordings, or sketches. Based on artistic and scientific perspectives and the discussion of project materials including undo, redo and repeat (Christina ciupke/Anna till) and the source code (Jochen roller), the ‘value’ of oral and physical accounts of past dance knowledge given by former contemporaries is examined.