Robyn ORLIN was born in 1955 in Johannesburg. She studied at the London School of Contemporary Dance from 1975 to 1980,then at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago from 1990 to 1995, where she obtained her Masters. She presented her first performance in Johannesburg in 1980. Nicknamed “the permanent irritation” in South Africa, she expresses, through her work, her country’s difficult and complex reality. She incorporates several art forms (texts, videos, visual arts), in order to explore some theatricality, reflected in her choreographic vocabulary. Among her works, Naked on a goat (1996), Orpheus… I mean Euridice… I mean the natural history of a chorus girl (1998), which won the FNB Vita award, Daddy, I’ve seen this piece six times before and I still don’t know why they’re hurting each other (1999), which won the Laurence Olivier Award for best performance of the year, and We must eat our suckers with the wrappers on, a piece on the devastating effects of AIDS in South Africa. In November her latest piece, « …have you hugged, kissed and respected your brown Venus today ? », on Sara Baartman, the Black Venus, was created at the Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg and later toured in Europe. Robyn lives part of the year in Berlin and Johannesburg or on the road touring with her work.
Natalie SEBANZ is associate professor at the Department of Cognitive Science, Central European University (Budapest) . With the help of the European Young Investigator Award (EURYI) she started a 5-year project on “Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms of Joint Action” in September 2008. After studying Psychology and Psycholinguistics in Innsbruck, Austria, and a study visit at University College London, Natalie joined Wolfgang Prinz’s group at the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich in 2001. She received her PhD from LMU Munich in 2004 (Topic: Shared action and task representations). Later that year, she joined Maggie Shiffrar’s Lab at Rutgers University as a post-doc. In 2006, she became Assistant Professor at Rutgers. One and a half years later, she moved to the University of Birmingham, UK, where she spent a year as a lecturer in Psychology. Natalie is interested in how perception, action, and cognition contribute to social interaction in humans and other animals.