House of Brownies
BEcunting feat. Pascal Schmidt, Mandhla and Black Pearl
With BEcunting, the performers embark on a journey of self-discovery through movement and song. In a series of stories dealing with existential questions, BI*PoC, queerness, and a feeling of physical and social discomfort, the performers address everyday experiences and process them in different dance styles - from contemporary to ballroom to classical dance. In doing so, they defy a heteronormative society by strengthening their voices and discovering and embracing the beauty of their individuality.
Pascal Schmidt graduated with a B.A. from the University of Music and Performing Arts Mannheim in 2014, with a supporting scholarship from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Pascal Schmidt was also a dancer, workshop leader and choreographer at John Neumeier's Bundesjugendballett. In 2016-2019, Pascal Schmidt was engaged at the Hamburg Ballet, where he organized other projects, such as the project "Salon kleiner Michel", where Pascal Schmidt created all short choreographies and designed the costumes himself. Since 2020, Pascal Schmidt has been working on private projects and is part of the artist collective "BIPOC queer HH" in which Pascal Schmidt fulfills artistic and organizational tasks. Pascal Schmidt is also the leader and main contact person of the collective "House of Brownies". In addition, Pascal Schmidt works with the medium of photography, where they produce portraits of various people from the close environment, which thematize the play with movement and fashion in relation to gender. In 2021, Pascal Schmidt's work was supported by the Ferdinand Möller Foundation.
Mandhla is a feminine gender non-conforming body born and raised in Zimbabwe, Africa. Currently living between Berlin and Cologne, she brings a mix of experimental R&B and soul music intertwined with visual projections and performative dancing. Her music speaks of the daily trials that trans, non-binary and femme* immigrant bodies face in terms of love, identity, sex and acceptance. As a political and social activist, she is part of the BIPoC collective DEMASK, which works to create safe spaces for QT (Queer, Trans) BIPoC in Cologne and the surrounding area. She also studies design at Rhein Waal University and is a visual media artist.
Black Pearl de Almeida Lima (b. 1994, Brazil) is a multidisciplinary Afro-Latin American trans artist based in Berlin. She received her Master of Arts degree from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim and has performed in various art institutions and renowned dance companies in Germany. In 2020 she has established herself in the German Ballroom scene and is currently a member of the Iconic House of Saint Laurent Europe and Kiki House of Solar, in the categories; Runway. Her research work relate to the use of the body as an artistic and political platform to explain the invisibility (physical and symbolic) of trans people through their life stories. Black Pearl strives to deconstruct the colonial narratives of all classical forms of movement and to translate potentials through their bodily experiences, reflecting on aspects related to the representation and representativeness of bodies in art.