BERLIN ELSEWHERE

BERLIN ELSEWHERE

by CONSTANZA MACRAS | DorkyPark

A production by CONSTANZA MACRAS | DorkyPark and Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz Berlin (DE)  in co-production with HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden (DE), Maison des Arts de Créteil (FR), Festival Perspectives (DE) and tanzhaus NRW (DE). Funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the Regierender Buergermeister Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten.

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ABOUT

In the end of the middle ages lepers had disappeared from the western world. The institutions which had offered them refuge in the past began to fulfil a new function. They began to take in more and more beggars, the poor and people with mental illness. In 17th century Europe, we find the insane in the corridors of hospitals, mingling with the inmates of prisons and reformatories. From this period on, the institutions of confinement became the abusive captors of heterogeneous elements. All over Europe, arrest and imprisonment was the 17th century answer to economic crisis, which affected the entire western world. Wage reductions, unemployment, economic scarcity. The poor were no longer locked away or punished, but were taken into the custody of the state, though usually at the cost of their own personal freedom. Imprisoning people also acquired another, more far-reaching significance: it was no longer about simply locking away the poor and the unemployed, but also about providing work for those who did not have any, in spite of economic difficulties, and to enable them to contribute to the common good and the state, which had taken them into custody. The reassimilation of apparently ‘useless’ members of society ensured social stability and protected against unrest and rebellion. The rules of the prisons and the hospitals were clear. The inmates must be forced to work.

Arrest and incarceration mark an important turning point in the history of human irrationality. Insanity and mental disability were now perceived against the social background of poverty, the inability to work and to integrate properly into society. This new meaning of ‘poor’ as well as the meaning which was attributed to work and all the ethical values which were associated with it, have strongly influenced our experience of madness and ultimately advanced its development.

Today in European countries like France and Germany, it is more and less decided as early as puberty, who will study, who will work and who will depend on state welfare. In Berlin, once an imprisoned city, these kinds of divisions lastingly affect the people that live there. Unemployed people from the former GDR areas, who could not find back on their feet in the years after reunification; immigrants from Vietnam, who studied in East Berlin and therefore were granted legal residency and then lost their civil rights when the wall fell, are now stranded, without any chance of returning to their ‘home’ country. Cheap labour is needed but no one wants the social consequences of it. Moreover, society spurns the very people who are forced to accept these conditions. Nowadays Immigrants and “mad” people are sharing the same lack of civil rights.

Berlin Elsewhere is the assumed location of this dark story. But it operates in a metaphorical place is here is Europe and is everywhere, it moves in between the infinite ways segregation exists defining the “other” and the borders of freedom and opportunities.

CREDITS 

Direction and Choreography: Constanza Macras 
Dramaturgy: Carmen Mehnert

By and with: Hilde Elbers, Fernanda Farah, Anouk Froidevaux, Hyoung-Min Kim, Denis Kuhnert, Johanna Lemke, Ronni Maciel, Ana Mondini, Elik Niv, Miki Shoji

Costume Design: Gilvan Coêlho de Oliveira
Stage Idea: Steffi Bruhn
Stage Realisation: Juliette Collas
Furniture: Steffi Bruhn
Lightning Design: Sergio de Carvalho Pessanha
Sound: Stephan Wöhrmann
Photos: Manuel Osterholt, Constanza Macras
Stage Technician: Welko Dimitrov
Assistant Direction and Dramaturgy: Max Luz
Assistant Costume: Marcus Barros Cardoso
Assistant Stage Technician: Riccardo Frezza
Music: Almut Lustig, Kristina Lösche-Löwensen

A production by CONSTANZA MACRAS | DorkyPark and the Schaubuehne am Lehniner Platz Berlin in co-production with HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste Dresden,Maison des Arts de Creteil, the Perspectives Festival Saarbruecken and Tanzhaus nrw. Funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the Regierender Buergermeister Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten.

PRESS

So far no one has linked the marks of eastern Germany with Amsterdam, Singapore, Tokyo and Curitiba, as confident as the Argentinean Constanza Macras who lives in Berlin. And obviously no one is capable right now of such secure intuition like this choreographer, who is curious and strong in statements.” Neues Deutschland, April 2011

”Berlin Elsewhere’ has everything that a good theater play needs: esprit and drama, irony and profound significance.’ Berliner Morgenpost, April 2011

“It’s the capability to look around the corner, which makes these evenings of dancing of the Argentinian choreographer Constanza Macras, who lives in Berlin, to be a sensual as well as witty experience. They contain of rock music, breathtaking and rapid dance, sometimes smooth and playful, then again interspersed with turnings and convulsions. This kind of modern dance is hard to find anywhere else right now.” Märkische Allgemeine, April 2011

Sex, violence and indeed consume. This profane trinity reproduces “Berlin, elsewhere” into a bright and comical Leporello of lust, and the desperation of belonging is settled in its fold edges […] Macra’s production balances on the border of in- and exclusion, majority and minority, healthy and ill, wealthy and poor, to erase them in the end.[…]” Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 2011

“Berlin Elsewhere sugests that the prototype city is somewhere else. The girl form Korea, who dreams of Korean becoming an universal language, the Basilian man who has escaped the favelas with dance, the destitute  women from the ex-GDR, who wishes that she could turn back time, none of them are interpreters anymore, but fragments of a constantly changing world. Sometimes desperate, sometimes hopeful.” Hystrio, January 2012