OVERVIEW

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STAGE WORKS

DER PALAST (2019) “Everyone knows about the transformation of Berlin’s centre since the fall of the wall: crumbling old buildings were occupied and filled with new life, the city developed into a point of synergy for creative and party people. This shift towards gentrification, however, also seems to come along with a cultural levelling, in which the taste of a global, well-situated middle class takes top priority. Der Palast grapples with this set of problems by, on the one hand, focusing the work on the architecture, and on the other, revealing both the city’s and its residents’ history, present and ideas for the future. Portraits by the English photographer Tom Hunter will serve as the work’s starting point. He presents social topics in the style of the old masters and is developing a series of photographs in Berlin especially for Der Palast. The international format of reality television functions as a counterpart to the architecture. Not only the prototypical characters of the jurors, but also the sets and the participants, are reproduced continually across reality formats. Various guests have been invited to appear in Der Palast within this framework of a reality show. Robert Lippok and a live band are providing the soundtrack.”

CHATSWORTH (2018)  is the name of one of the Indian townships in Durban where Indian immigrants were relocated during apartheid. In “Chatsworth” Berlin-based choreographer Constanza Macras is interested in showing the diverse ways that the Indian diaspora has found to relate to the intersections of multiculturalism, the global and the local. Traditional Indian dance and drama entangle with contemporary forms and subject matter. Musicals are the common ground on which cultural appropriation is not condemned but seemingly necessary. Through the lens of Bollywood, the performers immerse in a universe of assimilation, transformation and resilience: the diasporic self.

HILLBROWFICATION (2018) An alien invasion establishes a new social order based on people’s dance skills. A revolutionary princess with infinite names is able to bend the corridors of space and time… These and other stories inhabit strange worlds of possible futures and unlikely ones in Hillbrowfication. Between utopias and dystopias of ghettoisation and gentrification, the fictional future histories of Hillbrow neighbourhood in Johannesburg, of its cultures and beings, create a universe where the performers negotiate and subvert self-representational narratives and their perceptions of xenophobia and violence in the city.

THE POSE (2017) In this 4-hour performance, Constanza Macras and the performers of DorkyPark leave the conventional dance-theater stage and lead the audience between the intimate spaces and monument stage pictures of the historical architecture of the Academy of Arts at Hanseatenweg. In this peripatetic walk through the parallel performances, in which walking and thinking are reconciled, the spectators experience the collective memories of the architectural space of Werner Düttmann.

Album-Alexander-Miller-rehearsal-fotos-09I AM WITH YOU (2016) is a one-hour long performance made of solos, duos and trios coming out from former group pieces by Constanza Macras. Created in close collaboration and dialogue with members of her own company and guest performers, I AM WITH YOU offers the audience with an one-of-a-kind insight into Macras creative process and an intimate overview on the amazing number of unalike creations that this choreographer has produced over the last years.

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Album-Alexander-Miller-rehearsal-fotos-09ALBUM  (2016) deals with memory in relationship with the photographic image and self representation, tracking down memories of the time when the analogue world entered the digital age. From a nascent MTV and videoclip choreographies to today’s self-made YouTube generation compulsively hunting for the perfect self-portrait. How do we portray ourselves? What surroundings do we choose; what references do we make, or not?  Who is watching whom?

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the ghosts THE GHOSTS  (2015) a piece in which Constanza Macras has worked with Chinese acrobats and circus performers. It looks like these artists, who once won fame and fortune for their country with their bodily discipline, have been forgotten and “decommissioned” by Chinese society.  “THE GHOSTS”, like the Chinese Ghost Festival in July, allows them a temporary return to the land of living, making their art and their stories visible once again.

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on fire ON FIRE – THE INVENTION OF TRADITION (2015) is a piece with a mixed cast of South African and Berlin-based performers that was created with the collaboration of the Johannesburg-based visual artist Ayana V.Jackson. The piece deals with the re-evaluation of heritage and tradition in relation to segregated cultural groups, which are being articulated in new ways in urban life – and with self-defined contemporary practices and rituals.

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the pastTHE PAST (2014) created with the collaboration of Swiss-Italian music composer Oscar Bianchi, who composed the music, the starting point for this piece was the city as a concrete geographical location, as an anchor for memory, a mental picture and a cast of mind. “The Past” explores the links between memory and place. What happens with our memories, what happens to those who are remembering when these physical places are destroyed?

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distortionDISTORTION  (2013)  a piece dealing with hip-hop sub-culture moves and questioning the concept of what its means “being German” today.  Created with  eight young dancers from the Hip Hop Academy Hamburg in DISTORTION the performers tell us about their  lives and their immigrant birth and living backgrounds in a dance-theater piece in which breakdance and hip-hop moves are diffracted with keywords from political and media discourses.

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monte verita

THE TRUTH ABOUT MONTE VERITÁ (2013) an interactive expressionistic film installation and live performance, which focuses on the artist colony “Monte Verità”, one of the most significant sources of alternative movements in the 20th century and place of utopian escape. An evening program that can be performed in conventional theaters or cinema venues and in which the audience writes the text of the movie by SMS, followed by a subsequent performance.

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ofeOPEN FOR EVERYTHING (2012) is a travel through the stagnation of Roma communities in Europe to whom chances to work like any other citizen are rather low, where itinerant traditions have been replaced by sedentary life beside the uprootedness of the group of dancers that move around the world following working opportunities. Who is making use of whose prejudices? And just who are the true nomads of the 21st century?

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here afterHERE / AFTER (2012) explores the concept of Agoraphobia. Does everyday life in a metropolis pose a threat to the people? The piece deals with the anonymity and growing isolation of the individual in urban life. Never before has it been so easy to be “by oneself” in a society which makes a confrontation with the “outside” avoidable through internet, chatrooms and delivery services. In fact, what is out there that one absolutely has to experience live?

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berlin elsewhereBERLIN ELSEWHERE (2011) in “Berlin Elsewhere”, strangers meet at a place of mental captivity. They’re suffering from common social maladies, neurosis, bipolarity, fetishism, and fetishism of commodities. A place that is somewhere between exclusion, madness, and struggle.  What kind of madness does our society permit before someone is confined? What is confinement in the era of medication?

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offisiderulesTHE OFFSIDE RULES (2010) commissioned by Goethe Institute for the “Football Meets Culture” program / 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup South Africa, in “The Offside Rules” together with an international ensemble of artists Macras reflected on the role of football in politics and economy. How does the euphoria of this world event concile impossible differences – or accentuate existing conflicts in a country? How accessible are its benefits to everybody?

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megalopolisMEGALOPOLIS (2009)  is a promise and a curse. A beaming city and an uncontrollable construct, constantly in motion. The scene is the city under the impact of globalism. A city characterized by the illegibility of today’s megacities, born into chaos. A city as collage which consists of countless biographical scraps. Megacities as a paradigm for spaces in which people live without knowing each other. Will the urban development follow principles unknown to us?

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oedipus rexOEDIPUS REX  (2009), Constanza Macras’ first opera project based on Igor Stravinsky’s 1927 opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex (with libretto by Jean. Cocteau). A collaboration with Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota who designed the stage set.

 

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hell on earthHELL ON EARTH  (2008)  Berlin’s district of Neukölln houses more migrants than natives. How do adolescent teenagers with an immigrant background cope with the multilayered feeling of foreignness?  In “Hell of Earth” Neukölln teenagers talk about their hopes, troubles, discrimination and their wish to adapt.
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paraiso-015PARAÍSO SEM CONSOLAÇÃO (2008)  Together with 12 Brazilian dancers and two musicians Constanza Macras has developed and elaborated this project in São Paulo. The result reflects the working process: the quest for what makes the individual so special, and the way the individual stands its ground against the city’s levelling down.
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bricklandBRICKLAND  (2007) is a piece inspired in  gated communities as we know them from the United States, South America, India or China.  A metaphor of the increasing “ghettoization” of our globalized world and the rapid increase in urban slums, in which sayings like “there’s no place like home” are a sheer derision.

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not the only oneI’M NOT THE ONLY ONE consists of two parts shown on two different evenings, each part with a different cast. Both may be viewed on their own.What drives one to leave one’s homeland, and what is a homeland? Is it one’s family? Animals? Is it the smell, the food, the air? Is it the exhaust?

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sureSURE, SHALL WE TALK ABOUT IT ? 
 (2005) was the second collaboration between Constanza Macras and Lisi Estaras.  Performed by 11 female performers, this piece deals with the expectations imposed  on the female body which are usually brought by fitness, wellness and fashion.
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no wonderNO WONDER (2005)  the first collaboration between Constanza Macras and Lisi Estaras. What makes an ordinary woman turn into a superhero? What are the significant parameters for this transformation? Devotion? Emotionality? Intuition? Poetry? Or suicide, the highest form of omnipotency?

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big in bombayBIG IN BOMBAY (2005)   a waiting room which at first sight looks like any waiting room somewhere in the world. An eclectic mix of pop music, political slogans, delusion of consumption, Bollywood-choreographies and telenovelas unleashing in the tradition of Bollywood.

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back to the presentBACK TO THE PRESENT (2004) a journey into the Past. Memory as looped feedback. Where do you go when you don’t want to deal with the past or the future? In “Back to the Present” the performers find themselves in a common space; a casting for a reality show like big brother or Miss Right.
 
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scratchneukoelln-02SCRATCH NEUKOELLN (2003) globalization is both the disease and the cure. A group of people – some younger, some older – converge in Neukoelln. They are there to start over, to start from scratch. They are there to escape and erase the past. No one knows who they were, where they came from, what language they belong to. They don’t not know that they all have the same agenda, the same purpose. They start over and where they started once before.
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MIR_PAUL_KELLER_07MIR – A LOVE STORY (2002) MIR – a love story uses the conditions and experiences aboard the space station MIR as an allegory for love. Like an astronaut, the lover endures miscommunication, dependencies and the vibrant but fragile energy; unstable and imperfect, they experience sleeplessness, disorientation, and loss of gravity.  Love as the mission to rediscover what the goal of the MIR space station was.
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SITE-SPECIFIC WORKS


forestFOREST : THE NATURE OF CRISIS (2013) How do romantic concepts of life and nature linger on in the current German “Forest” ideology? This project consisted in a theatrical tour in the Müggelwald forest, with  dance, performance art, texts and music, in which Macras addressed the mythological image of the “German forest” connecting it with certain problematics of our urban contemporary society.

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branchesBRANCHES : THE NATURE OF CRISIS (2012) a site-specific project for the National Theater of Wales as part of the Cultural Olympiad London 2012. Performed at the Wepre Park with a digitally interactive live-stream in a street of Cardiff (UK) the characters in this site-specific were the victims of the credit crisis – from teenagers to farmers – all them questioning “what is the crisis transforming us into?”