Big in Bombay

Big in Bombay

A production of Constanza Macras | DorkyPark, Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin and spielzeiteuropa /Berliner Festspiele, coproduced by sophiensaele,  Schauspielhaus Wien and Teatro Comunale di Ferrara, supported by the Senatsverwaltung für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur.


A waiting room which at first sight looks like any waiting room somewhere in the world. People are hanging around, waiting and killing time . Each of them shares this time of waiting with total strangers. An eclectic mix of pop music, political slogans, delusion of consumption, Bollywood-choreographies and telenovelas unleashes in the tradition of Bollywood. All you discover here as brand-new is already established in other parts of the world. Slogans like Ñno pasar·nì only decorate Che-Guevara-T-Shirts, their meaning got completely lost. Though all persons are in one room, they seem to exist in different places all over the world. Maybe everything is just the result of individual imagination. Here starts the paranoia. Their respective worlds clasp around them, keep them imprisoned in their anxiety state, in their mental leaps and guilty consciences. Why is nothing happening to me while everything in the world around me goes wrong ? Time accelerates or stands already still. Everybody tries desperately to stand out from the crowd, to flee from his own reality and cultural identity. We appropriate contexts, identities and images to find out that finally everybody is doing the same. Everybody knew everything right from the start, and Ö haven’t we met somewhere before ?

Cast & Crew

Concept: Constanza Macras, Kevin Slavin
Direction and Choreography: Constanza Macras
Dramaturgy: Carmen Mehnert

Performers: Nabih Amaraoui, Yeri Anarika Vargas Sanchez, Knut Berger, Nir de Volff, Jill Emerson, Claus Erbskorn, Jared Gradinger, Margret Sara Gudjonsdottir, Rahel Savoldelli, Jo Stone, Kristina Loesche-Loewensen, Ulf Pankoke, Christian Buck, Almut Lustig

Lightning Design: Jackie Shemesh
Sound Design: Stephan Wöhrmann
Set Design: Lars Müller
Costumes: Gilvan Coêlho de Oliveira
Bollywood-Choreography: Sangita Shrestova
Music: Claus Erbskorn, Julian Klein/A Rose Is
Video: Constanza Macras, Kevin Slavin
Video Design: Anna Henckel-Donnersmarck

Production: DorkyPark
Tourmanagement: DorkyPark


“[...] Defiant, even amused, she [Constanza Macras] is targeting the Disney subculture and terrorism, subconciously with a loving humanism. The rhythmic science of the show and the urban chaos how the choreographer operates it is breathtaking.” Le Monde , November 2006

“In the breathless progression of scenes, the sob-stuff from Bollywood stands together with Disneyland-Trash. Flashy glaring MTV-aesthetics is equated with serious CNN news, the quotation of pop-art culture is as much a matter of course as highly cultured statements. One could speak of happily-coloured eclecticism, if there wasn’t that weird fear the characters on stage seem to have. Fear of terror, environmental catastrophes and violence. Every now and then, there is an unexpected outbreak of aggression, terrorists who threaten other characters, madmen pulling out guns. At the same time, huge machines of ventilation swirl the whole scenario apart until, finally, an enormous shower butchers the dancers, as if it was a Tsunami.

In using scenarios of terror such as those, the Argentinean choreographer presently most in demand, Constanza Macras, puts an end to the culture of joy. In doing so, she managed to create a highly amusing and clear sighted collage, dealing with the global spirit of the age, covering all its cynicism: welcoming the strange, as long as it can be integrated in the urban lifestyle – such as Sushi, oriental pop or far eastern design on the one hand, the scary clash of civilizations on the other.” Wiener Zeitung, March 2005

“BIG IN BOMBAY lives on the overkill of signs, scenes, types, and ideas. A rapid play with all what’s on the spot: Dance styles and pictures (…). The threatening calmness of the beginning quickly knocks over into activity that may be aggressiveness. Wild faked film sex on the roof, a few Indians, an aggressive show choreographer with broad grinning, violence lurking everywhere – and it is always arising as slapstick. Over and over pictures of global and private catastrophes show up: natural and human disasters. Frazzles of images, supercharging of significance: a bag on the head – Guantanamo. Scattered bodies on the floor –victims of tsunami. Somebody without limbs – Somalia, maybe. (…)

Just Macras’ wild eclecticism, her eagerness with her own images, her tourette-like fantasy protect her against vein poetry and pantomime lyricism which is shaping dance theatre so often. Her imaging is disrespectful, her investigation in India is not a reverential gazing of the other culture (…) also in Bombay Macras is interested only in herself, paradoxically bare of all vanity.” Theater Heute, March 2005