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The Volksbühne Berlin programme for September 2017

Please find the first monthly publication of the upcoming season 17/18 of the Volksbühne Berlin attached, presenting you with the September programme. The calendar covers the period from 10 September, the season’s opening with Fous de danse – All Berlin Dances at Tempelhof, to 6 October, with the Kate Tempest concert as grand finale. Apart from the opening on the airfield, all further 13 performances will take place in Hangar 5 of the former Tempelhof Airport, the new, temporary venue of the Volksbühne.

With the first three premieres, choreographer and dancer Boris Charmatz presents his work as the new, associated member of the artistic team of the Volksbühne Berlin. Please note: A press conference plus an opportunity to visit a workshop with Boris Charmatz will takes place on 7 September at 12:00 in Tempelhof. You are warmly invited to join us at this event.

In addition to the September programme attached, here is some additional information:

The opening, Fous de danse – Berlin Dances in Tempelhof, (German premiere, 10 September) is a piece created speficially for the Tempelhof airfield, for the city and its people, a celebration of dance comprising 17 programme elements. Over 150 dancers and performers of all ages, including many from Berlin, will be celebrating dance in a ten-hour, non-stop programme. Taking part: Brit Rodemund, Christopher Roman, Ruth Childs, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Frank Willens, Raphaël Hillebrand, Marie Houdin and Mithkal Alzghair as well as the P14 youth theatre of the Volksbühne, 37 students of the State Ballet School Berlin, Hip-Hop Kids from the Flying Steps Academy and many more. Fous de danse is a cooperational project between the Volksbühne and the Musée de la danse under the artistic direction of Boris Charmatz, in cooperation with Sandra Neuveut. The format, especially tailored to the specific urban space and the communities within it, has been highly successful, with Boris Charmatz staging it in Rennes in 2015 and 2016, as well as in Brest this year.

The core of the six-hour choreography for dancers and spectators A Dancer’s Day (premiere, on 14 September) is the piece 10,000 Gestures, a co-production with the Manchester International Festival where it celebrated its pre-premiere four weeks ago to great acclaim. The one-hour choreography is based on the fundamental idea of not repeating a single movement. To the music of Mozart’s Requiem, Boris Charmatz celebrates in an impressive manner the ephemerality of every single movement of his 24 dancers, which once performed, disappear, no longer to be seen.

His choreography danse de nuit (German premiere, on 21 September) is an exuberant nocturnal outdoor staging of words and movement with the dancers Ashley Chen, Peggy Grelat-Dupont, Mani Mungai, Jolie Ngemi, Marlène Saldana as well as Boris Charmatz himself on the grounds of Tempelhof Airport. danse de nuit is a response to a world full of terror: The choreography confronts the fact that public spaces are now filled with an atmosphere of fear and so the piece plays with the idea of fundamentally disrupting the relationship between audience and performer. With their bodies, the dancers search for a kind of state of emergency. After Geneva (where it premiered in 2016), Paris, Vienna, Poitiers, London and Amsterdam followed, with danse de nuit now being staged for the first time in Germany.

Rehearsals for Iphigenia (premiere on 30 September) have been underway at the Volksbühne Probebühne since 12 June in Rummelsburg, interrupted only by the guest performance of the current production of While I Was Waiting, by Mohammad Al Attar and Omar Abusaada, at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. In its 20 July issue the New York Times reported on the demeaning experience of visa procurement for the artistic team: “Mr. Al Attar left Damascus (“against my will”) in 2012 and now lives in Berlin. The play’s director, Omar Abusaada, is still based in Damascus but spends most of his time in Berlin as well. Everyone in the company has had to make difficult and in some cases dangerous choices about where they will live and what kind of work they will do. (The play could not, of course, be performed in Syria.) Getting everyone to New York for the festival was a maddening farce that was only partly successful, because of the travel restrictions now in place for people carrying Syrian passports. Mr. Khaleifa was denied a visa, so his design was executed here by a ‘lighting interpreter,’ Zakaria Al-Alami. You have to believe that theater is worth a lot if people are willing to risk so much to make it.”

The opening series at Tempelhof closes with Kate Tempest’s concert Let Them Eat Chaos (German premiere, 6 October). The young British artist is an exceptional talent and is already considered to be the voice of an entire generation: She came from hip hop to spoken word, has written plays and poetry, as well as her first novel The Bricks That Built The Houses (Bloomsbury 2016). She is a political artist who speaks about social inequality, gentrification and the loneliness of the individual within the capitalist system, constantly succeeding in finding new ingenious connections between music and the spoken word. At Tempelhof on 6 October, the musical might of an orchestra and choir will be supporting the powerful lyrics of her album Let Them Eat Chaos for the first time.

Tickets for all events until 6 October can be purchased directly from the temporary website of the Volksbühne Berlin: From 24 August, the Volksbühne box office will be open again for ticket sales.
Bookings: +49 (0)30 2406 5777.

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