Circus

Die Originale –
Meret Becker

“Le cirque pas cher”

Workshop description
On the one hand-side I would like to work on the space of the circle in a very searching and sensing way. To find out, together with the participants of the workshop, how we can play around with it and what stories we’ll find within. Since the circle seems to have no borders it should be interesting to find out more about it during our days together.
On the other hand-side I would like to work on a more precise little story around the circus in the circle. The most obvious story I could think of is: building up a circus from scratch. It is a theme I have been working on for a couple of years (from different angles) and I think it is a wonderful opportunity to combine the different art forms. It is a very direct way to put circus art into a story, since the circus is already part of it as well as the empty circle.

Meret Becker

Meret Becker

In addition to her work as a film actress, Meret Becker has always made music. After her career in cabaret in the Berlin of the 90’s, she was and is present on tour and on the theatre stage, most recently at the Berliner Ensemble under the direction of Claus Peymann. She plays various instruments, tap-dances, sings and is well versed in several circus disciplines. At the moment she plays the main role in the series “Tatort” and tours with her concert “Le Grand Ordinaire”.
long biography

Further information about the workshop

I honestly believe the real need or aim of doing something is a key to happen upon wonderful mistakes, which are an integral and exciting part of the human being. Mistakes are the key to slapstick (which already contains acrobatics and acting skills), but mistakes can also enrich all sorts of performances and arts and most importantly open up the connection to real life with its funny and touching aspects.

To me circus is something everybody has had an idea of since they were children, but nobody has found this circus ever since. It might even have never existed that way. It’s comparable to a dream, where you are more likely to see sequences or a collage of vague images and feelings rather than a whole story or a clear picture.
For example, in my mind it’s an old circus with its funny roughness and anarchy, its grace and sometimes hilarious cruelness. It’s a powdery, dusty place where the clown is always a clown and the funambulist is always wearing a tutu. For you it might be something completely different. On these diverse memories and images I would like to work with you.

For “Die Originale“ we might have no tutus or decors (or only very little if needed at all). Of course we’ll use all the props you’ll need and I will prepare some music installations we can work with (and on). But I like the idea of keeping it economical. (Which will be hard mostly for myself, since I am such a kid and terribly playful.) What’s more important than a costume or a decor is the character and its aim: The “why” is more important than the “how”.

I would like to tell a story of an old circus using the openness of the cirque nouveau. Therefore I would like to work with all physical aspects that we hold, the body including its voice, presence, vision, sense and imagination. I would like to work with different rhythms; zoom into a situation and zoom out; use the pictures of what a group can create and then put the focus on a single character; the contrast of loudness and silence, forward and backward; a fragile situation interrupted by roughness or the other way around; different tempi of people, timing, all of that with a very warm look at each character and its true need of doing its thing. I believe that this can create a sometimes funny, sometimes surreal and sometimes very beautiful view on human behavior and interaction.
Since I don’t know you all this proposition remain a bit vague. But that is the challenge and also the opportunity. I honestly would love to take on the risk of seeking - together with you!

Information about the application

Required applicants
Number of people: 5

  • 2 circus artists, among them preferably a pole act, otherwise air or rope acts
  • 1 musician, cello preferred, otherwise accordion, percussion or brass
  • 1 dancer
  • 1 open: actor or visual artist, or a clown, mime or magician

Please attach the following to your application

  • Please try to write a very little text about the idea / the picture of circus you had in mind as a child or if you think of its basic even now. It could be a description of an act or a part of it (not necessarily existent), a single picture, a feeling, a memory/dream.
    And maybe a funny/strange or sad story you witnessed as a visitor or player in circus/varieté.