From October 2023, the Berliner Festspiele is to launch an annual Performing Arts Season that will present a panorama of international dance, theatre and performance productions on the stage of the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and the Gropius Bau through the autumn and winter months. Some of the works on display will be co-produced by the Berliner Festspiele or produced in Berlin. The Curator and Programme Director of the Berliner Festspiele’s Performing Arts Season is the dramaturg Yusuke Hashimoto.
The inaugural season of seven works between October 2023 and March 2024 will focus on contemporary artistic expressions of corporeality.
In “Put your heart under your feet… and walk!” from 13 to 15 October, the South African choreographer, visual artist and performer Steven Cohen invites the public to engage in a dialogue with death. He will conduct a ritual on stage in memory of his late partner, the dancer Elu Kieser, with whom he shared a relationship for over 20 years.
From 19 to 21 October, Greek director and artist Dimitris Papaioannou will present his work to a Berlin audience for the first time. In “INK”, he uses the genres of science fiction and horror to explore our mortality and the nightmares that lie dormant in our unconscious.
The Canadian choreographer and dancer Dana Michel inhabits a nomadic world of objects that she fills with new meaning, far removed from binary and linear thinking and actions. In her installation performance “MIKE” at the Gropius Bau from 1 to 3 December, she will humorously and sensitively question our way of life, culture of work and self-esteem in an open space that reflects her inner world.
The inclusive Berlin-based RambaZamba Theater will devise an immersive space together with the Argentinian visual artist Tomás Saraceno on four dates from 5 to 10 December where the ideas of presence and co-existence with one’s surroundings can be experienced. They will perform the world premiere of the drama “Aerocircus – eine circensische karnevaleske mit planwagen/ entgegen aller linearitäten” specially written for them by the Austrian playwright Thomas Köck.
The French choreographer Rachid Ouramdane is interested in the body in states of exception and works together with acrobats and mountaineers in his spectacular piece “Corps extrêmes”, which can be seen from 16 to 18 January.
For the world premiere of “This Is Not an Embassy (Made in Taiwan)” on 24 January, with additional performances on 26 and 27 January, the Swiss director Stefan Kaegi and the Berlin theatre label Rimini Protokoll are joined by people from Taiwan to investigate a fragile “in between” state – living in between two great powers and in an active volcanic zone where two continental plates meet.
To complete the first Performing Arts Season on 7 and 8 March, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch & Terrain Boris Charmatz come with “Club Amour” to Berlin. In order to demonstrate how corporeality and the history of the body has evolved within the group, Pina Bausch’s newly-revived masterpiece “Café Müller” will be presented along with “Aatt enen tionon” und “herses, duo” by Boris Charmatz, the company’s new Artistic Director.
Even though each one of the invited productions stands alone, the works are linked by the manner in which each one examines new forms of corporeality in its own way. These are bodies that challenge political and physical boundaries and address conflicts. What do they tell us about the present?