About Performing Arts Season 2024/2025

Berliner Festspiele’s Performing Arts Season will be continued: Since 2023, it has presented a panorama of outstanding international dance, theatre and performance productions on the main stage of Haus der Berliner Festspiele and at Gropius Bau through the autumn and winter months. Some of the works on display will be co-produced by Berliner Festspiele or produced in Berlin. The Performing Arts Season is curated by Yusuke Hashimoto.

The second season, presented between October 2024 and January 2025, will concentrate on memory and heritage in contemporary performing arts, with a focus on New York’s dance and performance scene.

For the opening of the 2024/25 Performing Arts Season, Taylor Mac will return to Berlin with the European premiere of “Bark of Millions” in October 2024. After the great success of “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music” (European premiere at Berliner Festspiele in 2019), Mac and a team of 22 artists will bring a four-hour “Rock Opera Meditation on Queerness” to the Festspielhaus-stage. This epic concert format features 55 songs with lyrics and direction by Taylor Mac and composed by Matt Ray, one for each year since the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York, inspired by various queer personalities of world history from ancient times to the present day. Machine Dazzle designed the scintillating costumes in the style of “Queer Maximalism”; Faye Driscoll choreographed and co-directed the show with Niegel Smith.

Two avant-garde icons of the legendary New York Judson Dance Theater will be featured as a central part of this Performing Arts Season: Lucinda Childs and Trisha Brown. Both were first invited to Berlin in the 1970s by Nele Hertling, who will receive the 2024 Theatre-Award-Berlin of the Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung for her lifetime achievements.

In December 2024, a performace by Lucinda Childs, one of the leading figures in American post-modern dance, will be presented. “Dance” (1979), her famous collaboration with Philip Glass and Sol LeWitt, underlines the minimalist quality of her choreography. “Four New Works” is currently in development and will consist of four parts, one of which is a solo for Lucinda Childs herself. The programme will be an opportunity to follow the history of a body and a dance company.

In January 2025, the Performing Arts Season will present an evening of dance by the Trisha Brown Company. In 2023, the company commissioned an outside choreographer to create new works for the first time after their founder’s death in 2017. This programme will be a triple bill: two of Trisha Brown’s major works – “Glacial Decoy” (1979) and “Working Title” (1985) – and the commissioned work “In the Fall” (2023) by acclaimed choreographer Noé Soulier. The inclusion of new choreographers is an opportunity to witness how the memories of the body deposited in one dance company are renewed. “In the Fall” will be presented in Germany for the first time.

Performing arts have an ephemeral existence that disappears as soon as the performance ends. That is precisely why it is possible for them to respond to questions of personal or collective memory, history, and heritage in a particular way. The other productions featured in the 2024/25 Performing Arts Season bear witness to this fact in various ways: two theatre shows from Paris and Berlin – by Philippe Quesne and Thorsten Lensing –, and two dance pieces by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker adn Ohad Naharin as German premieres.

For the brand new dance-“Il Cimento dell’Armonia e dell’Inventione” Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Belgium’s most influential choreographer in the field of contemporary dance, is collaborating with the groundbreaking choreographer Radouan Mriziga from Morocco. Together, they are creating for Keersmaeker’s company Rosas a new work to Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons”, a masterpiece of Baroque music. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s approach of interpreting music geometrically and transforming it into choreography here takes the form of an ode to nature. Both choreographers furthermore express their concern about the changing and increasingly problematic relationship of humans with their natural environment.

16 years after their last visit, the Batsheva Dance Company will return to Haus der Berliner Festspiele in January with a new choreography by Ohad Naharin: “MOMO” premiered in Tel Aviv in late 2022 and addresses the incessant conflict between the archaic, archetypical and autonomous earthbound nature of human beings and the modern individual’s striving for self-realisation and social connection. A joint passion of sorrow and beauty unfolds on stage to music by composers like Laurie Anderson and Philip Glass.

In November 2024, the Performing Arts Season will present the two theatre productions. Firstly, Thorsten Lensing’s most recent, self-written play “Verrückt nach Trost” will return to Berlin, exchanging the venue of Sophiensӕle for the Main Stage of the Festspielhaus. This story of grief, memory and the search for one’s way in life is performed by a cast of four great actors – Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi and Devid Striesow.

With Philippe Quesne’s latest work “The Garden of Delights” – inspired by Hieronymous Bosch’s famous eponymous triptych –, his company Vivarium Studio celebrates its 20th anniversary. The piece is a lange-scale, retro-futuristic epic that foreshadows the world to come, somewhere between caricature of animals from the Middle Ages, ecological science fiction, and modern westerns.

Ticket sales for all events will begin on 28 August.