Theatre, Performance, Music

Shared Landscapes

Seven pieces between fields and forests

Several people are walking through a forest. Rays of sunlight fall through treetops.

Shared Landscapes © Berliner Festspiele, photo: Camille Blake

How can we approach the landscape without distancing ourselves at the same time? On eight dates in August and September, artistic interventions, sound compositions, choreographies and theatre explore notions of landscapes and question the relationship between humankind and nature as well as their interdependence in a time shaped by climate crisis, alienation and extractivism.

Directions and further practical information,

Please visit our Shared Landscapes service website, which is updated regularly. Feel free to check back frequently.

European artists and performing art institutions, local musicians, performers and experts have come together for the project “Shared Landscapes” to develop a collective walking tour that offers a performative response to the Land Art-movement of the visual arts. Seven productions were conceived internationally and have been adapted specifically for Berlin’s surroundings.

The Italian choreographers and performers Chiara Bersani and Marco D’Agostin have been exploring the concept of the political body and its social role together for ten years. Together with a Berlin-based performer with disability, D’Agostin and Bersani, who has a disability herself, initiate a scenic and at the same time peculiar picnic. A gathering in the countryside where the space of the landscape is collective and shared, and yet inaccessible at the same time.

Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz have been working as a duo since 2006. The Portuguese artists have developed a choreographic language that draws on text elements and on the voice as a natural instrument, exploring the interaction of sound, language and movement. Based on these foundations, the duo creates performances, dance pieces, podcasts and installations. For “Shared Landscapes”, Dias and Roriz have developed a sound piece in the form of an audio tour that guides several groups of visitors through the forest at the same time: a kind of pas de deux, a dance as collective ritual between humans and animals, hunters and prey.

The Turkish-Belgian artist Begüm Erciyas develops theatre formats that subvert the frontal black-box setting and allow the audience to make individual experiences in a collective context. Together with film maker and director Daniel Kötter, who was born in Germany, she uses military imaging procedures on head-mounted displays to communicate a strip of land as no-man’s-land to the audience in an individualized and, at the same time, collective situation. This work is affiliated with a series of VR-documentations by Daniel Kötter which explores the impact of mining and its local and global effects on landscapes and communities.

The Berlin-based US-American artist and composer Ari Benjamin Meyers creates sound pieces and performances for international stages and museums. He is particularly interested in formats and structures that redefine the social and performative conventions that have always determined music and its performance practices. Meyers uses “Shared Landscapes” as an opportunity to create a composition for an entire landscape – including the trees, the birds and the wind. In “Unless”, he is joined by Ensemble Apparat and other local musicians for a series of sculptural musical pieces that are located between trees and clearings and only gradually reveal themselves.

The French director Émilie Rousset uses documentary research to develop interdisciplinary formats at the interface of theatre, film and installation, with actors embodying the collected archival material. The emerging overlapping of reality and fiction excludes a re-interpretation of the original and renders original and copy indistinguishable. The vocabulary used by scientists and activists is at the core of her research. For “Shared Landscapes”, Émilie Rousset met a consultant for agroecology, a farmer and a behavioural biologist, and recorded their conversations. Using the landscape as a space for encounters, performers and a machine recite the original recordings of the conversations and invite the listeners to draw connections between science, technology and commerce.

The Spanish collective El Conde de Torrefiel, which includes Tanya Beyeler and Pablo Gisbert, creates visual and text-based theatre pieces in which theatre, choreography, literature and visual arts coexist. For the conclusion of the tour, El Conde de Torrefiel will install a situation in which the audience watches a “subtitled” landscape. By using a large screen for subtitles that displays consecutive thoughts, questions, perspectives and revelations, they evoke a collective reading of the landscape. A communal contemplation that focusses on the imperceptible, deconstructs landscape and points out several of the fictions that determine our notion of nature.

With the Berlin theatre label Rimini Protokoll, Stefan Kaegi creates documentary theatre, radio plays, and nomadic concepts for urban spaces in which the audiences play a key role. For “Shared Landscapes”, he invites the audience to lie down in the forest wearing headsets, thus tilting their perspective of the landscape that surrounds them. While their gaze travels towards the treetops, the audience will immerse themselves in a montage of a site-specific soundscape: a staged conversation between a psychoanalyst, a child, a forest ranger, a Brazilian singer and a local meteorologist, which will be located on the forest floor, providing a three-dimensional listening experience using binaural technology.

Curator Caroline Barneaud has been working in the performing arts for over 20 years: first as part of a company, then for ten years as a producer at the Festival d’Avignon, before joining the management team of the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne in 2013. In her work, she is particularly interested in artistic projects that interrogate contemporary society, combine disciplines and fields, explore new formats, and expand the possibilities of the theatre as a place, an institution and an art form.

Concept and Curation
Caroline Barneaud
Stefan Kaegi (Rimini Protokoll)

With pieces by
Chiara Bersani and Marco D’Agostin (Italy), El Conde de Torrefiel (Spain), Sofia Dias and Vítor Roriz (Portugal), Begüm Erciyas and Daniel Kötter (Turkey, Belgium, Germany), Stefan Kaegi (Germany, Switzerland), Ari Benjamin Meyers (USA, Germany) as well as Émilie Rousset (France)

Cast Hangelsberg/Berlin

Apparat with Guests
Malin Siebernsflute
Ruth Velten – saxophone
Martin Posegga – saxophone
Paul Hübner – trumpet
Maxine Troglauer – trombone
Max Murray – tuba

Brigitte Cuvelier
Fernanda Farah
Carolin Hartmann
Christian Hohm

Carlo Horn
Michaela Koschak
Emil Leyerle
Magali Tosato
Dr. Mai Wegener
and many more

A production by Rimini Apparat (Germany) and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne (Switzerland) in coproduction with Berliner Festspiele (Germany) and the european consortium Performing landscape: Bunker and Mladi Levi Festival (Slovenia), Culturgest and Rota Clandestina / Câmara Municipal de Setúbal(Portugal), Festival d’Avignon (France), Tangente St. Pölten – Festival für Gegenwartskultur (Austria), Temporada Alta (Spain), Zona K and Piccolo Teatro di Milano Teatro d’Europa (Italy)

Co-funded by the European Union. The concept creation was funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.
In partnership with INVR.SPACE GmbH for the virtual reality headsets VR Cinema Solution.
With the support of the state forestry operation Brandenburg / Landeswaldoberförsterei Hangelsberg.