Premiere: 07.09.2019, Kammerspiele Staatstheater Darmstadt
Aufführungsdauer: circa 1:05 h
In collaboration with Staatstheater Darmstadt and Zagreb Dance Center.
Funded by the Fonds Doppelpass of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the Federal City of Bonn.
By and With: Álvaro Esteban, Hans-Christian Hegewald, Robert Lang, Werner Nigg, Susanne Schneider, Stefan Schuster, Mathias Znidarec • Choreography, direction: Rafaële Giovanola • Text: Lothar Kittstein
• Video: Benjamin Weber • Composition: Jörg Ritzenhoff • Stage- and lightdesign: Boris Kahnert • Costume: Florence Klotz
Dramaturgy: Rainald Endraß, Maximilian Löwenstein • Production management: Daniela Ebert • Management: Mechtild Tellmann • Photos: Nils Heck • Video trailer: Benjamin Weber
For the KÖRPERTREFFER project, dancers from the CocoonDance company will join in an interdisciplinary collaboration actors from the Staatstheater Darmstadt, a video artist and an author to search for new playful dance forms of expression in a time that apparently dissipates the body in the digital space.
What if one only understands bodies as pure media which translate their codes into different artistic languages and media? What if the effects of digital imaging make former differentiations meaningless? And what if all these effects are fundamentally questioning our pictorial and body perception?
KÖRPERTREFFER researched all these questions in 2018 and 2019 in a total of five workshops with changing participants over a period of one and a half years. The result is a dynamic process of permanent translation and overwriting of scenic material. This way all methods of choreographic work also turned into equivalent media.
The bodies in particular thereby often lose their framed secret and are no longer privileged carriers of an unverifiable truth.
Through the daily use of digital media we can observe the increasing virtualization and controlled variability of the face which used to be the seemingly unshakeable center of our identity. This raises the question of whether and to what extent, in the opposite of traditional wisdom, negotiable distinctions by the look of the face should be overcome or continued, such as the outside and inside, natural and artificial, norm and deviation, the human and the beast. The two philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari speak in their study "Mille Plateaux" of the face as a "horror story", even as "the inhumane in a human," and they continue: If humans were to exist, he/she would have to escape the face, the future of the face would only consist in its dissolution.
So a good one-hour evening was created in three parts. The first is about the prehistory, about the creation of the face that carries the human identity outwardly. A look on the face in the media overkill of our time then follows. The end gives us a utopian outlook of an era in which the face no longer dominates our perception and communication.
The project Körpertreffer (Body Hits) at the Staatstheater Darmstadt is a performing ‘show play’, however consistently non-acting, without drama, without history, without dialogue - a successful experiment. (Melanie Suchy, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)