For the performance “i see red” at Dock11, Berlin from 11-13.3. 2016 I wrote and performed the following three texts.
1. the first is a dream that I found worth writing down.
2. the second text is an attempt at statistics that I personally counted on the websites of various Berlin institutions in the week of 7-11.3. 2016.
The starting point for this was the assumption that most cultural institutions funded by the city and state of Berlin are hierarchically structured and authoritatively led by one man. This is in contrast to the less funded independent structures, which have been investigating and practicing cooperation on flat hierarchical levels for years. These institutions are much smaller than the “big tankers” described above and are led by women.
Especially the TV report of Castorf’s dictatorial directing at the Volksbühne Berlin in the ZDF program aspekte was shocking for me, as well as his statement in the interview afterwards that democracy kills art.
3. the third text is a personal wish list for contemporary dance in Berlin.
dreamed one morning while half asleep:
besides the three opera houses and the seven orchestras, there are 5 state stages for dance in berlin: the schaubühne under the leadership sasha waltz,
the volkstanzbühne with its director william forsyth
the berliner tanz ensemble under the artistic direction of meg stuart
the german dance theater with the director reinhild hoffmann
and the gorki tanzt, with the double head wagner cavallo and begüm erciyas.
these dance companies employ a total of 255 dancers (not counting guests), and a lot of berlin choreographers work with these companies on their pieces. there is also a state theater company, the staatstheater berlin. unfortunately, after the renovation of the state opera, it is not allowed to return to its location under the linden, but has been given a new theater center in the german opera. there, a wonderful russian actor, let’s say gerald departieu, has built up a first-class acting ensemble that plays czechov and shakespeare quite wonderfully. of course, there is also theater in berlin that is more modern, even contemporary, but this takes place exclusively in the so-called independent structures, which are also financially supported by the city, but not as lavishly as the operas, orchestras and dance in the 5 permanent houses. in the state theater, there have recently been changes. they were no longer satisfied with gerard depardieu’s work and were looking for a new artistic director. after watching a few dvds, they found one in a spanish director who has already directed the spanish national theater in madrid and in recent years has built up and directed a private theater ensemble of an oligarch in st petersburg in russia. his first midsummer night’s dream, which he staged in berlin, was still a bit of a pastry cook. but it will be alright.
every year in may, there is the famous dance meeting in berlin, where a top-class jury selects the 10 best choreographies from german dance theaters, and the press gushes about the great performances of the choreographers and dancers. there is also a festival for theater, but that is a little less well-funded, but international.
theater im august, in the summer break. a finnish curator is now in charge, who has an eye on traditional theater internationally and is bringing it to berlin. there have also been changes at the volkstanzbühne after bill forsyth left to teach at a new private university in california.
they no longer want to produce and show dance only with this unique ensemble, but to work together in an interdisciplinary way, also with visual artists and theater actors. for this they have looked around internationally again. and for theater they have hired a successful french actor and his danish wife.
they don’t seem to think much of berlin’s own young theater talent. how could they? apart from reinhild hoffmann, none of the directors of berlin’s five big dance theaters were trained in germany. until recently, there wasn’t even a university acting and directing program in berlin. it’s only been around for a few years at the inter-university theater center in the uferstudios. (…) theaterfabrik, dock12, theatertangente, theaterbüro, dachverband zeitgenössisches theater berlin, theaterraumberlin netzwerk, theaterraumberlin magazin
berlin opera, ballet, orchestra and theater and their directors:
state opera, jürgen flimm
deutsche opera, dietmar schwarz
komische opera, barry kosky
berlin philharmonic orchestra, sir simon rattle, 127 musicians including 19 women
konzerthaus orchester, ivan fischer, 100 musicians, 42 of them women
german symphony orchestra berlin, tugan sokhiev, 89 musicians, 36 of them women
rundfunk symphony orchestra berlin, vladimir jurowski, 107 musicians, 35 of them women
orchester staatsoper/staatskapelle berlin, daniel barenboim, 132 musicians, 37 of them women
orchestra of the deutsche opera, donald runnicles, 117 musicians, 39 of them women
orchestra of the komische oper, henrik nanasi, 115 musicians, 38 of them women a total of 787 musicians, 246 of them women
state ballet, nacho duato, 82 dancers, of which 40 soloists (divided into 1st soloists, soloists, demi-soloists, and character soloists) 23 ladies and 19 gentlemen, 10 guests
volksbühne, frank castorf, 180 actors and actresses
berliner ensemble, claus peymann, 133 actors and actresses
deutsches theater, ulrich khuon, 47 actors, 69 guests
schaubühne, thomas ostermeier, 29 actors, 59 guests
theatertreffen, berlin festival, thomas oberender
in total at the city and state theaters in berlin: 255 actors and actresses, and approx. 280 guests
then come the female directors:
(smallest city theater and independent scene)
gorki theater, shermin langhoff, 19 actors, 38 guests
hau, annemie vanackere
sophiensaele, franziska werner
dock11 kirsten seeligmüller, wibke janssen
ada studios, gabi beier
what does dance need in berlin?
unconditional basic income for artists in the independent structures
12-16 medium scale companies (with 5-8 dancers) at the different houses/studios and free = 94 dancer positions
berliner aktions raum tanz b.a.r.t. dance office organized by artists
berlin dance award, modelled on the bessie awards in new york. artists jury in honor of barbara friedrich the award (a heavy bronze ball) should be called “die fritz
an entire berlin block of apartments, studios and project spaces for interdisciplinary forms of living and working. model westbeth new york with cunningham and many other artists.