A c t
This is our first BOLG post concerning the production A c t.
Premiere October 18th. 2013_@ EDEN*****Theaterspace, Berlin
Already 2011 we began analysing the relationship between the massive political protest movements happening in different countries and cultures around the world, asking for change in the society, for more participation, or more radical: for a revolution, and the body (e.g. Tunisia, Occupy USA, Anti-Globalization-Campaign, Stuttgart 21 …)
Although the internet, Facebook, Twitter…had a big impact for all these movements / revolutions, in the end “the body” was the most important factor for change.
Material from the insights we draw conclusions, have been:
– hundreds of video clips available in the internet,
– books and articles, describing and analysing some of these political movements,
– talks and interviews with activist in Tunisia, Egypt, USA, Germany.
With this material and Informations we started 2013 with our practice in the studio.
With excerpts we like to give you an overview about our ongoing practice, research, process.
We start with some Q&A we communicated with Amira Chebil, a female activist, actress, dancer,choreographer from Tunisia.
1. did you experience a change of physical, bodily behaviours of “the people” as a result of the recent political process in your country
2. If so, are there differences between man and women?
3. Are there „typical“ gestures that have been used or invented in the process of protests?
4. The internet was a tool for communication between people, to activate people, how would you describe the role that the body played during the protests?
5. Do you have any other comments, ideas that could be helpful to understand the relation between body and protest / rebellion?
I spent a lot of time to think observe analyse the way these revolutions changed our relation to our bodies to the bodies of each others and to the space ( the public space). of course there have been so amazingly remarkable changes:
first, the way people share the public space and move into it as it was an almost forbidden space or a space where you must behave the way the regime wanted you to behave so you might walk run eat drink but not sing not dance and absolutely not demonstrate, therefore always avoid the crowd as the regime (for explainable reasons now 🙂 )was “scared” of the crowd and the collective euphoria , the anger of the faceless mass the way people walk and invade the streets is totally a new one , you feel the new era where people know they belong to the street and that the street belongs to them and that the street is the important spot of their struggle against the system, the place of expressions and claims .
there is a whole new body language proper to the demonstration a way of standing a way of raising chest head hand and voice. and a whole new reflexes system of being ready to run to avoid teargas to run away to a place from where you can be back to the initial point.
I also felt how people got used to be into the crowd to gather to quickly organize them self and put themselves together to listen to each other in order to chant the same slogan .
… all this process is still totally new and on a discovery phase, … it is still so fascinating to experiment the art expression in the public space (some friends made an impressive experience of street dance, please find attached a link for some videos of their project called “je danserai malgré tout: I will dance no matter what …” http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=je+danserais+malgr%C3%A9+tout&oq=je+danse&gs_l=youtube.3.0.35i39j0l9.819.1953.0.322.214.171.124.0.0.0.229.1273.1j5j2.8.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.d0ifXXK7o9Q
of course it is still different between men and women but still you feel less tension, even though insecure… but the new freedom is so contradictory , for example : as the veil was almost forbidden under Ben Ali , women are now free more than ever to put the veil work with it and therefor there are more veiled women who share this public space so the first impression is not necessarily of a newly revolted country but that is one of the expressions of dress code freedom …
… for me the difference between men and women is one of the central axes of this reflection as it says a lot about social economical and political change but it is in the heart of all the changes concerning the body languages and the public space and it is the main material of public debate now
gosh I feel confused I still have a lot to say about it I will look for more questions and also ideas from you 🙂
World premiere: 18. October 2013 I 8:30 pm I EDEN***** Berlin
additional performances: 19. – 20. and 24.-27. October 2013 / 8:30 pm
Act means: conduct oneself / do / take action / have an effect / appear / behave / play a role / move / react.
Online petitions, comment functions, the social net, web 2.0, Twitter… while the technical possibilities and social prerequisites for global communication are becoming more polished and perfected, a real protagonist is retaking the political stage: The body.
It is sometimes directed against a dictatorship, then it is urban social protest – the scenes are similar! Strong moments! They are strong, because they show a truth: we don’t have to agree to everything, we don’t have to lower our gaze, we can stand up straight. Provocative physical presence as a political act of disagreeing with the status quo demonstrates street culture’s power: it demands a social movement.
The massive return of the body onto the political stage is our motivation to artistically investigate the connection between the body and politics, the body and protest, rebellion and revolution. How do people in a protest use their bodies to impose their interests, and what artistic/ choreographic practice results?
Act is the result of this research.
Conzept: Jutta Hell, Dieter Baumann
Choreography/director: Jutta Hell
Dance/choreography: Dieter Baumann, Fernando Nicolás Pelliccioli, Carlos Osatinsky,
Stage set/costumes: Jutta Hell
Lighting: Jochen Massar
Photo: Dirk Bleicker