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Recording: 2019-10-18 , HAU1 Hebbel am Ufer (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Josep Caballero García, Queerpraxis

Melancholía

HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1)

Production Details / Press Releases

Josep Caballero García’s first choreographic opera “Melancholía”, a HAU co-production, is a plea for getting rid of identity categories. Using a composition of choreography, music, song, and text that spans different genres, García interrogates the concept of romantic relationships as passed down to us from Händel’s 1724 opera “Guilio Cesare in Egitto,” making the entire spectrum of human affects the basis for his piece about desiring bodies. The opera heroes and heroines of the Baroque, once sung by castrati and governed by power and eroticism, are good material for him to reflect on the contradictions of western body constructs and to alter them on his own body. The castrato singer of Baroque society was an ambiguous figure, a blank page, on which any sexual role could be projected. It is with these things in mind that García examines the queer potential of Händel’s opera.

Melancholía – Text #1
what would you do for purse, for booty, or bounty collect inline, in line, in gas
what would you do for step, for ladder
from how high would you be willing to fall
down, cotton, hide
hide, how do you paint yourself into a corner
in which hues do you lie
lie, lay, quickly
easy, empty, empty
on belly, on back, in the face of
look in to my deep, touch me like stove, remove pit like peach
cherry, jeep, pony
what would you do for seed, for seeds, concede
let me have it, you can get it, take me
NO, No, no
bite nipple, hold tongue, push
pull out, pull down, rub out
blur, an anvil falling viscus, vaseline
what would you do for air, for breath
to breathe, to sink, or oat
what would you do for coal, for oil, for silver
for mesh, for muse, amused
what would you do for teeth, skin, for pore
for poor, or brick, for steal
what would you do for still, or calm, for clay
clench, grit, drench
drool, sweat, tare
what would you do, for tear, for salt
for meat, foreskin, milk
piss, shit, come
will you be my wall, my whip, whip
paddle, straddle, fuck
wrist, slit, run
to fight, to claw, dropped jaw
what would you do for tinder, for ember, embrace
for burning, burnt, umber, for black
is you tongue black, is your back bare, in which direction do you hold your palm
what would you do for psalm, for prayer, or curse
are you alter, martyr, to what sacrifice, are you god
to whom do you pray, to whom are you prey, do you pray sacred, negotiate, cower
devour, satiate, release
do you beg, can you beg, will you break
hand out, mouth open, wide
shut, force, what would you do for gravity
take it, take, compress
what would you do for lips, for lip, for shaft
what would you do for bloom, for dust, rust, combust, dis- tort, contradict
what would you do for plenty, on knees, in need
say my name, stay the same, surrender under the sun
in the bright of snow, in the shadow of ant, or shades of grey
are you happy, are you in heat, are you hot
ICE, avalanche, sea
rising, erect, fist
drowning in it, swimming in it, wet
do you see your self in wave, in lava, or in brick
are you cliff, are you cave, are you grain
ingrained, engrave, emboss
top down, face down, let down
hands around your neck, killing me softly, kill
what would you do for yes, for quiver, for blood

Black Cracker

Melancholía – Text #2
The Net flix Docuseries “Cesare in Ibiza” takes place online one month after Giulio, an online gamer and bit coin broker, made millions from an investment given to them in the will of their cousin’s Pomeranian’s death.
Much of their earnings thus far had been going towards the rental of a hairless, silicone real doll named Pompey, whose body was made with no specific genitalia, only a number of holes and mounds, the color brown non-descriptive to any specific ethnic lineage. Despite the scientific neutrality, the two could not conform and copulate without a severe friction that generated more heat than an atmosphere-less sun.
All could have been easily avoided with the use of coconut oil or a water-based lubricant but to cover up this abuse, the body was instead dismembered to make additional room in the studio Airbnb and sold online as one of a kind sex toys in an attempt to recover the cost of damages that would most likely incur under the manufacture’s warranty.
The real doll Pompey was to be leased to Giulio from the custody of the Phoenix Penitentiary’s CEO Cornelia, who traced the order back to Giulio via GPS and issued a re-turn-to-sender paid shipment container, with discrete labeling as promised in the promotional materials and company policies.
But before Giulio could transfer the deposit payment to re-engineer Pompey, Tolomeo, a social media influencer and content generator for Candy Crush does a live stream of the mouth of Pompey being used uniquely as a fleshlight for frogs, monkeys, rats, dolphins, elephants, bats, and walruses, expandable to serve a vast range of anatomies.
The Internet went silent as it all went unnoticed.
Moderately interested in decreasing Tolomeo’s clicks, licks and streaming revenue Sesto, the child of Pompey and Cornelia who, though more gentle to touch than Pompey, has a quite radically norm-core love of god, denim, guns, and an exquisite taste in canned beer. Together with Cornelia they initiate a viral campaign against Tolomeo for the unfair use of feathers and silicon coalition, otherwise known as the #siliconlivesmatter movement, or the #weprefertar extremist, or the #maketargreatagain Nespresso party.
After Tolomeo exposes Sesto as a trust fund baby (baby, literally) incapable of life without Cornelia’s bank card on TMZ, Sesto vows revenge by trolling potential preteen shoplifters at the mall in their armed, motorized stroller but instead of the intended massacre Sesto accidentally shoots themselves in the foot. Their text to Cornelia for help goes straight to spam.
Meanwhile after a long day of lobbying for “Ganga Gummy” – the medicinal cannabis monopoly at the state capital – Cleo unwinds by loosening their paisley neck tie and sliding into a vegan dog collar before arriving at the local BDSM club called Sphinxters for Karaoke Tuesday’s.
A profane exchange with their sibling, Tolomeo, ensues after the host informs them they had both chosen the same song to sing, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Cleo decides instead to check their Grindr DMs and sees a message from Guilio, who is nearby. Cleo concedes and opts for a quick blow job instead. After which they both return to karaoke determined to upstage Tolomeo with their absolutely mesmerizing choreographic performance of Vogue by Madonna.

Black Cracker

[Source: play bill]

TFB Nr. 1381

Cast & Credits

Concept, choreography & performance: Josep Caballero García
Choreography & performance: Lea Martini, Sheena McGrandles, Enis Turan
Musical direction, composition & performance: Alexandra Holtsch
Music, vocals & performance: Hubert Wild
Poetry, composition & performance: Black Cracker
Dramaturgy: Anne Kersting
Set & costume: Christin Vahl
Sound: Florian Dröse
Light design: Marek Lamprecht
Internship: Anna Sophie von Mansberg
Production management: Lea Connert
Project management: Barbara Greiner
Press & public relations: Anita Goß

Production: Queerpraxis GbR / Josep Caballero García with Kampnagel Hamburg and Theater Lüneburg
Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer
Supported by: Fonds Doppelpass der Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Behörde für Kultur und Medien Hamburg

HAU Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1)

Stresemannstr. 29
10963 Berlin

hebbel-am-ufer.de
Map

Tickets: +49 (0)30 259 004 27
tickets@hebbel-am-ufer.de

Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced by Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):

University Library of the Berlin University of Arts
Mediathek für Tanz und Theater des Internationalen Theaterinstituts / Mime Centrum Berlin
Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (HZT)

Josep Caballero García / Trailers and Video Documentations

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