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Recording: 2015-10-18 , Sophiensæle (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Christoph Winkler



Production Details / Press Releases

Twelve golden stars on blue grace the European flag. The official EU hymn is only a little over a minute long.

Unlike what most people assume, the twelve stars do not represent the founding countries, but are instead a time-honored symbol for unity and completeness. The motif was chosen over a period of 5 years and selected from over 100 proposals, because all others were perceived as being too Christian. But as the designers later admitted, they too had been inspired by the 12 stars in the Holy Virgin Mary’s crown. So in spite of a discussion that lasted five whole years, the EU ended up with Christian symbolism after all.

The hymn is a wordless version of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Wordless, because no single language may dominate the association of states; especially not German. But without the message of “joy”, the hymn is transformed into a mangled piece of music without substance.

The history and handling of both symbols in many ways reflect the problems that Europe currently faces. Important topics are dissolved beyond recognition by compromise. Substance is sacrificed in the interests of individuals, states and institutions. All that remains is a technocratic Europe solely driven by economic principles – no longer inspired by visions of community.

We therefore seek to reclaim these symbols, re-appropriate them – for they must constantly be questioned in order to retain their strength. We have stretched the hymn into the length of one hour to give it back its beauty. In this acoustic space, we will establish our own version of community as an alliance that has always welcomed difference and the Other.

Cast & Credits

BY AND WITH: Karima El Amrani, Aimée Lagrange, Pietro Pireddu, Ahmed Soura, Aloalii Naughton Tapu, Naishi Wang
CONCEPT: Christoph Winkler
LIGHT DESIGN: Arne Schmitt
MUSIC: Europahymne – Mountain Music Corps Garmisch-Partenkirchen, long version by Paul-Stretch, Additional effects by Tian Rotteveel
COSTUMES: Anna-Lisa Kentner, Malena Modéer
PRODUCTION DRAMATURGY: ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro
Produced by Christoph Winkler and ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro in cooperation with SOPHIENSÆLE. Funded by the Mayor of Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten and the dreijährige Konzeptionsförderung des Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V.. Friendly supported by Phase7.


Sophienstraße 18
10178 Berlin

Tickets: (030) 283 52 66

Video Documentation

The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. 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)

Christoph Winkler / Trailers and Video Documentations

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