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Recording: 2017-07-01 , Tanzfabrik / Uferstudios (Video © Walter Bickmann)

Sergiu Matis

NEVERENDINGS – Season 1: 100 Years Revolution

Open Spaces | Tanzfabrik Berlin / Wedding

Production Details / Press Releases

In a Soviet Berlin, during a series of celebrations of 100 years since the October Revolution, selected people of the city are invited to meet five special comrades. They will commemorate this moment in history when utopia came to power with choirs and dances that glorify the fantastic achievements of the brave heroes during this golden age. The huge efforts, the immense struggles, the horrendous atrocities and the irremediable failures won’t be forgotten, but now it’s time to plan the next 100 years of the neverending, permanent revolution. The bodies of the masses are choreographed into collective daydreams towards a better world.

At this point in time, the moment of the premiere, I would like to briefly turn your attention towards the process that preceded this point – precisely, towards the questions that arose from that process.

Gathered around the celebration of the October Revolution, in a daily rhythm, we started a daydreaming practice: thinking in motion, dreaming in action and trying to find ways to hope again, together, for a better world. The rescue plans varied: “We should freeze the world and repair it, or at least make it slower! We should develop a hyper-consciousness about the effects of our actions on a larger scale! We should hack singularity with a Marxist algorithm!” We were, however, aware that there was something naive about all this.

Indeed it is naive, because the very notion of revolution itself resonates today as a distant, romantic tune. Nevertheless, it questions the possibility of political action in the world as it is, in a world that failed us, as we failed the world.

For this group, the world is located within the apparatus of the theatre, its necessities, its machinery and its working conditions. Questions about the relevance of revolution today, in this particular case, could be replaced with questions of the relevance of dance and theatre in the world of neverending hells. The naivety of childlike play offered the performers a platform – a reason to move again, to reshuffle the boxes of the theatre apparatus, to sing instead of choreograph, to put into action different choreographic agendas at the same time, to reflect on the material conditions of our labour, or to, simply, wish to take a break.

The playfulness in the overload of the performative procedures, aesthetics and information enables space to discuss the proposition for better worlds; aesthetically heterogenous, virtuosic and at the same time out of control. A world that is sustainable and organized through various systems – from anarchism to friendship. Even when this world is failing, its enactors can still find the strength to make a plan and stick to it. And sticking to the plan means keeping promises, equally vast, brave and pathetic, for the next season.
Mila Pavicevic

Recently Sergiu Matis can often be heard saying: “I looooove dancing!”, trying to avoid any nuances of irony – which doesn’t come very easily to him. He found this enthusiasm again in the last three or four years when he managed to trick himself back into dancing through a method or a way of thinking in motion that he came up with and calls the “visible thinking body”. His body was contaminated with ballet technique at an early age in freshly post-communist Romania. Without thinking too much, he fell in love with the discipline, precision and virtuosity which was still brought by Russian ballet teachers back then. All these, and pretty much everything related to ballet, were later on so easy to despise and to go against. Sergiu often asks himself what kind of dance he would make if he had stayed in Romania and not moved to Germany when he was 18, or if he had accepted the scholarship at the Kiev Ballet Academy when he was 10. In that specific alternate reality he would have maybe ended up working with ballet companies, trying to reshuffle classics and invent a style of his own in parallel, using the institution and going against the institution at the same time. But now he is looking for a new virtuosity, learning from the machines, scrambling fragments of history, skipping and swiping through archives – both personal or belonging to Western dance history. He likes playing with the English language in the form of performative texts, choreographing meaning and ideas, flirting with poetry and theory, with a pinch of visceral filth and groovy noises in there too. Sergiu believes the voice dances as much as the body.

For Jule Flierl the stage stinks but the spectator doesn’t. She likes to talk but to not make sense. Her tongue is as much of a sexual organ as it’s made for speaking. Jule likes monsters and that’s what she finds in herself whenever she tries to dance. There is a problem with her lonely solo dances, which want to reflect her environment more than herself, because she thinks she is not an individual.

Martin Hansen is a dancer and choreographer. Lately he has been thinking about forms of legitimate theft, felt in the body as authentic experience and framed through ideas around re-iteration, re-possesion and visitation. Martin is interested in economies of time in the theatre and the body, dance history as a colonising force and how the punk movement might offer strategies for dealing with these things.

Gyung Moo Kim wrote in his notebook on June 23: “These guys are xxxxing nuts! How did I end up in this delirious revolution?” And then he wrote: “You god damn hope, you blinded me with the same squeezing pleasure in the heart and once again put me in another Catch-22.” He also wrote: “Like a snake eating his own tail”, and then: “There is no way back, it’s all xxxxed.” And, finally he wrote: “You got me, I am here.”

Orlando Rodriguez, born in 1974 in Caracas, Venezuela, is a body worker in the performative sense of body work. He likes to challenge his collaborators in finding specific ways of addressing emotions, body language and contact with the audience, in regards to the pulse of time. His strong basis in Chavism makes him an organic participant to tackle the post-democratic questions in the context of the 100th Year of the Revolution.

Maria Walser felt at a certain point to mute and abstract while dancing, so she started to talk while moving. Which made her even more curious about the concreteness of language, so she slipped into some theatre productions, where she started to miss the un-psychological logic of movement. So she searched for projects that combined her curiosities. This journey is still on. Last year she started to create her own work. That step opened a fresh portal of passion and fear. She doesn’t know right now how to formulate the right reconciliation to the latest news that changed her life completely. So here it comes: she is on the way to becoming a mother of a new superhero, together with the greatest person of this part of the world.

As a former student of biomolecular science, Diletta Sperman is fascinated by what chemistry, physics and biology have to do with things we romantically consider unique and irrational at the same time: identity, wishes and behaviour. She sees her body as a tool and a place for her knowledge to go deeper – enjoying the travel between a common ground, ruled by anatomy, ending up in considerations and perspectives that can be partially predicted but are mostly affected by personal experiences and cultural context.

Martins Rokis, aka N1L, has been working with sound in different contexts since the age of 12, when he started to make his first creations using his mother’s synthesizer to escape the meaningless void of a small eastern European village in the middle of nowhere. Combining his different backgrounds, aesthetic influences, bipolar tendencies and education in philosophy and programming, he is interested in music that is both cerebral and physical.

Mila Pavicevic is a dramaturge and writer, currently residing somewhere between Berlin, Zagreb and Dubrovnik. She doesn’t believe in the idea of the writer as a solo act, preferring to work interdisciplinarily in collaboration with other artists. Her field of interest includes the theatre of Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht, architecture and non-places, pseudo-documentarism, the punk movement, superhero action movies, writing travelogues and diaries, and the soothing tones of Croatian popular music.

Dan Lancea was born in communist Romania and raised in postcommunism. His interests in aesthetics and human nature led to him studying architecture in Bucharest and São Paulo. He works as an architect, set designer and graphic and installation artist. In her artistic practice Sandra Blatterer connects a range of different methods – from draft sketches, to video mapping, installations and above all performances in context. Sandra investigates different methods of artistic light development and the effects of a variety of light qualities on spaces.

David Eckelmann thinks that communism is a great thing but not compatible with human nature. He knows the DDR/UdSSR from stories, being born as a bourgeois kid in western Berlin. He has seen a lot of dance. Much of which he doesn’t understand, but loves to talk about. Sometimes he is afraid that people might realise he got his MA in watching and chatting. He works and lives as a producer and dramaturge with various artists and projects. If he went blind overnight, he would concentrate on cooking and open a dark restaurant. He lives in Leipzig. There, his baby is the P-Bodies Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance. In his leisure time he carves miniatures, yet he is social. He prefers the collective. He finds no answer to the question if there’s something which is of no importance to him (nuclear fission; feather boas; funding structures).

[Source: play bill]

TFB Nr. 1073

Cast & Credits

Concept, Choreography, Text: Sergiu Matis
Performance: Jule Flierl, Martin Hansen, Gyung Moo Kim, Orlando Rodriguez, Maria Walser, Diletta Sperman
Music: N1L (Martins Rokis)
Dramaturgy: Mila Pavicevic
Set Design: Dan Lancea
Set Design Assistant: Sebastian Huber
Costume: Philip Ingman
Light Design: Sandra Blatterer
Production Management: David Eckelmann
Production Assistant: Cornelia Winkler
Camera: Chloé Guerbois
Sound Technician: Max Johannson

Supported by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.

Open Spaces
Artistic director: Ludger Orlok
Production management: Juan Gabriel Harcha
Organization: Vincenz Kokot
Communication: Ann-Christin Schwalm
Social Media: Salma Virág Pethö-Zayed
Press, editorial: Nora Gores
Technical management: Martin Pilz

The performance program of Tanzfabrik Berlin is funded by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture and Europe and in the frame of apap – Performing Europe 2020, cofinanced by Creative Europe Programme der EU.

Tanzfabrik Berlin / Wedding

Uferstr. 23
13357 Berlin

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)

Sergiu Matis / Trailers and Video Documentations

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