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Recording: 2023-02-04 , Sophiensæle (Video © Bickmann & Kolde GbR)

Olympia Bukkakis



Production Details / Press Releases

REPLAY explores the relationship between movement and sound in different cultural spaces. Olympia Bukkakis and her team use the drag bar, pop music videos, classical music halls and opera houses (as well as the logics of who gets to do what in these spaces) as inspiration to create a show that gleefully and brazenly transgresses genre. Olympia draws on her 13 years experience on drag stages, her childhood training on the cello and her position as a choreographer in Berlin. She is accompanied onstage by Am Ertl who, with their background in jazz and contemporary dance, has also created some of the movement material, and the Darvish, a self-trained dancer who brings their extensive experience performing in Berlin’s underground queer nightlife as well as on contemporary stages.

The material was generated using a number of very different methods, from interpreting Bach and learning Baroque dances, to inventing new Britney choreographies, to somatic-based improvisation (guided by Maria Scaroni), to interactions with Camille Lacadee’s set, and an original cello composition by Thierry Tidrow. The original sound design by MINQ, as well as lighting by Bryan Schall, and costumes by Alexis Mersmann, also had strong influences on the development of the performance. Throughout this process care was taken to make decisions about what parts needed to be polished and what was interesting in its imperfect or in-process state.

REPLAY seeks to bring together different worlds in order to ask why we behave or experience things differently in different spaces and encourages the audience to question why this is so. Some questions that informed this process were: are opera and classical music inherently more sophisticated than other forms (such as drag)? What are the differences and similarities between state supported and unfunded art forms? Are the different ways we produce cultural material sustainable and what does this process do to the workers who produce it? Why does the spectacle of feminine suffering excite us so much? And what would be possible if we could leave this perverse fascination behind us?

OLYMPIA BUKKAKIS, Queen of the Heavens and of the Earth, Empress of Despair, and Architect of Your Eternal Suffering is a drag queen, choreographer, moderator and writer. She has hosted, organised, and performed in drag events since 2009 and since graduating the SODA Master at HZT in 2019 has produced a number of works for the stage including: Gender Euphoria (2019), A Touch of the Other (2020), Boys Night Out (2020), and Too Much (2021). Her practice is situated within, and inspired by, the tensions and intersections between queer nightlife, contemporary dance and performance.

AM ERTL is a dancer and choreographer based in Berlin. Their work Eternal Betrayal was shown at Ballhaus Ost in the frame of Dirty Debüt. Am works with choreographers such as Ellen Söderhult, Antonia Baehr and Ar Utke Acs. Together with Sindri Runudde they co founded the dancing group Cosy Boi Slut Team. Most recently, in collaboration with Onur Agbaba and Lotta Beckers, Am developed Eigentümliche Verhältnisse, a short film that examines property in public space through the body.

THE DARVISH, (IG: @thedarvishofficial) Syrian self-taught performance artist, organiser of cultural events and performance parties, physical theater dancer, movement workshop facilitator, digital content creator.

THIERRY TIDROW is a prolific composer of experimental instrumental music and opera, endlessly fascinated by the possibilities that derive from the interplay between sound, language, story and movement. As a dramaturg in replay, they bring to the table their expertise in vocal training, classical music and music theory as well as a penchant for the weird and fun.

MARIA F. SCARONI (IT/DE) is dance artist, activist and educator. She creates and interprets choreographic works rooted in improvisational practices and altered states of consciousness. Maria hosts workshops re-purposing post-modern dance legacies towards technologies for mutual empowerment. Since 2009 she collaborates with Meg Stuart. She activates the queer community with lecken and Social Pleasure Center@Fortuna.

CAMILLE LACADEE is a scenographer and visual artist. Her work seeks to articulate, understand and provoke relations. She likes to divert (détournement) the use and ‘purpose’ of everyday objects, materials and images, to slide them out of context, thus revealing new potential, often in movement.

ALEXIS MERSMANN is a fashion and costume designer based in Berlin with roots in traditional tailoring and craftsmanship. With a strong focus on sustainability and the social impact of the textile industry, their designs are made out of reused materials and handcrafted and tailored in Berlin. In the creation process they follow the approach of documenting and sharing each step of the production and invite the audience outside the theatre to reflect on topics beyond the stage and create greater awareness for textile workers and the true costs of production.

MINQ is a sound artist, music producer, DJ and performer curious about sound as a portal into ourselves and into time. They are currently working toward an MA in Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at the Universität der Künste Berlin.

BRYAN SCHALL is a Berlin based lighting and video designer. His work can be found in theatres, concert halls, nightclubs, online, and in dance spaces. He is also known to be Berlin’s Premiere 96 year-old Jewish Drag Grandmother, Nana Schewitz.

LISA GEHRING is a Frankfurt/Main based freelance creative producer in the performing arts.

PAUL NIEDERMAYER, visual artist, bartender on leave, and here in the production team with Lisa.

[Source: play bill]

TFB Nr. 1730

Cast & Credits

STAGE DESIGN: Camille Lacadee
COSTUME: Alexis Mersman

A production by Olympia Bukkakis in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE
Supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
With the kind support of Fleetstreet Theater and Kampnagel.


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 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)

Olympia Bukkakis / Trailers and Video Documentations

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