2009. április 15., szerda

Debut: 27th June 2009

This story is about the two men who once created the order of Nature by setting the stars, the Sun and the Moon free from the giants’ and dragons’ captivity and by taking them back to their place of origin.
The play continuously shifts between myth and reality, mingles classical and modern elements concurrently and thus takes the audience on a magical journey through mythology and reality.
The outcome is at times comic but most of all, it is very human as it clearly mirrors our society.


The Concept

Within the framework of 48th Berlin Stunde Neukolln Festival we wish to present our interactive Roma creation myth, The Story of the Sun and the Moon, in co-operation with young people from Neukolln.
This is a story of two men who once created the order of Nature by setting the stars, the Sun and the Moon free from the giants’ and dragons’ captivity and by taking them back to their place of origin. Although, originally the two men did not differ from each other in their appearance, due to various impacts during their odyssey their well-distinguishable skin colours developed.


This fable is especially relevant for the people of the 21st century as it confronts us with our own identity and ever changing ideology between which we need to choose from time to time. Our aim, with this play, is to create a cross-European intercultural dialogue through which people can approach each other with the help of art regardless to their backgrounds or their culture.
Interactions between different ethnic and cultural groups have an inspiring effect on our social consciousness and on the way we perceive the world and what is more, our relationship with nature is closely connected with our human identity. If we take a closer look at ourselves we will end up perceiving nature, our environment and others around us from a totally new perspective.
Our play offers exactly this experience not only for the actors and actresses but also for the audience: an opportunity for all to take a look from a new point of view regardless to their ethnicity.

A very significant part of the project is that the theatrical work involves young people and children of immigrant families. Working with them we build the play together integrating the children’s own experiences, thoughts and images about their environment, their world, about nature, myths and reality. Then the theatrical scenes, costumes and texts are created using all these ideas. This is how the myth evolves into a concrete experience we all know and therefore reality takes its place on the stage.

The creation myth has been selected from a Hungarian Roma literary anthology and it is not only part of our world heritage but it is also a significant source of our identity.
Roma myths tell the creation of the World and the Man similarly to that of other nations’ and reading these myths one may discover themselves and perhaps explore themselves better. As Wlislocki1 referred to a Transylvanian Roma myth in 1844: ‘…gypsy creation myths do not belong exclusively to one nation but to all humanity’.
1 Ujvary Zoltan: Testvert lattak benne: Review of Henrik Wlislocki’s Roma Etnological Studies

Background

Our play was inspired by the Hungarian-French choreographer Pal Frenak whose works intensively reflect today’s social relations. Similarly to his choreographies our play mingles theatrical, musical and dance elements. The music to our creation play is provided by the Romanian singer Ada Milea and by the album ‘Whispers of Creation’ by Simeon Wood.
A video installation running simultaneously with the play connects the world of myth to our very present day and reality. By this, we are aiming to approach the myth from a totally new perspective. For instance, the video work has given us the opportunity to present the giant not only by its traditional attributes (scary, enormous and cruel) but also by showing contemporary, metaphorical images that are generally connected with cruelty, fear and enormity. Through interactions between the audience and the actors, such as blowing a trumpet so that the Narrator wakes up, the audience gradually become active part of the play and also, through conversations actors become members of the audience.

The play continuously shifts between myth and reality, mingles classical and modern elements concurrently and thus takes the audience on a magical journey through mythology and reality.
The outcome is at times comic but most of all, it is very human as it clearly mirrors our society.
In the play we are given the opportunity to re-think our relationship with Nature and with our fellow human beings. Through the artistic process, the people of Neukolln, including actors, actresses and the audience will assist us in searching for collective social values. We believe that the common experiences touched upon in the play will bring us all closer together.

Stories become interpersonal ‘happenings’ and an important part of our human socialization by actually telling them. Art can make us understand the diversity of our world and this understanding will help us abandon our fears and will eventually lead to a mutual acceptance of each other.


The Members

Andre Jeno Raatzsch (Ilmenau, 1978)
artist, lives in Berlin
www.raatzsch.com
2008-10 University of Fine Arts, Berlin, Germany; Art in Contex postgraduate course
2007-10 University of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary; Doctor of Liberal Arts course
2006-07 Academy of Fine Arts, Nurnberg, Germany; Prof Georg Winter
2000-06 University of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary; MA Sculptor programme
Andre Jeno Raatzsch participated in Paradise Lost- The First Roma Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art.
Aryeh Neier, President of the Open Society Institute says in the pavilion’s catalogue: ‘With artists representing eight countries, this is the first truly European pavilion in the Biennale’s history.’
Timea Junghaus, curator of the exhibition at the Roma Pavilion states in an interview:‘We believe that Roma identity can be viewed as a contemporary European identity that models a cross-border cultural fusion and an adaptation to ever changing circumstances.’
Csaba Szentesi: Roma Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (Roma, Venice) Lettre 66th issue, 2007 autumn

Melanie Ludwig
Melanie has been living in Berlin since 2006 and works as a dance artist and teacher
www.melunatanz.de
2007 – participated in the 48th Stunde Neukölln Berlin Art and Cultural Festival
2005 – 2007 Dance Pedagogy Course, Düsseldorf
2002 – 2005 Freie Universität and Humbolt University in Berlin where she studied Ethnology and Pedagogy concurrently
2002 contemporary dance performances and co-operation with the Peruvian pianist César Gustavo La Cruz;
Acquaintance with the ‘word artist’ Helmut Broker and Leonore Naujok;
1998 -2004 University of Performing Arts, Berlin – developing her individual dance style- inspired by contemporary dance, flamenco, classical Indian dance, oriental and African dances, pantomime and court dance;
1997- Crimmitschau – winner of " Darstellende Beiträge " talent show
Also, during this period she performed her own choreographies;


Emese Benko
MA in German Studies
Speaks five languages
2009- Creative Assistant at Kulturring
2009- Co-organiser of ‘Nacht der Bilder 2009’ festival
2008- Apprentice at the International Literature Festival in Berlin
2007- Co-operation with Georg Winter in the ‘Clara Schumann Radio Station’ project
2006- MA degree in German Studies at the Karoli Gaspar University of Reformed Church, Hungary

Co-workers:

Bence Bakai
Christoph Balzar
Anja Bodanowitz
Márta Dancs
Àgnes Farkas