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Blog Archive

The Intervention of Loneliness

“All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely people, where do they all belong?” – The Beatles

Today we are living in the age of systemic loneliness. Despite the world being more interconnected and globalized than ever before, the number of lonely people continues to grow. Even before the pandemic started, loneliness was already a widespread problem: according to studies, one in ten people living in Germany felt lonely frequently or all the time. The pandemic has only made it worse. Social media, technology, capitalism, hedonistic consumer culture, neoliberal work ethics and urban way of living are contributing to the rise in loneliness and benefiting from it at the same time. Together they form a system that exposes us to loneliness on a daily basis and on a global scale. It not only affects our personal well-being, but also undermines our sense of collective belonging.

The Intervention of Loneliness is a collaborative dance performance that looks at the issue of systemic loneliness and human disconnection. Developed from an earlier public intervention (Dance With Me) – in which Ming Poon traveled to different cities asking strangers on the street to slow dance with him – this performance invites us to confront systemic loneliness together onstage. Slow dancing becomes an act of resistance, as our bodies reach out, make contact and hold each other. How can we reclaim loneliness, rather than letting it own us? What has the pandemic taught us about it? How can we transform loneliness from a place of separation and isolation into a tool for collective action and solidarity?

Note: A post-performance discussion will be offered after every show.

Ming Poon is a Berlin-based choreographer who began his career as professional dancer in 1993 and started to develop his choreographic practice in 2010. He works with applied choreography and creates choreographic interventions, where spectators are invited to exercise their agency to create change. His works are interactive and collaborative in design. They usually take the form of collaborative performances, public interventions and one-to-one encounters, and involve vulnerability, care, peripherality, queerness and failure as performance strategies. His practice is influenced by Buddhist concept of interdependence and care, Judith Butler’s resistance in vulnerability, Augusto Boal’s theater of the oppressed and Nicolas Bourriaud’s micro-utopias.

He initiated Asian Performing Artists Lab (APAL) in 2020 and is a founding member of United Networks gUG, a non-profit organisation for marginalized BIPoC artists in Germany. He is currently a fellow in the Berlin Artistic Research Program (2022-2023).

His works have been presented at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore), The Substation (Singapore), English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center (Berlin, Germany), Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin, Germany), Scenario Pubblico | Centro Nazionale di Produzione della Danza (Catania, Italy) and Südpol (Luzern, Switzerland).

Learning Feminism From Rwanda

Women in Europe are still fighting for what Rwanda achieved long ago: 62% of their members of parliament are female. In Germany, the figure is just 34%. This East African country declared gender parity the basis of its politics in 1994. Meanwhile in Germany, this kind of parity is still a long way off despite gender equality being enshrined in common law since 1949.

A Rwandan and a German performer discuss numbers and realities from both countries, using a drum as the central symbol of power. They take a peek behind the curtain: if women are empowered, how do men deal with losing their power and what are the lines of confrontation in the home? How slowly or quickly do quotas change a culture and the mindset of a nation?

With speeches, statistics, songs and protest choreography, Learning Feminism from Rwanda follows the trail of Rwandan fast-track feminism from shiny statistics and glass ceilings to hearth and home. Let’s see how much Europe can learn from Rwanda?

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, three performers from Kigali will be present on video and one German and one Rwandan performer will be live on stage.

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Die Wiederaufnahme wird gefördert vom Fonds Darstellende Künste aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien im Rahmen von NEUSTART KULTUR. These additional performances are supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

Heartburn

Two women face the truth of the dissolution of the European egalitarian dream.

Everywhere they look things are not equal; in the taxi at the end of the night, on the bench in the middle of a village, in the congregation, in the boardroom, in the home. They tell stories of abortion, sing about violence and dance about menopause. They remember the lies they were told as children and question the hope that things might be different for future generations.

The performance uses puppetry, comedy, song, text and movement to create a hybrid, humorous and powerful perspective on being a woman in Europe today.

“For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve” – Timothy 2:1

————-> HEARTBURN show trailer

Performed in English, Polish and Spanish with English surtitles

The Workshop

Your Story: A workshop for everyone who has ever identified as a woman – suitable for +15 – led by British visual artist Jo Johnston and the Heartburn cast.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, January 28 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Attendance is free of charge, but you must register in advance by sending an email to info@cosmino.org

After seeing the performance of Heartburn, we invite you to attend a free follow up creative workshop where you will work with members of the artistic team to create “story collages” of your experiences and feelings.

The new works of art created in the in workshop can then be uploaded to our website www.heartburnwomen.com

Salvation (Glitter Doesn’t Care I’m A Boy)

A science fiction drag ritual and an experimental invocation for a constant distribution of desires based on visions and fantasies Shlomi Moto Wagner has experienced since he was three years old.

It explores transformations, mutations and remanifestations of the idea of being, the sensuality of being a body, the politics of having
a body and the poetics of sharing a bodily experience.

This solo music theater piece is a mythological and poetic reading of current pop culture and its academic discourse. The music of ancient
Jewish texts and invocations together with visionary tunes of composer Hildegard von Bingen from the 12th century is newly arranged with pop hits, techno compositions and contemporary feminist texts. All of this makes the opera performance a ritual of transformation.

Shlomi Moto Wagner is Mazy Mazeltov, is Wendy Williams, is Wisława Szymborska, is Fran Drescher, is Hélène Cixous and her Medusa is David Copperfield and Claudia Schiffer IN ONE BODY! And much, much more.

So, what is reality here and what is fiction? In times where a part of society wants to return to the gender roles of the 1950s, or even the 1940s, it is that much more critical to celebrate a festival of the imagination. Let’s make magic. And what comes out at the end? A concert, a drag queen musical, a monologue slam, a magic show, a bar mitzvah or simply a party with the people? Are the props ready? Powder, lipstick and glitter? All right!

Yellow Banana

Let’s take a little vacation right in the middle of Berlin! We’ll leave our cares behind and dive into a new world of the unknown. We are celebrating the two-hundred-and-fifty millionth birthday of the Eurasian Plate with a culinary feast, a very special Janchi. This distinctive atonement ritual between Europe and Asia will be commemorated by none other than the one-of-a-kind, authentic banana (“yellow on the outside, white on the inside”) Olivia Hyunsin Kim!

The Shit Show

Anali Goldberg is the most notable thing to come out of the pastoral village of Anal Heights since the discovery of their local delicacy, the dingleberry.

Now Anali is in Berlin and wants to celebrate spring but can’t because the world stinks. She doesn’t have any money, there are shitty images on the streets and shitty songs in her head. The shit is hitting the fan on a daily basis. In between one shit storm and the next, Anali wants to get some fresh mountain air and is planning her trip to Dreckloch in the Alps. But before she can do that, she has to get her shit together and earn some cash to pay off her debts in the neighborhood like the good old days before individual toilet stalls were invented.

You can look forward to an evening full of real old shit watching some really shitty performers give their all and do what they like doing most…while wearing some shitty costumes with some shitty lighting and a shitty host.

Exotic Animal (Live)

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” – Audre Lorde

Exotic is warm and spicy. It is one letter away from erotic. It promises adventure. Exotic is somewhere far away and foreign. Exotic is strange, but also very appealing and desirable. It is always over there, not here; them, not us; you, never me. Exotic is dark and mysterious, but its threat is tamed and contained.

The exotic industry has become a big and lucrative market, offering goods and services ranging from food, fashion, music, books, health products, workshops, collectibles, antiques to cultural attractions, theme events, tourism and corporate branding. It has often been touted as a fun and light way to promote the appreciation and experience of foreign cultures. But is it as innocent as it appears? What lurks beneath its foreigner-friendly surface? This collaborative performance invites the audience to see what it takes to create the ideal exotic look.

Drawing on his personal experience as a dancer of Asian origin, Ming Poon looks at how eurocentrism, globalization and cultural consumerism contribute to the exoticization of his body for the art market. Approaching the body as a site on which meanings, values and boundaries are inscribed, he interrogates how the exotic gaze displaces and appropriates his body, turning it into a cultural commodity and a symbol of subjugation. Exotic Animal both invites and confronts the exotic gaze. Staring defiantly back, it attempts to shift the power relation between the gazer and itself.

Warning: This performance contains cultural stereotypes and the white/racialized gaze.

Ming Poon is a Berlin-based choreographer who began his career as professional dancer in 1993 and started to develop his choreographic practice in 2010. He creates choreographic interventions, where spectators are invited to exercise their agency to create change. His works are interactive and collaborative in design. They usually take the form of collaborative performances, public interventions and one-to-one encounters. He works with vulnerability, care, peripherality and failure as performance strategy.

His practice is influenced by Buddhist concept of interdependence and care, Judith Butler’s resistance in vulnerability, Augusto Boal’s theater of the oppressed and Nicolas Bourriaud’s micro-utopias.

His works have been presented at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore), The Substation (Singapore), English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center (Berlin, Germany), Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin, Germany), Scenario Pubblico | Centro Nazionale di Produzione della Danza (Catania, Italy) and Südpol (Luzern, Switzerland).

This Gentle Moment

Hi Absalon,
in the cell,
in Tokyo or Paris?
you scream (at me)
I scream (at you)
we stay apart
we, meaning you
meaning gone
too
fast

With This Gentle Moment, I am creating a duet film for two performers built on the materialization and physicalization of encounters around queer lived experiences. In directing my attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, I want to set off on a choreographic reflection on living in and with a pandemic at a time when our society as a whole has been gripped by one anew.

This Gentle Moment is the first of a series of three works that are inspired by visual artists who passed away from HIV/AIDS. As a choreographer, I am negotiating the essence of their artwork from the perspective of contemporary dance. This Gentle Moment is a homage to Meir Eshel Absalon’s work Proposal for a Habitat. We built and inhabited spaces in which we ask for the relationship between queer (social) bodies and places to experiment with isolation and its resonance. (Nitsan Margaliot)

This Gentle Moment is supported by the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK – STEPPING OUT, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media within the framework of the initiative NEUSTART KULTUR. Assistance Program for Dance.

Army of Lovefuckers

We will kill you with a fucking piece of performance art

We are arming ourselves – internally and externally. Theater is our boot camp.

Packing explosives, puppets and projections, we set off down the path of the female warrior.

We envisage performance as a continuation of politics with adapted techniques and we are recruiting all female fighters who have gotten lost along the way: the time to rise up is now! Join the Army of Lovefuckers!

Lovefuckers are on a journey toward an effective yet bloodless technique for revolution that ties games, fantasy, reality and utopia together. The stage is a guerilla boot camp with futuristic elements where a female recruit is trained to join the Army of Lovefuckers by learning the pluralistic battle of becoming a societally aware performer. She demonstrates her fitness level, chooses role models, builds resilience and, over the course of specialized training, becomes intimately acquainted with her weapon: puppet theater. She discovers her personal puppet and enters into symbiosis with her. Unified as one, the puppet and the puppeteer voice their demands and follow the paths of their role models, such as the feministic cyborg theorist Donna Haraway or the Mexican freedom fighter Subcomandante Marcos, into a playful battle against repression.

Everyone in the audience is invited to join, provided they meet at least one of the recruitment criteria on the application form, which will be distributed before the performance.

A multimedia political show in between theater, dance, performance and puppet theater with ambivalence consciously factored in. The performance elaborates on warfare, the transformation of recruits into heartless killing machines, rebellion against social oppression and the presence of violence in the media. It is a piece that opposes the brutality of the world, thus combatting the paralyzing fears caused by ongoing and unending wars, the predominance of neoliberalism and global terrorism with irony and playfulness.

Or, to sum things up, it is a solo performance tackling serious themes using humorous means.

Where Are The Animals?

All the clubs were closed and the structures that protected us had vanished. ANALI GOLDBERG, the most celebrated divine techno goddess in Berlin’s club scene was out of work and had to wear a mask.

With so much free time on her hands, ANALI GOLDBERG decided to start a new QUEER NARRATIVE REVOLUTION (since the old one sucked)!!!

As part of a new trilogy, WHERE ARE THE ANIMALS is an outrageous musical evening of queer oral history. Using highly original and creative storytelling, ANALI GOLDBERG blurs the line between fictitious genealogy and autobiographical comedy.

Join the infamous ANALI GOLDBERG and her entourage to feel closer to yourself!

 

In cooperation with the ID Festival and made possible through funds from Bezirksamt Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg