Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

±0 Ein subpolares Basislager

by Christoph Marthaler

"During a guest production in Copenhagen two years ago, the thought struck me: I wanted to produce and premiere a theatre project in Greenland. I immediately realized that Denmark was connected to the biggest island on earth in very special ways. All of a sudden, the idea was there: I want to spend some time on this white ‘continent’ completely unknown to me. I want to go and see this utterly unfamiliar place, with nothing else in mind save a thrill of excitement and anticipation. When we – Anna Viebrock, Nicolai Vemming, Knud Erik Solvad and myself – visited Kangerlussuaq, Ilulissat and Nuuk for the first time, it became clear that our ideas and preconceived images had nothing to do with Greenland’s reality. And yet there was this feeling of utter peace, tranquillity and freedom I had hardly ever experienced before. I wanted to transform this blithe, enchanted mood into a performance and put it on stage. My idea was to conceive a piece originating in Greenland, developed and produced on location, fabricated by our own, very personal experiences with the country, with its folktales and stories, the music and the people we would meet while we were there. It was not conceived as an evening about Greenland, but as a show about our fascination with it. We sought to translate our hazy emotional states and amazing encounters into sounds and words, trusting that they were, in some strange way, wholly accurate precisely because our impressions were so indefinable and unfathomable. The minimalist method of work I am usually associated with, is often claimed to verge on a deliberate refusal of theatrical conventions. I quite like this description. My greatest wish is for us – artists and actors in an international ensemble coming from Greenland, Germany, France, Austria, England and Switzerland – to have succeeded in creating a unique variation on ‘refusal’ on the theatre stage of Greenland’s Culture Centre Katuaq; a refusal that emphatically expresses our affection for a country with an uncertain future due to the ongoing climate change vitally affecting each and everyone of us. That is why we’ve chosen the title “±0“ for our project. This somewhat ambiguous value on the temperature scale indicates both, melting point and freezing point, by one single marker. The minimal yet nonetheless critical fluctuation between ± zero was the starting point for our work. It certainly goes straight to the heart of the matter, too.”


With: Marc Bodnar, Rosemary Hardy, Ueli Jäggi, Gazzaalung Qaavigaq, Sasha Rau, Bettina Stucky, Nukaka Coster Waldau, Jürg Kienberger and Raphael Clamer

Director: Christoph Marthaler
Stage Designer: Anna Viebrock
Music: Rosemary Hardy, Bendix Dethleffsen, Gerhard Alt
Dramaturgy: Stefanie Carp, Malte Ubenauf
Light Design: Phoenix (Andreas Hofer)

A production by Unlimited Performing Arts in co-production with Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Katuaq Culture Centre Nuuk, Vienna Festival, Festspillene i Bergen, Det Kongelige Teater, Kopenhagen, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, Stadsteatern Stockholm, London Festival 2012, Edinburgh International Festival, and Kampnagel, Hamburg. Sponsored by: Nordic Culture Fund und Nordic Culture Point. Partners: Blue Water Shipping

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