08.August 2018 – 26.August 2018
Internationales Sommerfestival 2018
»Theatrical props« is what philosopher Wendy Brown calls the new border fences and walls, which are raged by fear spreading politicians and, however, are actually built.
Because neither the climate catastrophe nor global trade and data flows adhere to border controls. Self-appointed homeland militias thus defend the past against a present in which people have long since lived in global contexts and formed communities that often have no boundaries. VROOUUM! Welcome to post national reality – and welcome back to the Summer Festival, a specialist for all kinds of border crossings. BTOOM! This festival works with many artists whose pieces have one thing in common: They arise as collaborations on an equal footing, (often developed by teams or in collaboration with other arts), are wordly and vigilant about the present, crossing boundaries with other media, countries and cultures – and exuding transgressive lust. An Examples from our program is the conference HEIMATPHANTASIEN (homeland fantasies), which takes a critical look at the current discourse around »Heimat« (homeland) and the concept of nation states. Moreover there is a touching lecture performance by the South Korean artist Jaha Koo with talking rice cookers but also an exhibition and a world premiere by Ho Tzu Nyen from Singapore. The visual artist is a master of multilayered storytelling and has been working for several years on a post-national dictionary of Southeast Asia, consisting of images, sounds and texts. At Kampnagel he will premiere a stage work about triple-agent Lai Teck. At the same time his solo exhibition will open in cooperation with the Kunstverein in Hamburg.
POINGGG! How to overcome political, aesthetic and genre trenches with great leaps and bounds is shown by our – to put it carefully – big event for the opening on August 8: The Malpaso Dance Company from Havana is coming to Europe for the first time with brilliant choreographies by ballet forward-thinker Aszure Barton and Malpaso founder Osnel Delgado, accompanied live by Grammy-winning pianist Arturo O’Farrill and his octet (O’Farrill will later also make his Elbphilharmonie debut, as one of four concerts staged in cooperation with the Hamburg’s new music hall miracle: Get Well Soon, Shara Nova with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra and Mouse on Mars are also on board!). To showcase the whole stylistic spectrum of the fantastic Malpaso Company, the third part of the opening evening will include the Summer Festival premiere of dance refresher Cecilia Bengolea, and will demonstrate how dance can be updated using pop culture. In the third week of the festival, the new work by the company of Royal Ballet choreographer Wayne McGregor also demonstrates how congenial beats can be combined with movement: AUTOBIOGRAPHY is an “overwhelming dance-mosaic” (SZ) set to the music of electronic sample-magician Jlin whose beats have a distinct club vibe.
FTTTTTP! Only Choreographer Gisèle Vienne will deeper explore the ecstatic party world with her acclaimed dance-artwork about a partying CROWD between here and the hereafter. Yeah, it's just a little dance step from the ballet stage to the club at the Summer Festival – after all we are people of conviction, and we believe that bringing together different languages, forms and genres for the public can be as liberating as it is pioneering, and sometimes the distinction between the so-called high culture and marginalized art-forms need carefully to be ignored. This is embodied in a most overwhelming fashion on Aug. 15 by American Elizabeth Streb, who has combined post-modern dance and breakneck acrobatics in the form of »extreme action« – a big stage spectacle for all. Streb has also always blended dance and community work in New York.
The young French art collective (LA)HORDE demonstrates how tremendous dance styles are emerging from the streets and suburban clubs of the world. Their piece TO DA BONE brings together jumpstylers from across Europe to a large stage-choreography. Their high-energy sweat-dripping style first became popular as an internet phenomenon before garnering the praise of official dance world (on a related note, check out the gabber club evening on. (La)HORDE are exemplary of many artists at the festival for whom collective work is both modern and productive, and a path to artistically thrilling results.
In this vein we are presenting two further premieres: WHUUNG! THE KING OF THE SEAGULLS is a Hamburg musical by dada pop-star Andreas Dorau, writer Gereon Klug and director Patrick Wengenroth (with an all-star cast). In Turn Hamburg pop-art band Kante is joining forces with South Africa’s Khoi Khonnexion for the HOUSE OF THE FALLING BONES – a complex piece of musical theater with many collaborators, including Theatertreffen-awarded Anta Helena Recke.
Swiss theater artist Thom Luz is basically a Theatertreffen regular, a master of stage fog and musical theater. We are presenting his new theater-evening as a German premiere. An interest in music runs through the whole festival and has driven Luz also to create a giant fog installation for the St. Gertrud Church, where the two Kampnagel musical favorites Tobias Preisig and Stefan Rusconi are carrying out a three-hour musical performance with church organ and violin.
The only way to float higher is with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra from planet Saturn. All of these artists emphasize the dissolution of borders and establish parallel worlds, including Belgian (Summer Festival-icon) Miet Warlop, who is bringing her anarchic theater- cum-art piece to the stage for children six and above with BIG BEARS CRY TOO – also perfect for adults. The same is true for the latest production by Rimini Protokoll, which is driving 50 audience-members through the city every festival evening on a modified truck under the guidance and perspective of two young experts – with music by Barbara Morgenstern (who is also playing a double-concert with labelmate and HfBK Professor Michaela Melián on Aug. 22).
At this point Close readers have noticed that we view art from an aesthetic perspective, in search of border crossing and escapades.These are particularly virtuosic to experience in Florentina Holzinger's pulsating female-empowerment piece APOLLON - a piece that is also recommended to former thinkers like Peter Sloterdijk, who lament a neo-Puritan mood as a consequence of #MeToo. Yes, APOLLON and many productions of this festival are defined by action – our cover designed by Manuel Bürger is not an empty promise! Alternatively you can consider us as a dance or theatre festival with many transitions to the visual arts and theory, but above all we are everything at once – and besides, it sounds all over the place. WHUMP! Concerts with many connections to the performance program take place every evening, including the premiere of Pantha Du Prince, a hometown appearance by Blumfeld, hip-hop inventors The Last Poets (with their 50-year stage anniversary), refreshing additions like Dope St. Jude from South Africa, parties and and and. Anyone who knows us also knows that no festival can take place without Canadian energy-bolt Josh “Socalled” Dolgin, who will present an evening of the best of the best Yiddish songs with the Kaiser Quartet. This festival’s heart and center is once again the prize-winning Migrantpolitan and the Avant-Garten, this year set up by a team around musical landscape architect Jan Gazarra, hosting, among others, the JAJAJAs and nourished by our friends from Peacetanbul Restaurant.
ZWOSSH! The head buzzing while reading up to here is intended, as well as the state of happiness in the flow of this festival, which with nine world, European and German premieres, four concert premieres and about 50 different program-points is an artistic, logistical and (above all) financial challenge, which is only possible with a euphoric team and many private and institutional supporters who have shared our desire for this festival madness in advance.
See you soon,
András Siebold & The Summer Festival Team