Premiere! „Romeos&Julias unplagued. Traumstadt”
The Polish Dance Theatre and the bodytalk collective from Münster have already shared successes on the stages of Berlin, Leipzig or Mannheim, the Cologne Dance Theatre Prize for the performance “JEWROPE” (2014) and the title of the “performance of the year” awarded to the Polish-German co-production “SOLIDARITOT” by the magazine “tanz- Zeitschrift für Ballett, Tanz und Performance” (2019).
In 2021 they meet again for the premiere of "Romeos & Julias unplagued.Traumstadt". They want to see what will happen when dance, understood as creative movement and the most corporeal of arts, collides with reality. And to create a space for reflection about the effects of the pandemic by rediscovering the love story of Romeo and Juliet as told in William Shakespeare's immortal drama.
The coronavirus plague forces us to confront death. It imposes a physical distance, referred to as “social distance”. The trauma of isolation stimulates reflections on the transience of human life, triggering the need to redefine such concepts as contact and closeness. This begs the question: how were pandemics dealt with in the past? The Renaissance was an era in which physicality and the individuality of the human body were reborn: love, sex, the body, death, freedom, Eros and Thanatos... how did Shakespeare measure up to the experience of death caused by past plagues? The famous balcony scene evokes conversations held from a distance during a lockdown. Capuletti's masquerade ball takes on a new dimension as a result of the 2020 experience. Similarly, the conflict of generations: young Juliet, Romeo, Tybalt, Mercutio, who fall victim to the war waged by their parents. After all, in the case of the pandemic, we had a situation where the young posed a threat to the elderly, who were less resistant to the coronavirus.
Drawing on these inspirations, the playwright Rolf Baumgart and the choreographer Yoshiko Waki, want to create an image of the City.
Will the eponymous Traumstadt turn out to be a “city of dreams” or a “city of traumas”?
The premiere of the performance will be presented as part of the Malta Festival Poznań 2021, on 20 and 21 June 20 at 8:00 P.M. at the seat of the Polish Dance Theatre at 8 Stanisława Taczaka Street in Poznań.
The tickets for the premiere are sold out.
"Romeos & Julias unplagued. Traumstadt"
Concept and Choreography: Yoshiko Waki
Assistant Choreographer: Rene Haustein
Dramaturgy: Rolf Baumgart
Set Design and Costumes: Nanako Oizumi
Music Score: Damian Pielka
Dancers and Co-creators: Evelyn Blue, Kacper Bożek, Julia Hałka, Patryk Jarczok, Paulina Jaksim, Jerzy Kaźmierczak, Zbigniew Kocięba, Katarzyna Kulmińska, Dominik Kupka, Daniel Michna, Jinwoo NamKung, Pau Pérez Piqué, Katarzyna Rzetelska, Sandra Szatan, Emily Wong-Adryańczyk
Production Assistant: Marcus Bomski
Production Coordinator: Robert Chodyła
The bodytalk collective was established in 2008. It was founded by Rolf Baumgart, director, composer and author of opera librettos, and Yoshiko Waki, soloist in German opera houses and alternative groups, choreographer working with dance companies from Hamburg to Hong Kong, former member of the famous Johann Kresnik Choreographic Theatre. This Austrian dancer, choreographer and director regarded theater as a tool for criticizing the existing social and political norms, creating performances close to the New Brutalism formula. Provocative, strongly emotional means of expression, described by German dance critics as “Dionysian”, are also a trademark of the bodytalk company. The collective is made up by a theatre firmly rooted in the local community, engaging in many social projects. Since 2016, invited as an artist-in-residence by the Theater at the Pumpenhaus in Münster. His work has won numerous awards , including the Movement-Art award for best independent production of the year and the Bremen Award for Authors and Producers.
Rolf Baumgart – director, playwright, composer
Director, composer, musician, author of opera librettos, co-founder, together with Yoshiko Waki, of the bodytalk company in Münster. He collaborated with the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden and Akademie der Künste Berlin. He co-creates performances with Kain Karawahn, presented at Festival Neue Musik Rümlingen in Switzerland, Steirischer Herbst in Graz, Austria, and Performance Arts Festival in Cleveland, USA. Honoured with numerous awards, among them: Kölner Tanztheater-Preis, Bewegungskunst-Preis Leipzig and Bremer Autoren- und Produzentenpreis.
Yoshiko Waki – choreograher, director
Co-founder, with Rolf Baumgart, of the bodytalk company in Münster. She received her diploma from the Department of Dance and Dance Pedagogy at the State Conservatory of Music and Dance in Heidelberg-Mannheim, Germany. She danced and choreographed all over the world, from Hamburg to Hong Kong. She performed with the City Contemporary Dance Company in Hong Kong and with Johann Kresnik's company at the Volksbühne in Berlin. She worked with the Bonn Opera and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Damian Pielka – multi-instrumentalist, composer, music producer
A self-taught musician and instrument collector. From 2004 to 2014 he was a guitarist in Lech Janerka's band, with which he recorded two albums. He co-created, toured and recorded with bands such as Husky, Pogodno, Japoto and Muchy. He composed music for performances directed by Yoshiko Waki, Katarzyna Szyngiera and Nathalie Larquet.
Nanako Oizumi – set and costume designer
She studied fine arts at Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan. After graduation, she worked as an assistant set designer and then as a freelance set designer in various public theatres and on the independent stage in Tokyo. In 2013, she came to Germany as part of a grant for young artists sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Culture. She currently works as a set and costume designer at the Theatre Bremen, Münchner Kammerspiele and Kösk Munich.
“Romeos & Julias unplagued .Traumstadt” is a co-production of the Polish Dance Theatre and the bodytalk collective in cooperation with asphalt festival and the Pumpenhaus Theatre, subsidized by the City of Münster and the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Subsidized by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports from the Fund for Promotion of Culture as part of the program “Dance”, implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance.
Image: Andrzej Grabowski