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THE DARK AGES PRESS KIT RESIDENCE THEATER / MILO RAU (IIPM)

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1 RESIDENCE THEATER / MILO RAU (IIPM) PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR YVEN AUGUSTIN LITTENSTRASSE BERLIN T F

2 CONTENT 0 CREDITS TALK WITH MILO RAU 6 3 MILO RAU / IIPM 10 4 LAIBACH 11 5 CAST AND TEAM 12 PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 2 from 15

3 CREDITS A PRODUCTION BY RESIDENZTHEATER MUNICH IN COOPERATION WITH MILO RAU / INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF POLITICAL MURDER (IIPM) WORLD PREMIERE: 11 APRIL 2015, RESIDENZTHEATER MÜNCHEN / MARSTALL KONZEPT, Sudan, TEXT & DIRECTOR: Milrovo Rau Musić, Vedrana Seksan, Valery Tscheplanowa, Manfred Zapatka DRAMATURGY: Stefan Bläske, Sebastian Huber STAGE & COSTUMES: Anton Lukas CAMERA & VIDEO DESIGN: Marc Stephan MUSIC: Laibach ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Jakub Gawlik DRAMATURE ASSISTANT: Marija Kramerć ASSISTANCE: Marija Kramerć RESEARCH: Stefan Bläske, Mirjam Knapp PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT IIPM (TOUR): Mascha Euchner-Martinez PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 3 from 15

4 1. What happens to people when their beliefs and states break? On what foundation is Europe built? From 1945 to 1995, from the fall of the Third Reich to the siege of Sarajevo: In the second part of his Europe trilogy, Milo Rau devotes himself to the dark prehistory of the unifying Europe under the title The Dark Ages. Actors from Bosnia, Germany, Russia and Serbia tell stories of displacement and homelessness, leaving and arriving, commitment and despair. Biographical close-ups, accompanied by music composed by the Slovenian cult band Laibach for The Dark Ages: As with Rau's acclaimed production The Civil Wars, an intimate tableau of a continent that has been broken in many ways is a political psychoanalysis of our time. On the stage: a pulpit in the style of the (national) socialist culture of representation. It is rotated and reveals an interior. Five actors from Bosnia, Serbia, Germany and Russia sit there and take turns speaking into a camera. Her face is projected large on a screen, her stories, fugally put together in five acts, combine biographical issues with historical questions and events. Breaks in one's own life enter into an exciting dialogue with the great system changes of the ideological age. The focus is on stories of flight and displacement, of war and a new beginning. While The Civil Wars was about Western Europe, 70 years after the end of the Second World War and 20 years after the Srebrenica massacre, The Dark Ages turned its gaze to the east, particularly to the recent history of violence in the Balkans. A political psychoanalysis, a journey into the heart of the war of our time. «Liberation for the first part of the European trilogy" The Civil Wars "The focus is on the peculiar gaze of five individuals: Manfred Zapatka and Valery Tscheplanowa from the ensemble of the Munich Residenztheater remember to post-war Germany and their departure from Russian Kazan. Vedrana Seksan, actress of the Bosnian National Theater, talks about her experiences during the siege PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 4 from 15

5 Sarajevos, from surviving in the hail of shells as well as from the crises of the long post-war period. In Belgrade, Sanja Mitrović danced the night away during the NATO bombing, then left Serbia and has since worked as a performer and director in Holland, the country of the UN war crimes tribunal. Sudbin Musić survived massacres and concentration camps as a Bosniak youth and is now active as a human rights activist in his home country. He recently identified his father's bones in a mass grave. The music for The Dark Ages is composed by the Slovenian cult band Laibach, which has been addressing the connections between ideology and art for decades with its quotes from socialist realism, Nazi art and popular culture. For two generations in the Balkans, Ljubljana is of symbolic importance. At their 1989 concert in Belgrade they predicted the fall of Yugoslavia in blood and shame, their concert in Sarajevo on the day of the Dayton Agreement in 1995 marked the end of the Bosnian War. Actors from the Dark Ages ensemble were present at both concerts. In the sense of a Theatrum Mundi effect, the biographical stories are brought together with questions about the mechanisms and modes of staging of power and art, drama and politics. PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 5 from 15

6 2. "EVERYONE KILLS WHAT HE LOVES?" TALK WITH MILO RAU ABOUT HOMELESSNESS, SHAKESPEARE AND HIS COOPERATION WITH LAIBACH In "The Dark Ages", as in the first part of your European trilogy "The Civil Wars", the focus is on the biographies of the actors. Why this private access to a political issue? The format of the Europa trilogy is almost banal: world history is told from the perspective of private experiences. The five actors talk about very personal, sometimes very dark moments from their lives. It is not about their biographies as such, but the anecdotes from their lives and work exemplify changes in European society over the last 25 years - and in the case of Manfred Zapatka, whose memories go back to 1945, even the last 70 Years. That means, five special people speak, but at the same time they are characters who stand for all of us, for "Europe". "The world is reflected in the details", as the NZZ wrote about the first part of the trilogy - "The Civil Wars". And that's also the reason why I built "The Dark Ages" as a classic drama: with 5 acts that have allegorical titles such as "The Asylum Seekers" or "An Attempt About Evil". One takes a special case as an occasion, five special, ultimately accidental lives. Through a strict formalization - the rotating stage, the fugical structure and the situation of the live shoot - these are raised to the general validity. »An intellectually and emotionally disturbing experience. The biographical stories from the life of the actors make the current threat to the world more tangible and understandable than facts could ever be. «From the jury's rationale for the festival" Politics in the Free Theater "for the award of the prize to the first part of the European Trilogy "The Civil Wars" The actors come from Germany, Russia, Bosnia and Serbia. What role does nationality play in "The Dark Ages"? The year 2015 marks two historical breaks: the end of World War II in 1945 and the genocide in Srebrenica. One date stands for the victory over Nazi Germany and thus the birth of post-nationalist Europe, the second for the resurgence of nationalism after the fall of Eastern blocs. Based on these two historical breaks, the PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 6 from 15

7 thwart the biographies of all actors and determine existentially, the plot of "The Dark Ages" unfolds. On what foundations is Europe built? What does it mean to be a Serb, a German, a Bosnian, a Russian? The huge social issues of our time recur in the biographies of all actors: uprooting, flight, real and ideological abandonment - and finally, in an almost ghostly way, the great, tragic themes of "evil" and impossible justice. With the exception of Sudbin Musić, all of the storytellers on stage are professional actors. And as a human rights activist, author and politician, Musić is also a skilled performer of himself. What role does narration play in the play and how helpful is the term "everyday experts" (coined by the Rimini Protokoll group)? As with "The Civil Wars", the special thing about the constellation is, of course, that the narrators, as professional performers, are not only specialists in their lives - but also in how to tell about human life on stage. "The Dark Ages" is a piece about storytelling as well as a piece about what the so-called "great narratives" do or have done to us - which is why the front of the stage is one of those classic lecterns that we use again and again in our research met. The question is, by which speeches, stories and terms we are shaped. The performer Sanja Mitrović, for example, constantly has to deal with the stamp of the "bad Serbian". Or Sudbin Musić and Vedrana Seksan: They are both citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Sudbin describes herself as "Bosniak", that is, a member of the Muslim minority, Vedrana, on the other hand, as "Bosnian-Herzegovinian", a citizen of the EU pseudo-state of the same name. Valery Tscheplanowa, on the other hand, oscillates between her Russian and German identity, and for Manfred Zapatka his German citizenship as a bombed-out and later 68er and Himmler actor in Karmakar's film "The Himmler Experiment" is complicated anyway. In short: We are dealing with a constellation of actors for whom their respective "nationality" is just as decisive as it is problematic - and who, each for themselves and in their very own style, have become specialists in this type of existential permanent crisis. PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 7 from 15

8 In the trailer for the play Shakespeare plays a central role, you quote "Richard III" and "Hamlet". Does Shakespeare now follow Chekhov in the first part of the trilogy? During the auditions in Belgrade and Sarajevo, the conversation kept coming back to Shakespeare's hunchbacked, malicious usurper Richard: to this pure evil that has to destroy everything - but also to this ecstasy of existence when it comes to life and death and that of our actors can report. Does "evil" exist, and if so, is there justice when evil happens to us? These are central questions in "The Dark Ages". As for "Hamlet" again: It was downright scary how scenes from Shakespeare's play came back almost one-to-one as authentic memories of our actors during rehearsals. Musić actually held his father's skull in his hand, Tscheplanowa "spoke" to a certain extent on her "Hamlet machine" tour with the video image of her recently deceased mentor Dimiter Gotscheff. "Hamlet is actually a foreigner," said Zapatka at some point during our conversations, and that impressed me very much - because it is true: Hamlet comes back home, but he does not find the connection, because he is entangled in a story about which nobody wants to know anything anymore. Hamlet is supposed to integrate, but he cannot and does not want to let go of the past - similar to our actors, similar to millions of migrants in Europe. "The Dark Ages" is a piece about homelessness, about a constantly delayed, ultimately impossible arrival. Hamlet's madness is the madness of our time. The music for "The Dark Ages" comes from the Slovenian band Laibach. How did this collaboration come about? I would say that ex-Yugoslavia has produced a filmmaker - Emir Kusturica -, an artist - Marina Abramović - and a band over the past 30 years: Laibach. I am interested that this band has mapped the history of Yugoslavia, but also Europe, in the course of their career. Even before the fall of the Wall, they toured Europe and the Eastern Bloc, released very critical albums about the EU project and reflected on questions of identity and statehood in almost all of their projects - once they even founded a state themselves and issued passports . But it is particularly interesting that Laibach never appeared in the role of the bourgeoisie or, like the band Kraftwerk, which is comparable in terms of cult factor, as a quasi-posthuman artifact - but always in the role of the classic "old European" aggressor with marching steps and fanfares. Their soundtrack for "The Dark Ages" follows the principle of "Laibach sing 'europe is falling apart' on the song 'Eurovision', and the sound, aesthetics and themes of the Slovenian cult band are predestined for the background music of Raus Stück "Sonic Seducer" at the release of the video clip for "The Dark Ages" PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 8 from 15

9 Wagnerian overwhelming: It is the simultaneously vicious and melancholy hymn to the stories of the actors, in which the collective nightmare of Europe happily reuniting on the ruins of the Second World War and the mass graves of the Yugoslav civil war can be felt. So it is only logical that the leitmotif of the soundtrack for "The Dark Ages" is based on a Shakespeare quote adapted by Oscar Wilde: "Each man kills the thing he loves". The old person must perish so that the new can live, it was said in classical fascism and communism. And the same applies to the New Europe. It's just stupid that we still belong to the old collection. The interview was conducted by Rose Reiter and Lucia Kramer. PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 9 from 15

10 3. MILO RAU / IIPM Milo Rau, born in 1977 in Bern, studied sociology, German and Romance languages ​​in Paris, Zurich and Berlin, among others. with Tzvetan Todorov and Pierre Bourdieu he made his first reportage trips (Chiapas, Cuba) and from 2000 worked as an author for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Milo Rau has been working as a director and author at home and abroad since 2003. He founded the theater and film production company IIPM International Institute of Political Murder for the production and evaluation of his artistic work, which he has been heading ever since. His theater productions and films (including "The Last Days of the Ceausescus", "Hate Radio", "City of Change", "Breivik's Declaration", "The Moscow Trials", "The Civil Wars") have toured and were toured through over 20 countries invited to the most important national and international festivals, among others Berliner Theatertreffen, Festival d Avignon, Wiener Festwochen, Festival TransAmeriques, Kunstenfestival Brussels and Radikal Jung, where he was awarded the director's and critic's prize. In addition to his work for the stage and film, Milo Rau works as a lecturer in directing, cultural theory and social sculpture at universities and art colleges. "The hottest director in Europe" Stuttgarter Zeitung "An artist's life is obsessively guided by very special topics. For me it's violence. «Milo Rau Most recently, the author and director Milo Rau was awarded the Swiss Theater Prize 2014, the radio play prize of the war blind (for" Hate Radio "), a special award (for" The Moscow Trials ") at the Festival des German Films and the jury award of the Politics in Free Theater Festival (for "The Civil Wars"). The magazine La Libre Belgique recently named him one of the "most sought-after directors in Europe" and the newspaper Der Freitag described him as the "most controversial director of his generation". PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 10 from 15

11 4. LAIBACH The band Laibach, responsible for the soundtrack of "The Dark Ages", was founded in 1980. As part of the interdisciplinary art collective New Slovenian Art, the musicians consciously created points of friction with politics before and after the fall of the Wall with the provocative use of a wide variety of ideological, political and religious symbols. Probably the most famous band of ex-Yugoslavia has been touring around the world for over 30 years and, with their more than 15 concept albums, is considered the most stylish industrial band alongside Kraftwerk. The band already achieved museum status during their lifetime: numerous concerts, exhibitions and publications in recent years were retrospective, such as the most recent exhibition LAIBACHKUNST Red District + Black Cross in Trbovlje (Slovenia) in 2010 or the controversial concert in the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in London In their works, with which they repeatedly caused scandals, they proclaimed, among other things, an artistic state and reinterpreted numerous European national anthems. The cult band Laibach at the trailer shoot in Nuremberg with the acting ensemble For "The Dark Ages", Laibach musically deals with the fundamental themes of their band history with major political processes and the role of people in them, and for the first time also strikes melancholy tones. PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 11 from 15

12 5. CAST AND TEAM SANJA MITROVIC (ACTRESS) Sanja Mitrović, born in ex-Yugoslavia, is a theater director, performer and writer and currently lives in Amsterdam and Brussels. She completed a degree in Japanese language and literature in Belgrade as well as a performance degree at the theater department of the Amsterdam School of Art. Mitrović developed his own form of documentary, political theater, which is mainly based on the personal stories of the performers. Your work "Will You Ever Be Happy Again?" was awarded the Dutch BNG Nieuwe Theatermakers Prijs for best director in 2008. Her work has been produced by numerous renowned festivals such as the Kunstenfestival, the Festival a / d Werf and the Spring Festival and among others. Shown at the Wiener Festwochen, the Theaterspektakel Zurich, the BITEF Festival Belgrade and the La Mama Theater New York, she founded the production company Stand Up Tall Productions. PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 12 from 15

13 SUDBIN MUSIC (ACTOR) Sudbin Musić, born near Prijedor in Bosnia, works as a human rights activist in the NGO Prijedor 92 for the concerns of the victims of the Bosnian genocide in his homeland and works as a journalist for the weekly Novo Vrijeme and the popular online magazine MojPrijedor. During the Bosnian War, Musić was exposed to ethnic persecution. He survived a massacre of the Muslim population in his village and was imprisoned in a concentration camp. As a war refugee he lived among other things. He returned to Bosnia for four years in Germany and completed an economics degree at the University of Prijedor. In "The Dark Ages", Musić tells his eventful story for the first time on a theater stage. VEDRANA SEKSAN (ACTRESS) Vedrana Seksan graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Sarajevo in 1998. Since then she has played at the national theater there, and has been a permanent member of the ensemble since 2007. She has also appeared at the Chamber Theater '55 in Sarajevo, the Corbett Theater in London and at international festivals. Vedrana Seksan writes regular columns for Gracija magazine in Sarajevo and is the editor of the book Seksan And The City. She is one of the most famous actresses of the former Yugoslavia, also known from numerous films and television series. During the war she worked as a newscaster for Bosnian television and in the editorial department of the reportage journal Dani. Among other things, she interviewed the head of the Bosnian UN mission General Morillon and caused an international scandal with her public questioning of UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali on New Year's Eve 1992. VALERY TSCHEPLANOWA (ACTRESS) Valery Tscheplonowa grew up in Kazan, Russia, first studied dance at the Palucca School in Dresden and three semesters puppetry at the Ernst Busch Academy of Drama in Berlin before completing her acting studies there. From 2006 to 2009 she was a permanent member of the ensemble at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Here she worked among other things. with Dimiter Gotscheff and Jürgen Gosch. As a member of the Frankfurt Theater (), Valery Tscheplanowa was nominated for the German Theater Prize "Der Faust" in 2011 as "Maria Stuart" under the direction of Michael Thalheimer. She is a member of the ensemble at the Residenztheater Munich, where she made her debut in May 2013 in Dimiter Gotscheff's production "Zement", which was invited to the 2014 Theatertreffen. PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 13 from 15

14 MANFRED ZAPATKA (ACTOR) Manfred Zapatka is one of the most famous actors in German-speaking countries. After engagements in Freiburg and Essen, he achieved his breakthrough under Claus Peymann at the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Zapatka moved to the Münchner Kammerspiele, where he worked for more than 20 years under the direction of Dieter Dorn. Manfred Zapatka played leading roles in countless cinema and television productions, and in 1994 he embodied Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in Heinrich Breloer's documentary drama "Death Game". Since 1999 Zapatka has worked repeatedly with director Romuald Karmakar, together they made the films "Frankfurter Kreuz" and "Das Himmler Projekt", for which he received his first Grimme Prize in 2002. STEFAN BLÄSKE (RESEARCH AND DRAMATURGY) Stefan Bläske is a dramaturge and lecturer. He has been working for the IIPM since the production of "The Dark Ages". He studied theater and media studies, philosophy, political and administrative sciences and was a research assistant at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and assistant professor at the University of Vienna. In addition, he wrote reviews and articles for the TdZ supplement double, Photo History and others. Until 2013 he worked in the dramaturgy of the Residenztheater, in 2014 as a mentor for direction and dramaturgy at the Otto Falckenberg School in Munich. ANTON LUKAS (STAGE DESIGN AND COSTUMES) Anton Lukas realized equipment for productions in the fields of dance, spoken theater and music theater both in fixed theaters and in the independent scene. Anton Lukas has been a permanent outfitter and set designer for Milo Rau / IIPM since 2009 and was responsible for the design of over 20 theater, television and film productions as well as exhibitions for the director. MARC STEPHAN (CAMERA, VIDEODESIGN & MONTAGE) Marc Stephan studied visual communication and experimental film design at the Berlin University of the Arts. He worked among other things. for productions by Sebastian Baumgarten, Stephan Pucher and Meg Stuart and in 2011 the productions "Dead Cat Bounce" and "Money: It came from outer space" (director: Chris Kondek), in which Marc Stephan was involved as video designer and actor, won the Prize of the jury of the festival "Politics in the Free Theater" was he with "Homo Faber" (director: Stefan Pucher) at the Berlin Theatertreffen PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 14 from 15

15 invited. He worked for Milo Rau, among others. on the talk show "The Berlin Talks" and the piece "The Civil Wars". MARIJA KARAKLAJIC (TRANSLATION) Marija Karaklajic studied scenic writing, theater and film studies at the University of Performing Arts in Belgrade. With a DAAD scholarship, she completed the master's degree in dramaturgy at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, including with Hans-Thies Lehmann. Since 2001 she has worked as a freelance dramaturg at state theaters and in the independent scene in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. She is the author of several plays including "Fausse-attaque, sometimes parer", "Baby tooth of the earth", "Face made of glass", "House with three hands". Her pieces have been performed in Serbia and Switzerland. In 2007 she was awarded the Borislav Mihajlović Mihiz playwright's prize. She lives in Belgrade. MASCHA EUCHNER-MARTINEZ (PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT TOUR) Mascha Euchner-Martinez has worked since graduating from the Institut des études européennes (IEE) at the Université Paris 8 as assistant director, festival coordinator and production manager, among others. for the House of World Cultures Berlin, the Young Academy of the Arts Berlin, the HAU Berlin and the Heimathafen Neukölln. She has been working for Milo Rau / IIPM since 2011 as a production manager and tour manager in charge (including "Hate Radio", "Breivik's Declaration", "The Berlin Conversations" and "The Civil Wars"). PRESS CONTACT: AUGUSTIN PR 15 from 15