about the production
An old, rickety Lada pretending to be a Mercedes full of people, coins falling out of pockets, artificial flowers, colourful skirts, the Romany anthem Djelem djelem, social workers, music and singing, these are just a few worn-out clichés that come to mind when talking about the Romanies. How about putting all these clichés together and create a performance with the Romanies themselves and invite a famous artist to rehearse a dance show with these talented dancers and born losers? The Goethe Institut in Prague has done just that.
Following the months of field research and selection of participants in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Constanza Macras, a choreographer of Argentinian origin currently active in Berlin has made herself familiar with the Romanies, who they are or what they themselves would like to be. She was also interested to find out what the others would like the Romanies to be. And, therefore, she decided not to go for a mentoring theatre which can induce only a false sentiment but try to create a space for the participants so that they could increase their self-confidence and become themselves, or at least, be able to question what they would like to be.
With her performance Open for everything Macras is not canvassing for a political gesture, she did not do so either in her previous projects Hell on Earth and Scratch Neukölln, in which she worked with the youth from troubled Berlin neighbourhoods. That does not mean that she turns a blind eye to the tragic events from the history and the faux pas of the present European politics. This is why she lets sound the slogans about the cunningness of the Romanies that the politicians and the media are scattering about in western and also central Europe, sociological statistics that are accompanying all these efforts to “solve“ the issue of inadaptable citizens or sensitive references to examples from the arts world showing how the Romanies were abused. For example, the film Tiefland (Lowlands) by Leni Riefenstahl, in which the director engaged the Romanies from the Nazi camps as background actors.
Many of them were later sent also to Oswiecim.
Although the performance Open for Everything gives space to authentic stories told by the participants, Macras is neither aiming at a documentary theatre and an anthropological research nor morality. She is not interested in the culprits and the victims. She is interested only in people. Each individual separately. In this way we get a composition of freely associated scenes, in which the stories of individual participants are told at the background of live music played by the Romany band Gitanes in a constantly changing mood – starting with surrealistic, through comical to nostalgic and melancholic. Private revelations are alternated with more complicated compositions and dance scenes. Open for Everything is made in the category of the best performances by Constanza Macras – she talks about complicated and sad stories as if by the way, deliberately applying a pop- decadent, light director’s approach which creates an impression that we all are able to live our lives open for everything and without a need to create any borders between us.
“The title Open for Everything is both a promise and a challenge. The choreographer has to be open and scrap routine structures. She is not looking for aggressive cultural confrontations but prefers an open dialogue, an exchange where both parties can get closer to each other, while keeping the option of remaining themselves. The symbiosis is equally alien to her as violent encounters. She expects the same from her dancers: the courage to let others come closer, open oneself and talk about the issues that are an integral part of their nation. (…) Paradoxically, the common language among cultures is often hidden in the prejudices which they feel against each other. Whether the Romany folklore, flamenco or pop music, everything becomes a part of a story of persecution, repeated misunderstandings and social alienation. Macras is trying to point out what is binding in the divided world, in the stereotypes carried by both the dancers as well as the viewers.”
Alexander Pleschka, Die Zeit Kultursommer 2012
“Folklore and legends, colourful skirts, Carmen and a whining fiddle, freedom and adventure, honour and round earrings – our clichés are romantic, in the worse case malicious – thieves, layabouts, scum. Macras intends to oppose it with a modern picture which breaks the borders – those in villages and in human minds. „Take your life into your own hands. You yourself are responsible for it.“
Renate Klett, Bilder und Zeiten, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Open for Everything is a passage through a complicated life in Romany communities. Nevertheless, Macras does not consider them only as „trouble causing issues“, because, if she did so, she would once again only create limitations and exclusions from society for them. She adds excellent dance qualities. She is neither trying to preserve the Roma culture nor clarify it. In this way, a mad mix of the Gypsy folklore, hip-hop, flamenco and contemporary dance is created. It is very entertaining to watch how the Romanies and performers of DorkyPark are searching for a common language on the stage in the form of dance. Despite all clumsiness, it is a very touching experience.”
Sandra Luzina, Tagesspiegel
direction and choreography: Constanza Macras
dramaturgy: Carmen Mehnert
stage design: Tal Shacham
costume design: Gilvan Coêlho de Oliveira
photos and video: Manuel Osterholt, Constanza Macras
light: Sergio de Carvalho Pessanha
soundtechnician: Ondřej Juráš
stage technician: Welko Funke
cast: Emil Bordás (HU), Hilde Elbers (NL), Anouk Froidevaux (CA), Fatima Hegedüs (HU), Ádám Horváth (HU), László Horváth (HU), Hyoung-Min Kim (KR), Denis Kuhnert (DE), Viktória Lakatos (HU), Zoltán Lakatos (HU), Iveta Millerová (CZ), Elik Niv (IL), János Norbert Orsós (HU), Monika Peterová (CZ), Rebeka Rédai (HU), Markéta Richterová (CZ), Ivan Rostás (HU), Magdolna Rostás (HU), Viktor Rostás (HU), Yeri Anarika Vargas (MX) hudobníci / musicians: Marek Balog (SK) / Gitans: Milan Demeter (CZ), Milan Kroka (CZ), Jan Surmaj (CZ), Petr Surmaj (CZ)
costume and props technician: Marcus Barros Cardoso
assistants to director: Annika Kuhlmann, Joao Victor Toledo
assistant stage design: Juliette Collas
assistant costume design: Magdalena Emmerig
production manager DorkyPark: Katharina Wallisch
production assistance DorkyPark: Sophia Roma Weyringer
tourmanager: Ricardo Frayha
production manager Budapest: Zsuzsa Berecz
interpreter: Ármin Szabó-Székely
in collaboration with Workshop Foundation. Folklore skirts by Romani Design
production: Constanza Macras|DorkyPark and Goethe-Institut
co-production: Wiener Festwochen, New Stage of National Theatre Prague, Trafó House of Contemporary Arts Budapest, International Theatre Festival Divadelná Nitra, Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Kampnagel Hamburg, HELLERAU – European Centre for the Arts Dresden, Dansens Hus Stockholm and Zürcher Theater Spektakel.
Constanza Macras (1970) studied Dance and Fashion Design. She presented her first works in Amsterdam. In 1995, she moved to Berlin and in 1997 she founded her own dance company, Tamagotchi Y2K. In 2003 she founded the dance theatre company Constanza Macras | DorkyPark in collaboration with the dramaturgist Carmen Mehnert. Here she joined actors, dancers, musicians and artists from various genres and countries and combined text, video, live music and dance. In 2008, Constanza Macras´ production Hell on Earth was awarded the Goethe- Institute’s prize for the best German piece. In 2010 she received the “Arts at MIT William L. Abramowitz Residency” at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the German theatre prize “Der Faust” for Megalopolis. She holds workshops and master classes at Berlin Universities and is often invited to Korea, Japan, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and to the states of South and North America as a choreographer and teacher.
Script of the production: SK a EN surtitles
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