What is happening in: Nordhausen?

The theater I work for is closed, but we have a new sign outside our walls as you can see:

“Und niemals vergaß ich mein Ziel.” (quote from the musical EVITA/song Don’t cry for me Argentina!)

Our aim: To play for you again, as soon as possible.

Today I started to train my replacement. I work at the theater in Nordhausen since January this year. It was planed, that I do this job as a stand-in position for a limited period of time, because I am overqualified. However I had a little hope, that once they know me, they might offer me a job in the field that I actually want to work in, but there are just no free positions or chances to create an additional position.

A few days ago I also had a little hope, that due to Covid 19 they might extend the contract again for another few weeks, because the administration has a lot of extra work to manage at the moement, but today it seemed to me, that it isn’t going to happen. Therefore, I felt like sharing a few impressions with you. So, here is how my desk looks like (with a Birthday welcome):

desk_theater_Nordhausen
I got fruits, because that is what I always eat during our coffee breaks…

And just in case you are wondering how the building looks like:

Theater_Nordhausen
Theater Nordhausen March 2020

This is my best friend in town:

Dramaticus
Dramatikus – bronze figure infront of the theater

And this is the window of the pub next door:

20200401_190814
Pub vis-à-vis the theater…

A few days after covid 19 spread the owner displaced this old flag and the handwritten sign (meaning: Borders closed, shelfs empty – welcome to the DDR=German Democratic Republic).

I pass this window twice a day and the sign always makes me a little sad. It describes the worries that people have here with respect to what is going on in the moment. Basic rights are restricted all of a sudden –  for a good reason, if you ask me, but still…for people in a little town like Nordhausen, located in eastern Germany, this brings up (perhaps not so good) memories. In fact Nordhausen was located very close to the former inner German border (and the former death strip). It’s a region that struggled before and after the wall came down in 1989. Nowadays the former death strip is a very long hiking trail called the green life line by the way. We spent a saturday afternoon to explore a bit of it – it was a hike from the little village Ellrich to the little village Walkenried in February.

Yesterday Nordhausen was the second city in Germany to announce a duty to wear a mask in public (whenever one leave the house). The rule is coming into effect next monday. You can’t buy masks anywhere anymore. The theater get calls every day that there is a rumor in town that we are starting to produce masks in our dressmakers shop. We might…however I don’t think we are able to produce all the masks for the fire department, the local electric company and a few other players that I had on the phone already. Interesting times.

Stay well and fit!

Ballett-Elektro bis Corona: der März war kurz

[No full English version available. Sorry! A few sentences at the bottom of this post.]

Als ich Anfang März zur Tanzplattform nach München fuhr, war das noch in Ordnung. Da gab es in Deutschland noch keine große Zahl von Covid19-Fällen und freute ich mich, dass das Festival eben nicht abgesagt wurde. Auf dem großen Empfang im Goethe-Institut für akkreditierte Fachbesucher erfuhren wir, dass die Absage tatsächlich bis zum Vortag noch diskutiert wurde, aber (fast) alles, konnte wie geplant stattfinden. Man wusch sich akribisch x-mal am Tag die Hände und hielt etwas mehr Abstand, aber so richtig große Sorgen machte man sich da noch nicht.

Network event in Munich
Tanzplattform Deutschland / München im März 2020 – vor Corona

Continue reading Ballett-Elektro bis Corona: der März war kurz

Auf geht’s nach München

Allen Viren und Bakterien zum trotz (der Blinddarm ist noch drin und dem Unterleib geht es viel besser), fahre ich gleich nach München und freue mich tierisch auf die Tanzplattform 2020. Die wurde nicht abgesagt!!! 

Auf dem Programm steht heute “Coexist” von Unusual Symptoms.

Morgen geht es mit “Atara” von Reut Shemesh, “Rasp Your Soul” von Kat Válastur, “Kabuki Noir” von Ginterdorf/Klaßen und “Unstern” von Moritz Ostruschnjak weiter.

Samstag gehe ich dann noch zu “Figured” von Sheena Mc Grandles, zu “Playblack” von Joana Tischkau und zu “Soul Chain” von tanzmainz/Sharon Eyal.

Sicher ist, dass ich mir die Titel der Stück nicht werde merken können, aber es bleiben hoffentliche bleibende Eindrücke.

Berichte dann am Montag. Ich reise mal ohne Laptop, um meinen Rücken zu schonen und überhaupt: Analog ist ja das neue Bio. 🙂

NTGent – Create your own Classics

On Milo-Style and statements that resonate after the conference “Comm on – Allies, Activists and Alternatives in European Theatre”

Big title, eh?! I know. 4 days, more than 30 lectures, panels, workshops and shows on the program – a constant selection process. Let’s start with: Ghent is wonderful! In fact, I liked the city so much, that it was a little harder for me to focus on the dramaturgs society conference than usual. Especially Thursday and Friday, when I felt somewhat sick, I decided to attend less panels and to go for a walk in the sunshine. I missed the kick-off “Making of KillJoy-Quiz” by Luanda Casella and went to bed instead of going to the “Get together”. Anyone reading this, who was there and can give me an up-date on the Quiz? I forgot to ask.

Sarah Vanhee speaking during a panel in the beautiful foyer of Opera Ballet Vlaanderen) in Ghent

My highlight on Friday was Sarah Vanhee. She presented a few of her interesting long-term projects. One is “Lecture for Everyone”, for example.

Continue reading NTGent – Create your own Classics

G(h)ent – do you believe in the future?

Goedenavond! Bonsoir! I arrived in Ghent and I knew after an hour that I like this city. Beautiful historic downton area, places to hang arround, lovely coffee shops – some spots are a little too hip maybe, but really: it’s cool here and you can buy “Chocolade Vla” in one liter packages.

To my surprise I booked myself a single room in the hostel, which is good now, because I have a cold and need the sleep…seems like I was in a good mood, when I booked this trip a few months ago. The room is very simple – one spoon, one fork, one knife…well, if I buy one of each praline tomorrow nobody will think I am funny.

The bikers are crazy…wirklich lebensmüde…hardly anybody is wearing a helmet. I already saw an accident while working the five minutes from the tram station to my hostel.

The NTGent theater (they write themselfs with no “h” – isn’t it confusing…) schouwburg is an impressive building and a very special sign is wellcoming visitors: “The city theater of the future”. Find out more about the Gent theater manifesto here – 10 ideas, losts of consequences for the theater production process. I also found a clip about Milo Rau talking about his production “Lam Gods” on youtube where you can see a bit of the building that I visited today. That’s it for tonight…the production “Anatomie van Pijn” (anatomy of pain) by Lies Pauwels (a piece about pain and pain killers) was difficult. Might write a few words about it tomorrow.

 

Comm On, become an Ally

On my way to Gent today to join the conference COMM ON – Allies, Activists and Alternatives in European Theatre. Seven hours by train via Brussels. I really enjoy to drive to conferences. For a few days I dive into a new location, meet new people and see new productions. This year is of particular interest, because it’s the first time that the Dramaturgs Society was invited to held the conference at a theatre outside of Germany, Switzerland and Austria (German speaking regions). We are invited to meet in Belgium. The language barrier will be a topic. I already had difficulties to order my tickets for various productions, but thanks to the google translator I figured it out.

Will stay in a hostel in downtown Gent. Just changed trains in cologne and this ICE to Brussels I am all of a sudden surrounded by people who will attend the conference. Marc Grandmontagne is sitting a few seats away from me.  The women on my left just checked the web site of NTGent and the girls to my right are reading the printed version of the conference. Here we go. Four days to meet old and new faces. The Artistic Director of the theater in Gent is Milo Rau. Google him, if the name doesn’t ring a bell. I have tickets for the productions “Anatomie van pijn” (today), “Her(e)” and “Rasa”. Behind me a guy is calling a colleague, that he will not be availlable until monday and can’t finish the text. I am surrouned by like mined people. The announcements are in French now and the landscape changed – I crossed the border. This is Europe…last week we lost Great Britain, but I hope the country will rejoin one day. Next post live from Gent. 🙂

Take care Everybody – keep calm and watch on

No Winter in Germany

Belated Happy New Year Everybody!

I have started to work for the Theater Nordhausen/Loh-Orchester Sondershausen out of the blue and it’s been a crazy month so far. To be honest, I am happy that I only stepped in for a few weeks. The city Nordhausen is really small and besides working there is nothing one can do really. Well, hiking on the weekend maybe.

View from Ilfeld (direction Nordhausen)

The Harz region is lovely and we already hiked the “Felsentour” in Ilfeld. However, that comes with the awareness that we have no winter here this year and that the forests are dying. I have seen the signs in verious regions now. The summers are just to hot and to dry. Read more about the Global Climate Risk Index 2020 here.

After-work options are very limited. The theater is the heart of the city really. I miss my dance classes in Rostock a lot. I went to two dance studios here and I go to a Jazz class regularly, but the quality is not as good as in Rostock, Osnabrueck or Leipzig. I am used to teachers, who are active professional dancers themselves…

The work situation at the theater is stressful. Mainly due to a lack of staff and the fact that parts of the theater will be under construction 2020 till 2024. However, everybody is very friendly and offers help. The plan is to renovate and modernize the main building, while playing in an interim solution and to build a new workshop. There is a lot of extra work that comes with such a decision and process. A lot of restrictions and paperwork…Germany you know. However, I will not do this forever and it pays my bills. Besides I will attend the conference of the Dramaturgs Society. It takes place in Ghent next month, I will travel by train and I am really looking forward to this trip. Time to discover a new city!

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