Hebbel am Ufer
ABA visit Hebbel am Ufer Theater in Berlin.
‘Since the 1990s there’s been a series of new hybrid theatrical genres in Berlin that reflected the fact that the city had to incorporate, or as we would say today, integrate the earlier divided and localised specialised cultural scenes of the old Federal Republic and the former GDR. What was once big in critical theory in Frankfurt am Main, in the pop music underground of Hamburg and the visual arts scene in Cologne had arrived in Berlin; what was being debated about cinema in Munich and up-and-coming in theatrical forms in Bochum or Bremen, whoever’s working in Anklam or Leipzig on a completely different socialist art or elevating media art in East Berlin, they all converged in the then new Berlin without being able or wanting to continue with something that was developed locally. There were many surviving, occupied and revitalised places and apart from the customary and well-known success stories of techno, Russendisko and the Volksbühne or ‘People’s Theatre’, there were a vast number of smaller developments from hip hop labels to dance festivals, which not only generated great popularity for the city – and not solely from international tourists – but above all hybrids: artistic, activist, journalistic, organisational amalgamations, which weren’t immediately recognised as such. In the meantime, people used old buildings and therefore the shadows of their former institutional past.’ (
excerpt from Translation: Jen Calleja
(c) HAU Hebbel am Ufer / Diedrich Diederichsen, 2016
For his 20th and possibly final piece – as he always likes imagining that each new show will be the last – Jérôme Bel plunged into the video archives of shows which he created in the last 25 years. The filmic retrospective, a co-production with HAU, juxtaposes in chronological order the most significant scenes for the choreographer today. This new construction – or dramaturgy – focuses on the, for Bel, crucial link between dance and politics.