A week ago I was invited to a very special evening in Berlin. The hosts were the CHAMÄLEON theatre and the Käfer restaurant, so theatre met foodporn that night. As an art historian I go to museums and galleries a lot but I also enjoy theatres, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to be on the guest list that night.
The CHAMÄLOEN is a very special theatre and I am very happy I had the chance to visit it for the first time. It’s the only theatre which shows the genre new circus on stage in Germany.New circus, contemporary circus, or nouveau cirque (as it was originally known in French-speaking countries, where it originated from), is a genre of performing arts developed in the later 20th century in which a story or a theme is conveyed through traditional circus skills. Traditional circus skills are blended with a more character-driven approach which we know from classical theatre. Compared with the traditional circuses of the past, the contemporary approach tends to focus more attention on the overall aesthetic impact, on character and story development, and on the use of lighting design, original music, and costume design to convey thematic or narrative content. So it’s a blend of circus and theatre.
I never saw a play of this genre before so I was curious. Right now they’re showing ‘UNDERART. Ode to a Crash Landing’ by the Swedish circus artist Olle Strandberg. Being only 25 he had a severe accident while performing and broke his neck. The play is all about that experience. It’s also about loving life and about getting up again with a lot of Swedish humor in it. I have to admit I didn’t get every scene and I didn’t understand everything of it but the play got me as a whole. The atmosphere and the artistic performances were highly impressive and the story of falling and getting up again touched me. They also had live music with it from Ripple & Murmur.
Directed and conceived by – Olle Strandberg
Composers – Andreas Tengblad and Anna Ahnlund / Ripple & Murmur
Set and costume design – WiklundWiklund
Lighting design – Antti Helminen
Photographer – Mats Bäcker
Sound Design – Søren Krahl and Ripple & Murmur, creatively supported by Wolfgang Fraissinet
Season: 3. September 2016 – 19. February 2017
After the wonderful evening at the CHAMÄLEON theatre we were invited to Käfer’s restaurant on the roof top of the German Reichstag. I’ve been there for the first time and it’s a truly beautiful location. The view is extraordinary at night. It just takes ages to get in because of the high security precautions. But as soon as we got in we were treated really nice and they presented us a great three course meal with very delicious wine.
It was a really nice evening and I’d like to thank the team of the theatre, especially Dagmar, and the restaurant again for the chance!