ANITA BERBER RETRO/PERSPEKTIVE-
A TANZFONDS ERBE Project
The performance ANITA BERBER – Sie trägt die Nacktheit im Gesicht – makes a guest performance on the 14th and the 15th of October 2015 at the Saarländischen Staatstheater
And the ANITA BERBER – Lecture Performance will be presented on the 17th of October 2015.
Both are presented in the course of the TANZ FESTIVAL SAAR.
The ANITA BERBER production has been mentioned by Renate Klett as „best choreographer” at a critique’s survey in the magazine „TANZ“: Martin Stiefermann with MS Schrittmacher for his Tanzfond Erbe project „Anita Berber“ including the performance, book, discussion and documentation“.
Additionally Maria Walser in „Anita Berber“ has been mentioned as the „hope 2015“ by Hartmut Regitz. „Totally whitened her face appears at the end. Blood-red her lips, pointed like on a painting by Otto Dix. Maria Walser, however, not simply puts on the make up of Anita Berber but really embodies the whole ambivalence of her aspect of a triple-fanned out stage presence in the RETRO/PERSPEKTIVE by Martin Stiefermann.
Egocentric to utter excess, she still suggests a vulnerability that eventually leads to her downfall. Forcefully, nearly obsessively the Berber by Maria Walser is hammering herself into the ground as if she wanted to destroy herself and yet pin herself down in the memories of others.“
Most people today only remember Anita Berber, iconic dance persona of the 1920’s, for her scandals, Rosa von Praunheim’s film or the morbid portrait that Otto Dix painted of her. Despite the fact that Anita Berber was a well-known star in the roaring twenties – not just in Germany, but also abroad. Like no other, she challenged the views and habits of her day and age, provoking new experiences in her audiences. Both loved and hated by the public, the former Sacchetto pupil staged her work with more and more radical technical perfection.
In ANITA BERBER – RETRO/PERSPEKTIVE, MS Schrittmacher set out to reassemble the lost traces of this exceptional dancer and choreographer. The comprehensive research and reconstruction project leaves the scandals behind it to focus on the heart of Anita Berber’s work. The results will be presented from June 18th to 29th at Kunstquartier Bethanien. MS Schrittmacher explore the world of Anita Berber from a dancer’s perspective, tracing her artistic signature, as well as her methods to thus acquire a deeper understanding of who she really was.
In addition to biographical literature, professional and contemporaneous documents of the 1920’s, the research is based on material from the German Dance Archive in Cologne and the Anita Berber Archive in Berlin, where Martin Stiefermann discovered the slim volume “Anita Berberová – Study“ by the Czech choreographer and author Joe Jenčík. In it, Jenčík describes both the dramaturgy and effect of Berber’s choreographies in a very unique and emotional way. As part of the project ANITA BERBER – RETRO/PERSPEKTIVE, MS Schrittmacher will be publishing Jenčíks study from 1930 for the first in German translation.
Based on Jenčíks study, choreographer Martin Stiefermann has reconstructed select solos by Anita Berber together with dancer Brit Rodemund. Their goal is to approximate Berber’s original work and its artistic radicality as closely as possible from today’s perspective. After a successful presentation of the first results of this work in January 2014, Martin Stiefermann and Brit Rodemund continue their reconstruction work on Anita Berber and will present this in a second lecture performance at Kunstquartier Bethanien, Anita Berber’s place of death.
Based on the results of these reconstructions, MS Schrittmacher will also develop a dance piece with three dancers/performers that focuses on the work and methods of dancer and choreographer Anita Berber. Eyewitness reports, newspaper articles and reviews tell the tale of the Anita Berber’s pulsating, restless existence, which knew no boundaries and in which personal experiences were directly translated into movement and dance. Anita Berber as an artfully open book, a life of dance without distance.
The Retro/Perspektive will also pay tribute to Anita Berber’s extensive cinematic work. MS Schrittmacher have invited DJ D’dread, known for his innovative silent film live sets, to bring the very first episode film “Unheimliche Geschichten” – in which Anita Berber played all female roles – into the present by provide a live soundtrack to an exclusive screening.
Last but not least, MS Schrittmacher and other artists will discuss the legacy of Anita Berber in a round table discussion. What does artistic radicality mean today? And who are its protagonists?
A look backwards into the future.
The trailer of „Anita Berber – Sie Trägt die Nacktheit im Gesicht“ can be found here.
The play can be seen here.
A documentary about the project „ANITA BERBER-Rekonstruktionen“ can be viewed following this link.
To see a video of the „Lecture Performance“ click here.
“Cora Frost, Brit Rodemund and Maria Walser gave all for 90 minutes in a revue that is sometimes filled with humor, sometimes with pathos… The wonderfully low key, smoothly dancing Maria Walser, with a fearless gaze that makes her capable of anything – she is believable. Frost as a stoned diva, actually too old to be the drug-addicted Anita who died at 29 – no matter: so uniquely smooth. Long live the gesture of a genius! (Zitty / Berlin)
“Ten days and five formats – film, book, DJ performance, discussion – that all culminate in Stiefermann’s piece “Anita Berber – sie trägt die Nacktheit im Gesicht”, whereby the scandalous femme from the past is now embodied by three performers as a primadonna of change and thus a precise symbol of her time. It is not the concrete that is to be reanimated here – the iconic character of this appearance as well as the radical artistic act are written further, painted over and newly formatted. It’s because the Kugelmensch and the cocaine diva still radiate into the present. What more can one ask from dance art from the past? In any case, Tanzfonds Erbe has served its purpose.” (Die Welt)
“…the proximity is impressive and increases the pull of the piece. The performance is underlain with electronic sounds and music from the 1920s; it strengthens the feeling of sitting in a live film about Anita Berber. Recommendation: go, let yourself be seduced and disgusted by the wild 1920s and a woman who tried to fight with her art against the attitudes of her time.” (Unruhe im Oberrang / Theater Kritik Berlin)
“Anita Berber – She Wears Her Nudity in the Face“
Preview 16. & 17.06.2014 at 7.00 pm
Premiere 18.06.2014 at 8.00 pm
20. & 21.06. / 25., 26., 27. & 28.06.2014 at 8.00 pm
“Anita Berber – Reconstructed”
Lecture Performance in German language
Premiere 19. 06.2014 at 8.00 pm
22.06. 2014 at 6.00 pm, followed by “Unheimliche Geschichten”
29.06.2014 at 6.00 pm, followed by “Artistic Radicality Today – Anita’s Heirs“
Screening with Live DJ-Set with D´dread
22.06.2014 at 8.00 pm
“Anita’s Heirs – Artistic Radicality Today”
Discussion with International Performers Nezaket Ekici, Beatrice Cordua and Florentina Holzinger.
Moderated by: Margarita Tsomou
29.06.2014 at 8.00 pm
Attendance is free – please send an advanced notice of visit to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Anita Berber – Study“
First Publication of Joe Jenčík’s in German
19.06.2014 prior to the premiere of the lecture performance
The Performance ANITA BERBER – She Wears Her Nudity in the Face made a guest appearance on the 14th and 15th of October 2015 at Saarländischen Staatstheater. The ANITA BERBER – Lecture Performance was shown on the 17th of October 2015. Both at the TANZ FESTIVAL SAAR
Research, Reconstruction, Choreography: Martin Stiefermann
Reconstruction, Dance: Cora Frost, Brit Rodemund, Maria Walser
Research, Dramaturgy, Text: Hartmut Schrewe
Artistic Advice: Efrat Stempler
Scenography: Anike Sedello
Music: Albrecht Ziepert
Piano: David Schwarz
Lighting Design: Max Wikström
Assistant Director: Antje Rose
Research Assistants: Johanna Withelm, Karolina Keller
Production Management: ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture
Production Assistant: Franziska Ruhnau
Communication: k3 berlin
Social Media: Patricia Spies
Tech: Fabian Bleisch
Work Experience: Milen Zhelev
Photos/Artwork: Andreas J.Etter
Graphic Design: Peter Junge
A ➔ MS Schrittmacher production. In cooperation with the Anita Berber Archive – Lothar Fischer, the Mime Centrum / ITI and the K. Kieser Verlag. Supported by LICHTblick Bühnentechnik, DINAMIX and Theaterhaus Mitte. Media Partners: radioeins, tanz, taz.die tageszeitung, Berliner Fenster
Funded by TANZFONDS ERBE – An initiative of the Federal Cultural Foundation.