The job description of the oracle has lost a lot of its reputation – this is demonstrated by the choreographer Constanza Macras in her new production “The Future” at the Volksbühne. Fernanda Farah initially appears in a white tunic as the Oracle of Delphi and prophesies that a war would destroy a great empire. To a man who asks about his future, she prophesies that his daughter will bear a son who will kill him.
More than two millennia later, the oracle runs a tarot salon. The prophetic powers of the fortune teller are, however, limited; All she has to announce now is: “The future is a new album from Adele.” Fernanda Farah, who has some very weird appearances that evening, looks a bit like Sue Ellen from American TV in her eighties costume -Series “Dallas”.
Macras cheerfully whirls up time levels. Simon Bellouard reads a passage from Marinetti’s “Futuristic Manifesto” from 1909 with a French accent and extols the “beauty of speed”. Johanna Lemke dives into mythical thinking and tells the Amaya legend about the origin of the Salar de Uyuni salt lake in Bolivia.
This salt lake is considered to be one of the largest deposits of lithium. Lithium-ion batteries can also be found in electric cars. “And now these cars are being made in Brandenburg – and that is also one of the reasons why rents are rising in Berlin,” the dancer explains later.
But no texts by Pollesch
Alongside the Austrian enfant terrible Florentina Holzinger, Constanza Macras is one of the two choreographers with whom the new Volksbühne director René Pollesch works. Pollesch was originally supposed to contribute texts for “The Future”; now Macras has written the script alone, a kind of remix of what has been read and snippets of theory.
The choreographer was inspired by the feminist physicist Karen Barad. The Italian writer Bifo Berardi is also quoted as saying that the “future of the future will gradually be abandoned”.
Berardi’s thesis immediately makes sense to an intellectually demanding audience, as Macras presupposes. The digression on quantum physics is a tough one – a new passion for choreographers. When Johanna Lemke talks about the quantum eraser experiment, which questions the classical conception of time, or about the phenomenon of diffraction, then one does not get the impression that the dancer has penetrated the matter.
Neoliberalism is to blame
Much is explained on this evening, rather lectured. The interchangeable text modules are just thrown around the ears. This instruction is juxtaposed with musical numbers and rather silly scenes. The fight scene looks like a comic strip, in which Romans, Vikings and a modern suit wearer with a club, sword and lance crash into each other. An eighties party serves primarily as an occasion to review the fashion sins of the decade. Costume designer Eleonore Carrière did a great job; but the Bad Taste orgy quickly loses its appeal.
The three-piece band also plays oldies like “Atomic” by Blondie and the sappy “The Time of My Life” from the film “Dirty Dancing”. The dancers now appear as “Nostalgia” and “Dyscronia” and speak about retro waves in pop music. This culminates in the thesis that culture in the 21st century is no longer able to grasp the present – which is due to neoliberalism.
Humanity is not advancing
The anti-capitalist furor increases as the evening progresses. Looking at Elon Musk and other super-rich people, it is said towards the end: “Imagine, in the future there will only be these guys – minus your friends.” The scene in which Miki Shoji asks her colleagues reveals pure provo-lust to pose for a picture naked with a religious symbol.
In the background of the stage there are two hills covered by blue plastic sheeting. Again and again the performers climb up the garbage dump inside and slide downwards. The message is that humanity is not making headway in overcoming its crises. Constanza Macras practices in the role of Kassandra. But the means by which she presents her no-future diagnosis wear out quickly. The dance scenes usually don’t ignite either.
“The Future” seems puffed up and confused and brings little gain in knowledge. No future-oriented production for the Volksbühne.
Source From: Tagesspiegel