Ecstasy - the physical experience of intense joy, the simultaneity of being present and absent - was the central theme of the festival at the Hebbel am Ufer. "Politics of Ecstasy" presented a variety of positions based on the theme of ecstasy from the fields of dance, performance, fine arts, and music, and accompanied these with discussions, workshops and a series of improvisation events.
Until the 19th century the concept of ecstasy was firmly rooted in the religious sphere. As a result of secularization and psychoanalytical research, people began equating ecstasy with the realm of sexuality. Yet the political arena has and still does exploit emotionally-charged moments which can often culminate in ecstasy. "Politics of Ecstasy" aimed to experiment with new forms of community building and tested their ecstatic qualities.
The festival was directed by the American choreographers Jeremy Wade and Meg Stuart, together with the Berlin dramaturge Eike Wittrock. Many artistic forms that incite states of ecstasy were originally developed in America, such as gospel, hip hop or jazz improvisation. A concert series demonstrated musically generated ecstasies, while the performance and dance programme naturally focused on ecstasies of movement.
Artistic directors: Meg Stuart, Jeremy Wade, Eike Wittrock, Brendan Dougherty
Schedule and venue:
23 - 31 Jan. 2009 Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
Hebbel am Ufer / HAU3
Tempelhofer Ufer 10/HH