Spielart – The Art of Performing

Taking place from 25 October to 9 November 2019 in Munich, the Spielart festival will feature Swiss artists Boris Nikitin, Jeremy Nedd and Mats Staub.

Since 1995, the biennial festival Spielart in Munich has been a byword for critical discourse about innovative and intercultural performing arts as well as on socio-political issues. It also promotes young artists and arouses curiosity about exceptional creative expression. This year’s edition will feature works by four Swiss artists with very idiosyncratic artistic approaches:

Mats Staub_21_©Jörg Baumann
Mats Staub_21_©Jörg Baumann

Mats Staub: «21 – Memories of Growing Up»
15 October to 03 November at Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst
This project is based on interviews with people of all ages, from all parts of the world and with very diverse backgrounds. Staub asked them about what happened when they turned 21, recorded their stories and then had them listen to their own answers three months later, while filming their facial expressions. Since 2012, the project has been growing from city to city and now presents portraits from Switzerland, Germany, Serbia, England, Scotland, Holland, South Africa, Australia, Austria and France.

Mats Staub: «Death and Birth in My Life»
26 October to 09 November at Lothringer13_Nest
Staub’s latest work deals with existential questions about life. He brought people together to talk to each other about their experiences of death and birth, while also presenting conversations from other regions, establishing worldwide connections. The participants are filmed both speaking and listening – so spectators are able to view them in both guises.

Jeremy Nedd & Impilo Mapantsula: «The Ecstatic»
29 to 30 October at Münchner Kammerspiele
During the period of apartheid in South Africa, an energetic dance form, pantsula, emerged in the townships. Swiss-based choreographer Jeremy Nedd and South African dancer Impilo Mapantsula combine the pantsula with another dance tradition: the praise break, from the ecclesiastical context of the Pentecostal movement. It draws together movements, voice and sound, leading the participants into a state of ecstasy. What happens in this encounter between two dance styles?

Boris Nikitin_Versuch über das Sterben_©Boris Nikitin
Boris Nikitin_Versuch über das Sterben_©Boris Nikitin

Boris Nikitin: «Versuch über das Sterben / Attempt on Dying»
04 November at HochX
Nikitin combines the experience of his father’s consideration to end his life through assisted suicide with his own coming-out as a gay man 20 years ago. He develops an autobiographically inspired performance about what it means to break social taboos, step into the public eye and make oneself visible, exposed and vulnerable. Vulnerability is portrayed here not as a lack of humanity, but as the ability to subvert.

Milo Rau, NTGent: «Orest in Mosul»
02 & 03 November at Münchner Kammerspiele
A project by NT Gent from Belgium, directed by the Swiss artist Milo Rau. He transports the ancient material of the «Oresteia», bringing his ensemble to war-ravaged Mosul. Scarcely anywhere in the world does the principle of blood vengeance, the never-ending cycle of revenge which also drives Orestes, seem more manifest than here, where inhabitants are confronted with the question of how to deal with captured IS fighters.

See the full programme of the festival here.