PRESS RELEASE / Monday 16 October 2023 ulysseseurope.eu
World premiere of la danse d’amazon to take place inside Berlin circus tent on 23-26 November 2023
First time collaboration between Rimini Protokoll and Peng! Kollectiv
Inspired by the Aeolus episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses
Commissioned as part of ULYSSES European Odyssey
Award-winning theatre company Rimini Protokoll will turn global marketplace Amazon and the international transfer of data and information into a circus, when they premiere la danse d’amazon – a fulfilment circus under a big top tent in Berlin from 23-26 November.
Directed by Daniel Wetzel, with dramaturgy by Aljoscha Begrich, la danse d’amazon brings together theatre, dance and circus, digital, and multimedia, inviting the audience to think about the impact that Amazon, e-commerce and the worldwide circulation of information, including fake news, have on all our lives.
Performed inside the CABUWAZI circus tent in Marzahn to the east of Berlin, la danse d’amazon has been commissioned as part of ULYSSES European Odyssey, the Europe-wide cultural programme taking place in 18 cities across three years and takes inspiration from the Aeolus episode in James Joyce’s landmark novel Ulysses, and Homer’s The Odyssey.
In parallel with la danse d’amazon is an intervention by Jean Peters and Peng! Kollectiv, who are described as an “explosive concoction of activism, hacking and art battling the brutality of our time“. It is the first time Rimini Protokoll and Peng! Kollectiv have collaborated.
la danse d’amazon draws on many ideas and experiences, including the people who work at Amazon, circus artists, events in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, commodities markets, behaviourism, accelerationism – and the rise of the biggest selling marketplace the world has ever seen. It’s a marketplace where many millions of people from around the world, data, marketing and algorithms come together, interact and coalesce.
In Ulysses, the Aeolus episode is set in a Dublin newspaper office with Joyce’s ideas about words, language, rhetoric, bleeding into the text, evoking newspaper headlines and speaking to the power of the press, which was how most people in the early twentieth century found out about developments locally, nationally and internationally. In The Odyssey, Aeolus the ruler of the winds gives Odysseus a bag containing the winds to aid his voyage home, but his men open the bag thinking it contains riches, unleashing a storm.
Joyce worried that newspapers would reduce news items to mere sensation. Today, Rimini Protokoll connects those concerns to the proliferation of information and data, which buffet people’s opinions and perceptions, beliefs and behaviours.
Daniel Wetzel says: “Shopping malls and zones are changing, “stay in your cave, guys!”, shout the advertisements of the last-mile courier services, and even supermarkets are perpetuating and speeding up their delivery services into the night and into the home. This play is not about lamenting the transformation, but dealing with its pacesetter, Amazon and those who make it grow that overpowering. Us.
“The catalogue of goods on the marketplace Amazon comprises more than 355 million products – and many more are added every day – an endless dance of the production of goods and desires around the globe, shipped through hundreds of “fulfilment centres”. But how do they actually work and what does “fulfilment” consist of?
“What connects the daily training of the body on the high wire with the work of the index finger on the scanner and with the performance ranking at the end of the shift? Why do the tables dance in Karl Marx’s Capital? Is it easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of Amazon?”
la danse d’amazon – a fulfilment circus
23-26 November 2023
CABUWAZI circus tent Marzahn
Otto-Rosenberg-Straße 2 (S-Bahn Raoul-Wallenberg-Straße)
12681 Berlin, Germany
Created and directed by Daniel Wetzel
Collaboration: Jean Peters (Peng! Kollektiv)
Dramaturgy: Aljoscha Begrich
Produced by Rimini Protokoll with Peng! Kollectiv
Choreography: Venetsiana Kalabaliki
Stage design and costumes: Nicole Timm
Video creation: Grit Schuster, Fine Freiberg
Research: Linn Günther
Light: David Scholz
Sound & video: Fine Freiberg
Graphic Design: Valentin Wetzel
Technical director: David Scholz
Assistance: Linn Günther, Luna Anogiáti
Production: Chloé Ferro, Steven Sander
Public relations: Alexandra Lauck
With: Monsur Babalola (Psychologist, Associate at Amazon Fresh), Sebastian Herz (Zignify Global Product Sourcing), Laleshka Salas Salazar (performance artist), Basile Herrmann Philipe (performance artist), Gisela und Dietmar Winkler (Zirkusarchiv Winkler)
A co-production with Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik.
In collaboration with Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz a.o.
Co-funded by the European Union. Funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
Tickets are available now via Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz www.volksbuehne-berlin.de
More information about la danse d’amazon here.
Notes to editors
About ULYSSES European Odyssey
ULYSSES European Odyssey is a three-year, transnational and multi-disciplinary programme inspired by James Joyce’s landmark novel, which runs until June 2024. It includes public events, interventions and symposia in 18 cities in 16 countries: Athens, Berlin, Budapest, Cluj, Copenhagen, Derry-Donegal, Dublin, Eleusis, Istanbul, Leeuwarden, Lisbon, Lugo, Marseille, Oulu, Paris, Trieste, Vilnius and Zurich.
Highlighting the contemporary relevance of Joyce’s work, partners in each city are taking one episode of Ulysses to explore contemporary issues facing Europe, including citizenship and democracy; migration; youth; Europe’s ageing population; social media; food production and sustainability; education; religion and social co-existence; gender freedom; the environment; mental health; and neighbourhoods and community.
Cross-sector symposia in each city will result in chARTer 309, a new democratic exploration of the relationship between arts and society, to be published in 2024. 30 artist exchange residencies are also taking place, and 18 writers from different literary genres and each city have been commissioned to contribute to EUROPE-ULYSSES (working title), a new book also to be published next year.
ULYSSES European Odyssey was conceived and originated by Lead Artistic Partner ARTS OVER BORDERS (Ireland’s acclaimed presenting body for cross-border arts festivals). They have developed the project with Lead Partner Netherlands-based Brave New World Producties (established after Leeuwarden-Friesland European Capital of Culture 2018 with the aim of investing in young artists through international collaborations in non-traditional settings), working with partners in each of the 18 cities. ULYSSES European Odyssey is funded through an award from the European Commission’s Creative Europe Fund.
ULYSSES European Partners:
Arena Ensemble (PT)
ARTS OVER BORDERS (IE)
Blaagaard Teater (DK)
Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Theatre and Film (RO)
Brave New World Producties (NL)
Budapest Brand nZrt (HU)
Commune di Trieste (IT)
Critical+Xwhy Agency (LT)
Fundación Uxío Novoneyra (ES)
gethan&myles and Collectif ildi ! eldi (FR)
Lumo Light Festival (FI)
Museo Joyce Trieste (IT)
Museum of Literature Ireland, MoLI (IE)
ONASSIS Stegi (GR)
Rimini Protokoll (DE)
Teatrul National Lucian Blaga din Cluj-Napoca (RO)
Vilnius City Museum (LT)
Yalan Dünya Films Ltd. (TR)