“Silent movies, slapstick, horror movies, MTV, reality TV, and the classics of modern dance-theater [are] formed by the choreographer into an independent oeuvre . . . the enthusiasm of the spectator is transformed directly onto the stage.” —Der Spiegel, Germany
The first dance event of the Walker Art Center’s 2006–2007 performance season features Berlin-based Constanza Macras/Dorky Park’s Back to the Present at 8 pm Thursday–Saturday, September 28–30, in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater. A European sensation and a vivid marker of lightning-fast cultural change, Back to the Present combines riotous video, live rock, and ever-evolving scenic elements. Irreverently mixing high and low, humor and tragedy, choreographer Macras creates outsized works that are more “performance happening” than dance. This Argentina-born artist has been dramatically influenced by the creative and cultural intensity of post-unification Germany. Set against a backdrop of stuff that never dissolves—passionate love letters, old phone numbers, and abandoned theater props—this dance-theater piece asks us to decide what is memory and what is just storage.
Note: Performance contains nudity.
Constanza Macras was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she studied dance and fashion design, developing her own work and dancing with various groups. She continued her dance education in New York at Mere Cunningham Studio and Movement Research. She then moved to Amsterdam where she presented her own work at Dans Werkplaats (Entertainment Inc., 1995) and created performances for different clubs. Macras moved to Berlin in 1995, dancing for various companies, and in 1997, she founded her own company Tamagotchi Y2K (originally Lonely Tamagotchi).
Between 1998 and 2000, Tamagotchi Y2K presented four pieces: Wild Switzerland (1998), Face One (1999), In Between (2000), and Dolce Vita 2000, all of which have been seen in various venues in Berlin and across Europe. From 2001–2002, Macras (in collaboration with Theater am Halleschen Ufer, Sophiensaele, and the Tanz im August festival) developed and presented the MIR – A Love Story trilogy (Prologue, The Conquer, and Endurance) which has since played in London at The Place Theater. Her work PORNOsotros (2002) was presented at Schaubuhne am Lehniner Platz, a co-production of Tamagotchi Y2K, Grand Theater Groningen, Schaubuhne am Lehniner Platz and ‘TanzNacht Berlin 2002’.
In 2003, Macras founded Dorky Park, which has thus far realized two substantial projects in Berlin. In the summer of 2003, Dorky Park’s Back to the Present was integrated into a derelict early 20th century department store in the middle of Berlin. Almost four hours long, Back to the Present was presented to audiences throughout the house, including two bars and a tea salon. Macras was subsequently invited by the Saarländisches Staatstheater in 2003 as a guest choreographer; working together with the company she presented Happiness in Saarbrucken in November 2003. Macras and Dorky Park then created Scratch Neukölln’, the first production of the newly founded HAU 123 theater. Scratch Neukölln’ integrates her company with 10 pre-teen kids, primarily from recently immigrated families living in Neukölln. The work premiered at HAU 1 in December 2003.
Macras has had her premiere with the stage version of Back to the Present at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin in 2004. She continues to work in Berlin’s major venues, including the Volksbühne (RRS), Sophiensaele, the HAU theaters, and the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz.
Tickets to Constanza Macras’ Back to the Present are Thursday, $18 ($15 Walker members); Friday–Saturday, $25 ($20) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Movement Workshop: Constanza Macras
Saturday, September 30, 1-3 pm; $6 ($4)
Constanza Macras’ work is composed of movement, text, video, and live music. These elements combine to relay multiple views on a common theme. The workshop will explore this process and locate original movement material related to theatrical characters and situations. Limited to 25 participants.