February 2023

replay explores the relationship between movement and sound in different cultural spaces. Olympia Bukkakis and her team use the drag bar, pop music videos, classical music halls and opera houses (as well as the logics of who gets to do what in these spaces) as inspiration to create a show that gleefully and brazenly transgresses genre. Olympia draws on her 13 years experience on drag stages, her childhood training on the cello and her position as a choreographer in Berlin. She is accompanied onstage by Am Ertl who, with their background in jazz and contemporary dance, has also created some of the movement material, and the Darvish, a self-trained dancer who brings their extensive experience performing in Berlin’s underground queer nightlife as well as on contemporary stages.

The material was generated using a number of very different methods, from interpreting Bach and learning Baroque dances, to inventing new Britney choreographies, to somatic-based improvisation (guided by Maria Scaroni), to interactions with Camille Lacadee’s set, and an original cello composition by Thierry Tidrow. The original sound design by MINQ, as well as lighting by Bryan Schall, and costumes by Alexis Mersmann, also had strong influences on the development of the performance. Throughout this process care was taken to make decisions about what parts needed to be polished and what was interesting in its imperfect or in-process state.

replay seeks to bring together different worlds in order to ask why we behave or experience things differently in different spaces and encourages the audience to question why this is so. Some questions that informed this process were: are opera and classical music inherently more sophisticated than other forms (such as drag)? What are the differences and similarities between state supported and unfunded art forms? Are the different ways we produce cultural material sustainable and what does this process do to the workers who produce it? Why does the spectacle of feminine suffering excite us so much? And what would be possible if we could leave this perverse fascination behind us?

Concept, Choreography, Performance: Olympia Bukkakis Choreography, Performance: Am Ertl Co-development, Performance: The Darvish Composition, Dramaturgy: Thierry Tidrow Movement research, Choreography, Dramaturgy: Maria Scaroni Stage Design: Camille Lacadee Sound Design: MINQ Costume: Alexis Mersman Lighting Design, Technical Direction: Bryan Schall Artistic & Organisational Collaboration: Paul Niedermayer Production Direction: Lisa Gehring

A production by Olympia Bukkakis in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE. Supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.

Photography: Mayra Wallraff