Julia Riera & Philine Velhagen

Thursday 25. April 2024, 20.00 Uhr
WONDERBOOM 10, Copyright Julia Franken

Between apocalyptic ecstasy and despair, four final party guests celebrate a seemingly unending world demolition party. Not knowing what is to come, they want to save something that can send testimony to another time in a place light years away. They make sound recordings of their humanity in this world. Will anything out there ever receive and understand these messages? Or are they themselves the aliens who no longer understand their world?

The WONDERBOOM dance project is based on a real event. The interstellar space probes Voyager I and Voyager II were launched into space in 1977 and are still travelling, with golden data discs on board - produced in the hope that any intelligent beings could use them to learn about humanity and its position in the universe.

The performers in WONDERBOOM have set themselves the task of making their own selection of what should remain of life on Earth. They create lists, record and discard. In doing so, they draw on their own individual experiences and also find universally valid things. What does it sound like to be human? Which sounds should be selected, from animals, from nature or from machines?

At the same time, the performers also become receivers who reinterpret their own signals. Mobile Bluetooth speakers are carried, held and the performers' bodies become amplifiers or hiding places for the loudspeakers. Breathing, crying, waves, a deer's roar, heartbeat, baby cries can be heard from them. New interpretations of movement transform realistic categorisations before our eyes.

Meaning is constantly dissolving in this nihilistic party, nature and the man-made merge into one another. The deconstructive power of changing meanings disintegrates everything and leads to nothingness, to dissolution. At the same time, an anarchic freedom emerges, revealing unexpected beauty and ludicrous humour.

On the collaboration between Julia Riera and Philine Velhagen

Choreographer Julia Riera (MIRA) and theatre and radio director Philine Velhagen are working together for the first time for WONDERBOOM. They have been following each other's work for years. Riera appreciates Velhagen's open, playful experimental arrangements - both in her performances in public spaces and in her radio works - as humorous, challenging and surprising. Velhagen is attracted by the precision of physical expression in Riera's works, which create an abstract intensity and atmospheric, timeless density. In this first joint project, the two artists bring their strengths together.

WONDERBOOM is supported by Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste, the Cultural Office of the City of Cologne and the Karin and Uwe Hollweg Foundation.

WONDERBOOM is a production of MIRA Performance and Drama Köln. Co-produced by Ringlokschuppen-Ruhr (Mülheim an der Ruhr) and Alte Feuerwache (Cologne).

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