Grüner Salon
Volksbühne Berlin
Spielzeit 2017/18

The Grüner Salon was programmed by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff during the Volksbühne’s 2017/18 season.

11 November 2017
The Grüner Salon reopens with a soundtrack on loop developed for the space by the composer Katrin Vellrath and longtime Volksbühne ensemble member and musician Sir Henry, setting the tone for the first theater piece and the 2017/18 Spielzeit as a whole. The set will already be arranged for the premiere of News Crime Sports, which begins its run the following weekend.

17, 18, 23, 24, 25 November; 7, 8, 9 December 2017
News Crime Sports
by Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff
with Agathe Bommier, Mia von Matt, Lily McMenamy, Leon Kahane, Theresa Patzschke, Elias Pitegoff, Sir Henry & the voice of Silvia Rieger
Musical composition: Sir Henry & Katrin Vellrath
Costumes: Ella Plevin
Choreography: Tarren Johnson
Madness falls in waves as the passengers of a cruise ship stuck at sea fill the hours, weeks, and years that seem to unfold at once, passing Rimbaud poems like herpes, while regurgitating the regressive fantasies of a lost social order.

1 & 2 December 2017
abonnement lyrique: - hector berliozzz -
Michael Kleine with Vera Maria Kremers & Roman Lemberg
abonnement lyrique: - hector berliozzz - is a classical concert in the Grüner Salon staged and organized by Michael Kleine. The program begins with the classic duo set-up, featuring dramatic soprano Vera Maria Kremers and Roman Lemberg on the piano, and it focuses on the work of Hector Berlioz, as a representative of the extreme Romanticism of 19th-century France.

14 & 15 December 2017
Ominous Reality Principle
Neda Sanai with Jen Rosenblit & Hengameh Yaghoobifarah
Ominous Reality Principle encompasses several performative scenarios where sound, text and bodies come together to reflect on the politics of defense mechanisms, the psychology of sound and the threat of language. The material encompasses a score composed by Neda Sanai, performer Jen Rosenblit’s current research, which focuses on strategies and problems of togetherness, and writer Hengameh Yaghoobifarah spatializing writing and pushing journalism into a dystopian reallife scenario. These three separate practices merge together and spread into the Grüner Salon like an aroma diffuser.

19 January 2018
Concert: Trevor Lee Larson
Trevor Lee Larson plays to the room.

27 January 2018
Concert: Lyra / Bendik Giske
In this intimate concert, saxophonist Bendik Giske and singer Lyra Pramuk explore the raw expressive potential of their own voices as instruments, their instruments as voices. The evening blends solo material with collaborative play, with works both acoustic and electronic, in a reverberating arc of experimental song and storytelling.

8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24 February; 1, 2, 3 March 2018
Health & Safety
by Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff
with Jochen Arbeit, Leon Kahane, Lily McMenamy, Sir Henry, Tobias Spichtig & Mia von Matt
Musical composition: Jochen Arbeit and Sir Henry
Costumes: Nhu Duong
Choreography: Tarren Johnson
All the good things happen in private now. These unconscious buildings. One character pours bags of sugar into droning concrete mixers, another falls in love with Potsdamer Platz out of pity. Bored by the monotony of contemporary Berlin, the ghost of Karl Friedrich Schinkel staggers drunk from construction site to bar, unable to lift a brick. Loosely shadowing Molière’s The Misanthrope, Health & Safety is about architecture and heartbreak, destruction and disease, and the collapse of theory into practice. “The next war on a new structure.”

8 & 9 March 2018
Yusuf Etiman with Alessandro Ubirajara Olbrich, Cibelle Cavalli Bastos, Cobi van Tonder, J ane D, Juliane Elting, Luís Knihs, Nico Arawá, Philip Wiegard, Sabina Maria van der Linden & Tatiana Saphir
Esponja is a collective and space-in-the-making from São Paulo aiming to create, support and unite artistic and political initiatives/ movements/efforts to reflect a new collective momentum in a time of extreme polarization and fractionalization of societies, in Brazil and elsewhere. It was initiated by a group around Yusuf Etiman, who lives and works between São Paulo and Berlin, where he founded the magazine and project space basso (2005– 2011).

16 March 2018
People Mover
with films by Marte Eknæs/Michael Amstad, John Smith, & Charles Atlas/Karole Armitage
DJ set by Polido
Berlin-based artist Marte Eknæs and filmmaker/animator Michael Amstad present their short film People Mover, 2017, which follows a loose narrative set in an imaginary city to reflect on ideas of flexibility and urbanism. Focusing on the construction and usage of the urban sphere, the film asks how we form and in turn are affected by commercial and sometimes alienating systems and surroundings. The program also consists of two short films related to People Mover: John Smith’s Blight, 1994–96, and Charles Atlas/Karole Armitage’s From An Island Summer, 1983–84. The film program will be interspersed with a live set by the Berlin and Portugal-based musician Polido, who worked on the sound design for People Mover.

23 March 2018
Nocturnal Kinship
Sandra Mijunga with Alea Kristal Alexis, Christèle Baonga-Alunga & Cassianne Lawrence
DJ set by Kikelomo
Berlin-based artist and musician Sandra Mujinga constructs worlds and identities through performances incorporating her own music, costume and video elements. Her work examines the contradictions in representational politics and visibility, taking into account ideas of surveillance and survival, care and selfpreservation. In the Grüner Salon, Mujinga will present a new piece with three performers accompanied by a live musical set.

29 March 2018
Concert: Möbelkammer
with Eike Grögel, Anke Marschall, Fee Aviv Marschall, Antje Schulz, Yvonne Schulz, Sir Henry & Jan Wüstenberg
In the depths of the Volksbühne, between pianos, benches, lecterns, chairs, tables and sofas there has always has been and will always be music. Sometimes it’s out of key, but that’s not the point. Finding joy and pleasure in making music among coworkers has a long tradition here. There have been many evenings, many songs, many people, arguments, love, happiness, tears. Making music brings people together. Our non-professional band, playing with feeling under the beating pulse of the wheel that has not stopped turning. Möbelkammer is Volksbühne’s house band, named after its furniture storage room – a place where a lot of stuff is stowed away, some of it as old as the hills but some of it brand new. This is their first standalone public concert.

30 March 2019
Karl Holmqvist with Eric D. Clark
Karl Holmqvist reads #PLZ, RESCHYKLI$CCH,
with a DJ set before and/or after by Eric D. Clark.

5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 April 2018
Concorde: Saturn Returns
A play by Georgia Gardner Gray and Steven Warwick
Directed by Georgia Gardner Gray
With Michele DiMenna, Joseph Geagan, Georgia Gardner Gray, Calla Henkel, Tara Khan, Max Pitegoff, Britta Thie & Steven Warwick
Artist Georgia Gardner Gray and artist & musician Steven Warwick present a play on celebrity and jetset culture in the long twentieth century, set on the Concorde. Flight’s boarding. A voyage of discovery of sorts. A funny mix of people on board. A bit like a wedding: some old people, some new people, some artists I’d rather avoid. Really, are they playing “Candle in the Wind”? A bit sinister before take off, innit?

20 April 2018
Begone Dull Care
Sir Henry with Theresa Patzschke
Sir Henry, a longtime member of the Volksbühne ensemble, is known for his work as a musical director. He has been the musical anchor for the Grüner Salon this season. On this special evening, inspired by Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart’s same-titled seminal work of 1949, his explorations in automatic music and coding take him to the realms of interactive installation. The movements of guests in the room activate various virtual instruments as their gestures transform into melodies that harmonically blend with a central midi-driven playlist, while triggering and manipulating visuals with spring and Eleusinian themes. As performative focal points during the evening, Theresa Patzschke and Sir Henry will join forces in a lovely duet for flute and mapping projection.

8 May 2018
Reading by Silvia Rieger:
Auschwitz Chronicle 1939-1945 by Danuta Czech
Screening: Night and Fog by Alain Resnais, 1956

On 8 May – known in many countries as the “Day of Liberation,” commemorating the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht and thus the end of World War II – Silvia Rieger reads (in German) from Danuta Czech’s Auschwitz Chronicle 1939–1945: a daily chronicle of events in the concentration camp compiled from innumerable documents. In addition there will be a screening of Alain Resnais’ 1955 documentary Night and Fog.

18 May 2018
HQ: (I Feel So Mezzaniney)
Steven Warwick and Carlos María Romero
with Laura Sorribes & Indward de Jesus
HQ: (I feel so Mezzaniney) is a collaboration by artist & musician Steven Warwick and dancer/choreographer Carlos María Romero, developed at the FUGA residency in Zaragoza earlier this year. This performance for three dancers and one musician is the latest mutation of Warwick’s “Mezzanine” performance series, each of which responds to the architecture in which it is performed, in conjunction here and previously with Romero’s choreographic practice. Dancers (Las Mezzaninas) are maids-in-waiting, performing labour and acting out the conflicts found in and on platform capitalism, where self-care routines and community-building are monetised and gaslighting fragments trust.

26, 27, 28 April; 12, 25, 26 May 2018
Today Is Tomorrow
by Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff
with Preston Chaunsumlit, Ann Göbel, Lily McMenamy & Mia von Matt
video cameos by Askar Brickman, Natascha Goldenberg & Sabina Maria van der Linden
Musical composition: Sir Henry & Katrin Vellrath
Choreography: Tarren Johnson
Today Is Tomorrow follows a TV news channel and its anchors as they navigate the contested truths of this loud and absurd planet. Empathy is a fallen empire. RIP. No one could handle their nightly strolls bombarded by neighbourhood goldfinches screaming about pesticides and their demented children born from tissue-paper-thin eggs... I understand the jumpers and sleeping-pill swallowers. It was too much to listen to the family dog rattle on about his heartbreak from his balls being chopped off, his yearnings for a family of his own, his insecurities with his weight... more emotional labour to process... Oh yes, I understand Joan of Arc’s last words to the judge: Light your fires.

2 June 2018
Jochen Arbeit with Schneider TM and Claas Grosszeit: 12 String Ragas
Theresa Patzschke: Verweile Doch

Jochen Arbeit, who collaborated on Health & Safety in the Grüner Salon this past spring, is a Berlin-based musician who long played with the Einstürzende Neubauten, AUTOMAT and Die Haut. In this improvisational set, his and Schneider TM’s 12 string guitar–based loops are joined by the percussion of Claas Grosszeit. The evening begins with a reading (in German) by Theresa Patzschke, a writer and musician from Berlin. “Spread your wings For Death / Let the stars rain down upon you Until they inflame you.” Linger Awhile – Verweile Doch.

8 June 2018
One Night Only: two flies in the house of life
Mia von Matt & Seykou Younge with Sara Mathiasson
Performative sketches on the reflective subconsciousness of a cunt mom and a stray cat who wake up in front of a live audience.
A Zero Zone of boundless expectations
A recipe for killing the feeling
Voices and Revoices and Recorded Voices
featuring: the Incestuous Sisters aka the Cunnilinguist Queens, the son of a mother who plays saxophone, and a Souffleuse

16 June 2018
(After the launch of the 5th generation of Dark Pools in El Segundo, serious decay happens in the fissures of the leftover population)

Discoteca Flaming Star with Benedicte Clementsen, Frans Jacobi, Robert M. Ochshorn & Dagmar Gabler
Over the course of a three year-long preoccupation with Dark Pools – a form of secret, anonymous algorithmic stock trading with an increasing impact on global economics – Benedicte Clementsen, Frans Jacobi, and Discoteca Flaming Star have produced a collection of texts responding to these parallel structures and the enigmatic shadows they cast onto their surroundings: our surroundings. Based on the “semantic fields” generated in interviews with experts, the stories explored in 2061 INMORAL LIDOS refract the opaque surfaces of Dark Pools and the twisted fantasies beneath to shape an ambivalent territory that is part fiction, part wild research.

1 July 2018
Glamor and Danger in Warwarwar: The Salon
The Gray Voice Ensemble (Elisabeth Wood with Alex Michalak, Anne-Cécile Desjardin, Anne-Sophie Debrabant, Cristina Druga, Elisabeth Haentjes, Elisabeth Wood, Esra Altin, J.R. Blank, Judith Lavagna, Kathrin Schömer, Laura Brophy, Leonie Nagel, Lingji Hon, Mario Campos Castellano, Marlene Denningmann, Matthias Hoffmann, Melissa Daher, Michael Silverberg, Nori Niki Nori, Ori Behr & Paul Aràmbula)
The Gray Voice Ensemble sings the songs of Albert McCloud and is an ongoing experiment in community, founded in 2013 and directed by Elisabeth Wood.

28, 29, 30 June; 4, 5, 6, 7, July 2018
Der Klang der Familie
by Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff
with Johannes Buchmann, Ann Göbel, Calla Henkel, Herman Hermann, Lily McMenamy, Elias Pitegoff, Max Pitegoff, Sir Henry, Tobias Spichtig & Mia von Matt
Musical composition: Sir Henry
Stage & costume design: Calla Henkel, Nadja Sofie Eller & Max Pitegoff
Choreography: Tarren Johnson
In the last of the series of plays by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff for the Grüner Salon, a family band unpacks their gear for a gig in a Chinese restaurant in Berlin on Christmas Day. Straight marriage is illegal. Global warming has finally grown up. The smell of Syrian wheat and frozen assets wafts over Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz like cheap suntan lotion. The crypto-plague is behind us, so we’ve straightened the hems of our peasant dresses: it’s time to get back to what we do as a civilization. “Today I am your mother, tomorrow I’ll be your brother, but we’re stuck playing this goddamn hit song till the day we die.”