Impulse Theater Festival

Düsseldorf, Cologne and Mülheim an der Ruhr

13— 23 June 2019

Mothers of Steel

An ironic lament for the glorification of history, eastern European national myths and present day right-wing populism.

14.06.18 21:00 – 22:00 Tickets

Sold out

16.06.18 18:30 – 19:30 Tickets Schedule
15.06.18 20:00 Tickets

Extra Performance


Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, Stage 4
Language: not language-based

Special on 16.06. after the performance:
Audience discussion with the artists and Rebecca Großmann, doctoral candidate at the History Institute of Cologne University, working in the Department of Eastern European History and Programme Director in the European Division of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Chaired by Christoph Rech, FFT Düsseldorf

© Jakub Wittchen
© Jakub Wittchen

When and where do people cry in public? Are they overcome by honest emotions? Or are they weeping out of political cunning? Are we culturally programmed to be moved? Don’t believe “tears don’t lie”! In the performance MOTHERS OF STEEL Agata Siniarska and Mădălina Dan weep for their memories of the mood of change after the fall of Communism in their homelands of Poland and Romania.  
In iconic tv images such as the shooting of the Ceaușescus and abbreviated written signs, historically significant events, places and agents meet the yawning gaps in a writing of history whose main interest is in constructing a stable national myth – from the Ottoman Empire through Communism to the European Union.  
What are the two performers here showing when they spend an hour sobbing uninterruptedly: great emotions, slapstick or irony?  With biting humour Siniarska and Dan tell the story of eastern Europe from the perspective of the victims – just as the right-wing populists in their current governments like to do. And in doing so, they raise the question of what thoughts lie behind telling this story of collective victimhood.  


Concept, Performance: Mădălina Dan, Agata Siniarska
Dramaturgical Consultants: Mila Pavicevic, Siegmar Zacharias
Sound, Video, Grafic Design: Diego Agulló
Contact for touring enquiries: Mădălina Dan, madalina_d1[a]


Produced by Grażyna Kulczyk of the Art Stations Foundation in co-production with Konfrontacje Teatralne Festival Lublin, Fabrik Potsdam and Alfred ve Dvoře Prag.


Mădălina Dan completed the Master’s programme at HZT Berlin in Solo/Dance/Authorship in 2016 having previously studied Choreography and Screenwriting/New Drama in Bucharest. From 1998 to 2002 she was a member of the Oleg Danovski Romanian State Ballet. Mădălina Dan was active in the contemporary dance scene in Romania for many years. She has recently worked with Sergiu Matis, Agata Siniarska, Tahni Holt, Mihaela Dancs and Alexandra Pirici. She lives in Berlin.

Agata Siniarska studied at HZT Berlin and works in a wide range of forms including performance, events, lectures and video. She is a founder member of female trouble, a collective dedicated to themes including identity, feminism and love. Driven by fundamental theoretical indecision she approaches each of her appointed tasks with fascination and passion – at least in the company of many special adventurers. She lives in Berlin.