Zweiter Versuch über das Turnen
Entry is free of charge.
Registration is no more possible. Vacant seats, if available, in the evening on site.
Language: German with English surtitles
On its opening night the festival turns into a gymnastics festival. Eight performers present a gymnastic display on stage. Symmetry and synchronicity are the hallmarks of this German body of the people – anyone disturbing these bodily exercises by repeated deviations has to go. A show about the ambivalent role of gymnastics in German history.
The gymnastics movement was started in the early 19th century when Friedrich Ludwig Jahn founded a secret society that supported liberation from the Napoleonic occupation and a united Germany – he wanted to use gymnastics to prepare German youths for fighting the French. The group performed gymnastics in public for the first time in 1811 and two years later ten thousand spectators are supposed to have attended the first large scale gymnastics display. Over the centuries gymnastics festivals were held in various locations that were designated as “German”: in Berlin, Frankfurt and Vienna, in the African colonies, in exile in South America. When these events are studied, “Germany” appears to be an imaginary community with gymnastic displays a test of membership that can be achieved through performance but also forfeited again through failure.
In ZWEITER VERSUCH ÜBER DAS TURNEN (SECOND ESSAY ON GYMNASTICS) members of the group Hauptaktion appear as candidates for such membership. Under the strict eye of a judge they perform choreographies of gymnastic movements and intercut the exercises with a walk through history that consistently redefines the “German body”. From an unknown future in the year 2028 via a gymnastics festival in 2017 held under the slogan “How colourful is that then?” to the first military gymnastics in 1813 on the Hasenheide in Berlin.
By and with: Jonaid Khodabakhshi, Dennis Kopp, Quindell Orton, Jasmina Rezig, Hannah Saar, Isabel Schwenk, Julian Warner, Oliver Zahn
Technical consultant: Caroline Creutzburg
Assistance: Nele Hussmann, Azeret Koua
Dramaturgy: Josef Bairlein
Tour management: Rat&Tat Kulturbüro
Contact for touring enquiries: Rat&Tat Kulturbüro, firstname.lastname@example.org / Oliver Zahn, oliver[a]hauptaktion.de
A HAUPTAKTION production. Co-produced with the Münchner Kammerspiele, SPIELART Munich, the HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Schwankhalle Bremen, Theater Rampe Stuttgart and ARGEkultur Salzburg. In co-operation with Pavillon Hannover. Funded by the State Capital Munich, the district of Upper Bavaria, Lotto-Sport-Stiftung Niedersachsen and TANZFONDS ERBE – an initiative of the Federal Cultural Foundation.
Jonaid Khodabakhshi is an events technician and lighting designer. He has been working in theatre and the visual arts since 2010 and has collaborated closely with the company CADAM. and the Rationaltheater in Munich. He was regularly worked on the productions of Oliver Zahn and the company Hauptaktion since 2014. He is also engaged in the initiate treibgut together with the sculptor and performance artist Boris Maximowitz, a temporary storage space to prevent the accelerated obsolescence of all kinds of materials. Jonaid Khodabakhshi is a trained autodidact and is currently studying paternity at Ludus Vitalis in Munich.
Dennis Kopp studied Scenic Arts and Arts and media Direction at the Universität Hildesheim. He has also worked as a lighting designer and touring technician with an additional dramaturgical role for cobratheater.cobra, Henrike Iglesias, christians//schwenk, Markus&Markus and Thermoboy FK. For his solo performance ‘Let me be the object of your desire’ in 2013he was awarded the Jury Prize at the 100° Festival in Berlin and the Jury Prize at the Arena Festival in Erlangen. He is currently touring with the follow-up production ‚Ein bisschen mehr muss man schon sehen oder: Wie ich mich in einen Schmetterling verwandelte‘.
Quindell Orton studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. She works as a freelance dancer and choreographer in Australia and Germany — with artists such as Anna Konjetzky, CADAM. and Hauptaktion/Oliver Zahn from Germany and Shona Erskine and Chrissie Parrott from Australia. In 2008 she founded the Anything Is Valid Dance Theatre. Her works have been presented at institutions and festivals in Europe and Australia.
Jasmina Rezig studied Musicology at the Universität Leipzig and Theatre and Music Theatre Directing at the Theaterakademie August Everding in Munich. Since 2015 she has been working on an inclusive theatre project together with other artists and doctors from the psychiatric clinic at LMU Munich. Jasmina Rezig also works as a composer and musician and together with her company Mr. Hyde won the Composition Prize at the Festival für zeitgenössische Musik der Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei in 2011.
Hannah Saar studied Theatre and Cultural Studies at LMU Munich and the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has worked as an assistant director, productions manager and dramaturg for theatres with a fixed site and artists and companies who float through the independent scene (including Damian Rebgetz, Alexander Giesche, The Agency, Anta Helena Recke and, together with Julian Warner and Oliver Zahn, the artistic research association Hauptaktion). Hannah Saar is a co-founder of the Initiative für Solidarität am Theater and has been a full-time dramaturg at Theater Oberhausen since the 2018/19 season.
Isabel Schwenk studied Art and Media Direction at the Universität Hildesheim, specialising in theatre. She works as a performer for the syndicate Gefährliche Liebschaften and is a member of the collective christians//schwenk. In 2015 christians//schwenk won the Jury Prize at the 100° Festival in Berlin and the Bürgerstiftung Hildesheim Prize for Young Talent for its production ‘J.U.D.I.T.H.’. In 2016 christians//schwenk was invited to BEST OFF Niedersachsen. Isabel Schwenk has worked as a dramaturg for a range of companies and individual artists in the fields of theatre, performance and film.
Julian Warner was a research assistant at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology/European Anthropology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen from 2015 to 2018 and teaches at the universities of Göttingen and Hildesheim and LMU Munich. Since 2015 he has devised a range of performances with Oliver Zahn as a performer and dramaturg. He was the ethnographer and dramaturg of Anta Helena Recke’s black copy of ‘Mittelreich’ (invited to 2018 Theatertreffen), has co-edited the anthology ‘ALLIANCES – Critical Practice at White Institutions’ (Transcript, 2018) and in 2019 co-curated ‘Impossible Bodies #2’ at the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm.
Oliver Zahn’s choreographic/discursive essays often revolve around memory, nationalism and the body. These are based on extensive research that is ethnographic, archive-based and includes self-experiment. In addition to ‘Situation mit ausgestrecktem Arm’ (on the cultural history of the “Hitler Gruss” gesture) and ‘Situation mit Doppelgänger’ (with Julian Warner, about cultural appropriation in dance, imitation and minstrel shows) and ‘ZWEITER VERSUCH ÜBER DAS TURNEN’ (with seven collaborators) he most recently created the piece ‘Teutona’. Oliver Zahn’s works tour internationally.