Performances at Henschel-Hallen, July 2–20, 2017

Henschel-Hallen, photo: Mathias Völzke

The large industrial hall that was once the primary site of production for Henschel locomotives and airplanes produces an echo that resonates strongly in the performances that are presented in this impromptu theater. In the weathered surroundings of the post-industrial, Phia Ménard creates an architecture of transformation—connecting the performing body to the body of the theater as spaces and organisms that are continuously in flux. Subsequently, the sounds of composer Jani Christou—in dialogue with composer John Cage—touch and shake the stone, steel, and glass that make up the sonic surrounding for this concert. Alexandra Bachzetsis juxtaposes the intimacy of the stage with the vortex of the theater in a performance that draws on the complex patterns of masculinity-femininity and displacement-belonging within Rebetiko music and choreography. Also at Henschel-Hallen, Kettly Noël proposes a wandering, a détournement, characterized by voodoo and rituals, which situates her own body at the core of her ongoing inquiry into the transformation of violated individuals and societies as a whole. As these bodies of work pass through the abandoned site, silence may return once again to a space presently filled with sonic, physical, and visual reverberation.

Phia Ménard, Immoral Tales – Part One: The Mother House
July 2, 4 and 7, 2017
8:30–10 pm

“My maternal grandfather was one of the victims of the carpet bombing of Nantes by Allied forces in 1943. When upon one occasion it became clear that we were not going to lay flowers at the grave of my grandfather but were instead going to visit a faceless mass grave, I understood the terrible infamy of bombs. Maybe then my mind stumbled across the words ‘Marshall Plan’, the program set up to rebuild Europe: organize mass destruction and then manage the reconstruction of war-devastated cities.
Build a ‘Marshall’ village out of made-to-measure cardboard, in the same way that we put up rows of tents for refugees. Everything seems perfect, except for that cloud, which looks like it’s getting bigger, and darker. Maybe a bolt of lightening, even a rainstorm with torrents of water! The Marshall village collapses. It turns into mush, a sticky mess in which bodies drown…” —Phia Ménard

Artistic Direction, Choreography, and Performance: Phia Ménard
Assisted by: Jean-Luc Beaujault
Music and Sound Space: Ivan Roussel
Stage Managers: Pierre Blanchet and Rodolphe Thibaud
Costumes: Fabrice Ilia Leroy
Technical Manager: Olivier Gicquiaud
Codirector, Production, and Administration: Claire Massonnet
Production Assistant: Clarisse Mérot
Public Relations: Adrien Poulard
Executive Production: Compagnie Non Nova

Jani Christou, Praxis for 12 (1966), Interlude mit John Cage Four6 (1990), Anaparastasis III ‘The Pianist’ (1968)
July 5, 2017
8–9 pm

Anaparastasis III ‘The Pianist’ (1968)
Anaparastasis III ‘The Pianist’ cuts deep into one the most primitive and universal fears of mankind—the inability to communicate. Involving a pianist (actor) attempting to communicate with the piano in several different manners, the work unfolds against an unceasing continuum of electronic threads of sound which inform the psychodrama throughout.

Praxis for 12 (1966)
“Any living art keeps generating an overall logic fed by a collectivity of characteristic actions. Whenever an action is purposefully performed to conform with the current overall logic characteristic of the art, that action is a ‘praxis,’ or a purposeful and characteristic action. But whenever an action is purposefully performed so as to go beyond the current overall logic characteristic of the art, the action is a ‘metapraxis,’ or a purposeful non-characteristic action: a ‘meta-action’ … For instance, a conductor conducting during a concert is a praxis, but if he is also required to walk about, speak, scream, or perform any other action not strictly connected to conducting, that could be a metapraxis …
A metapraxis is an implosion, a tension under the surface of a single medium which threatens that very medium’s meaning barrier … A violation within a single order of things.” —Jani Christou

Conductor: Rupert Huber
Performers: Ergon Ensemble, Tejo Janssen

Alexandra Bachzetsis, Private Song (2017)
July 10–13, 2017
10–11 pm

Private Song proposes framing as a perceptual strategy for questioning, underlining, or neutralizing the spectator’s relation to moving bodies on stage. Popular rebetiko songs from the 1940s and 1950s composed by Giannis Papaioannou, Vassilis Tsitsanis, and Giorgos Mitsakis are introduced within the piece—not as a narrative motif but as a means of juxtaposing the singular voices and codified gestures coming from oriental and modern dance as well as wrestling, Hollywood gender models, and the pictorial history of representations of love and battle. Through these acts of reframing, Private Song produces a phantasmic staging, working as a device for channeling perception and affect that ultimately transforms the position of the viewer.

Performers: Alexandra Bachzetsis, Sotiris Vassiliou and Thibault Lac
Co-produced by Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen, Haarlem, Volksbühne, Berlin and Schering Stiftung, Berlin

Kettly Noël, Errance (2004/2017)
July 19–20, 2017
8–8:35 pm

Traces, or fragments, of suspended, restrained gestures—prisoners of a body that yearns to express the sexes and the countenances of the “elsewhere” that she, the performer, Kettly Noël, invokes. The tension, the surprise, the horror, and the joy that is read on her face creates an interior world into which we are sucked. It is impossible for us to extricate ourselves: we are caught—prisoners, trapped, taken to task, ensnared in the game. Each movement conveys ambiguity. A caress can become a blow, a step can become a tumble or a fall, desire can turn into surrender. Her clothing could be a dress, a shroud, a straightjacket… Blurring the boundaries between executioner and victim, child and adult, man and woman, the performer rejects separation. Pushed to the limit by these different states of domination, of violence, she seeks to free this force that could contain everything.

Concept, Performer: Kettly Noël
Scenography: Michel Meyer
Lighting: Samuel Dosière

Henschel-Hallen, Wolfhager Strasse 109, B251, 34127 Kassel
bus 18 and 19, bus stop Siemensstrasse
The former factory halls are situated outside of town on Wolfhager Straße. It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk there from Friedrichsplatz. We therefore recommend using public transportation, riding a bike, or going by car. Please note public transportation travel times. Sufficient parking spaces are available at the venue.

Evening performances: entrance fee 10 € / 2 € with valid documenta 14 ticket.
Tickets for evening performances available at documenta 14 sales counters and at the entrance.

Posted in News on 06.30.2017


by Kettly Noël

Traces, or fragments, of suspended, restrained gestures—prisoners of a body that yearns to express the sexes and the countenances of the “elsewhere” that she, the performer, Kettly Noël, invokes. The tension, the surprise, the horror, and the joy that is read on her face creates an interior world into which we are sucked.

July 19–20, 2017, 8 pm


Private Song

by Alexandra Bachzetsis

July 10–13, 2017, 10–11 pm
Henschel-Hallen, Kassel…


Immoral Tales – Part One: The Mother House

by Phia Ménard

July 2, 4 and 7, 2017
8:30–10 pm
Henschel-Hallen, Kassel…