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Program

16 April - 20:00 h (Local Time)
Panoramakino

Foto: Sebastian Bisch

NOVEMBER 1918
TANZ AUF DEM VULKAN

Songs and texts from the 1920s by Bertolt Brecht, Alfred Döblin, Hanns Eisler, Friedrich Holländer, Harry Graf Kessler, Else Lasker-Schüler, Rosa Luxemburg, Kurt Tucholsky and many others.

with Maren Kroymann and Sylvester Groth, accompanied at the piano by Sir Henry presented by Gerhard Ahrens

Content
A literary and musical evening about a dramatic era. 1918 marked the end of a thousand-year epoch of German empires and kingdoms, whose order found itself in freefall in the dying days of the First World War. It also marked the beginning of a new era that had already started to emerge at the end of the 19th century in the worlds of science, business, everyday culture, and art. The downfall of the German empire appeared to unleash all these forces, which subsequently burst forth relentlessly. The period immediately after the First World War was characterized by unrest culminating in civil war-like protests and an incredible power struggle between a wide variety of political players ranging from the far left to the far right. It was a time of economic collapse and hyperinflation in the early Twenties, accompanied by exciting political, scientific and artistic experiments, and completely new horizons of experience. Within a short time, dignity changed from snobbishness to a vociferously demanded human right. All this is reflected vividly in the literature of the day. The much-lauded 'Twenties' attitude' was not quite as 'golden' as often depicted in modern history. The writers, composers, and artists of the time experienced contradictions up close and were able to transform this ambivalence into words and music that are still moving to this day.

Authors
The doctor and novelist Alfred Döblin, whose four-volume novel November 1918 would provide a late literary epitaph for the period after the First World War, began to make his sharp-tongued comments on the events of the time through polemics and satire. After the War, Friedrich Holländer founded a cabaret together with Kurt Tucholsky, Klabund, Walter Mehring, Joachim Ringelnatz and others, for which he wrote texts and composed music. Kurt Tucholsky was one of the most important publicists of the Weimar Republic. Like no other, he took a long, hard look at the people of Berlin in particular, capturing the reality of their lives in countless songs and poems. The young Berthold Brecht visited Berlin on several occasions in the early Twenties before settling there in 1924 after becoming an avowed Communist. The move proved especially beneficial to his close collaboration with the composer Hanns Eisler. After an intermezzo as the German ambassador to Poland, Count Harry Kessler – also known as the "Red Count" – became a collector, patron and critic highly respected in the German art world and certified by the 'Workers' and Soldiers' Council of Greater Berlin'. He was also a brilliant chronicler of his time. The poet and artist Elke Lasker-Schüler was an important representative of German Expressionism far beyond this literary era. Rosa Luxemburg was an influential representative of the workers' movement that was quick to warn about the dangers of the autocratic structures of the 'workers' and farmers' councils' – until she was shot dead by a Freikorps lieutenant in January 1919.

Actors
Maren Kroymann is a well-known actress who has appeared in numerous television and film productions, including the dramatization of Sarah Kuttner's novel Mängelexemplar (2016). As a cabaret artist, she has amused audiences with feminist humour at the Scheibenwischer and other venues as well as with her sketch comedy show KROYMANN. As a singer, her current on-stage programme In my Sixties focuses on the pop music of the 1960s and the liberation from rigid moral values. Kroymann received the honorary Baden-Wurttemberg Fringe Prize in 2015 and the MANEO Award for her artistic and social commitment to the fight against homophobia, misogyny, and violence. She appeared in last year's Movimentos Festival with a staged musical reading of Emma, sei stark!

A mixture of decisiveness and passion has helped Sylvester Groth captivate audiences at major theatres in German-speaking countries, including the Schaubühne in Berlin, the Munich Kammerspiele and the Salzburg Festival. Since the 1980s, Groth has demonstrated his theatrical versatility in films and on television, including his role as Joseph Goebbels in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds (2009) and in Dani Levy's Mein Führer (2007). This was followed by screen adaptations including Bernhard Schlink's novel The Weekend in 2012, Naked Among Wolves by Bruno Apitz in 2015, and the Eugen Ruge bestseller In Times of Fading Light in 2017. Sylvester Groth has been a regular Movimentos Festival guest since 2009, most recently in Yasmina Reza's Happy are the Happy (2015) and the reading Luther's Freedom (2017).

Canadian musician, actor, and composer John Henry Nijenhuis, better known as Sir Henry, has been working at the Volksbühne in Berlin since 1996. He regularly contributes his unique ironic sound to productions by Frank Castorf, Dimiter Gotscheff, and David Marton, most recently for Faust and Ein schwaches Herz (both in 2017). He has also created the soundtracks for films by Christoph Kalkowski and Alexander Kluge.