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Drops and Seeds

für 6 Tänzer, 5 Musiker*innen, Elektronik und Resonatoren


Termine & TEAM

Photo © Nobuyuki Arai

22 & 23.1.2020 18:30
Theater of the Department of Performing Arts
Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

CTM Festival
31.1. & 1.2.2020 – 19:45
2.2.2020  – 14:00 & 19:45

radialsystem, Saal
Holzmarktstr. 33, 10243 Berlin


Drops and Seeds
for 6 dancers, 5 musicians, electronics and resonators
performed and staged by KNM Berlin and Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA

Prumsodun Ok (KHM/USA) – Choreography
Ana Maria Rodriguez (ARG/DEU) – Music / Live-Electronics
Fred Pommerehn (USA/DEU) – Stage / Light Design

Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA (KHM)
Sory Chan | Chay Khuon | Sopharoth Morn | Chamreoun Soeurn | Sokhon Tes | Ponmonyka Touch, Dance

Ensemble KNM Berlin (DEU)
Rebecca Lenton, Flute | Horia Dumitrache, Clarinet | Theo Nabicht, Doublebass Clarinet | Michael Weilacher, Percussion | Theodor Flindell, Violin

Andre Bartetzki (DEU) – Sound Design
Shanghai Chang (KHM) – Costume Design

Thomas Bruns (DEU) – Production Management
Karin Weissenbrunner – Production Management / PR

Duration: 60'

Tickets 15 / 12 €
ctm-festival.de/festival-2020/tickets

Video documentation

Facebook Event 

about

Referencing the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s, Drops and Seeds marks the persistence and evolution of Khmer classical dance, which today rests on the shoulders of merely a handful of artists.

Taking its title from a poem by Norwegian lyricist Simen Hagerup, Drops and Seeds considers dance as a mediator between earth and sky – a concept central to traditional dance in Khmer culture. The piece works with the shift of meanings resulting when traditions are put under stress or recalled. The first male student of one of the few survivors/carriers of the Khmer style, Prumsodun Ok replaces the traditional female Khmer performer with a queer dance ensemble. Their alternative bodies abstract and take the dance out of its usual context, creating space for questions of remembrance and transmission, and considering positions of power in traditional society and cultural forms.

In Cambodia, as a result of genocide and war, hundreds of thousands of landmines are still underground. Composer Ana Maria Rodriguez sees them as resonators of the tremendous and sudden wave that struck the country. Can one see these (sound) waves as connecting disruptions of both the earth’s surface and social stability? Through twelve acts, the artists and Ensemble KNM Berlin guide audiences across fragile, challenging, and shifting sonic terrain, navigating the impossible contradictions between micro and macro, individual and society, as well as personal fate and cosmic pathos.

PRUMSODUN OK & NATYARASA
is Cambodia’s first openly gay dance company founded by Prumsodun Ok. It restages Khmer classical dances with a vital freshness and creates original, groundbreaking works at the intersection of art and human dignity.
www.ponatyarasa.com

ENSEMBLE KNM BERLIN
is an important part of the lively contemporary music scene in Berlin, Germany. Since its foundation in 1988, the ensemble has presented programs across the world that reflect a curiosity to explore the unknown and the willingness to confront the most pressing themes of our times.
www.kammerensemble.de

CTM 2020 LIMINAL
Titled Liminal, CTM 2020 – Festival for Adventurous Music and Art
attempts to reflect on music as a space and catalyst for transformation. Featuring concerts, special commissions, club nights, a discourse programme, exhibition, installations, a hacklab, and more, the 10-day Berlin festival proposes multiple entry points into its yearly theme.
www.ctm-festival.de

radialsystem, Berlin
Holzmarktstr. 33
10243 Berlin
www.radialsystem.de

background & biographies

DROPS AND SEEDS
ist die erste gemeinsame Arbeit des kambodschanischen Choreografen Prumsodun Ok und der argentinischen, in Berlin lebenden Komponistin Ana Maria Rodriguez. Ursprünglich von dem gleichnamigen Gedicht des norwegischen Lyrikers Simen Hagerup entlehnt, verweist der Titel hier auf die Darstellung wesentlicher Naturprozesse und Zyklen im traditionellen Tanzstil der Khmer, der für sich eine Mittlerrolle zwischen Himmel und Erde in Anspruch nimmt. „Drops“ (Tropfen) gelesen als „Tears“ (Tränen) erweitert diesen Bezug um die politisch-gesellschaftliche Dimension: Der Genozid der „Roten Khmer“ in den 1970er Jahren führte nicht nur zur Ausrottung eines Viertels der Bevölkerung, sondern ebenfalls zum radikalen Schnitt mit der eigenen kulturellen Identität, dessen Auswirkungen bis in die Gegenwart spürbar sind. Die Wiederbelebung und Weiterentwicklung der traditionellen kambodschanischen Tanzkultur ruht somit auf den Schultern einiger weniger Persönlichkeiten, die in einer biografisch eng verwobenen Lehrer–Schüler–Beziehung ihre Kunst an die nachfolgenden Generationen vermitteln.
Der Tänzer und Choreograf Prumsodun Ok gehört zu jener vermittelnden Generation. Er lernte von den Überlebenden und gibt mit der Gründung Kambodschas erster Gay-Tanzcompagnie Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA die Kunst des Khmer Tanzes an die jüngste Generation weiter.
Mit seiner Kreuzung von Tradition und zeitgenössischer Orientierung schafft er neue Perspektiven und Lebensqualitäten, insbesondere für LGBTQ-Personen.
Prumsodun Ok vergleicht den Genozid mit dem Einschlag eines Meteorits: unvorhergesehen, mächtig, unbegreiflich, das bisherige Leben radikal ändernd. Er hinterlässt einen tiefen Krater, welcher der Gesellschaft wie eine Narbe und ein Makel anhaftet.
Aber es wird regnen. Der Krater wird zum See. Es entsteht neues Leben.
In Kambodscha liegen noch hunderttausende Landminen unter der Erde. Als materialisierte Erinnerungen an den Genozid markieren sie große, unbegehbare Terrains.
Die Komponistin Ana Maria Rodriguez sieht sie als Resonatoren der gewaltigen und plötzlichen Wucht, die das Land traf. Wie eine Welle, die an einem schönen Tag durch das leichte Spiel des Windes in einer Pfütze beginnt und zur monströsen Flutwelle aufbraust.
Auf irdische Oberflächen treffende Himmelskörper, beim Aufprall zerplatzende Regentropfen, aber auch vergossene Krokodilstränen der Staatengemeinschaft oder still wartende und plötzlich explodierende Landminen: sie alle erzeugen Wellen, die sich zu ästhetisch erscheinenden Mustern formieren. Kann man diese (Schall)Wellen als eine Form der Kommunikation zwischen wohlgestalteter Oberfläche und der Welt des Abgrunds sehen? Wie verbindet sich Schönheit und Eleganz mit den schonungslosen Fragen nach dem Überleben?
Die Künstler*innen lassen das Publikum ein fragiles, audiovisuell gerastertes Terrain betreten, das auf der unendlichen Antwort zwischen klein und groß, Individuum und Gesellschaft sowie persönlichem Schicksal und kosmischem Pathos beruht.


DROPS AND SEEDS
is the first joint work of the Cambodian choreographer Prumsodun Ok and the Argentine, Berlin-based composer Ana Maria Rodriguez. The title is originally from a poem by the Norwegian lyricist Simen Hagerup. However, here "Drops and Seeds" refers to the representation of essential natural processes and cycles in the traditional Khmer dance style, which claims to have the role of mediator between earth and sky. "Drops" read as "tears" extends this reference to the political-social dimension: The genocide of the "Khmer Rouge" in the 1970s not only led to the extermination of one quarter of the population but also to a radical cut within its own cultural identity, whose effects can be felt to the present day. The revival and development of traditional Cambodian dance culture thus rests on the shoulders of only a few individuals who are able to convey their art to future generations in a close-knit teacher-student relationship.
The dancer and choreographer Prumsodun Ok belongs to this mediating generation. He learned from the survivors and founded Cambodia's first gay dance company Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA, passing on the art of Khmer dance to the youngest generation. Infusing a contemporary spirit into the traditional dance, he elevates the quality of life and expression for LGBTQ people in Cambodia.
Prumsodun Ok compares the genocide with the impact of a meteorite: unforeseen, powerful, incomprehensible, radically changing the previous life. It leaves behind a deep crater that clings to society like a scar and a stain. But it will rain. The crater becomes the lake. It creates new life.
In Cambodia, hundreds of thousands of landmines are still underground. As materialized memory of the genocide, they mark large, impassable terrains. The composer Ana Maria Rodriguez sees them as resonators of the tremendous and sudden force that struck the country, like a wave that starts in a puddle with the light play of the wind and becomes a monstrous tidal wave.
Heavenly bodies which hit earthly surfaces, falling raindrops that burst but also shed crocodile tears of the community of states or quietly waiting landmines that suddenly explode: they all produce waves that form into aesthetic patterns. Can one see these (sound) waves as a form of communication between the shapely surface and the world of the abyss? How do beauty and elegance combine with the tough questions of survival?
The artists let the audience enter a fragile, audio-visually screened terrain, based on the infinite response between the big and small, the individual and society, as well as personal fate and cosmic pathos.

BIOGRAPHIES

Prumsodun Ok
Born to Khmer refugees in the United States, Prumsodun Ok rose from the poverty and violence-stricken inner city of Long Beach to become the new face of Khmer dance. He uses art to heal, illuminate, and empower, reviving the spirit of his people from the enduring forces of conflict. Ok’s interdisciplinary performances contemplate the “avant-garde in antiquity,” and have been presented across three continents. In 2013 he initiated Children of Refugees, a program of talks and performances by artists, activists, and scholars, to raise awareness for the Syrian refugee crisis. His book The Serpent’s Tail has been lauded by Saori Hagai (Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto) as an “in-depth account of the historical diversity, contemporary dynamism, and future image of [Khmer classical dance]". Ok is the recipient of grants and fellowships from TED, MAP Fund, and Surdna Foundation. His TED Talk has been translated into twenty  languages. He was associate artistic director of Khmer Arts, a member of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts’ Board of Directors, and an artist in residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York.
www.prumsodun.com

Ana Maria Rodriguez
In her works, Ana Maria Rodriguez links the spontaneity of improvisation with fully composed scores. She interacts with the musicians as laptop player and takes part in the performances of her own works. At the same time, she also works with the acoustic and architectural conditions of the performance space when creating her compositions, installations and scenic works. Thematically, her latest pieces could be said to revolve around the relation between poetry and technology. This relationship does not only comprise the compositional use of words, poetry and literary sources, but also in a more abstract way the musical utilisation of technological means in order to create a richness of perspectives based on poetry. Heterogeneous time layers, diverse spaces, plots running contrary to logic as in poetry: Ana Maria Rodriguez is committed to expressing herself in a precise and sensuous way.
www.anamariarodriguez.net

Fred Pommerehn
Pommerehn’s work is constructed primarily from found objects and common every day material. His main interests are the effects of natural and artificial light and their interaction with the installation. His preference for site-specific settings allow access to the work in an informal even coincidental way. His work has in many cases a direct relationship to the community in which he lives and works. He prefers to be in a close dialog with the environment around him and therefore has chosen often to work with other members of the society such as non artistic professionals, school children, young adults and persons in extreme situations such as political refugees, prisoners and persons with physical or mental disabilities.


Drops and Seeds is a project by Ensemble KNM Berlin, Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA in cooperation with CTM Festival 2020 and radialsystem. Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund Germany (HKF) and the Goethe-Institut Thailand. Ensemble KNM Berlin, CTM Festival and Ana Maria Rodriguez are funded by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe.

Ana Maria Rodriguez - Composer Prumsodun Ok - Choreographer Fred Pommerehn - Stage designer
© Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Drops and Seeds © Dieter Hartwig Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA © Marcus Mam Prumsodun Ok & NATYARASA PRUMSODUN OK & NATYARASA © Marcus Mam
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