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Othello, c'est qui

theatre
26—27.11.2010

The foreigner

The character of Othello numbers among the most famous roles for black actors in the Western world, but the figure is nearly unknown in Africa. Othello is a European creation that functions like a ritual in which the foreigner is repeatedly reconstructed. Precisely this phenomenon is the focus for the German artist Knut Klaßen and the theater director Monika Gintersdorfer in Othello, c’est qui. They initiate a dialogue with Ivory Coast-born dancer and actor Franck Edmond Yao and German actress Cornelia Dörr. Their exchanges, focusing on the Western stage character, gradually develop into a tough confrontation between two cultures that is marked by extreme emotions, prejudices, misunderstandings and contrasts.

• Monica Gintersdorfer and Knut Klaßen have been collaborating for the last five years. Using a combination of movement and text, they juxtapose contemporary and traditional culture from Africa and Europe, and thus create a bridge across which different dance and theatre cultures can meet one another. Together with their German-Ivory Coast team they have also realised the five part dance series LOGOBI, two parts of which are being shown in the Beursschouwburg in November. In its yearbook 2010, the German magazine Tanz voted them best Company of the Year. Othello, c’est qui was awarded the price of the best Off-Theatre-Production of 2009 in Germany.

The Beursschouwburg is showing Logobi 02 and Logobi 05 by Monika Gintersdorfer and Knut Klaßen. The logobi is a street dance in the Ivory Coast. Since 2005, Gintersdorfer and Klaßen have been organising theatrical logobi encounters. Their partners are the Ivory Coast dancers and choreographers Gotta Depri and Frank Edmond Yao. They dance with fellow dancers from Western Europe, in this case Gudrun Lange and the former Forsythe dancer Richard Siegal. Together they throw themselves into a clash of movement idioms and cultural contexts.
BITS (& pieces) #2, Beursschouwburg, November 2010. For the performance dates: www.beursschouwburg.be

concept developer and director Monika Gintersdorfer | stage and set design Knut Klaßen | cast Cornelia Dörr & Franck Edmond Yao alias Gadoukou la Star | co-production Gintersdorfer/Klaßen, Kampnagel Hamburg, Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf | subsidised by Fonds Darstellende Künste e.V., Hamburgische Kulturstiftung | in co-operation with Festival Impulse and brut Wien

LANGUAGE : French English