January 23 | 25 | 26, 2020
Premiere May 16, 2019
May 18 | 19, 2019
15 | 10 Euro
Queer performance collective ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS investigate the intimate connection between two people that goes beyond the bounds of time and space. From the starting point of their own real-life love story, the two performers run in opposite directions through time, embarking on a virtual journey into pasts and futures populated with real and imagined stories of queer togetherness. Chris Gylee and Richard Aslan work in the fertile ground between performance, choreography, installation, and academic investigation. Using autobiographical narrative and meticulous research into life stories that defy the constraints of heteronormativity, they create a semi-fictional family tree of queer belonging, taking in the likes of Reinaldo Arenas, Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Jack Bee Garland, Audre Lorde, and Samuel R. Delany.
ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS is a collaboration between artistic directors Chris Gylee (scenographer and performance maker) and Richard Aslan (writer and performance maker). Our work centres on participative experiences and has the goal of developing artistic formats. Our projects begin with a research question or a strong connection to someone who looks at the world in ways we are not used to. Our collaborators might be specialists, have a particular life experience or skill, think about things in an intriguing way, or simply be open to exploration. Our ongoing research enquires into queerness, empathy, marginalisation, and activism. We take as our raw material elements of performance, theatre, installation, and choreography. The result is a series of contemporary rituals within interlocking performative machines and laboratories. These charged spaces encourage uncanny experiences, provoke surprising thought patterns, and cast light upon human interaction.
Running time: approx. 1 h.
Performance in English.
Direction, Text, Performance, Design Richard Aslan, Chris Gylee Light design Elliott Cennetoglu Music & Sound design Elie Gregory Photography Julian Hemelberg Production management ehrliche arbeit – Freies Kulturbüro Press Nora Gores, Kerstin Böttcher Graphic Kruse & Müller
A production by ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS in cooperation with Ballhaus Ost. Supported by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Kindly supported by the Archive of the Schwules Museum Berlin and NOHrD.