“The 2022 expo festival”: showcase of berlin artists from around the world

At the same time local and international is the interdisciplinary platform "The Expo Festival". Since 2013, the English Theatre Berlin has been presenting annual showcases of international artists whose adopted home is Berlin. This year's festival of expat art from Berlin will be held on 15. June opened with the dance performance "Present Body 2" by Grupo Oito of Brazilian choreographer Ricardo de Paula.

The 2022 Expo Festival: Showcasing the creative diversity and quality of Berlin's international independent scene

Ricardo de Paula's Grupo Oito is in its composition already itself a small UN, the members come from Brazil, Germany, France, Ghana, Austria, Congo, Spain and the USA, all with residence Berlin. Her current piece, "Present Body 2," is one of twelve productions selected from about 200 applications to be presented by the "Expo 2022 Festival," six of which will be shown as work-in-progress on the associated newcomer platform, "ExpLoRE".

The three-member curatorial team led by Daniel Brunet, the artistic director of English Theatre Berlin, has placed particular emphasis on reflecting the diversity of Berlin's independent scene not only in the cultural backgrounds of the protagonists, but also in the genres, current themes and working methods. Brunet says: "To reflect the post-migrant and international reality of Berlin and the creative diversity and artistic quality of the independent scene is our goal and mission. This is also why the curatorial team is cross-disciplinary."

In addition to Brunet, this year's selection team also includes director Christin Eckart and the interdisciplinary Bolivian artist Maque Pereyra. The invited productions range from dance, theater, and performance to new circus, all of which she likes to interweave in an interdisciplinary way.

Stagings come from around 100 Berlin-based artists from 30 countries

Around 100 Berlin-based artists from 30 countries are involved in the productions, he says. "Although we are not prescribing or looking for themes," says Brunet, "a striking number of works deal with indigenous heritage and decolonization, including our opening piece by Grupo Oito or the decolonial material performance ,Coffee With Sugar?' by Laia RiCa from El Salvador. The theme seems to be particularly virulent."

Oito's "Present Body 2" is not a fixed choreography, but emerges again and again from the improvisation of the dancers from Africa, America and Europe with each other. The social structures, bonds and experiences that are culturally inscribed in the bodies become the collective play and movement offer. A sensual exchange of connections and possibilities in constant movement to overcome colonial mortgages.

Caroline Alves' dance performance "Transatlantica" also deals with a reappraisal of colonial thought patterns. The Brazilian takes her own family history as a model, in which there are colonial settler ancestors as well as indigenous people. She goes in search of her great-great-grandmother, whose indigenous identity has been completely erased. Even her actual name, only her colonial name has been handed down, Alves therefore calls her "Senhorinha.

Indigenous heritage is also the subject of "Hidden Path" by Ulv & Ugle. Group founder Camilla Therese Karlsen is Sami and, with a combination of contemporary dance and circus, poetry and Sami joik music, explores the Norwegian assimilation process of her people, which has to do with feelings of inferiority, denial and finally newly awakened self-confidence.

Laia Rica from El Salvador shows what a latte macchiato has to do with the colonial era

The interdisciplinary performer Laia RiCa, born in El Salvador, deals with the German immigrant history in Central America in "Coffee with Sugar"?". It mixes autobiographical and historical material, video projections, coffee beans and a plethora of cotton candy to create an exciting documentary theater that also shows what connects our current urban lifestyle with the colonial era.

Other themes of the plays shown at the festival include queer and gender identity ("History Has Failed Us, But…," 17.6., 8 p.m., "Second Class Queer," 7 p.m.6., 9 pm), climate change ("Fauna Futura", 20.6., 8 p.m.) and the political state of the world, focused in an insane talk show ("The Panel" by Aba Naia, 23.6., 8 pm). Until the 25. July there is a lot to discover here from Berlin artists from all over the world

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