The Widened Gaze – The artist collective Nico and the Navigators celebrates its 20th anniversary with the music theater “The Future of Yesterday” at the Sophiensælen in Berlin

The artists' collective Nico and the Navigators celebrates its 20th anniversary with the music theater "The Future of Yesterday" at the Sophiensælen in Berlin A table is a table is a table? Well, sometimes it a table is nothing more than an endeavored prop, but here it is a cornucopia of story(s). Tragedies have happened at this table (gray formica), individual, familial, social tragedies that always live on the edge of the grotesque and yet let us look deep inside the protagonists, where the all too daily torments reside. So she gets going, the lady in her strict pleated skirt and demurely cleaved blouse. She opens the (imaginary) family album that she carries around in her blond-streaked head wide open and exposes all her sorrow and anger. Within minutes, the sacred constellation shrinks into a cosmos of catastrophes, cronyism and comedies that may have taken place at this or another table. How the actress Annedore Kleist conveys this on Oliver Proske's congenial projection screen stage, which is layered into a garage, is not only wonderfully funny. It is at the same time so infinitely sad. The onion, skinned, exposes a shaken core, and even the mostly softly subliminal music is no longer able to protectively envelop it. "The Future of Yesterday" is the title, with a deliberately paradoxical twist, of the 20th anniversary evening of the music theater collective Nico and the Navigators at Berlin's Sophiensælen, a co-production with Kampnagel. May the allusion to Schönberg be coincidence, here the title actually becomes program. All the stories that are spoken, played and danced by the protagonists include the past, the present and the future, and only gain contour in this "triangle of relationships". It is like Pandora's collection box: once opened, all the spirits that have been called spring forth, once sealed (surfaces) break open, scarred wounds are cut open again. Man looks into the mirror Not always uplifting what he sees there. But Nicola Hümpel and her team were never concerned with the sublime, the noble, the beautiful. In increasingly free improvisation, it was always the concern of this musical-scenic play to integrate the autobiographical reflections of the protagonists involved into a social context. That the parameters are different is manifested this evening in the "figure" of Patric Schott. The original navigator has been a permanent member of the ensemble since 1999, and when he lectures in his hilarious manner about the things that have changed since Nicola Hümpel and Oliver Proske founded the ensemble, there is considerable commentary potential in this. (Music) theater has also evolved. And what was not allowed on the "motif list" (Schott) in the past, because it ran counter to the "dogmas" of the troupe, is now allowed to let off steam - which is to be understood quite literally: After years of institutional funding, the company has had its own "budget title" since 2014. This seems to release considerable energies, just think of the spirited dance interludes of Anna-Luise Recke and Yui Kawaguchi. Both women tell their personal stories without emotion, but embellish them with wildly virtuosic esprit. The tension of the production results from this contrast between the sober description of childhood and youth, which in both cases were not exactly comfortable (Recke grew up with her mother in the repressive GDR, Kawaguchi, after leaving Japan, went through several cultural shocks before she found an artistic shared room with Nico and the Navigators in 2008) and the uninhibited physical expression. But also a poetry that gets by without many words and yet seems immensely powerful in terms of language. One effective means the group of artists uses is the principle of deceleration; one can sense this both when walking through the exhibition and when leafing through the illustrated book "An der Erde hängt der Mensch und an ihm der Himmel". Almost without exception, the photos show navigators in a state of slowed expressive existence, thrown into momentary rigidity, as if caught. But that is exactly what they want: to be caught in their deeply private communications, loosely based on the title of one of their productions: "Die Stunde da wir zu viel voneinander wussten," 2015 at Kampnagel. None of this happens by chance. It serves to widen the view in the mirror and of the outside world. Not the worst prerequisite for continuing to make such extraordinary music theater as "The Future of Yesterday" is.

<< Back to press overview

Date Notification

Tickets for this date are not available yet. Leave your mail adress to get notified when tickets are available.