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'Burka Bondage'...A Music/Dance/Theatre Performance by Helena Waldmann and Ecotopia Dance Productions...

December 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM IST
MTG editorial

Helena Waldmann, born in 1962, is one of the most unusual artists in the field of theatre. She studied her craft with Heiner Muller, Gerorge Tabori and Gerhard Bohner, amongst others and graduated in Applied Theatre-Studies. Since 1991 she is working as theatre director and choreographer in Germany and abroad.

About Burka Bondage

Afghanistan, March 2001: after pointlessly firing guns and missiles for 26 days, the Taliban militia destroyed the world's two largest standing Buddha statues in the valley of Bamiyan, using 3 tons of explosives. They left behind only rubble and the enormous gaps in the rock.

After having travelled to Kabul for the first time in 2007 to show her production "return to sender", choreographer Helena Waldmann made a discovery in the following year: the young Afghan actors she works with call themselves "Generation Rain". A generation that even without the reign of the Taliban is disoriented and stuck in the rut of fundamentalist history.

In Japan, a highly industrialised, rich country that couldn't be further from Afghanistan in many ways, Helena Waldmann experiences something similar: young people who have no faith in a self-chosen future, bound by the oppressive traditions of a rigidly structured and hierarchical society, call themselves "Lost Generation", and take the destruction of the Buddhas in distant Afghanistan personally.

Once the choreographer had established channels of communication between those two groups, the blasting and disappearance of the Bamiyan Buddhas became the starting point for the conversations. Both the Japanese and the Afghan side recognise themselves in the forced disappearance of the bodies. And both arrive at corresponding questions. Are the empty niches that remained after the explosion the framework of something that has no right to exist? And what must we detonate in order to become free - the frame or what is contained within?

Helena Waldmann has found a virtually iconic image for the parallels between both generations, for the fight for visibility and unleashing: Burka and bondage. The burka is an Afghan gown that covers people up. Bondage is a Japanese technique that shackles them.

Helena Waldmann sets out on a search for the body without a face. With two female dancers who love extremes, a video animation artist and a genius on the drums.

16th December 2010, 7.00 pm
The National Centre for the Performing Arts

Entry through passes available at Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan from Wednesday, December 9, 9.30 am - 5.00 pm onwards.

Tel.: +91 22 22027710

*Mumbai Theatre Guide takes no responsibility for change in schedule




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