A hunting expedition

The U.S. Declaration of Independence famously insists on the rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But is it really possible to hunt for happiness? Where does this strange beast reside? And how does our quest depend on the people around us?

We believe that dance is a powerful technology of mood: a tool for reflection, emotional manipulation, catharsis and ecstasy. And we believe that a dance performance is an excellent place to look for answers to life’s questions. Both the performers and the audience members join in on the search — by examining their own basic needs, witnessing each other’s struggles, and trying out different paths to fulfillment.

The Pursuit of Happiness” features an unusual seating arrangement (similar to what we developed for our 2018 production “Romeo, Romeo, Romeo“) with the audience arranged on all four sides of the stage. This provides a high-definition viewing experience, a feeling of community, an unusual degree of intimacy, and the possibility of direct interactions with the performers.

We have high hopes for the results. But we’re also fully aware of the difficulty — perhaps even the absurdity — of our endeavor. John Stuart Mill once suggested that “not seeking happiness and being able to do without it is the most reliable way of attaining it.” Can we ever really know or predict what will make us happy? Isn’t the very essence of theatrical pleasure to leave the audience with a terrible hunger and emptiness once it’s over?

CHOREOGRAPHY

Joshua Monten

DANCE

Marioenrico D’Angelo
Angela Demattè
Frederik Kaijser
Jack Wignall
Konstantinos Kranidiotis [alternate]

DRAMATURGY

Guy Cools

SET DESIGN

Romy Springsguth

COSTUME DESIGN

Catherine Voeffray

LIGHTING DESIGN

Mirjam Berger

MUSIC CONSULTANT

Moritz Alfons

APPRENTICES

Giulia Esposito
Katharina Ludwig

PRODUCED BY

Verein Tough Love

COPRODUCED BY

Dampfzentrale Bern
Südpol Luzern

WE GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS

Pro Helvetia
SWISSLOS / Kultur Kanton Bern
Kultur Stadt Bern
Burgergemeinde Bern
Migros Kulturprozent
GVB Kulturstiftung
Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Bürgi-Willert-Stiftung
Gwärtler Stiftung
Stiftung Anne-Marie Schindler
SSA-FARS
Else v. Sick Stiftung

PERFORMANCES

17 April 2021 — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH) — try-out
22 April 2021 — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH) — try-out
23 April 2021 — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH) — try-out
24 April 2021 (2x) — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH) — try-out
24 June 2021 (2x) — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH) — premiere
25 June 2021 (2x)— Dampfzentrale Bern (CH)
26 June 2021 (2x) — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH)
24 July 2021 (2x) — Heimland Festival, Diepenheim (NL)
25 July 2021 (2x) — Heimland Festival, Diepenheim (NL)
7 August 2021 — La plage des Six Pompes, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH)
8 August 2021 — La plage des Six Sompes, La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH)
18 November 2021 — Dock 11 Berlin (D)
19 November 2021 — Dock 11 Berlin (D)
20 November 2021 — Dock 11 Berlin (D)