Technologies of mood

The human race has already discovered — and continues unceasingly to invent — ways to positively influence their mood. For this dance production we’re particularly interested in transitive non-material techniques: things that one human being can do to another. For this sort of emotional manipulation, we believe that dance movement can be a particularly useful tool.

Many theories about the pursuit of happiness are already well-known. Rather than taking a side, “The Pursuit of Happiness” aims to stage these different theories in practice, to juxtapose them and relativize them. Both the performers and the audience members will be invited to join in the experiment by asking themselves about their their personal fantasies of fulfillment, their recurring dreams and most basic needs.

We have high hopes for the results. But we’re also fully aware of the difficulty — perhaps even the absurdity — of our endeavor. Can emotional manipulation be salubrious? Isn’t an hour-long performance far to short to have a long-term effect? Isn’t the very essence of theatrical pleasure to leave the audience with a terrible hunger and emptiness once it’s over? Can we really know or predict what will make us happy?

After the success — and pleasure — of working with an alternative seating arrangement in “Romeo, Romeo, Romeo” in 2018, we would like to experiment with a similar form for our new production. Again, the audience will surround the performing area on all sides. This arrangement provides the audience with an unusual degree of closeness and intimacy, a high-definition experience of live performance, a feeling of community, and the possibility of direct interactions between audience and performers.

CHOREOGRAPHY

Joshua Monten

DANCE

Marioenrico D’Angelo
Angela Demattè
Frederik Kaijser
Jack Wignall

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

Kultur Stadt Bern
Kultur Kanton Bern
Burgergemeinde Bern
Migros Kulturprozent
GVB Kulturstiftung
Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung
Ernst Göhner Stiftung
Bürgi-Willert-Stiftung

PERFORMANCES

16 April 2021 — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH) — try-out
22 April 2021 — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH) — premiere
23 April 2021 (2x)  — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH)
24 April 2021 (2x) — Dampfzentrale Bern (CH)
29 Apri 2021 (2x) — Dock 11 Berlin (D)
30 April 2021 (2x) — Dock 11 Berlin (D)
1 May 2021 (2x) — Dock 11 Berlin (D)
2 May 2021 (2x) — Dock 11 Berlin (D)
24 July 2021 (2x) — Heimland Festival, Diepenheim (NL)
25 July 2021 (2x) — Heimland Festival, Diepenheim (NL)