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Suffering is often seen as something inevitable, at times even character-building. But it doesn't have to be that way: lasting victory is the goal of this intimate, rhythmic, and restlessly probing duet. Martin Hansen & Kareth Schaffer seek exit strategies from a familiar yet untenable present: through chanting, skipping, manifestos, and psalms, the pair exorcise—and exercise—their own lifelong penchant for suffering. The strongly atmospheric sounds of Mars Dietz and the opulent stage design by Dan Lancea, referencing Catholic religious images, counteract the beat set by the performers. The theater itself remains in limbo: heaven—or hell—lurks at every exit.


The artists trace historical lineages of suffering from the proto-sufferer of Western Culture, Jesus Christ, and follow this narrative’s evolution through to our current neo-liberal, individualist times. Where and how can these foundational constructs around work, suffering, and prosperity be mined, exposed, and reconfigured? Through leftist politics? Via negation of the self? Revolution, even?


Choreography, performance, text: Martin Hansen & Kareth Schaffer | Music, sound design: Mars Dietz | Set design: Dan Lancea | Costume: Lauren Steel | Light: Elliott Cennetoglu | Sound engineering: Andrea Parolin | Choreographic assistance: Leah Katz & Julek Kreuzer  | Dramaturgical Advice: Mila Pavićević | Press: Jana Lüthje | Production management: M.i.C.A.- Movement in Contemporary Art | Text used in the performance: Psalm 51: 1- 3. 


A production of Martin Hansen, Kareth Schaffer // Construction Company | With support of Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Tanzfabrik Berlin, and the Institute for Proliferating Dramaturgies. 


                    “This is clownish, very entertaining and impressive…”

                    “Welcome to Limbo, the abode for souls who are excluded from heaven but not condemned to further punishment.”


                   “This is by no means a performance about suffering in which the audience suffers in sympathy and is thus supposed to reach a kind of catharsis with a heavy heart. Rather, suffering is danced away and conjured up … they manage to rob suffering of its power in a figurative and sometimes humorous way; they raise the question of why humankind has always been obsessed with suffering and pain when the opposite is far more desirable”

—Greta Haberer for tanznetz

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