Terrorism Takes the Stage: Herrumbre by Staatsballett Berlin

By Allison Krupp . February 9, 2016

Staatsballet Berlin’s new show ‘Herrumbre’ delves into terror, exploring the use of torture against other humans, and condemning the groups or regimes that do.

‘Herrumbre’ is the masterwork of Nacho Duato, a world-renowned Spanish modern ballet dancer and choreographer, whose vision grew—naturally, or perhaps utterly not so—from the pain and sheer banality of the 2004 terrorist attack in Madrid. During that year, Nacho lived just a few hundred meters from this terror; could breathe in the senselessness and recognize the way the earth tilted differently. And during that same year, photographs of tortured prisoners from Guantanamo swept across the world, all of them strangely animalistic, stripped of their dignity. Suddenly, the reality of humanity’s hopelessness had a voice. And it was screaming.

Photo: Fernando Marcos

From this chasm, ‘Herrumbre’ grew—with meager light, drawing shadows on gaunt dancers’ faces and limbs; with a backdrop of inorganic and harsh forms on stage from architect Jaffar Chalabi. The dancers build stories of terror: with bones so capable of terror, themselves, they create scenes of rape; of humiliation; of that terrible space that exists when we divorce ourselves from humanness and become mere cells, each one in either agony or seething. With their physical beings, they represent the destruction of the soul.

Herrumbre, Compañía Nacional de Danza José Carlos Martínez

And yet, the show is, ultimately, a call for peace and a tribute to those who came before, the victims. Duato, with music from composers Pedro Alcalde, Sergio Caballero, and David Darling, has created a disturbing atmosphere—one that trembles with the senselessness of a truly horrific past; one that stares each and every one of us in the eye and asks us that one, necessary question: why?

Photo: Fernando Marcos

Staatsballett Berlin premieres ‘Herrumbre’ on February 14 at 18:00. Catch it on the 16, 18, 21, and 26 of February at 19:30 and on February 28 at 15:00 at Staatsoper im Schiller Theater.

Would you like to catch ‘Herrumbre’ on February 16? BERLIN LOVES YOU has 1 x 2 tickets to give away. If you’d like to see this show, simply email us at win@staging-berlinlovesyou.kinsta.cloud and we’ll select the winner at random.

‘Herrumbre’ by Staatsballett Berlin
Staatsoper im Schiller Theater
Bismarckstr. 110
D-10625 Berlin
+49-(0)30-20 35 45 55


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