10.01.2012, Berlin | What is our self, what is capable of destroying it, and how can it be recovered? These and other difficult questions are at the heart of “Never Mind,” an interdisciplinary stage production by choreographer Sommer Ulrickson and molecular biologist and writer Giovanni Frazzetto. The play “Never Mind” an experiment at the interface of science and theater, will premiere at the Sophiensæle on January 25, 2012.
The two-part evening deals with, among other things, the Capgras syndrome, a neurological disorder that occurs frequently as a result of brain injury or severe dementia. First described by French psychiatrist J. M. Joseph Capgras, it is a very rare syndrome, where patients believe that close friends and relatives have been replaced with identical-looking doubles. While otherwise showing normal behavior, Capgras sufferers perceive close acquaintances, often even close friends and partners, as imposters. The patients recognize the faces, but lack the ability to link them with emotional body reactions. The production, which is the result of an intense cross-disciplinary collaboration between a scientist and an artist, examines the fragility of relationships as well as the frustration of everybody involved when dealing with psychic disorders. Trying out new forms of dance and music theater, the play does without traditional dramatic means such as, for example, a linear storyline and sees science – in this case neurological theories on the Capgras syndrome – as an “expanded and dominating theatrical metaphor.”
Through a tension-filled yet exciting dialectic, this work illustrates both the potential of neurobiology and its helplessness when it comes to existential questions about the “true self.” Ulrickson and Frazzetto see their “neuro performance” as part of a curious inquiry that employs artistic reflection to communicate to the public the highly complex findings of an “expert-based science.” Scientific material is examined and expanded through theatrical means. Conversely, the theatrical performance feeds on facts collected during scientific experiments. The project aims to foster a productive dialogue between science and art. It shares this goal with the Schering Stiftung, whose funding makes the experiment possible.
Premiere: January 25, 2012, 8 p.m.
Additional performances: January 27, 28, 29, 2012, at 8 p.m.
Directed by Sommer Ulrickson
Based on texts by Giovanni Frazzetto
Set design: Alexander Polzin, Nicola Minssen
Music: Amos Elkana
With Christoph Schuechner, Laura Quarg, Lisa Quarg, Jonas Vietzke, Lena Kussmann, Mareila Metzner
Tickets (13 / 8 euros) are available by phone at +49-(0)30-283 52 66.
For further information, please visit www.sophiensaele.com
Photo: Tobias Bungter
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