There are more than forty bird species belonging to the Paradisaeidae family, known also as birds of paradise. Males have developed a unique mating behavior that consists of displaying their vivid plumage coloration and shapeshifting, mating calls, and elaborate dances. Unlike the swan, for example, the surreal behavior of the birds of paradise does not serve as a desirable model of grace. BIRDS OF PARADISE uses the surreal, evolutionary adaptations of these birds rather as a comedic lens to reflect on the human contest of representation. Through mimetic play, the dance performance explores our mise-en-scène practices and our shape-shifting-abilities hidden within them – because what we wear and how we wear it, is a large part of our identity.
Through a second look, our consumer relationship with clothing and accessories comes into focus. When the two dancers create their own feather clothing from recycled materials and plastic bags, the other side of our modern self-expression emerges: the fast fashion industry. In order to serve the ever faster changing trends in fashion, clothing is (over)produced with a horrific overconsumption of resources and under catastrophic working conditions in the global south.
BIRDS OF PARADISE thus explores the connection between our attachment to external images as the basis of our self-perception and the need to invest in unsustainable fashion trends – humorously deconstructing our self-image in relation to our clothes.
BIRDS OF PARADISE is a production by Initiative LUNA PARK e.V., Aaron Carey-Burrows and Kosmas Kosmopoulos in cooperation with the Gesundbrunnen Elementary School, supported in the frame of the project „tanz(t)räume“ funded by TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund (DANCE PACT Local-Regional-National) and the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa (Senate Department for Culture and Europe).
For the development of the piece LUNA PARK is collaborating with the Australian choreographer Aaron Carey-Burrows, who has been living and working in Berlin for the past five years after graduating from LINK Dance Company and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (2017). In addition to his collaboration with LUNA PARK for several productions, he works for the Ballet of the German Opera, the German Theater and the choreographer Sebastian Matthias, among others.
Dancers:Cecilia Castellari, Marco Rizzi
Music: Anthony Palaskas
Artistic direction and curatorial advising:Kosmas Kosmopoulos
Assistance:Gianna Di Girolamo, Eduard Mont de Palol
Lighting design: Sanja Gergoric
Stage design and costumes: Maria Salouvardou, Aaron Carey-Burrows
Photography & Video documentation: Giovanni Lo Curto
Production management and communication: Fee Josten, Anna Königshofer, Effie Athanasodimitropoulou
Text and dramaturgical advising: Kai Pichmann