Watch Out! From the yogurt cup to the clothespin. About wonder., #1 – 2021

A conversation by Wolfram Sander (HELLERAU) with choreographer Lea Moro and Bettina Weber from Konglomerat e.V. 

Would you like to introduce yourselves briefly? 

Lea Moro (LM): I work in the field of choreography and dance. My last work “Alle Augen Staunen/ All Our Eyes Believe” is for young audiences, for children from the age of eight, and I had a lot of fun thinking about the audience in a very mixed way and dealing with how children perceive dance and theater pieces. What kind of audiences:are they? I wondered how we construct the world with all our senses. We focused on different ecosystems: the air, the land, and the water, with the claim that there is not one explanation or attribution for things that is right or wrong, but many. The exciting thing is actually the discovery and the play itself, and that in the process very different individual world views can come about – and yet we all live together on this planet.

Bettina Weber (BW): I studied childhood education, but have always done an open workshop in parallel with many other people and finally ended up here at Konglomerat e.V. in Dresden, where we have different trades from low- to high-tech on 800 m2. Here you can do everything: screen printing, sewing, laser cutting, CNC milling, developing photos or working with wood. Through free access to technology, tools, machines and knowledge, people put themselves back in context to processes of creation. How does a plastic bottle, my T-shirt or a great screen print actually come into being? This interweaving of theoretical knowledge and practical action knowledge is totally given here. In addition, as a prototypical place with open working structures, we also deal with overarching questions, such as what the work of the future might look like. The workshops as a tool for urban development. You can go out. You are a doer. You can change your world. We also want to open up a space for people to be able to tell their own story with a theme or a material. For example, we made plastic granules out of a yogurt cup and created a new product out of it: a clothespin. And now we are no longer telling the story of garbage, but of a resource and its transformation. In terms of material flows, questions then arise: Who produces this material? Where does it come from, how is it used, and where does it go from there? Instead of just picking out small fragments of processes, we should try to understand the complexity behind them again. 

The path from the first playful search and trial and error to the finalization of a stage work and the premiere, which is often created under time pressure, also describes quite a transformation process. How do development and work relate to each other? 

LM: In dance and theater, it’s not so easy, because what is created has the status of a “final product,” and I personally find it exciting to say: we have created something unfinished. Bettina has just described how space can change society. In relation to the theater space, complexity for me means how we can succeed in asking questions of each other and also in speaking and sharing experiences. Otherwise, a dullness develops. We recently had performances with school classes in Geneva. As soon as it started, the teachers kept saying “Shh, shh!”. They were afraid that their students would not behave well. That’s actually a pity, because it’s precisely the “going along” that’s great. You’re excited and don’t know what’s coming. How do we manage to come together again in wonder, amazement and questioning? I realize with myself that it is not always easy to really ask questions.

BW: I always talk about future spaces or so-called future sanctuaries. We really need real spaces where we can experiment with the future. These are special sanctuaries and we realize that we have to reclaim and reappropriate them more and more. To have a space where you are allowed to ask questions. To have a space in which one is also allowed to simply fail. That’s the only way to find out what the future is and what it feels like. 

Have you ever seen a dancer with three-meter-long blue tentacles, spun a spider web in your room with your feet, virtually counted viruses, or heard of fungal spores or orthoceras? No, then follow the Instagram account @alloureyesbelieve. Here you can expect wondrous information and illustrations, tricky quiz questions and previously secret insights into the creation process.