Hello to Emptiness

A Performance Concert (2022)

MOUVOIR / Stephanie Thiersch
Martha Mavroidi
Mariana Sadovska
& friends


„All these losses are grievable, which means that they are lives worthy of acknowledgement, equal in value to every other life, a value that cannot be calculated.” (Judith Butler, ‘Mourning is a Political Act’, 2020)

HELLO TO EMPTINESS is a performative reflection on social vulnerability and on how to deal with grief. Based on pre-ancient laments, the Greek moiroloi (μοιρολόγια, engl. “speech about fate”), director and choreographer Stephanie Thiersch and five musicians and dancers develop a poetic space in where ancient laments and traditional rituals are revived and transferred into new contexts. How have climate change, species extinction and ongoing wars shaped our form of lamenting and mourning? How has the pandemic changed the way we look at and think about loss? What value do we, as a community, ascribe to life and what spaces do we create to mourn for this life?

The multi-faceted cast includes Greek musician and singer Martha Mavroidi, Ukrainian singer and musician Mariana Sadovska, Spanish dancer and countertenor Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola, French dancer and countertenor Julien Ferranti, French dancer, singer and musician Manon Parent, and dramaturg Stawrula Panagiotaki. The team sets out in search of the lost knowledge of mourning rituals. A “choir of elders” supports, comments on or twists the chants and images, connecting darkness with light, lightness with wit. With their knowledge of different cultural techniques, the contributing artists combine songs and rites from the Balkans and other regions to create an evening that traces the intimacy and, at the same time, the communal and unifying nature of the laments.

“Loss becomes condition and necessity for a certain sense of community, where community does not overcome the loss, where community cannot overcome the loss without losing the very sense of itself as community.”
Judith Butler, Loss, ‘The politics of mourning’, 2003)

Parallelly to the stage performance, the installation VOICES OF LAMENTS will be created in which we will interweave audiovisual documentary material from different regions of the world (Greece, Korea, Kenya, Brazil) in collaboration with local actors (the “satellites”). Our artistic satellites form independent research and production cells with jointly defined questions. It is a structural attempt to develop international models of cooperation at eye level, with which we support the approach to a common world mourning.

“How does the death of a loved one change me? / What gives comfort? / What is a good death? / If death is a sound, what would it sound like? / When does dying begin?”

The online magazine SYBL complements HELLO TO EMPTINESS. SYBL allows everyone around the world to share thoughts and inspirations about grief, which we in turn gratefully integrate as inspiration for piece development. Join us! sybl.de

From and with:
Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola
Julien Ferranti
Martha Mavroidi
Manon Parent
Mariana Sadovska
and a „Chorus of Elders“
(Athens: the 65+ Chorus of the GNO Learning & Participation Department)

Associated artists:
• Hyerim Jang
• Hye-kyung Min
Gyung Moo Kim
Kepha Oiro with Ogoya Nengo and Mzee Bushohi

Artistic direction/stage design: Stephanie Thiersch
Musical direction: Martha Mavroidi
Composition: Martha Mavroidi, Mariana Sadovska
Dramaturgy: Stawrula Panagiotaki
Rehearsal direction: Juan Kruz Diaz de Garaio Esnaola
Light design/technical direction: Begoña Garcia Navas
Costumes: Lauren Steel
Sounddesign: Nicolas Baudoux
Mixing Engineer: Jonas Gehrmann
Stage construction: Softrock/João Parrinha
Technical assistance: Dimitar Evtimov
Accompanying expert: Guy Cools
Management: Tanja Baran, Agnes Missel
Production management: Sarah Heinrich


Produced by:
MOUVOIR e.V.

In coproduction with:
Greek National Opera Alternative Stage, Greece – Founding donor of the Alternative Stage & Production donor: Stavros Niarchos Foundation
Théâtre de Nîmes, France
SIDance – Seoul International Dance Festival, Korea
tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf, Germany
LOFFTDAS THEATER. Funded by Stadt Leipzig – Kulturamt
Freihandelszone – Ensemblenetzwerk Köln, Germany

In cooperation with: HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, Dresden

Funded by:
the NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ Koproduktionsförderung Tanz, funded by Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien; Kunststiftung NRW, Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste, die Stadt Leipzig – Kulturamt and the Kulturamt der Stadt Köln.

The film installation “Voices of Laments” is a collaboration with Goethe-Institut Kenya and Goethe-Institut Athens.

Photos: Greek National Opera/Ioannis Kampanis, Greek National Opera/Valeria Isaeva, Martin Rottenkolber, Sandy Korzekwa
Drawing: S. Thiersch

‘Picture a Vacuum’ – documentary on HELLO TO EMPTINESS
Trailer from Greek Nationa Opera – Alternative Stage, Athens

„Enchantingly beautiful songs between folklorism and art song, performed with intonation certainty and throughout polyphonically exposed. (…) And behind them a Stephanie Thiersch, who knew how to integrate these multitasking individualists with great intuition into a complex choreography, which, bitterly echoing the maelstrom of daily world politics, expanded into a breathtakingly athletic artistry.” Oper & Tanz/Georg Beck

“The choreography is a team effort by Thiersch and the dancers. It is varied, multi-layered, and in connection with the choral images, almost operatic images are created here. (…) Thiersch has once again succeeded in creating an extraordinary work” O-Ton/Michael S. Zerban

Interview in Athens Voice

Interview in Athinorama

on Tour:

15.03.2025
Indian Version

Tour: 15.03-15.04.

Indien, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore

05.02.2024
Recherche-Residenz bis 22. Februar

Goethe-Institut Kolkata, Kalkutta, Indien
https://www.goethe.de/ins/in/de/sta/kol. ...

12.08.2023, 19.30 h

Bundeskunsthalle, Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4, 53113 Bonn, Deutschland
https://www.museumsmeilebonn.de/portfoli ...

11.08.2023, 19.30 h

Bundeskunsthalle, Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4, 53113 Bonn, Deutschland
https://www.museumsmeilebonn.de/portfoli ...

18.12.2022, 18 h

LOFFT – DAS THEATER, Spinnereistraße 7, Halle 7, Leipzig, Deutschland
https://www.lofft.de/

17.12.2022, 20 h

LOFFT – DAS THEATER, Spinnereistraße 7, Halle 7, Leipzig, Deutschland
https://www.lofft.de/

09.11.2022, 19 h

Théâtre de Nîmes, 1 place de la Calade, 30017 Nîmes, Frankreich
https://theatredenimes.com/

08.11.2022, 20 h

Théâtre de Nîmes, 1 place de la Calade, 30017 Nîmes, Frankreich
https://theatredenimes.com/

25.09.2022, 15 h

SIDance – Seoul International Dance Festival

CJ Towol Theater – Seoul Arts Center, Seoul

24.09.2022, 20 h

SIDance – Seoul International Dance Festival

CJ Towol Theater – Seoul Arts Center, Seoul

02.09.2022, 14.15 h
'Open Studio'/Talk

Internationale Tanzmesse NRW

tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf

30.04.2022, 20 h

tanzhaus nrw, Erkrather Str. 30, 40233 Düsseldorf, Deutschland
https://tanzhaus-nrw.de/de

29.04.2022, 20 h

tanzhaus nrw, Erkrather Str. 30, 40233 Düsseldorf, Deutschland
https://tanzhaus-nrw.de/de

17.04.2022, 19.30 h

Greek National Opera – Alternative Stage, Leof. Andrea Siggrou 364, Kallithea 176 74 Athen, Griechenland
https://www.nationalopera.gr/en/alternat ...

16.04.2022, 20.30 h
Uraufführung

Greek National Opera – Alternative Stage, Leof. Andrea Siggrou 364, Kallithea 176 74 Athen, Griechenland
https://www.nationalopera.gr/en/alternat ...

19.02.2022, 18 h
Offene Probe

@tanzhaus nrw oder Live-Streaming

tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf