The Past

A production by Constanza Macras / DorkyPark and HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden in coproduction with Schaubühne Berlin. Funded through the Doppelpass program by Kulturstiftung des Bundes. With the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.


THE PAST explores the art of memory, or ars memoriae, in which memories are particularly strongly associated with physical locations, rooms and architecture. The starting point is the city as a concrete geographical location, as an anchor for memory, a mental picture and a cast of mind. What happens with our memories, what happens to those who are remembering when these physical places are destroyed? Constanza Macras talked to eyewitnesses who can remember cities that no longer exist in the same form today. The actions in the piece refer to the ancient techniques of ars memoriae, whereby in order to recall the thing to be remembered, we first have to find and organise our impressions. At the heart of this mnemonic technique is spatial orientation. How do we use rooms and places to remember?

The piece explores architectonic places as narrative instruments of our history – in the rewriting of history, for overcoming the wounds of the past, and for understanding contemporary events (personal and global) as part of a constant cycle that we experience as the passing of time. THE PAST is the fruit of a close collaboration with Oscar Bianchi, who composed a music delving into collective and individual memory. Exploring spaces between written and oral practice, the music embodies both the amplitude and the contradictions that rites of passage, communication and memory entail in the sphere of sound, and celebrate sound as a physical, sometime muscular, place where emotional and existential realities find in memory an independent and sometime ruleless form of storage.


All photos (C) Thomas Aurin


„The Past“ is one of the most beautiful and personal works of this great and intelligent choreographer. (TIP // 22.12.2014)

“The Past” is a reminder of what performing arts is capable of on stage: creating an autonomous place of cultural memory. (Süddeutsche Zeitung // 11.11.2014)

Exploring the relationship between physical locations and the art of memory, Argentinian-born Berliner Constanza Macras and Dorky Park’s bizarre dance spectacle The Past proves to be both thought-provoking and absurdly entertaining. (ExBerliner // 28.01.2015)

And soon, in the Schaubühne, you are breathlessly watching lofty discourses about the art of memory being spun into wildly proliferating threads. Threads that cleverly and subtly lead to the heart of the matter: bringing to life memories of experiences that are really beyond representation. (Berliner Zeitung // 28.11.2014)

You can feel the sparkling wit and the rampant imagination of this ensemble, which kneads everything that it touches until its meaning has been turned on its head. This kind of subversion – even of one’s own means of expression – is a strength of the Berlin choreographer Constanza Macras and her DorkyPark company. (TAZ // 11.11.14)

Macras and her excellent ensemble compellingly manage to find complex, surprising translations for childhood, city, memory (maybe grief) in their typical hybrid of dance, performance, text and music. (TIP // 22.12.2014)

Constanza Macras gift lies in forming a temporary unit out of impressively diverse ensembles, without obscuring their different artistic profiles – regardless of her predilection for flying and intertwined bodies. (Berliner Morgenpost // 30.11.14)

This evening is clever and subtle and at the same time direct and raw. (Berliner Zeitung // 28.11.2014)

One of the exceptional qualities of the Macras company is how little they rely on the idea that choreography and acting, text and music should be interlinked in order to work together. ( // 7.11.14)

Despite the increasing heaviness of the subject-matter, the production retains for the most part an evocative lightness. (Tagesspiegel // 29.11.2014)

The sharpness of the production is plain to see: in the delicately cushioned falls of the dancers, the back and forth of individual scenes. Applause for a good theatre piece. (Sächsische Zeitung // 11.11.2014)


November 7. & 8. 2014, 20:00, Großer Saal, Festspielhaus Hellerau


Director & Choreographer: Constanza Macras
Composition & Music: Oscar Bianchi
Dramaturgy: Carmen Mehnert

By and with: Louis Becker, Emil Bordás, Fernanda Farah, Luc Guiol, Miako Klein, Nile Koetting, Johanna Lemke, Ana Mondini, Felix Saalmann, Miki Shoji, Michael Weilacher

Light: Sergio Pessanha
Sound: Stephan Wöhrmann
Stage: Laura Gamberg // Chika Takabayashi
Metal Works: Werner Knoof, Andreas Nestler
Stage Mangager: Welko Funke
Technical Director: Kai Kaden // Welko Funke
Costume Design: Alison Saunders
Costume Assistance: Daphna Munz

Assitant Director: Felipe Amaya, Nikoletta Fischer
Assistant to the composer: Vincenzo Mazzone, Clara Calero Durán
Trainees: Marlene Kolatschny, Lea Gugger, Victor Colmenero Mir, Laia Alberich Casañas, Louise Douet-Sinenberg

Production: Katharina Wallisch
Production Office: René Dombrowski
Production Intern: Friederike Aps, Raquel Moreira
Tour: Ricardo Frayha
Project Coordination Doppelpass: Anne-Kathrin Schmidt // Katharina Wallisch

With the friendly support of Nikkifaktur, Dresden.