The Ghosts

“The hard life began on the day I ended my career. I have no flat, no job and no regular income,” says the Chinese acrobat Cheng Fei, seven-times national champion and world champion. “The flowers, the applause, the flags – it feels like a different life.” In The Ghosts, Constanza Macras works with chinese circus acrobats. It looks like these former acrobats, who once won fame and fortune for their country with their bodily discipline, have been forgotten and “decommissioned” by Chinese society, even though many of them are still quite young. They recall the “hungry ghosts” – according to Chinese popular mythology, lost souls who have been forgotten by their descendents and lead a miserable existence in an intermediate world. For Macras, the former acrobats’ materially precarious, ghostly condition is a metaphor for life in contemporary China, with its contradictions, social injustice and power structures.  The Ghosts, like the Chinese Ghost Festival in July, allows the acrobats a temporary return to the land of the living. The piece makes them and their stories visible once again. Alongside four members of her own company Dorkypark, Macras has cast five chinese circus acrobats and one musician. As always, the choreographer approaches her subject matter with various theatrical means, such as dance, music and text.

Duration: 100 min.

A production of Constanza Macras/Dorkypark and Goethe-Institut China in coproduction with Tanz im August (DE), Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz (DE), CSS Teatro stabile di innovazione del Friuli Venezia Giulia (IT) and Guangdong Dance Festival (CN). Funded by Capital Cultural Fund (DE), Berlin Governing Mayor of Berlin – Department for Cultural Affairs (DE) Supported by the Berlin Senate Cultural Affairs Department (DE) and the kind support of Garden Hotel Guangzhou (CN)