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Pastoral poetry from ancient Greece and Rome forms the basis for Sergiu Matis' performance Hopeless. In an ever-warming world, what is left of the idyllic, cultivated nature described in the poems of Theocritus and Virgil? Through their trivial erotic stirrings and their politicization of the landscape, are the poets themselves possibly responsible for setting the world on fire?

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Today, their own pastoral settings are forged from scraps, fragments and remnants, such as with the help of data from a library of sounds of extinct animals, or old and new translations of the idylls. A desperate act of piecing together, or trying to preserve what is left, while mourning the losses that are yet to come. A general feeling of powerlessness turns everyone into spectators of a feast of disasters and ruin.

The performers in Hopeless. are technologically enhanced nymphs and shepherds, desperately competing to see who can make the audience cry the loudest. The ecology between poetic language and choreography allows words to collide painfully with flesh and vocal cords to set the tone for us to cry out loud and exorcise all manner of dystopian scenarios. Hopelessness is not a state of paralysis, but a powerful force that moves to action.
Additional information
Sergiu Matis is a Romanian choreographer born in 1981 in Cluj-Napoca. He received his dance education at the Liceul de Coregrafie in Cluj and the Mannheim Academy of Dance, and began his career at Tanztheater Nuremberg. He has been living and working in Berlin since 2008, creating his own works such as Keep It Real (2013), Explicit Content (2015), Neverendings (2017), Hopeless. (2019) and UNREST (2021). He has led workshops and educational activities at a range of institutions worldwide. In 2014 he completed his masters in Solo/Dance/Authorship at the Inter-University Centre for Dance (HZT) / Berlin University of the Arts (UdK).

Concept, choreography: Sergiu Matis | Performance: Martin Hansen, Sergiu Matis, Manon Parent | Text: Sergiu Matis, Mila Pavicevic, based on translations of Virgil and Theocritus*; Philip Ingman | Species Research: Philip Ingman | Composition: AGF aka Antye Greie | Dramaturgy: Mila Pavićević | Set design: Dan Lancea | Costume: Philip Ingman | Light design: Sandra Blatterer,  Emma Juliard | Technical management: Andrea Parolin | Choreografic assistance: Orlando Rodriguez | Production: Anna Chwialkowska.

A Sergiu Matis production | Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund, the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, coproduced by Tanzfabrik Berlin in cooperation with Radialsystem | Animal sounds courtesy of the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Xeno-canto Foundation.



*Translations of Theocritus and Virgil from: Hine, Daryl (trans.), 1982, Theocritus: Idylls and Epigrams, New York: Atheneum; and Holzberg, Niklas (ed. and trans.), 2016, ‘Bucolica / Hirtengedichte’ in Bucolica, Georgica / Hirtengedichte, Landwirtschaft, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, pp. 42–50.
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Uferstudios: Uferstudio 5
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Uferstudios: Uferstudio 5
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Uferstudios: Uferstudio 5
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Uferstudios: Uferstudio 5