What is the difference between the meat on our body and the meat on our plates? Is there really one? Why does our brain rather consider a bunch of oversized fake sausages “meat” while the real meat sits naked on top of it?
For the research to his award-winning piece Requiem for a Piece of Meat theater maker Daniel Hellmann went deep into the cruel realities of the meat production industry. What he found there was both shocking and eye-opening, and turned him and part of his team to veganism. The ways how we humans disassociate a piece of meat from what it really is – a sliced-off piece from a living creature that was killed against its will after enduring a life of torture and mistreatment – is one of the topics he dissects in his piece. But it goes far beyond the treatment of animals and blurred lines of what is the meat on our bones, the meat of an animal and the meat product that goes over the butcher’s counter. It also questions how we treat black bodies and female bodies, and how lust and desire play into our associations with meat.
Nothing that you will see in this piece is done for shock value – in fact, the realities of the things depicted in the play are by far more shocking. Yet, for some theaters, the production was too extreme so it got censored and even canceled. Luckily, Berlin theater people are not so thin-skinned so we can enjoy the German premiere tonight at Ballhaus Ost with encore screenings on the following days. Some impressions and details below.
Requiem for a Piece of Meat
Ballhaus Ost, Pappelallee 15, 10437 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
June 21 & 22, 2018, 20h
June 23, 2018, 18h
Without words | Language no problem.
Performance: Braulio Bandeira, Giovanna Baviera, Géraldine Chollet, Hea Min Jung, Lena Kiepenheuer, Krassen Krastev, Florencia Menconi, Rui Stähelin
Concept, direction, choreography: Daniel Hellmann
Musical direction: Abélia Nordmann, Lukas Huber, Daniel Hellmann