Berlin, born out of swamp and named after him, began to develop its basic shape in the 17th century, which still shapes the city today. Our baroque clichés mostly consist of stucco-decorated facades that now want to shape the cityscape again, of symmetries in the park design or the palatable representation of splendor and abundance. The independent ensemble around the director Lukas Matthaei delves deeper into the conceptual, thought and life worlds of the early modern era and discovers their reverse side: the beginning of colonial history, which still has an impact today, the politics of dances and social codes, the dirt of the city and the agony of plague and war.

The ballroom of the sophiensaele is transformed into an installation between a film set and surround theater. The arched windows of the party tent, this hardware store variant of baroque garden culture, reveal the alchemical cabinet of curiosities with rattling planet models from the East Berlin classroom. The portal of the court theater is flanked by porcelain cats from the Dong Xuan Center in Lichtenberg. In the middle of the stage, a steel trough serves the city as a permanent construction site, either as a fountain in the park or as a Brandenburg cemetery.

The cast with its diversity of physical and biographical backgrounds shamelessly appropriates allegories, emblems, dances, texts and sounds of the Baroque and lets their own portraits shine through between transience and lust for life.

The musicians accompany the scenes live in a mixture of baroque cast and electronic manipulation. While the choreography of a baroque ball unfolds, gradually involving the entire ensemble.

By & with Adrian Navarro, Bati Nehoya, André Nittel, Volker Sobottke, Anne Welenc

Production: Jörg Lukas Matthaei | Dramaturgy: Milena Kipfmüller | Musical direction, composition: Klaus Janek | Set design, costume: Michael Gaessner | Musicians Klaus Janek, Milena Kipfmüller, Michael Metzler | Production management: Sarah Stührenberg | Assistance staging: Sofie Neu | Collaboration with equipment: Lotti Maurer | Technology & lighting design: Chris Umney | Mask: Lilo Reuther | Camera: Florian Krauss | Editor: Federico Neri | Public Relations: Nora Gores | Social Media: Alexandra Lauck | Photography: Merlin Nadj-Torma

A production by matthaei & konsorten in coproduction with SOPHIENSÆLE. Funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe & the Performing Arts Fund with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture & Media