In 1996, the director and costume and stage designer Ursula Maria Berzborn founded Grotest Maru at Kunsthause Kule in Berlin, where the company has been based till today. The Arthouse Kule grew out of the squatting movements in the early 90ies in Berlin. After the fall of The Berlin Wall, a number of artists of various disciplines developed a new project of combining art, theatre and life. Arthouse Kule is a place offering apartments and ateliers, stages for theatre and action and a facade gallery in order to create an utopian space and freedom for their interdisciplinary artistic work. Grotest Maru works in between dance and theatre and integrates physical and visual theatre, street and object theatre. Installation, land art and fine art are sources of inspiration. Dramatic examples and teachers are to be found in medieval celebration of carnival and fairs, or in the expressive contemporary dance of the 1920es, or Grotowski"s poor theatre, with Tadeusz Kantor, ODIN Teatret, Bread & Puppet and also in the Japanese Butoh dance with its strong visual language and contemporary life art. Grotest Maru is searching for forms of communication, which cross cultural borders, either sensuously lavish either ascetically minimized The members and guest performers of Grotest Maru are international and beyond the background of cultural diversity they create universal dramatic images, to be understood worldwide, mostly without any words."Under the surface of daily movements and actions we approach the abyss of human existence searching for images of now and the poetry in between" - they speak about their work.
<font color="#D2CFA8">"Phalanx Bamboo"</font>Artistic director: Ursula Maria Berzborn (Germany)
General assistant: Martin Scheer (Germany)
Author: Ursula Maria Berzborn and the Cie Grotest Maru
Direction: Ursula Maria Berzbon and the Cie Grotest Maru
Set design: Ursula Maria Berzborn and the Cie Grotest Maru
Costumes: Ursula Maria Berzborn
Actors: Ursula Maria Berzborn (Germany), Ingo Mittelstaedt (Germany), Ulrich Reinhardt (Germany), Doris Weidmann (Switzerland), David Maj (Czech Republik), Eleonora Aira (Argentina), Paulina Almeida (Portugal), Rodrigo Malvar (Portugal), Andreas Kermann (Germany)
Year of creation: 2000
Duration: ca. 20 minutes
A stilt dance
the beauty of simplicity
neutral bodies and poles
in choreographed movement
an universe of associations
grass in the wind?
A formation of archaic warriors?
Or beings from a futuristic tribe?
Where do they come from?
Where do they go?
The artistic idea of Phalanx Bamboo was born, when Nepalese monks gave us as a gift the huge bamboo sticks at the EXPO 2000 in Hannover. Since then, Phalanx Bamboo has successfully been touring all over Europe (Edinburgh Fringe Festival OFF, Wismar in Germany, Festival of Roses in Potsdam, Tollwood Festival Munich Lugar Danca in Lisboa) and has often been invited to underline architecture or landscape.