TRAINS>>>FORM is an open public research project which uses acrobatic choreography to bring a new perspective to how we look at public transportation. The project is planned to take place in Berlin from 1 August- 09 September 2022.
Imagine the frame of a train carriage in the middle of a public space in Berlin where acrobatic actors are swinging, leaping and creating scenes as the general public are inspired to literally stop in their tracks.
A contortionist sits in splits, taking all the seats of a train because she trying to socially distance herself.
A man walks upside down as he hangs from the hand-holds by his toes to avoid the dirty floors.
A woman sings about train progress as she performs aerial silks above the heads of commuters.
What curiosity and wonder could we inspire in a city which has been deprived of its cultural scene for the past years? What if the research also inspired a shift in the way, one views the public transport space? Is a train not a space where we can take a moment away from our busy lives, feed the modern psyche's insatiable appetite for doing, and take the chance to view social interaction in all its many facets?
This is a Circus for Sustainability project by A Movement of Humans who aim to use spectacle to bring attention to important social and ecological challenges. This research intends to inspire curiosity in the general public and to reencourage the practices of using public transport for the greater good of the environment and our societies.
The research will take place within a large metal structure where seats, doors and handrails are reimagined into contemporary circus equipment. Small scenes and comedies will be created inside the carriage and on the aerial structure. Music will also be composed and played live along with these choreographies. The whole structure will also be able to tip over on horizontal and vertical axis. This will be achieved by hoisting the frame from a free-standing aerial rig, seen in the picture below and by the artists physically lifting the carriage. The aerial frame also gives the opportunity for aerial dance and represents the metaphorical tunnel that we are all coming from, these past years. This equipment will be load tested, certified and deemed safe for public spaces.
The project exemplifies that in order to instill transformation in our transport industry, we must first transform the way that we see it. To literally turn the image on its head and explore the new perspective that this gives us. TRAINS>>>FORM is a public announcement to encourage innovation in our transport system and celebrate the hope that it represents for our sustainable future.
5 internationally renowned circus performers along with a world-class bandmaster will spend 30 days researching these concepts. The cast are almost all Berlin residents who have dedicated their lives to touring and performing around the world with companies like Big Apple Circus, Compagnia Finzi Pasca and Cirque du Soleil. This project will give Berlin a chance to experience its own internationally renowned artist, working closer to home and creating what they love in a safe and welcoming common space.
The proposed location for the project is in Friedrichshain between the Nirgendwo cultural/ecological center and the GleisBeet urban permaculture gardens. The project will not take place in any public green spaces but on the concrete area between. We have a long-standing relationship with Nirgendwo and have cultivated an exchange of cooperation and knowledge over the years. We also have more practical agreements, for example the storage of props, access to electricity and providing water and toilet facilities.
This kind of project involves many town permissions, engineering tickets and safety regulations. Because of this we are employing the services of Groskopf Consulting who specialize in event management in accordance with §38 MVStättVO / §32 BetrVO Berlin / § 38 SBauVO NRW. They specialize and will assist us with acquiring all required permits and licenses from the Straße & Grünflächenamt. They have expertise in location scouting, approval procedures, construction coordination, security coordination and hygiene concepts. Groskopf has already been contacted and they are confident that they will be able to provide us with the permits and construction approvals for our location and aerial rig within our budgeted figures.
In 2023 and 2024, a project called Station 2 Station is planned with Deutsche Bahn and The Laeiszhalle Orchestra of Hamburg. This project is to create open performances inside major German train stations, using circus and classical music to talk about transformation and journey.
The future journey of TRAINS>>>FORM is to perform this piece alongside the Laeiszhalle Orchestra as part of these publicly funded open performances. Permission for Station 2 Station has already been granted and meetings with Deutsche Bahn have been in process for 3 years. The TRAINS>>>FORM research will act as a testing ground for the practical logistics and public benefits of installing a large acrobatic prop in a publicly shared space.
TRAINS>>>FORM has strong social engagement potential, bringing an art form normally reserved for theatres to the people of the city and encouraging them to engage more with their public spaces and public transport.
By transporting contemporary circus to those who did not intend to experience it, we hope to open up new audiences and curiosities for art and culture. People watching will be invited to engage with the artists, ask questions and take pictures. We hope to open up conversations about transport innovations and whether using a train-carriage space acrobatically, effectively speaks about these topics. On the last day (the 30 July) we will do a small showing of our research for those people who stopped and were interested enough to follow our movements.
This project truly hopes to engage the German public as we begin to build our lifestyles back after the pandemic, reignite our imagination for the unpredictable in public spaces and
to inspire a different way of envisioning our journeys in better harmony with our environment and our common person.
Phone:+49 176 2485 7639