In the dance performance TENNIS, Angela Alves examines sport, art and society for ableist and classist patterns of discrimination; exploring methods to confront them without losing her nerve. In the setting of a tennis court, the dancer takes up the racket and prepares to serve for a barrier-free future. For the crip artist from a so-called underclass background, the tennis court marks a space that was never intended for Angela Alves. In TENNIS, she claims the court for herself, making it her site for gentle self-empowerment.
A ball-throwing machine fires balls into the court. The actress Athena Lange is enthroned on the high seat, controlling the space as a referee, with the tennis coach on the screen in the background. But how does one hold one's own in a demanding game when stress avoidance is the top priority? And how does one escape a social system that knows no boundaries without admitting defeat?
For the performance, Angela Alves studies the serve, forehand and backhand, and tirelessly practices the movements of the game with relish; finding a way to creatively adapt them to her needs. The result is a humorous choreography of sensitive resilience, which, via audio description, sign language and English subtitles, specifically ensnares numerous players in the hurdles of accessibility.
Announcment in German Sign Language
The play deals with feelings of inferiority and social inequality.
RELAXED PERFORMANCE For TENNIS, we're harnessing the "fourth wall" again: Make yourselves comfortable on the chairs, cushions and mattresses and rest assured that the butterballs won't harm you. You definitely don't have to join in, you can just be there. It won't be very dark and it won't be very loud. Nevertheless, we are on a tennis court and this space is not equally comfortable for everyone. So if it gets too stressful, you can either complain to the referee or leave the room during the show. If you need a moment's peace and quiet, you can retreat to the foyer and of course you are very welcome to come back.
The play lasts 60 to 70 minutes without an intermission. German spoken language, German sign language, English subtitles and audio description will be used. The dance performance gives different linguistic, visual and auditory access. There is a creative-artistic approach to accessibility. Both audio description and German Sign Language are part of the production. In several scenes, video sequences are projected onto a screen in the right-hand corner of the room. In the first scene, the screen shows a wiggling image of a trawl net being dragged across the floor. In the middle of the performance, an image noise is projected onto the screen for several seconds. In one scene, a very brightly lit object is dragged across the floor for a while. On stage, balls fly from right to left in several scenes. Both balls and the glowing object come very close to visitors in the front row at times.
There is an audio description in German for all performances, preceded by a haptic tour for blind and visually impaired people. The haptic tour begins 30 minutes before the performance. The meeting point is next to the bar in the canteen on the ground floor of the Sophiensaele. Ticket reservations are accepted by Hannah Aldinger at email@example.com or by calling 030 278900 35. If required, we offer a pick-up service for blind and visually impaired people from the nearby S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations Hackescher Markt and Weinmeisterstraße. To make use of the pick-up service, please contact us during our business hours (Monday to Friday between 10 am and 6 pm) at 030 27 89 00 30 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The audience area on the grandstand is seated. There are four wheelchair seats and four beanbag seats, which can be reserved subject to availability or purchased from the online ticket shop or box office. If you require another specific seat, please arrive 20-30 minutes before the performance starts and contact our evening staff. Persons with disabilities receive reduced tickets at the price of 10€ plus one free ticket for an accompanying person. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Hannah Aldinger on 030 27 89 00 35 or email@example.com.
SEPTEMBER 26 | It is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask at the show on September 26. At all other shows the wearing of a medical mask is compulsory. Exceptions to this rule are visitors who are unable to wear an FFP2/medical mask for health/physical reasons and visitors who communicate in sign language.
SEPTEMBER 27 | Artist talk after the show | MODERATION Volkan Ağar
ANGELA ALVES takes her first long-awaited tennis lessons in the summer of 2022. She studied dance at the ArtEZ School of Dance in the Netherlands and dance studies at the FU Berlin. She lives and works as a freelance choreographer in Berlin and is a member of Backbone Berlin. In her artistic work she negotiates perceptions and constructions of "healthy" and "sick" bodies and is interested in the subversive potential in between. Her practice focuses on political dimensions of the unavailable body and explores its transformative potency through strategies of access, self-empowerment and self-care in classist and ableist pre-structured spaces. Alves is co-founder of TURN. New Movement for Multiple Sclerosis e.V. and IHMAR. Institute for Medical & Health Humanities and Artistic Research.
ATHENA LANGE, *1991 in Plauen, lives and works as an actress and artist in Berlin. Among other things, she was a permanent ensemble member of the Leipziger Ensemble until 2016, and performed for the Deutsche Gehörlosen-Theater and Possible World Berlin. At the Staatstheater Hannover, she took on the lead role in the play Die Wut, die uns vereint from 2019. Since 2021 she embodies Isa from Wolfgang Herrndorf's novel Bilder deiner großen Liebe at the Societätstheater in Dresden. Her engagements also include performances at the Sophiensælen Berlin and Kampnagel Hamburg, among others, where she works with renowned artists from all over Germany and Europe.
PERFORMANCE Angela Alves, Athena Lange CONCEPT, CHOREOGRAPHY Angela Alves Dramaturgy Alex Hennig ARTISTIC ASSISTANCE + ACCESS WORK Michel Wagenschütz STAGE DESIGN + COSTUME Mascha Deneke FILM Michelle Ettlin SOUND Christoph Rothmeier Audio Description Emmilou Rößling in collaboration with Silja Korn LIGHT DESIGN Susana Alonso TENNIS COACHing Ozan Filiz THIRD EYE Ania Nowak PHILOSOPHICAL CONSULTATION Svenja Flaßpöhler MEDICAL CONSULTATION Sabine Schadow Hospitancy Luise-Finn Tismer PRODUCTION ehrliche arbeit - freies Kulturbüro
A production by Angela Alves in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE and TATWERK | Performative Forschung. Supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe Berlin and Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR. With the kind support of Tennis Club Blau-Gold Wuhlheide e.V. Media partner: taz, die tageszeitung.