By Katrin Kruse
The Body Language of Togetherness
Carrie Hampel’s work is also acrobatic experimentation. Her piece “Freelancer“, recently played in the “Staatsbank“*, and shows the plight of freelancers somewhere between artistic success and freefall on the free-market. In the entrance a mobile-phone-sitter minds the mobile phones of the audience. It’s then the ringing of Hampel’s mobile that begins the performance. “I can’t talk right now, I’m at the theatre. Of course, I’ll be right with you.” – typical freelancer.
The Berlin-based Australian, who trained with “Circus Oz”, works on very different levels: both acrobatically and musically, as well as with language. She sees circus is a “magical realm”. “If you only communicate through the intellect, you haven’t changed anything.” says Hampel. Acrobatics communicates differently; it moves people directly and stands outside of what an audience expects. Perhaps that is why it is so effective that, when Carrie Hampel does use spoken language, the jargon of self-affirmation reigns in dialogue with the potential employer, and embracing that which was once called the Protestant work ethic.
It becomes dream-like where language ends and the performers newly define what bodies can do with one another; when one body falls into another like a key into a lock; or when Ralf Kolossa and Claudia Schnürer meet in the silks that fall from the ceiling of the Staatsbank. This magic world has no boundaries.
By Jana Sittnick
The Amazon is now a Mitte-Girl
Carrie Hampel sings, writes and goes to clubs/ Her new piece is playing in the Staatsbank*
Some people live differently and you ask yourself how that works. Carrie Hampel for example. She does theatre and circus, produces her own shows, writes stories, sings songs and paints pictures. She is guest at “Reformbuehne Heim und Welt“ with the “Surfpoeten”.
And with “Radio Hochsee”, where she talked to Falko Henning about the female orgasm...She performed her first solo theatre show “The Amazon Woman in Berlin” (1995) at Hackescher Markt, in a space that now houses the “Cinema Central”. Her new show “Freelancer“ opened yesterday at the “Staatsbank”....involving elements of theatre with acrobatics and visual art combined. Carrie Hampel is the author, director and a performer in the group piece...
The spectacle is all about people who work freelance, who can be their “own boss” and who manage their own contracts. The freedom of self-fulfilment contrasts with the competition and financial risk. “I like that you meet like-minded people, who are also freelancers and then being able to work with them on joint projects.“ says Carrie Hampel „and what annoys me is that you only ever have work on your mind and there’s no real end to the work day“ Carrie Hampel herself manages to keep a balance. “Freelancer“ is playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8pm in the “Staatsbank”, Französische Str. 35, Mitte. (Berlin, Germany)
*The former East German State Bank, downtown Berlin.
Australian Artists in Berlin
“Freelancer” ...a very true-to-life story of situations one comes across as a freelancer ...i.e.: Fantasising about that low maintenance, highly paid job with numerous 000’s on the pay packet, the personal conflict between friends...
The shows’ performers maintain a high level of acrobatic physical skill as well as strong character portrayal, all the text is in German, yet the storyline is crystal clear without the full understanding of the language ...Mobile phones continue to interrupt the performers as job offers are negotiated separately between the two main characters, who are friends and also rivals for he same job. The venue for “Freelancer” is not conventional performance space, as is Carrie’s preference. It is an old bank that is now used for exhibitions, parties and more recently performance. ...Aside from the physical action, there are four live musicians ... Eve Hurford (video-slide artist) provides the most stunning visual slide effect I have even seen in a theatre performance. She completely transforms the dimensions of the room by “painting” the walls and video screen with the text-based images that corresponded to the performer’s fantasies.