Art & Culture

Burka Bondage by Helena Waldmann at Ranga Shankara

The powerful images in Return to Sender – Letters from Tentland at Ranga Shankara in 2007 still linger vividly in our minds. Helena Waldmann is back with Burka Bondage which will premier on December 12 at Ranga Shankara

Burka Bondage by Helena WaldmannBurka Bondage by Helena Waldmann

Burka Bondage is the passion and
pain of two female dancers, struggling for freedom from the burka, total Islamic coverage, and the restraints of Japanese bondage. By the apparent antithesis of the two extremes of exposure and masking, Helena Waldmann follows the binary logic of power and powerlessness, pain and pleasure through to its culmination in a West–Eastern yearning for freedom and self-release.

After having travelled to Kabul for the first time in 2007 to show her production „return to sender“, choreographer Helena Waldmann made a discovery in the following year, the young Afghan actors she worked with call themselves “Generation Rain”. A generation that even without the reign of the Taliban is disoriented and stuck in the rut of fundamentalist history.



In Japan, a highly industrialised, rich country that couldn’t be further from Afghanistan in many ways, Helena Waldmann experienced something similar: young people who have no faith in a self-chosen future, bound by the oppressive traditions of a rigidly structured and hierarchical society, call themselves “Lost Generation”, and take the destruction of the Buddhas in distant Afghanistan personally.

Helena Waldmann has found a virtually iconic image for the parallels between both generations, for the fight for visibility and unleashing: Burka and bondage. The burka is an Afghan gown that covers people up. Bondage is a Japanese technique that shackles them. Helena Waldmann sets out on a search for the body without a face. With two female dancers who love extremes, a video animation artist and a genius on the drums.

Helena Waldmann, born in 1962, is one of the most unusual artists in the field of theatre. She studied her craft with Heiner Müller, Gerorge Tabori and Gerhard Bohner, amongst others and graduated in Applied Theatre-Studies. Since 1991 she is working as theatre director and choreographer in Germany and abroad.
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Tickets: Rs. 200 each available at Ranga Shankara and the Bhavan, and online at: www.indianstage.in & www.bookmyshow.com


Tags: theatre, ranga shankara, burka bondage, helena waldmann, december 12, afghanistan, return to sender, struggle for freedom, burka, islamic coverage, japanese bondage, exposure and masking, self-releas

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