For this purpose, the initiative LUNA PARK, which has many years of experience in the realization of socio-cultural educational projects for children and young people and has thus linked numerous productions in the field of contemporary dance, is building an open dance and theater center at the Gesundbrunnen elementary school in Wedding. Suitable rooms available there will be furnished and technically equipped accordingly.
A group of performing artists will work permanently for the project in the framework of a residency at the Gesundbrunnen elementary school. In cooperation with the above-mentioned cultural, educational and youth partners, the artists regularly organize dance courses, workshops, project weeks, vacation programs, excursions and theater visits for the children, work with them on dance and theater projects and stage them in public. The children are actively involved in the design of these formats and contribute topics from their everyday school and life. To this end, dance and theater projects that have been successfully carried out at the Gesundbrunnen Elementary School for several years are further developed, expanded to neighboring schools, and made accessible to a larger number of participants or a larger audience in the neighborhood, for example, the project “Tanzt kunterbunt!” (transition of children from neighboring daycare centers to school accompanied by dance art with courses, excursions and presentations), “Wir spielen Märchen” (We play fairy tales) (elementary school students bring their own versions of German folk tales to the stage), “Verwandlungen” (transformations) (dance theater workshops open to students from the 6th grade onwards during vacations and weekends with additional excursions – accompanied transition of children to high school), and the project “ANPASSUNGEN” (in 2018 and 2019 supported by the QM Badstraße as part of the project fund). The project “Dance with me!” (development and presentation of short choreographies based on pop music and folk music from the children’s countries of origin) will be resumed.
The parents and families of the children, other artists as well as teachers, educators and pedagogical specialists are involved in the preparation and implementation of the various project formats of “Dance and Theater in the Neighborhood”, which allows for an intergenerational and interdisciplinary dialogue and also provides the adult residents of the neighborhood with a new and low-threshold access to cultural education.
Within the framework of “Dance and Theater in the Neighborhood,” the artists residing at the Gesundbrunnen Elementary School will also create performances for adults and present them in the neighboring Uferstudios, among other venues. These works will incorporate personal documentation (“life stories”) – of the participating artists, the students, their parents and families. The rehearsals in the school area will be open to the public and will allow for a diverse and intensive dialogue with parents and children, other artists, teachers and educators throughout the duration of the project. Through their subject matter (it is about the longing for a better world, about displacement and flight, and about the difficult arrival in the new), the performances tie in with life situations of many residents of the neighborhood.
Currently, new plans include the establishment and design of an open-air reading and meeting space on one of the two backyards of the Gesundbrunnen Elementary School starting in May 2021: This space will also be accessible to the families of the students and open to our network partners and other interested parties from the neighborhood. As soon as the Corona pandemic situation allows it again, public reading rounds will take place there. Theatrical readings and open-air film evenings are also planned, as well as regular monthly cinema days or evenings in the auditorium of the Gesundbrunnen Elementary School. “Dance and Theater in the Neighborhood” will also include a special format for the active cultural participation of older residents of the neighborhood. In collaboration with the theater director Ron Rosenberg, who has already successfully carried out theater projects with seniors in Berlin (“Golden Gorkis”) and Zurich (“Senioren-Laboratorium”), a group of people of retirement age is to get together and jointly develop and perform plays. Also planned within the framework of “Dance and Theater in the Neighborhood” is the implementation of German courses for parents or families from the neighborhood, since adults in particular often have only a poor knowledge of the German language or no knowledge at all. Some of these courses will be offered exclusively for women.
Highlights such as the “Winterzauberfest”, the “Sommerbrunnenfest” and public presentations of “Wir spielen Märchen” and “Tanzt kunterbunt” that could not take place as planned in 2020 and 2021 are postponed to a later date in 2021 or 2022. Parts of the current project activities took place or are taking place in digital alternative formats.
The project “Dance and Theater in the Neighborhood” is funded within the framework of the program “Education in the Neighborhood” / Future Initiative Neighborhood II with funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).