Songs & Dances about the Weather

Songs & Dances about the Weather

2023, Length: 60 minutes

about the piece

The piece is based on interviews with rainmakers, including the mother of Ugandan dancer Michael Kaddu, and climate data on the shrinking of glaciers in the high mountains.
The aim is to tell the often difficult-to-understand data of climate research in a different way in a theatrical context and thus create tangible references to people. We try to visualise real climate data poetically and use Holovision, a new projection method, to generate spatial effects. The production thus combines the visual, “cold” world of melting glaciers with a contemporary rain ritual consisting of dance, song and holographic projections.
In many regions of Africa there is a long tradition of rain rituals but some, such as the Nigerian dancers, have no word for glaciers or snow in their local languages. Glaciers on the African continent will be among the first to disappear completely.

“Rainmaking” is still very present in the respective cultures, but it is becoming less important. For example, the mother of dancer Michael Kaddu was a respected rainmaker for a long time until she joined the church and stopped practising.
Rain rituals should not be reduced to magical folk beliefs. On the one hand, they are based on observations of the environment and nature in order to understand whether there are signs of a change in the weather, on the other hand, they are also an attempt to deal with the social challenges of drought and dryness. The stresses that prolonged droughts place on local communities are manifold. They are practical but also spiritual.
In the 2022 heatwave, we in Germany experienced the social challenges that extreme weather brings. The numerous “heat action plans” of the federal states and municipalities are ultimately also “rainmaking” rituals for complex societies.
In the piece, we now combine the vocabulary of such rituals with the poetic representation of climate data on melting glaciers. Using the technique of holovision projections, both levels overlap and create a dance performance with elements of digital theatre.


Rituals of Climate Alteration - an interview with Nalubanda Esther- Rainmaker and mother of the dancer Michael Kaddu



Concept: Christoph Winkler | By and with: Oluwafemi Israel Adebajo, Ridwan Rasheed, Michael Kaddu | 3D artists: Yaron Maïm, Martin Böttger, Matthias Härtig | Costume Design: Marie Akoury | Video Editing & Graphic: Gabriella Fiore | Technical direction: Fabian Eichner | Sound: Björn Stegmann | Production management: Laura Biagioni

A production by Company Christoph Winkler in cooperation with Ballhaus Ost. Funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion.