Internationally known and acclaimed for his work in the metal formations Mayhem, Sunn O))), Tormentor and others, singer and vocalist Attila Csihar is working here on an interdisciplinary project development for the first time at the theatre. The project sees Csihar deepening his interest in ritual traditions and his connection to the theatricality often attributed to his performances.
Rituals form communities and create meaning and identity. They provide orientation, as well as maintaining and explaining the connection between humans, nature and the cosmos. A ritual intertwines the tenses: past, present and future all fold into one. An altar (ARA) is often the centre of a ritual and a place of devotion, serving as a medium of transition and transcendental connection.
Societies worldwide are currently facing a crisis provoked by the global pandemic. A return to the old order seems impossible; the present is haunted by ghosts from the future. An altar would seem to be the place to make contact with them.
The project ARA (Latin: “Altar”) explores the phenomenal constitution of the Pergamon Altar and other artworks of antiquity located on Berlin’s Museum Island and honours their distinctiveness in a ritual act. The ritual act is based on the ancient tradition of LUSTRATIO, a procession intended to restore the social and symbolic balance and purify through sacrifice. A priest (Attila Csihar) leads the procession, a woman (Maria Buzhor) follows him.
The epilogue takes place in the theatre: Based on the story of the Russian clergyman Grigory Rasputin (Arion Csihar), the question arises of a redressing the historic injustice that befell the clergyman on the threshold of the greatest transformation of the 20th century.
Accompanied by a sound composition, a video documents the encounter of the two priests with the historical places, which also become protagonists.
Volksbühne Berlin / Ara – A project by Elena Sinanina and Attila Csihar
21.5.2021 | Starts 19:00 CET
Volksbühne Berlin | Digital / Online
Picture: Kathrin Krottenthaler