Platanaceae, –a, –um! — Day 1

Barely a day off after finishing the first block of rehearsals and filming with Das Helmi for Reisebericht (more on that in another post as soon as I get organised), and today was once more back in Alte Kantine Wedding, rehearsing with Dasniya and … Das Helmi! Well, Florian Loycke and Solène Garnier from the Helmis, but nonetheless, a room full of foam (the Helmi’s, of the mattress type) and rope (Dasniya’s, of the jute and hemp shibari type), and climbing gear (slings, carabiners, pulleys, spinners, static rope, broadly from my climbing influence).

I spent yesterday (and late-Saturday night) watching the Nürburgring 24h endurance race, my one petrolhead indulgence lately (also enjoyed a bit of Le Mans the previous weekend), and today once the Resiebericht Helmis had finished moving out, the Platanaceae, –a, –um! quartet had finished moving in, having a late-morning coffee and/or tea, done some talking, we stood up and did ballet.

The name first. Platanaceae is a family of trees, and Heppenheim – where we are performing in the Gassensensationen Festival – has a rather massive Platanus orientalis, which we were originally (last year) intending to use. Stuck for a name, a… um… therefore Platanaceae, –a, –um! The tree we are no longer and sadly not using, instead performing in the private, tree-filled courtyard of an old film theatre, but the name remains.

What are we doing? For a start, we are four who have very different areas of expertise in performance, who also have worked together for varying lengths of time: Florian and Solène for years in Das Helmi, Dasniya and I together since 2009, Dasniya with Das Helmi since early-last year, Florian and Solène both semi-regulars in Dasniya’s Yoga and Shibari classes also since last year, and me with the Helmis since February. Solène and Florian both are musicians – Solène remarkable on wind instruments, Florian is brilliant in making and performing puppets out of rubbish found on the street, Dasniya brilliant in shibari and ballet, and then me.

There are more than enough ideas wandering around, certainly something from Jute Disintegration, and the work we did for Jennifer Evans’ music video earlier this year, bits from my own solo work, something from the puppets, music, Wildweibchen, Kobold, Bergstraße, Starkenburg and Lorsch Abbey, Odenwald, pirates, Germanic mythology … dancing, unshibari, close to 1000 metres of rope, as well as a giant pile of slings and other gear.

We’re rehearsing every day, late-morning into the evening, some days in the forest, and yes, photos and other delicacies soon.