Behind the Mirrors

An art experience for everybody aged 8 years +

„Behind the Mirrors“ is an interdisciplinary project, that makes a connection between visual and performing arts. Three international artists -Vladimir Kara (Paris), Alexandra Dementieva (Brussels) und David Liver (Paris)- created installations and spaces that build the starting point for the theatre performance „Behind the mirrors“ for children aged 8 years +.
During the process a common topic was found: Holding out a mirror to the world. Questions of identity and perception of oneself and others made up the centre piece of the artistic work.

Who am I? Who are you?
„Behind the Mirrors“ deals with these questions in playful and artistically different ways. In an accessible installation the performers lead the audience from one moment to another. The result is a fascinating experience of art for children aged 8 years+, young people as well as adults.


Production: Barbara Kölling and Team
Scenography: Michael Lurse, Vladimir Kara, Alexandra Dementieva, David Liver
Performance: Michael Lurse, Matthias Damberg, Roman D. Metzner
Music: Roman D. Metzner and Team
Photos: Walter G. Breuer



„Behind the Mirrors“
Debut in HELIOS Theater

A breeze, fluttering birds, woods that clink together: With their soundscape, the puppeteer Michael Lurse, the actor Matthias Damberg and the musician Roman D. Metzner draw an imaginary landscape in the dark auditorium. “A mountain”, says Lurse. “A high mountain”, Damberg adds. “A very high mountain”, Metzner finishes. In a Dadaistic-style narrative full of symbolism the three performers create an image in the spectators’ minds, continuously interrupted by the atmospheric soundscape.
A temple located on the top of the mountain, while a dog is situated down in the valley. The dog scales the 1.000 steps, which lead up the mountain, panting out of breath. When the animal enters the temple, it looks into a hall full of mirrors, it is frightened and snarls, because apparently the whole world is full of snarling dogs. ...”believes the dog”, Lurse finishes the first part.
On Friday evening, the HELIOS Theater had the debut of its new production “Behind the Mirrors” in the well-attended “Kulturbahnhof”. Starting point for this production were objects, settings and installations developed by the visual artists Alexandra Dementieva from Brussels and Vladimir Kara and David Liver, both from Paris, around the topic “Holding out a mirror to the world”. This topic was further developed by director Barbara Kölling in collaboration with the ensemble of the HELIOS Theater. A multilayered experience of art and an impressive theatre performance emerged, creating an extraordinary experience – from the unique character of visual arts – suitable for children from the age of eight years, young people and adults alike.
Accompanied by Metzner’s poetic music, Lurse and Damberg showed a dainty dancing performance with mirrors, light effects and a video installation. The spectators enjoyed the pictorial poesy full of playful details and technical effects. An extraordinary event for every single spectator was not only the peek through a small hole into a mysterious black cube, but especially the moment when everybody leaving the auditorium became part of the video installation.

Ahlener Zeitung, 11. Oktober 2011

Fascinating effects „Behind the Mirrors“

The new play “Behind the Mirrors”, conceptualized by the HELIOS Theater for all people from the age of eight years and up, had a brilliant debut on Friday night. Three installations had been created in collaboration with the visual artists Vladimir Kara, Alexandra Dementieva and David Liver, around which the ensemble had built a small framework story. The audience was especially fascinated by the visual effects – reflective films, an (almost) veiled space with integrated sights, and a video-installation, which also tapes the audience.
The production was not only captivating for children – the adult audience enjoyed this evening as a very special experience of theatre as well.

Stadtanzeiger 9. Oktober 2011

Friendly distortions
The HELIOS Theater in Hamm plays with existential questions: “Behind the mirrors”
by Edda Breski

The dog is yet to play a special role: He is the personage that starts a voyage of discovery in the new HELIOS production. A journey starting as onomatopoetic but turns into something else.
“Behind the mirrors” is the name of the new production, which can be seen in the “Kulturbahnhof ” in Hamm.
The Lewis-Carroll citation  in the title hints at a play with light, different levels of perception in which the spectators are not just passively involved: They are allowed to explore.
The play is made for all people form the age of 8 years and up.
The story started by the three actors Michael Lurse, Matthias Damberg and Roman D. Metzner with an onomatopoeic narrative is somehow drifting away, the storyline is merely rudimental and the play will only allude to the starting point later on.
A dog spurts up a mountain panting; arriving at the top he finds a temple with many mirrors. 
The story is not lacking a well-defined plot as the spectator himself will change his point of view rather soon.
He will explore three installations, get the possibility to walk through a video projection and to play with his own image – the perception that others see.
The HELIOS Theater assigned three visual artists to create these installations. The painter Vladimir Kara und the performance and video artist David Liver already worked with the ensemble of Hamm. During the European Capital of Culture-year 2010, Kara e.g. gave a workshop for young people and Liver created a video installation for “Play of Forces ”. Alexandra Dementieva, who now worked for the first time in Hamm, devotes her video-installation to socio-psychological questions. 
Based on this collaboration, director Barbara Kölling formed a play full of ease. In a natural way, the play with reflecting films and projections raises existential(ist) questions. Whom do I see when I am looking at myself in the mirror? Who am I? Who are you and how do I stand by you? Michael Lurse and Matthias Damberg explore their own mirror image, hold up a mirror to the spectators and project personal pronouns. Questions are alluded to, but not answered, because there is no (easy) answer. “Behind the mirrors” is a lenient philosophic and slightly esoteric play. And a funny one: Whoever is watching it will giggle because it is funny to see oneself and others distorted and shown in such a lovely playful way.
Roman D. Metzner has composed a music consisting of gently questioning sounds of synthesizer or damped flugelhorn (keyed-bugle): sounds like dispersing rings as if you had thrown a stone into water.

Westfälischer Anzeiger 10. Oktober 2011

Festivals and Awards

We are proud to inform you that “Behind the mirrors” impressed and convinced the jury of the festival “FAVORITEN 2012” so much that it got accepted in “Auftrittsnetzwerk NRW/performance network North Rhine-Westphalia”. This means that theatres and festival organizers in Germany and Europe can invite “Behind the mirrors” for half the prize – the rest is payed by the network. A great opportunity for the HELIOS Theatre and interested partners!


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