Made in Bangladesh

Made in Bangladesh

by Helena Waldmann

2014 | Ludwigshafen

What lies behind the words “Made in Bangladesh”?
Helena Waldmann, with twelve Bangladeshi Kathak dancers, investigated Bangladesh’s infamous textile factories and translated into dance the working conditions that she found there. Waldmann stripped all the ornamentation from the north Indian Kathak dance, in which the colorfully clothed dancers’ feet hammer the floor. The kicking feet in competition with the stitching of clattering sewing machines, their pirouettes with the yarn bobbins. The quick rhythms of the Kathak make the exhaustion physically palpable. “I’m not physically strong enough for this work. I go through exploitation and abuse.” Statements like these and others from seamstresses appear at intervals projected on the backdrop. But the dancers proclaim into the microphone: “I am proud to be a part of the fashion industry – proud to be independent.” These too are sentences from the seamstresses and it is exactly these unresolved and irresolvable ambivalences that Helena Waldmann distilled in her researches and has put next to one another on the stage. What for one seamstress represents exploitation, for another means a first step to financial independence. The analogy with the European cultural sector and its self-exploitative structures is further sharpened in the second half of the piece. Quotes like: “Last year I danced 60 performances – this year 100. For the same money”, demonstrate clearly that European dancers too earn their money under precarious circumstances. “Made in Bangladesh” is a strong uncomfortable work, and in its consistency and physicality exactly the correct means to give artistic expression to the breakneck working conditions of the contemporary world.

set design, direction, choreography Helena Waldmann / co-choreography Vikram Iyengar / dance Munmun Ahmed, Shammy Akter, Pritha Shareen Ferdous, Masum Hossain, Urme Irin, Mela Lamiya, Trina Mehnaz, Hanif Mohammad, Tumtumi Nuzaba, Bishwazit Sarkar, Shoma Sharmin, Labonno Sultana video dancer Brit Rodemund composition, music production Daniel Dorsch musical director, music production Hans Narva / video Anna Saup / light design Herbert Cybulska / costumes Hanif Kaiser, Judith Adam rehearsal director Anika Bendel dramaturgical consultant Dunja Funke / video post production Michael Saup / creative pattern cutting Tina Luther / projected photos Taslima Akhter, Rahul Talukdar, Margi Geerlinks / project management Claudia Bauer / technical staff Carsten Wank, Stephan Wöhrmann, Roman Fliegel / fotos Wonge Bergmann

duration: 77 minutes

A production by Helena Waldmann and ecotopia dance productions.
In collaboration with SHADHONA – A Center for the Advancement of Southasian Culture (BD) and Goethe-Institut Bangladesh.
Co-produced with Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen (D), Les Théâtres de La Ville de Luxembourg (L), Goethe-Institut Bangladesh (BD), Burghof Lörrach (D), Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf (D), Tollhaus Karlsruhe (D), Kurtheater Baden (CH)

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Special thanks to Nazma Akhter, to the 13 workers as mentors of the dancers and to Green Ink from Dhaka.


20-07-2016, 20:00

Festival Bolzano Danza (I)

17-07-2016, 20:00

Nowy Teatr Warsaw (PL)

28-10-2015, 20:00

Kurtheater Bad Homburg (D)

24-10-2015, 20:00

Forum am Schlosspark Ludwigsburg (D)

21-10-2015, 20:00

Zuiderstrandtheater Den Haag (NL)

19-10-2015, 20:00

Forum Leverkusen (D)

17-10-2015, 20:00

15. Kemptener Tanzherbst (D)

12-09-2015, 20:00

Festival TanzTheater International Hannover (D)

11-09-2015, 20:00

Festival TanzTheater International Hannover (D)

06-09-2015, 20:00

Norrlands Operan Umea (Sweden)

05-09-2015, 20:00

Norrlands Operan Umea (Sweden)

10-05-2015, 20:00

DANCE 2015 Festival München (D)

09-05-2015, 20:00

DANCE 2015 Festival München (D)

26-01-2015, 20:00

Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka (Bangladesh)

22-01-2015, 20:00

Science City Main Auditorium, Kolkata (India)

20-01-2015, 20:00

NCPA National Centre for the Performing Arts Mumbai (India)

17-01-2015, 20:00

Ignite ! Festival of Contemporary Dance
Kamani Auditorium Neu Dehli (India)

13-01-2015, 20:00

6th International Festival of Kerala
KT Muhammed Theatre, Kochi (India)

21-12-2014, 20:00

Theaterhaus Jena (D)

20-12-2014, 20:00

Theaterhaus Jena (D)

16-12-2014, 20:00

Tafelhalle Nürnberg (D)

14-12-2014, 20:00

Staatstheater Darmstadt (D)

11-12-2014, 20:00

Kurtheater Baden (CH)

09-12-2014, 20:00

Burghof Lörrach (D)

06-12-2014, 20:00

Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg (L)

03-12-2014, 20:00

Tollhuas Karlsruhe (D)

30-11-2014, 20:00

FFT, Düsseldorf
in cooperation with Tanzhaus NRW (D)

29-11-2014, 20:00

FFT, Düsseldorf
in cooperation with Tanzhaus NRW (D)

26-11-2014, 20:00


Theater im Pfalzbau
Ludwigshafen (D)

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