Deer antlers, Black Forest Cake, prefabricated buildings, leather pants, whole-grain bread. Typical German or just a lot of prejudice? Is the young generation of our country - globally linked, multicultural, cosmopolitan - still able to identify with traditions and customs of their homeland?
Is the term “homeland” up for a new definition in our present times?
The Dresden-based choreograph Johanna Roggan shifts through different layers and meanings of the concept of homeland and the loss of one's traditions. She dwells on German prejudice and in collaboration with the dancers Simone Detig, Anna Fingerhuth, Cindy Hammer, Jule Oeft and Romy Schwarzer and the choir Dresdner Gnadenchor these stereotypes will be thrown overboard. They come to the conclusion that the concept of homeland remains an utopia, a mere memory and longing for far-off places as their home is found somewhere in exile.
Homeland is not coming alive as a place that it is, but rather as a place it is not. The meaning of homeland as a right and not as an ideology seems to be forgotten in our present society, according to Hannah Arendt. Being aware of this the dancers and the choir are valorizing their search for identity-establishing traditions like folk dance and the German treasury of songs – both proscribed as hyper-Germanness – while deconstructing it, coquetting with it and giving it a new meaning. For the young generation this is a possibility to cope with its own national identity and to be part of a society, a homeland, even as a modern hybrid.
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Photos/ Teaser: Benjamin Schindler
Photo at the table: Lutz Michen