Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
A production of the Munich Biennale and Deutsche Oper Berlin

Storyline, videos, set and costume designer, director: Deville Cohen; composition and instruments: Hugo Morales Murguia;

Over 100 years after the publication of the novel about the future, »Flatland« transforms »Underline«, E. A. Abbott's satirical utopia, into a new music theater piece: In the associative, multi-dimensional and polyphonic composition of materials, images, forms, bodies, movements, light, videos, sounds, and music, »Underline« develops a kinetic sculpture as a musical theater piece from the motifs, conflicts, characters, and narrative elements of the novel.

»Flatland« is the autobiographical story of a quadrat, describing its two-dimensional homeland and relating journeys to regions with more or fewer dimensions, and scrutinizing the limits of its perceptions. The fantastic vision of the future, which once served as a criticism of the novel's Victorian settings, still provides a fitting analogy to our present times: Scenes and music show people, environments, materials, and props as custom-fit objects and adapted instruments in a geometric performance. »Underline« puts the audience in the perspective of the novel's hero, sends the audience into the borderlands of the audience's imagination, and encourages us to reflect on our own limitations.

»Underline« is the first collaboration between the New York visual artist and director Deville Cohen and the composer Hugo Murguia Morales.

Deville Cohen director and stage design

Born in 1977 in Israel, Cohen studied at the Berlin Weissensee School of Art, as well as at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts in New York. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. In his works he has developed his own very individual style of combining video, animation, graphics, and installation and performative aspects, where two- and three-dimensional objects and images interlace. 

Hugo Morales Murguia composition

Born in 1979 in Mexico City, he lives in the Netherlands and works as a freelance composer, sonologist, and sound artist at the interface of traditional instruments, found objects, performance techniques, and technology. Essential for his work is the development of alternative forms of creating sounds for musical compositions. He studied initially at the Center of Research and Musical Studies (CIEM) in Mexico City, and then he studied composition at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, as well as sonology at the Institute of Sonology. He received his doctorate from the Centre of Contemporary Music Practice, Brunel University in London. He was commissioned to write compositions for Arditti Quartet; L'Ensemble Intercontemporain; IKTUS Percussion Quartet; and for many other formations. 

Cast & credits

Storyline, videos, set and costume designer, director: Deville Cohen

composition and instruments: Hugo Morales Murguia

dramaturge: Dorothea Hartmann

scenic advisors: Robyn Schulkowsky, Michael Höppner

choreographer: Elik Niv

projection design: Bodo Gottschalk

production assistant: Miika Hyytiäinen

performers: Elik Niv, Herve Guerrisi, Moritz Ostruschnjak, Margaux Marielle-Trehouart

musicians: Anja Füsti, Diego Espinosa, Almut Lustig, Emily Yabe

Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale

A co-production of the Munich Biennale and Deutsche Oper Berlin

further performances: 16.6./18.6./19.6./23.6./24.6.2016 , respectively 8pm
Deutsche Oper Berlin, Tischlerei

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