Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale
A production of the Munich Biennale and Deutsche Oper Berlin in co operation with the University of the Arts Berlin

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

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

composition and instruments: Hugo Morales Murguia

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

Lightdesign: Steffen Hoppe

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

duration: 75 minutes

Composition commissioned by The City of Munich for the Munich Biennale

A co production of the Munich Biennale and Deutsche Oper Berlin in co operation with the University of Arts Berlin

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

Deutsche Oper


Dorothea Hartmann dramaturge

Dorothea Hartmann studied music, German literature and dramatics. In 2003, she started working as a dramaturge at the opera houses of Mannheim, Linz and Hannover. Since 2012, she has worked at Deutsche Oper Berlin as a dramaturge and as the artistic director of the Tischlerei, the stage for contemporary music theatre and experimental productions of the opera house. Dorothea Hartmann also writes libretti for music theatre aimed at a young audience. She has collaborated with the composers Peter Androsch, Stefan Johannes Hanke, Gordon Kampe, Mischa Tangian and Lin Wang. 2012 and 2013 she was a member of the jury for the Deutsche Theaterpreis DER FAUST, and in 2013 she was a member of the jury for the Fonds experimentelles Musiktheater North Rhine-Westphalia.

Elik Niv Choreographie/Performer

Elik was born and grew up in the village of Shave-Zion in Northern Israel. After his military service Elik studied dance at the “Sadana Performing Arts School”, Kibbutz Gaaton, and the “Talma Yalin Art School“ in Tel Aviv. After completing his studies he worked with several choreographers, such as Susanne Linke, Josef Tmim and Rami Levi in Israel. He also worked in different dance companies, such as DeDe Dance, Moza and Vertigo Dance Company

In 2005 he moved to Germany to work as a freelance dancer in Berlin. He collaborated with several choreographers, including:

Martin Stiefermann / Staatstheater Oldenburg
Susanne Linke
Mirela Waingarten / Komische Oper
Nir De Volff / Total Brutal
Santiago Blaum - Die Geschichte vom Soldaten Elik

Since 2009 he has been creating and performing with the company Constanza Macras / DorkyPark as well as working as a rehearsal manager in several of the company productions. In 2013 he appeared as a guest in Sasha Waltz & Guests.

Bodo Gottschalk Projektionsdesign

During his studies of Politics and Psychology, Gottschalk started to organize electronic music festivals, DJing, set and light design.

After graduating as a media and event technician in 2003, he worked as a lighting and projection designer for a three-year enduring laboratory for new media art and interactive systems ‘Forum Neues Musiktheater’ at the Staatsoper Stuttgart. Within this project he supported and attended workshops for object-based programming environments, like MAX/MSP and Isadora with a focus on the programming and implementation of interactive systems for performances and installations.

From 2006 to 2009 he was the lighting, projection designer and Technical Director for the ’Zeitoper’ projects of the Staatsoper Stuttgart.

Since 2009 he is working as a video engineer, operator and Vice Technical Director on several projects for the theatre collective ‘Rimini Protokoll’ such as ‘Radio Muezzin’, ‘Bodenprobe Kasachstan’ ‘Lagos Business Angels’ and ‘Situation Rooms’.

In 2010 he graduated as a Master of Event and Media Engineering.

Furthermore, he collaborates on several projects with art collectives such as ‘Alterazioni Video’, ‘phase7’ and ‘2av’.

Since 2014 Gottschalk has been a video and projection designer, as well as being the Technical Director of ‘Michael Laub / Remote Control Productions’ with recent productions including ‘Dance Portraits – Cambodia’ 21er Haus Vienna and ‘Asutorito Endoruwaito’ HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin. 

Miika Hyytiäinen Produktionsassistenz

Miika Hyytiäinen's music has been performed in most of the festivals and other important positions in Finland and Germany. It has also been heard in all Nordic countries, France, Japan, Holland and England. The versatile use of human voice and intimacy of the sound is typical for his music that combines different kinds of art forms, such as instrumental theatre, performance and theatre. Hyytiäinen graduated from the Universität der Künste Berlin, where he studied composition and experimental music theatre with Daniel Ott. In 2014 he won with his piece ”You Are Here” the ”Opera and the Media of the Future” competition organized by Glyndebourne Opera House and the University of Sussex. The same year his (3D) opera "Aikainen" was performed in Berlin and at the Grimeborn Festival in London. His chamber opera “Figure de la Terre” was premiered in April 2013 at Sophiensæle Berlin. His experimental music theatre piece ”Pierrot Lunaire und drei Schattenträume” has been performed in two seasons in Finland with positive reviews and was also part of Tokyo Wonder Site Experimental Festival vol 8 in 2013. His opera “Omnivore” for mobile phones had its international premiere in June 2012 in collaboration with Finnish National Opera. Hyytiäinen has also numerous chamber music pieces. One of the most notable works is “Makabere Geschichten” that is at the moment repertoire of four trios in three countries. For 2016 he was chosen to “Music in the Expanded Field” workshop in Darmstadt. Since 2014 Hyytiäinen is working on Artistic PhD about collaboration of composers and singers. He works in International Biennale Platform of Munich as a composer.

Hervé Guerrisi Performer

Hervé Guerrisi was born in 1981. He studied acting in the National Drama school of Brussels and developed a project about Italian immigration in Europe called Cincali.  He is passionate by languages and their ability to enter into someone’s identity. In 2009, he founded the international collective If Human exploring the borders between disciplines and performing languages. This experience put him in contact with many contemporary dance companies such as Les Ballets C de la B, Quan Bui Ngoc and others. He was recently in the prestigious Cour d’Honneur du Palais des Papes during the Festival d’Avignon, directed by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti and he collaborated with the Bayerische Staatsoper of Munich.

Margaux Marielle-Tréhoüart Performerin

Margaux Marielle-Tréhouart was born in 1991 in Paris. After completing her dance training (ballet and modern dance) at Conservatoire de Grenoble and receiving her diploma in 2009, where she studied piano for six years at the same time, she studied dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. She received her bachelor's degree in dance interpretation in 2013. Margaux Marielle-Trehouart is also an actress. She studied acting for one year at the conservatory in Grenoble and was cast for several speaking roles, either in cooperation with the theater department at Folkwang University of the Arts, or by professional companies and directors, including, among others, Compagnie Choses dites in France; Mizgin Bilmen; and Pierre Audi. She was also active in dance and acting collaborations, for instance with the director Saar Magal, and she could be seen onstage in their recent production at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Over the course of the last few years she has participated in numerous dance and theater projects, and she has also performed her own choreographed pieces (solo) at, among others, the Casa Grillo Theater Essen; Festival Off d'Avignon; Ruhrtriennale; on various stages and at various festivals in Grenoble; Tanzlabor in Bochum; Festival Theater der Welt Mülheim; FFT Düsseldorf; and ITS Festival Amsterdam.

Since September 2013 she has been a dancer with the company Sasha Waltz and Guests.

Anja Füsti Musikerin

Anja Füsti studied percussion in Stuttgart at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst with an emphasis on Neue Musik and chamber music. She continued her studies in Bern with Georges Aperghis and Françoise Rivallande at the Hochschule der Künste in the programm Théâtre Musicale et Composition and graduated with a highly acclaimed solo-perfomance.

Her work is focused on Neue Musik, free improvisation and Experimentelles Musiktheater. An intensive collaboration with choreograher Claudia Senoner resulted in several music and dance theater productions.

Further collaborations with composers like Martin Schüttler and Alan Hilario and ensembles like Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart and Ensemble Garage. She is playing at international festivals like the Biennale in Venice and Münchner Biennale – Festival für Neues Musiktheater.

Anja Füsti lives in Stuttgart.

Diego Espinosa Cruz González Musiker

Multi-percussionist/sound artist/researcher dedicated to expand the vast potential of the performing body within contemporary music and other artistic disciplines. He was a steady member of cutting edge Dutch ensembles Slagwerk Den Haag, Amsterdam Percussion Group and Insomnio Ensemble where he is a regular guest. He has performed in all five continents collaborating with artists like Pierre Boulez, John Zorn, Steve Reich, John Luther Adams, Kajia Saariaho, Frederic Rzewski, Alvin Currant, Steven Shick, Peter Eötvös, William Winant, Matmos, James Wood, Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble, Synergy Vocals, and MDR Choir.

He received awards such as Performance Grand Prize/ Tokyo Experimental Festival, 2nd Prize/ International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition (Netherlands), 3rd Prize/ International Percussion Competition (Luxembourg), Percussive Arts Society Award of Recognition (US), and Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik/ CD Insomnio.

He holds a Doctorate from McGill University, Montreal, a Masters degree from the Royal Conservatory, The Netherlands and a Bachelors from CIEM–Mexico. He has recorded CDs and DVDs for Mode Records, Tzadik, Cantalloupe, Col legno, EMF, ENCORA, NMC, Karnatic Lab, Artek, EtCetera, and Navona Records.

Recently he was a guest lecturer and advisor at Columbia University (NY), released a CD with James Wood's Tongues of Fire with the MDR choir, and performed as soloist in Boulez's Repons (NL), Dutch premiere of Robin de Raaff's Percussion Concerto in Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam), and Centre Georges Pompidou and Centrequatre (as part of Manifest­– IRCAM).

Almut Lustig Musikerin

Almut Lustig studied classical percussion at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.

It was here that she established her foundation for her diversified music activities. She gained experience, partially already during her studies, in different musical areas such as orchestral music (the orchestras Hessischer Rundfunk; NDR Hannover; and DSO Berlin); contemporary music (with, among others, Karlheinz Stockhausen); theater music (Staatstheater Hannover; Schaubühne Berlin; Berliner Ensemble; Hebbeltheater Berlin); and experimental music ("a rose is" ensemble).

There followed various awards as well as concert performances in Germany and abroad.

Since 2005 Almut Lustig has been active as a musician and a composer at international theater and dance festivals across the globe, in particular in collaboration with the Argentine choreographer Constanza Macras and her ensemble "dorkypark." As a member of numerous bands her musical activities also include jazz and pop music.

Since 2003 she has been a lecturer in classical percussion and rhythmic aural training at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.

Almut Lustig lives in Berlin.

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