Movimentos Festwochen

The 14th Movimentos Festival

From 2 April to 10 May 2016

Socially relevant themes have provided the overarching concept for the Movimentos Festival programme for the last ten years. This year's theme is "Love". From time immemorial it has been considered the greatest of virtues and the wellspring of truth.

Just how much the world needs love today is more than clear as what appears as an age of migration is set to begin. European societies in particular are increasingly expected to practise a kind of brotherly love that goes beyond mere empathy. It demands the virtue, both ancient and new, of real humility towards oneself and charity to others – something we seem to have lost in this age of the economization of everything.

The history and the stories of interpersonal love have for millennia been stories of happiness and unhappiness, of hope and anguish, an emotional rollercoaster of triumph and despair. In his Symposium, Greek philosopher Plato has the comic writer Aristophanes recount the myth of the spherical people who lived in prehistoric times as spherical creatures in harmonious unity with their ideal counterparts. They became arrogant, however, and wanted to scale heaven. This provoked the anger of Zeus, the father of the gods, who chopped them in half. From that time on, the halves sought to find each other in love in order to be whole once again.

But all sorts of things get in people's way. There is often a lack of willingness to really commit, to assume responsibility for one another and to walk together through life. Christ's commandment "Love thy neighbour as thyself" is as familiar as it is unheeded – suggesting that the failure to observe it is not so much a problem of understanding as a problem of implementation.

Solomon's Song of Songs speaks of the joy of loving and being loved in one of the most beautiful texts about love ever written. Choreographer Abou Lagraa and his "Compagnie La Baraka" present an adaptation of the biblical text in a coproduction with the Movimentos Festival. The onus that may be implicit in the commandment "Love thy neighbour!" is spelled out in Hans Magnus Enzensberger's essay on "The Great Migration" and traced by Peter Lohmeyer in his reading of the text. The happiness and heartache of love are the subjects of some of the most beautiful songs of German romanticism. Stirring compositions by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms are featured in a matinee with Anna Lucia Richter and Michael Gees.

These are just a few examples from this year's Movimentos Festival programme. We would like to invite you to reflect on, appreciate and look at the things of life from perspectives you may not previously have considered.

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