Victor: Yerma? Yes, I mean.
Yerma: Are you still there? Stupid question You are still there and yet I miss you already.
Victor: Saying goodbye. How do you do that?
Yerma: You don’t.
Yerma literally means “fallow land, brackish, or arid soil”. In a reproduction-oriented society, Yerma remains childless. During a fertility ritual, she strangles her husband, who, unlike her, has reconciled with his fate. This tragic, warm-blooded and sensual piece, was written in 1934 by the Spanish writer Federico Garcia Lorca. The adaptation is in the hands of Flemish-Gambian writer, and self-proclaimed hispanophile, Neske Beks.
Yerma is arranged by Ulrike Quade Company into a contemporary multidisciplinary production with dance, text, puppetry and music. Quade’s Yerma is a hypnotic, ritual dance of mourning. At the same time, the show offers the hopeful beauty of a radical farewell. If we dare to say goodbye, we will fight free.
That makes Yerma an ode to the fallow land, the lack that lurks in every one of us. In the words of Leonard Cohen: “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. ”
The performance is the newest collaboration between Ulrike Quade and the Norwegian choreographer Jo Strømgren. Their most recent co-production, the hit Coco Chanel, is still on the international repertoire (including Russia, China, South America and Hong Kong.) Coco Chanel also has its own cast on the permanent repertoire of Germany’s most renowned puppet theater Bühnen Halle.
Premiere: 28 May 2020, Bergen International festival, Norway
Concept: Ulrike Quade
Director: Ulrike Quade
Choreography: Jo Strømgren
Text: Federico Garcia Lorca edited by Neske Beks
Performance: Six performers including Gil Gomes Leal (Holland’s Got Talent)