MONSTRATOR is a performance rooted in the exploration of monstrousness that aims to critically question the theatrical apparatus of freakshows – where the Other, or the one who stands outside the norm, became the Monster – and Human Zoos – where other cultures were exoticised or monstrified. Those theatrical demonstrations served as regulating mechanisms in which segregation, binary ways of thinking and processes of Othering were emphasized in order to assure a sense of normalcy to the ones attending the spectacle.

In this work the aim is to investigate and explore ways of transforming and blurring the conventional roles of the monster, the show host and the audience in order to rethink the mechanisms in which alterity operates.

Monstrator makes use of the aesthetics of the grotesque, in which everything is presented in an excessive, exaggerated, hybrid manner and oscillates between the visible and invisible. The show evolves on an absurd constellation in which the lines between the comic and the horror dilute. In a universe inhabited by strangeness and uncanniness a question arises: who/what is the Monster?

An idea of Helena Botto (artistic direction and performance), developed in collaboration with Marc Philipp Gabriel (performance), Joshua Rutter (sound design), Gretchen Blegen (light design), Philipp Weinrich (film), Susanne Mayer (dramaturgy), Susanne Foellmer (dramaturgical advice/expert on the Grotesque) and Julia Danila (production).

Helena Botto

is a performer and choreographer based in Berlin. Her background is in physical theater: methodology of physical actions, Jerzy Grotowski’s art as vehicle. From 1997 – 2005 she performed in Acto (PT) within this framework. She also studied with Meredith Monk, Andre Riot Sarcey, a.o. In 2006 she started to work as an independent artist developing her own performance work. In 2015 she received her MA in Solo/Dance/Authorship (Distinction) from the HZT, Berlin. Her recent works have been shown in Berlin (Uferstudios; Hau 2 – 100º), Portugal and Sofia (Antistatic Festival). She was awarded with Young Directors Scholarship/Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (2008), Tanzstipendium/Berlin Senate (2015) and TANZallianz Scholarship/CC Heidelberg (2016), Karl Hofer Gesellschatf (2017), Goethe Institut (2017), a.o. As a performer she collaborated with Filipe Pereira, Iva Sveshtarova and the visual artist Christian Falsnaes. She led workshops in Portugal and abroad – Camões Institute and currently teaches movement composition at Filmschauspielschule Berlin.

Monstrator ist eine Koproduktion der Hebelhalle|Künstlerhaus|UnterwegsTheater Heidelberg mit der Unterstützung des Choreographischen Centrum Heidelberg|TanzAllianz. Gefördert von dem Freundeskreis der UdK | Karl Hofer Gesellschaft und dem Goethe-Institut Porto. Mit freundlicher Unterstützung der Programmreihe AUSUFERN | Uferstudios GmbH, Vierte Welt und Companhia Instável Porto and Mira | Artes Performativas.