Orangerie Herrenhausen

Made in Bangladesh

Helena Waldmann (DE)

A photo from the production "Made in Bangladesh"
Photo © Georgia Foulkes-Taylor


“[…] Initially in colourful robes and shirts, the artists move in rigid formations, drawing clear boundaries on the stage. The choreography seeks confrontation with the audience. The sound and dance are exhausting to witness, involving such scenes as several-minutes’ staccato singing by all the performers. This is interspersed with assurances by the workers that ‘we are happy to be part of the capitalist system’. ‘Made in Bangladesh’ makes the kind of unambiguous statements that are usually avoided in modern theatre. For this, it was heartily applauded by the 400-strong audience at the Orangerie.”
Neue Presse, 14 September 2015

preview TEXT

Berlin-based dance director Helena Waldmann gives the stage to the issues we otherwise try to ignore. This time her subject is Bangladesh. Waldmann travelled to the country’s sweatshops and factories where clothing is made under exploitative conditions for the European market. And she sought out dancers in Dhaka, twelve of whom are now performing in “Made in Bangladesh”, a work that explores the problems and opportunities arising from the manufacturing boom. Together they create powerful images: like sewing machine needles, the feet of the kathak dancers pound the floor of the stage, their colourful robes flying in angry twists and turns. Yet despite all the exploitation, there is a prevailing sense of relief at having a job at all. In this piece, Waldmann also highlights parallels with the mechanisms of our own arts industry, where the exploitation of arts players is part and parcel of the system.  

(approx. 70 Min.)


Watch a video clip from the production on youtube


cast & credits

Dance director: Helena Waldmann
Co-choreography/Performer: Vikram Iyengar
Dance: Munmun Ahmed, Shammy Akter, Pritha Shareen Ferdous, Masum Hossain, Urme Irin, Mela Lamiya, Trina Mehnaz, Hanif Mohammad, Tumtumi Nuzaba, Bishwazit Sarkar, Shoma Sharmin, Labonno Sultana
Dancer on video: Brit Rodemund
Composition/Production music: Daniel Dorsch
Musical Direction/Composition: Hans Narva
Video: Anna Saup
Costumes: Hanif Kaiser, Judith Adam
Lighting: Herbert Cybulska
Post-production video: Michael Saup
Costume design: Tina Luther
Rehearsal direction: Anika Bendel
Assistant in Dhaka: Hasnat Bin Kashem
Dramaturgical advice: Dunja Funke
Press officer: Nicola Steller

Production: Helena Waldmann and ecotopia dance productions

In collaboration with: SHADHONA – A Center for the Advancement of South Asian Culture (BD) and the Goethe-Institute Bangladesh

Co-production: Theater im Pfalzbau Ludwigshafen/ Les Théâtres de La Ville de Luxembourg/ Goethe-Institute Bangladesh/ Burghof Lörrach/ Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf/ Tollhaus Karlsruhe/ Kurtheater Baden

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

With support of the Goethe-Institute.


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