SunBengSitting is a piece straddling yodelling, folk dance and contemporary dance, a trip to the past and a playful, humorous search for identity. Austrian farm boy and performance artist Simon Mayer invites the audience to get to know his life, his contradictions and his indignation at having to submit to categories and conventions. Having grown up on a farm facing traditions, nature, youthful rebellion and a bucolic heavy metal band, Simon Mayer moved to Vienna in 1997, attended Vienna’s State Opera’s dance school, spent a season as an aspiring dancer in the corps de ballet and very unexpectedly landed in a world where the word “farmer” could be used as an insult. The move was equal parts deliverance and constraint. SunBengSitting – “Sunbeng” is a word in the Upper Austrian dialect that means the bench in the sun in front of the farmhouse – deals with questions that emerge between the poles of city and country, homeland and foreign lands, pigeonholing and artistic freedom.
Simon Mayer works as a performance artist and musician and is additionally the artistic director of the Spiel art festival on the Schlossergütl organic farm in Upper Austria. He was previously in brut at last year’s imagetanz Festival with his piece Monkeymind. http://simon-mayer.tumblr.com
performance, choreographie, music: Simon Mayer
sound and live-loop: Pascal Holper
light: Lucas Gruber, Hannes Ruschbaschen
production: Sophie Schmeiser
artistic advice: Frans Poelstra
support: Elio Gervasi/raum 33, ROSAS, Kunstenzentrum BUDA, shareyourdarlings Plattform.
A coproduction of Kopf hoch/Simon Mayer, brut Wien, FREISCHWIMMER 2014/15 and Im_ flieger.
With the friendly assistance of Land Upper Austria, Bundeskanzleramt, Austrian Cultural Forum Brüssel, Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the mayor of Berlin – Senat Office – Cultural Affairs.
Thank you to Kulturverein SPIEL, Trachtenverein Altstädter Bauerngmoa, die Goaßlschnalzer Munderfing, Pramtaler Volkstanzgruppe, Fam. Mayer, Christian Schmeiser and Josef Schild.
fotos: Florian Rainer