DESIGNED TO DIE?
Just think of all electronic and household appliances we use every day. They are dying on demand so that we buy newer, and fuel the economy. A sentence dating back to the 1920’s explains very well this consuming cycle: “An article that refuses to wear out is a tragedy of business.” Yet, the current lifecycle of a product goes shorter and shorter!
Scared and passionate about the topic of planned obsolescence, Aude Fondard and Jo Bruhn decided to put some life-limited devices centre stage and give these little wonders the attention they deserve in a dance-theatre piece.
Here a short film from Nah Dran, Ada Studio, Berlin, June 2017 :
description & manual
Amazed by the plenty of consumer goods, two pair of eyes are getting frantic before a shop window. Later on, bodies are reflecting the mechanism of electric appliances who became faulty far too soon.
Finally, two salespersons are trapped by planned obsolescence in a megastore. But who will win the fight? Human beings or the untameable items?
Designed to Die? is a poetic and funny tale dealing with a tricky topic. Meant for a large audience (from 7 to 117 years old), it isn't very wordy (a few lines and a Shakespearean sonnet - in English) and focusses on movement and the dictatorship of consumerism.
The set works as a museum installation where the performers give life to the flawed items.
Members of the audience receive a booklet telling them about the play and the topic. Click on the picture to see the content.
how it all started
To create this show, we asked ourselves many questions:
How can we communicate abstract ideas through dance combinations?
How can we invite the audience to reflect without teaching or preaching them?
Should the endless consumerism cycle inspire the structure of our play?
How can we introduce a concept, and criticise it, without doing a TED talk?
It feels fantastic to move like objects and appropriate their mechanism, but where shall we stop?
Is there space for Contact-Dance and Improvisation?
Are we dancing with the objects or enacting a theatre of objects?
To which extend are human beings influenced by electric and electronic appliances?
What is planned obsolescence?
Planned obsolescence in industrial design and economics is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially
limited useful life, so it will become obsolete, that is, unfashionable or no longer functional after a certain period of time.
"A product wich does not break is a catastrophy for business"
The origins of phrase, planned obsolescence, go back at least as far as 1932 with Bernard London's pamphlet Ending the
Depression Through Planned Obsolescence. The essence of London's plan would have the government impose a legal
obsolescence on consumer articles, to stimulate and perpetuate consumption. The phrase was first popularized in 1954 by Brooks Stevens, an American industrial designer. His catchphrase was "instilling in the buyer the desire to own something a little
newer, a little better, a little sooner than is necessary." By the late 1950s, planned obsolescence had become a commonly used term for products designed to break easily or to quickly go out of style.
In 1960, cultural critic Vance Packard published The Waste Makers, promoted as an exposé of "the systematic attempt of
business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals".
Read more about planned obsolescence in our manual.
lives as a dancer, poet and translator.
Educated in literature and acting, she trained in contemporary dance in Sydney and Berlin, and later opened up to Contact Improvisation. Her approach to movement and composition is very much influenced by contemporary dance and butoh. She has been learning from dancers and improvisers who work with a lot of floor work, dynamics, yoga and a strong mindset (Stella Zannou, Rakesh Sukesh, Atsushi Takenouchi, Minako Seki amongst others).
She worked in multiple productions before creating her poetic performances, combining text and movement improvisation. Besides, she very much enjoys bringing the landscape and the elements indoors.
Now based in Marseilles, France, she guides a monthly Contact Improvisation jam and shares her passion for movement at various festivals.
In 2020, she creates the association Compagnie Amako! and regularly teaches Contact Improvisation and Butoh inspired dance classes.
More info here: www.oddinmotion.info
For almost 20 years he has committed his life to the performing arts in various facets.
For a long time the art of playing with fire was his passion. But then, about 10 years ago, dance entered his life. It all started with soft encounters with contact improvisation. Over the years the need to dive deeper into the world of dance grew larger and larger.
In 2009/2010 he took part in the New Dance education with Anna Garms from the Dance Vision Institute. This was followed by numerous different workshops on movement, dance (contact improvisation, tango, lindyhop), voice (Roy Hart), clown, acrobatics and so on....
Then the need to dive deeper into contact improvisation became stronger and stronger. So he started attending courses, festivals and workshops with teachers like Nancy Stark Smith, Mike Vargas, Elske Seidel, among others.
After some years he realized that he wanted to widen his horizon in other directions. So he attended the „Dance Intensive“ at Tanzfabrik, Berlin. During this year he connected to the various aspects of contemporary dance with teachers like Britta Budelko and Gisela Müller.
That's where he also met Aude Fondard. They started to work together incorporating contemporary dance in different ways in their show.
Now he performes, teaches Contact Improvisation and organizes festivals and workshops for Contact Improvisation.
Festival Equinoxe, Le Pradet, Var, End April 2021
Unfinished Fridays, Lake Studios, Berlin
Première, Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte, Berlin
Sommerfest Steigemühle, Schlieben
Nah Dran, Ada Studio, Berlin
Paul Schneider Haus, Berlin-Spandau
Email : compagnieamako [at] riseup.net
Gisbert Schürig for fotos
Alex Zampini for filming (trailer)
Ronald Spratte for fotos