East of love, in the rooms of Hotel Europa

Scene from “Esatern loves” © Tmn Dachs

Behind the stage, a wall of television sets, a possible metaphor for many things. We see in it an ironic echo of the Berlin Wall but also a reference to the invisible walls of disinformation that blind the television channels of authoritarian countries and not only (the slogan of May 68 “television lies”, in fashion these days. – here in Moscow, at petto). The Portuguese André Amálio begins by telling his own story. As a child, he was attracted to chess champions from the east and first to Russia. Giants fight. He himself, like his brother, became the champion of Portuguese chess, which got him on his first trip to the east, two years after the fall of the wall .: “ we lived 48 years of fascist dictatorship, 500 years of Portuguese colonialism … but when I came to the East, my sawthey’re gray people, people who don’t smile on the subway, or in restaurants, or on the street “.

Ten years later, during another trip to the east, he fell in love with a Czech artist Tereza Havličková, and years later it was with him that he signed this show. This story was immediately mixed with another story, that of José Serra whose father Jaime, who was often imprisoned in his country under the dictatorial regime, led the Portuguese underground communist party. and so on; and here is another story, that of a group of Portuguese exiles in Prague (at the time the eastern city was most easily reached by train from Lisbon via Paris); but also the story of Manueola Sambo who came from the African colonies of Portugal and was found in Leipzig, in former East Germany. and so on.

The show, the result of the many testimonials involved here, thus connects fragments of individual life paths that are also common to the actors. From one end of the confession to the other end joined the collective scenes, the first of which showed the German course for the Portuguese exiles who had just arrived in Leipzig after the fall of the wall but in before the fall of the Portuguese dictatorship. .

When they meet the Portuguese André Amálio living in his country under a dictatorship and the Czech Tereza Havličková living, he, in a country whose democratic hopes of “Prague Spring” have recently been crushed by troops Soviet. Their definition of communism contradicted them: for him it meant “ resistance, struggle for freedom and against oppression “, for that” the commanotisI mean oppression, military occupation, lack of freedom “. These visions were illuminated by others such as Mbalango whose brother and uncle left Mozambique to study in the GDR, Jorge, son of communist militants, left to study in Moscow in 1990 with a scholarship paid for by Soviets, etc. What follows are stories of failed love in the GDR, a fairly obvious anti-black racism yesterday as it is today in the East, an exploitation of workers from the colonies who were promised to pay of their wages on their return to the country and who did not win was not hit and still is not hit.

If the show is done with collected testimonials, and with testimonials only, it is also adorned with festive collective scenes (dance, collective gymnastics, parade) invented from real situations like this joyful banana dance. Bananas were a rare product in the east before the fall of the wall and the collapse of the USSR. When there is a miraculous arrival, an information leak immediately causes a queue in front of the usually state-owned store. When we saw how many we entered then we asked others why there were so many. And sometimes just for bananas. And sometimes, too, in these queues were born the “loves of the east” as the title of the show says.

Beatrice (one of the artists, German) lives in East Germany, the GDR. The fall of the wall allowed his grandfather to go and see his sisters. ” The acetherethe thing that I brought from the east, he said, this is my health record “. But also” the desire to travel and chohcontinue my study. And I never knew where I belonged “. He became an artist, traveled, thought long before Germany.” a country “. Like his Czech and Portuguese stage neighbors, from Cape Verde or Mozambique, he has a room with a world view of Hotel Europa, one of Europe’s happiest cosmopolitan troupes.

Eastern love at the company Hotel Europa, from May 16 to 18 at the Théâtre des Abbesses.

The Passages Transfestival festival continues in Luxembourg’s Esch-sur-Alzette (European Capital of Culture) from May 20 to 22.

Leave a Comment