Hillbrow is part of Johannesburg: a city within the city, a suburb right in the centre. Originally planned as a showcase district, which provided a particularly healthy living situation for the residents, it became synonymous with corruption, violence and poverty with its decline during the 1990s. Thanks to the initiative of many neighbourhood organizations, spaces like the Hillbrow Theatre offer a havre of relative peace and safety for kids and youths, promoting a progressive environment for the integration of the neighbourhood’s inhabitants from various countries in a context still charged with criminality and xenophobic violence.
Choreographer Constanza Macras is now bringing her international production Hillbrowfication to the Gorki. Twenty-one Hillbrow children aged 5 to 19 have worked in Johannesburg with her and choreographer Lisi Estaras on a futuristic approach to their life in a neighbourhood. An alien invasion that establishes a new social order based on people’s dance skills. A revolutionary princess with infinite names is able to bend the corridors of space and time. People have developed the capacity to rebound from the ground instead of dealing with broken elevators…
These and other stories inhabit strange worlds of possible and unlikely futures in Hillbrowfication. Between utopias and dystopias of ghettoisation and gentrification, the fictional future histories of Hillbrow, of its cultures and beings, create a universe where the performers negotiate and subvert self-representational narratives and their perceptions of xenophobia and violence in the city.
"We done let the poetic spirit in folk languish, like bein’ human mean togglin’ a damn switch steada imaginin’ yourself’ cross spacetime and back. Check me on that, all right?" Andrea Hairstone, Mindscape.
Watch the trailer
Berlin premiere: June 1st, 2018
A Production from Constanza Macras | Dorkypark in cooperation with Outreach Foundation, Hillbrow Theatre Project and Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin. Supported by Goethe-Institut. Funded by TURN Fonds of the Kulturstiftung des Bundes.