Manila Zoo (WT)

  • Manila Zoo © Taipei Arts Festival Tsai Yao-Cheng
  • Manila Zoo - Charlotte Simon © Philipp Ottendörfer
  • Manila Zoo - Eisa Jocson © Geloy Concepcion

In Disney’s world, animals are anthropomorphized; formatted with US-American values and ways of being. Lions are kings, monkeys, cricket and fish are sidekicks to humans. Animals are transformed into human puppets and co-opted into the Family Spectacle whereas Filipino performers are the favored labor force; highly skilled, energetic, world-class happiness “machines''. Manila Zoo is a performance project initiated by the Manila based choreographer Eisa Jocson and the Frankfurt based composer Charlotte Simon. Together with four Filipino performers Eisa Jocson and Charlotte Simon explore the intersection of humans and animals, politics of gaze and spectacle, labor and confinement. At which moment turns Disney’s empire of happiness into a zoo which captures creatures in small enclosures, observed for ‘educational’ purposes and species preservation? The new production of Eisa Jocson, Charlotte Simon and their team confronts the psychosis shared by both humans and animals in isolation – not only in times of pandemic. It aims to hijack the Disney system – its animal puppets to perform not ‘set entertainment routines’ but the collective desire for change.

Artistic Director, Choreographer, Performer: Eisa Jocson | Musical Director: Charlotte Simon | In collaboration with: Bunny Cadag, Cathrine Go, Russ Ligtas, Joshua Serafin | Dramaturgy: Anna Wagner | Creative Presence: Arco Renz | Production Manager: Anne Kleiner | Technical Manager: Yap Seok Hui | ARTFACTORY

A production by Eisa Jocson and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main (Germany) in the frame of Tanzplattform Rhein-Main. In coproduction with BIT Teatergarasjen (Norway), Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore), Kaserne Basel (Switzerland), RISING Melbourne (Australia), Tanzquartier Vienna (Austria), Taipei Performing Arts Center (Taiwan). Funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media of Germany within the framework of the Alliance of International Production Houses, International Coproduction Fund of the Goethe-Institut. Tanzplattform Rhein-Main is a cooperation project of Hessisches Staatsballett and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, enabled by Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain and supported by the Department of Culture and Science of the City of Frankfurt/Main, the Hessian Ministry for Science and the Arts and the alliance of foundations [Aventis Foundation, BHF-BANK-Stiftung, Crespo Foundation, Dr. Marschner-Stiftung, Stiftung Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main.

This project is part of round 9 of the International Coproduction Fund, year 2020.