Archiv der Kategorie: Liquid Staging (Bühnen-Ästhetik)

Liquid Staging Masterclass Greece

[Liquid Staging – „Film spatialization“ as a basis for new forms of performances and spectacles | | Asteris Kutulas will travel with the support of Paris Konstantinidis in the genesis of Liquid Staging aesthetics through various examples and visions. It will show us how Liquid Staging enters our senses and changes the way we experience a live show. || Masterclass & Lecture || 11.10.2021 || INNOVATHENS || TECHNOUPOLIS || ATHENS]

LIQUID STAGING (ΡΕΥΣΤΗ ΣΚΗΝΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ)

Μια διαφορετική βάση για νέες μορφές παραστάσεων και θεαμάτων (Liquid Staging Masterclass Greece)

Η Ρευστή Σκηνογραφία έρχεται ως απάντηση-πρόταση στη σημερινή, παρωχημένη και «μουσειακή» μορφή θεαμάτων που δεν ανταποκρίνεται πια στους τρόπους πρόσληψης ερεθισμάτων των ανερχόμενων Post-Millenial γενεών.

Ο Αστέρης Κούτουλας θα αναδείξει μέσα από την παρουσίασή του τις νέες προοπτικές που ανοίγονται μπροστά μας και θα μας ξεναγήσει στη γένεση, το παρόν και το μέλλον της Liquid Staging αισθητικής. Στην παρουσίαση και συζήτηση με τον Πάρι Κωνσταντινίδη, ο Αστέρης Κούτουλας θα αναλύσει πώς πρέπει να αλλάξουν οι live παραστάσεις στη νέα ψηφιακή εποχή. Τα σύγχρονα θεάματα θα πρέπει πλέον να συμβαδίζουν με τον τρόπο ζωής και τις αντιλήψεις των σημερινών νέων και των μελλοντικών γενεών αλλά και της παρατηρούμενης δυσκολίας να κερδίσει κανείς την προσοχή τους (βλ. τη συζήτηση για το «Attention Economy»), δεδομένης της ριζικής αλλαγής συμπεριφοράς που επέφεραν οι πλατφόρμες κοινωνικής δικτύωσης όπως το TikTok, το YouTube, το Instagram κλπ.

Η χρήση μυθοπλαστικών τεχνικών που διευρύνουν τη σκηνή σε κάθε δυνατή επιφάνεια, η διάσπαση της γραμμικής αφήγησης, το ξεπέρασμα των ορίων μεταξύ ζωντανού και μαγνητοσκοπημένου, δημιουργούν ένα υβριδικό, συνολικό έργο τέχνης που φιλοδοξεί να διασώσει τα ζωντανά θεάματα στον 21ο αιώνα.

INNOVATHENS: Κόμβος Καινοτομίας & Επιχειρηματικότητας της Τεχνόπολης Δήμου Αθηναίων, Δευτέρα 11 Οκτωβρίου 2021, 5 μ.μ.

Liquid Staging

Αστέρης Κούτουλας: Μανιφέστο (2010/2016)

Η «χωροποίηση του φιλμ» ως βάση για νέες μορφές παραστάσεων και θεαμάτων


Η Ρευ­στή Σκη­νο­γρα­φία:

Απο­τε­λεί βά­ση για νέ­ες, και­νο­τό­μες μορ­φές event και θε­α­μά­των.

———
Υπη­ρε­τεί τις συ­ναι­σθη­μα­τι­κές και πνευ­μα­τι­κές ανά­γκες της ψη­φια­κής μας επο­χής.

———
Κα­θι­στά δυ­να­τή τη δη­μιουρ­γία υβρι­δι­κών «συ­νο­λι­κών έρ­γων τέ­χνης», βα­σι­ζό­με­νη στην αιχ­μή των τε­χνο­λο­γι­κών επι­τευγ­μά­των του 21ου αιώ­να.

———

Η «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» απο­τε­λεί ένα υβρι­δι­κό «μέ­σο» που ενώ­νει όλα τα στοι­χεία που συν­δη­μιουρ­γούν μία πα­ρά­στα­ση. Αυ­τά τα στοι­χεία μπο­ρούν να εί­ναι ο κι­νη­μα­το­γρά­φος, το θέ­α­τρο, ο χο­ρός, η μου­σι­κή, ο ήχος, ο φω­τι­σμός, η θε­α­τρι­κή σκη­νή, το design, η αρ­χι­τε­κτο­νι­κή, η ψη­φια­κή τέ­χνη, το gaming, η Augmented Reality τε­χνο­λο­γία και όχι μό­νο.

Η «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» απο­τε­λεί ένα διαρ­κώς με­τα­βαλ­λό­με­νο «μέ­σο» που αλ­λά­ζει ακα­τά­παυ­στα τον ρό­λο του.

Η «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» απο­τε­λεί μία «κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κή ται­νία» που έχει σχε­δια­στεί λε­πτο­με­ρώς από το πρώ­το μέ­χρι και το τε­λευ­ταίο δευ­τε­ρό­λε­πτο του event ή του θε­ά­μα­τος.

Η «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» δεν πε­ριο­ρί­ζε­ται μό­νο στην πλά­τη του σκη­νι­κού, αλ­λά επε­κτεί­νε­ται και σε ολό­κλη­ρη τη σκη­νή (στο δά­πε­δο, την ορο­φή και τους πλαϊ­νούς τοί­χους), ή ακό­μα και ― ανά­λο­γα με το σε­νά­ριο ― στον χώ­ρο των θε­α­τών.

Με τη «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» δη­μιουρ­γεί­ται ένας υβρι­δι­κός «βιω­μα­τι­κός χώ­ρος», στον οποίο μπο­ρεί να λά­βει χώ­ρα μία νέα «οσμω­τι­κή» μορ­φή πα­ρά­στα­σης με τις τε­χνι­κές-ψη­φια­κές δυ­να­τό­τη­τες του 21ου αιώ­να («υβρι­δι­κό» εδώ ση­μαί­νει την πά­ντο­τε άρ­ρη­κτη σύν­δε­ση με­τα­ξύ της κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κο-οπτι­κής δρά­σης και της φυ­σι­κής δρά­σης).

——— ≈ ———

Το Liquid Staging υπερ­βαί­νει πλή­ρως τα όρια με­τα­ξύ «σκη­νής» και «ται­νί­ας».

Η «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» ανοί­γει νέ­ες πο­λυ­ε­πί­πε­δες δυ­να­τό­τη­τες χρή­σης του μέ­σου του κι­νη­μα­το­γρά­φου και φέρ­νει έναν νέο τρό­πο πα­ρα­γω­γής θε­α­μά­των. Με τον όρο «θέ­α­μα» εδώ εν­νο­ού­νται όλες οι πι­θα­νές μορ­φές «πα­ρά­στα­σης» (π.χ. event, όπε­ρα, μπα­λέ­το, μιού­ζι­καλ, συ­ναυ­λία, θε­α­τρι­κή πα­ρά­στα­ση, περ­φόρ­μανς, έκ­θε­ση, ομι­λία, επί­δει­ξη μό­δας, πα­ρου­σί­α­ση προ­ϊ­ό­ντων, κτλ).

Η «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» ανοί­γει νέ­ες προ­ο­πτι­κές, εκ των οποί­ων οι πα­ρα­κά­τω εί­ναι οι πλέ­ον κα­θο­ρι­στι­κές:

——— Η ανά πά­σα στιγ­μή με­τα­βαλ­λό­με­νη «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία» μπο­ρεί, ακο­λου­θώ­ντας τη δρα­μα­τουρ­γία του εκά­στο­τε θε­ά­μα­τος, να χρη­σι­μο­ποι­η­θεί εί­τε ανε­ξάρ­τη­τα, εί­τε συγ­χρο­νι­σμέ­να, στα­τι­κά ή/και κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κά ή/και εν­σω­μα­τω­μέ­να ή/και δια­δρα­στι­κά.

——— Η κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κή ψευ­δαί­σθη­ση υπο­κα­θι­στά ξα­νά και ξα­νά τη θε­α­τρι­κή ψευ­δαί­σθη­ση (ανά­λο­γα με τις απαι­τή­σεις του σε­να­ρί­ου), ώστε στο τέ­λος να εξα­φα­νι­στεί, ώσπου να επα­νέλ­θει στο προ­σκή­νιο ―πρό­κει­ται για μία εξε­λισ­σό­με­νη, ορ­γα­νι­κή δια­δι­κα­σία κα­θό­λη τη διάρ­κεια του θε­ά­μα­τος. Με αυ­τόν τον τό­πο το «σκη­νι­κό» με­τα­τρέ­πε­ται στα­δια­κά σε «κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κή ται­νία» κι η «ται­νία» ξα­νά σε «σκη­νι­κό».

——— Οι ηθο­ποιοί επί σκη­νής γί­νο­νται ξα­νά και ξα­νά πρω­τα­γω­νι­στές μιας «κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κής πλο­κής». Κα­τά τη διάρ­κεια του θε­ά­μα­τος δρουν τό­σο ως ηθο­ποιοί μιας θε­α­τρι­κής πα­ρά­στα­σης όσο και μιας κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κής ται­νί­ας, και λει­τουρ­γούν ως το συν­δε­τι­κό στοι­χείο σε αυ­τόν τον νέο, βιω­μα­τι­κό χώ­ρο της ρευ­στής σκη­νο­γρα­φί­ας.

——— ≈ ———

Το μέ­σο της κι­νη­μα­το­γρα­φι­κής ται­νί­ας (φιλμ) ― πρό­κει­ται για το ση­μα­ντι­κό­τε­ρο μέ­σο της ρευ­στής σκη­νο­γρα­φί­ας, ως προς τη λει­τουρ­γία του ― μπο­ρεί να χρη­σι­μο­ποι­η­θεί με του­λά­χι­στον τέσ­σε­ρις τρό­πους:

1) ως με­γά­λος αφη­γη­μα­τι­κός «κι­νη­μα­το­γρά­φος» (π.χ. με­μο­νω­μέ­νες σε­κάνς, με­τα­βά­σεις σκη­νών).

2) ως εν­σω­μα­τω­μέ­νη «κι­νού­με­νη σκη­νο­γρα­φία» (με με­τα­βαλ­λό­με­νη δυ­να­μι­κή, αφη­γη­μα­τι­κή φόρ­μα, αι­σθη­τι­κή, κτλ, σε συ­νάρ­τη­ση με το σε­νά­ριο και τη μου­σι­κή).

3) ως μέ­σο που αλ­λη­λε­πι­δρά με τους ερ­μη­νευ­τές ή με τα δια­φο­ρε­τι­κά στοι­χεία του σκη­νι­κού και της σκη­νής (εφέ χαρ­το­γρά­φη­σης, κτλ)

4) ως μέ­σο που έχει τη δυ­να­τό­τη­τα να συ­μπε­ρι­λά­βει τον χώ­ρο των θε­α­τών στην πα­ρά­στα­ση.

Η «ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία της ται­νί­ας», που από την πρώ­τη μέ­χρι και την τε­λευ­ταία στιγ­μή αλ­λη­λε­πι­δρά με τη μου­σι­κή, το φως, την κί­νη­ση, το κεί­με­νο, τα σκη­νι­κά και τα κο­στού­μια, χρειά­ζε­ται εντε­λώς νέ­ες προ­σεγ­γί­σεις, ώστε να μπο­ρέ­σει να «λει­τουρ­γή­σει», αλ­λά και για να μπο­ρέ­σει να αξιο­ποι­ή­σει τις δυ­να­τό­τη­τες συ­ναι­σθη­μα­τι­κής επί­δρα­σης που προ­σφέ­ρει ο «κι­νη­μα­το­γρά­φος» στη σκη­νι­κή δρά­ση.
Η ιδέα της «χω­ρο­ποί­η­σης της ται­νί­ας» οδη­γεί ανα­γκα­στι­κά σε έναν ανα­προσ­διο­ρι­σμό του ρό­λου των πα­ρα­κά­τω δη­μιουρ­γι­κών επαγ­γελ­μά­των:

 ——— Συγ­γρα­φέ­ας:

πρέ­πει να μπο­ρεί να συν­δυά­ζει σε ένα πρό­σω­πο τις ιδιό­τη­τες του σε­να­ριο­γρά­φου, του θε­α­τρι­κού συγ­γρα­φέα, του δρα­μα­τουρ­γού και του χο­ρο­γρά­φου.

——— Σκη­νο­θέ­της:
πρέ­πει να κα­τέ­χει τα μυ­στι­κά της σκη­νο­θε­σί­ας όχι μό­νο του θε­ά­τρου, αλ­λά και του θε­ά­μα­τος, του χο­ρού, του gaming και του κι­νη­μα­το­γρά­φου.

——— Σκη­νο­γρά­φος:
οφεί­λει να εί­ναι ταυ­τό­χρο­να σκη­νο­θέ­της, art director και σχε­δια­στής κι­νού­με­νων γρα­φι­κών.

——— Projection artist και σχε­δια­στής φω­τι­σμού:
δύο δια­φο­ρε­τι­κοί ρό­λοι που συγ­χω­νεύ­ο­νται σε αυ­τόν του Liquid-Stage-Designer

Μέ­σω της αι­σθη­τι­κής του Liquid Staging επο­μέ­νως αλ­λά­ζει τό­σο το εύ­ρος των κα­θη­κό­ντων όσο και η με­θο­δο­λο­γία της ερ­γα­σί­ας στους το­μείς του σχε­δια­σμού κο­στου­μιών, της πα­ρα­γω­γής/σύν­θε­σης ήχου και μου­σι­κής, κα­θώς και στην ανά­πτυ­ξη και δη­μιουρ­γία σκη­νι­κών.

Το Liquid Staging απο­τε­λεί μία νέα πρό­κλη­ση για τους επαγ­γελ­μα­τί­ες του θε­ά­μα­τος.

——— ≈ ———

Η ρευ­στή σκη­νο­γρα­φία ση­μα­το­δο­τεί μία νέα φι­λο­σο­φία των events και των θε­α­μά­των.

© Αστέρης Κούτουλας / Asteris Kutulas

Translation/Μετάφραση: Πάρις Κωνσταντινίδης

Many thanks to Ina Kutulas & Achilleas Gatsopoulos for their contribution

Olympiacos FC Event – Testimonials

LIGHTS OF HOPE Olympiacos FC event – Testimonials

Karaiskaki Stadium | Piraeus | Greece | July 19th, 2020

Short listed for the AV Awards 2021 in London in the category: Events and Entertainment Project of the Year – AV magazine 
Tim Dowdall

I have had the pleasure to work with Asteris Kutulas over a period of thirty years, starting way back in the 1980s. We cooperated on numerous major productions all over the world often with extraordinary success. I have also witnessed during this time how, in his parallel life, he has realized his many book, film and art projects.

In his „Lights of Hope“ project for Olympiacos FC in the summer of 2020, Asteris Kutulas combined art and sport in a visionary concept, giving Olympiacos Piraeus and the football world a wonderful gift. It became very clear at this event that Asteris Kutulas is not only a very experienced producer, but also an inspired and inspirational filmmaker.

Asteris Kutulas wrote a detailed script for the event, using Ross Ashton’s fantastic projections, Achilleas Gatsopoulos’s and Daniel Brune’s graphic laser projections, and the live act with children’s choir and DJ, to build an emotional work of art celebrating the Olympiacos team and their fans. As the basis for what he calls his „liquid staging concept“, Asteris Kutulas chose music by Marios Joannou Elia that gives the impression of having been created especially for the event. Asteris Kutulas fused all of these elements together with the impressive lighting design of George Tellos. The result is simply sensational.

In addition, I know from my own experience what it means to produce such a project in just two weeks, and moreover under pandemic conditions. For this superhuman effort, my respect goes to Asteris Kutulas and all those involved.

Tim Dowdall, Berlin
Impresario | One-time Executive Vice President Live Nation Central and Eastern Europe (2005-2013)

Olympiacos FC & Asteris Kutulas
Lights of Hope Event, Piraeus (photo by Ralph Larmann)
„A digital orchestration – right into the hearts of millions of viewers“ by Knut Foeckler

In a time, when pandemic has become another word for limitation and frustration, a team around Asteris Kutulas has created a masterpiece of multifaceted performance bringing joy into the hearts of so many football lovers. When the heroes of Olympiacos, the Piraeus based football club, had won the Greek Super League mid 2020 for the 45th time, they wanted to share their victory with all their fans. But the pandemic got in their way. However, the marketing management of Olympiacos had a spontaneous idea. They called Asteris Kutulas and asked him to do the mission impossible: He was asked to create a breathtaking event that conveyed the electrifying atmosphere of a football stadium – but without audience – and to have it ready to roll within 3 weeks‘ time.

He agreed and created a convincing concept within a few days. He pulled the best of the best together and sweating under their Covid Masks they orchestrated a „liquid staging“, projections, laser motion design, fireworks, live acts, music and much more to finally create „Lights of Hope“. Kutulas directed an international team of top talents to present a masterpiece sending the joy of a victorious football team and a light ray of hope into the world that has been darkened too long by the pandemic.

Knowing Asteris for many years, I was convinced that he would master the mission impossible, when he told me about the project sometime in July 2020. I have seen so many fantastic productions coming out of his experience and creativity. He is a master of show orchestration, music dramaturgy, stage design, concept art, and many other disciplines that make an event a great event. I was very touched when I saw „Lights of Hope“ – a fusion of football enthusiasm, art, and TV show. I hope to see many more of his creations in the future.

Prof. Knut Foeckler, Munich
Founding Member & Professor Service Management – Cologne International School of Design | Honorary Professor Cultural and Media Management – Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin | Former Managing Director Marketing Philip Morris – Munich | Former Executive Vice President Deutsche Telekom AG – Bonn

Nana Trandou

I have seen, and see again in “Lights of Hope”, an urgency, a self-sacrificing effort, a focus of the highest degree in Asteris’ work. Yet, it is not this drive or passion which fascinates me, but rather the meanings and concepts that incite such complete focus on giving to others, which must be noted. Asteris is using his mastery in stage-production techniques to share an idea which he holds within himself, making this project of the highest level of Stage- Production and Art simultaneously. Such ideas, having given Asteris meaning, purpose, inspiration etc. now seem to drive him, at all costs, to giving it back to the World.

… In this work, Asteris masterfully assists us in witnessing the Olympiacos team as the present embodiment of the faith and achievement which is the intended result of the mythological messages their emblem boasts. They represent all such message-passing, “Lights of Hope” in any circumstances, and it is the Artist’s job (accomplished superlatively) to guide us to comprehending that truth ourselves; to finding the message implied in the action of the team, and how and why we should do the same …

Nana Trandou, Athens
Former CEO of DiDi Music SA | Founder, owner and CEO of High Priority Promotions PC, Greece Concert and Festival Promoter

Lights of Hope Event
Lights of Hope Event, Piraeus (photo by Ralph Larmann)
Mike Finkelstein

2020 will always be remembered as stumbling block in the sport and music industry.

This year, when the majority of events in sport and music were cancelled or postponed worldwide, the Olympiacos 45th championship ceremony in Piraeus was a surprising and unexpected exception.

When I first watched the video – LIGHTS OF HOPE – I could not believe my eyes. Who would have thought this show could be possible in this very dull and pessimistic 2020 year?

A message transmitted from Piraeus to the Olympiacos FC community and to the world was a message of hope and optimism. LIGHTS OF HOPE – the name of the ceremony – is the exact description of brining this message into the world.  

And we see the result – the unforgettable, created in no time, show in the full of art and emotions stadium transmitted to the entire world. I really hope we will see more shows like that created by Asteris Kutulas in the years to come.

Mike Finkelstein, Hadera (Israel)
CEO MAFTEX Light & Multimedia Solution

Asteris Kutulas and Christian Karembeu
Christian Karembeu & Asteris Kutulas during the Olympiacos FC press conference
Lisa Schaft

In July 2020, the Greek soccer club Olympiakos Piraeus won against local rival AEK Athens and became the Greek champion for the 45th time. The pma magazine reported on this in a nicely edited article in connection with the double event LIGHTS OF HOPE. In this report, it becomes clear how the director and show designer Asteris Kutulas was called to Athens only three weeks before the event and set up a spectacular double event.

Lisa Schaft, Editor for the pma magazine, Germany

Asteris Kutulas and Olympiacos FC fiesta
Lights of Hope Event, Piraeus (photo by Ralph Larmann)
Alexander Strizhak

LIGHTS OF HOPE for Olympiacos Piraeus was a very spectacular event. An effective and impactful use of all technical possibilities, a huge video screen with fantastic projections, unique laser graphics, a very well used light show, impressive pyro and special effects, a children’s choir as a human element. The LIGHTS OF HOPE show created a strong emotional involvement in the action on the stadium field. I have seen many stadium productions before – Asteris Kutulas as an experienced director managed to stage this TV show breathtakingly and to convey the celebration of the victory of the Olympiacos football club in a unique way: he combined tradition, symbolism, music, sport, passion, and a modern staging in the stadium of Olympiacos FC.

Alexander Strizhak
Owner and Managing Director
JSA Europe / Stage Company
Latvia/Riga & Ukraine/L’viv & Kyiv

Asteris Kutulas and Olympiacos FC fiesta
Lights of Hope Event, Piraeus (photo by Ralph Larmann)
Giovanni Broccu

Producing such an event as LIGHTS OF HOPE for Olympiacos Piraeus FC requires not only courage, but also a high level of intelligence, know-how, as well as a great deal of creativity and professionalism. I have had the privilege of working with Asteris Kutulas on various projects, so I know what I am talking about. We concert and tour promoters and festival organizers can often only be compared as „choir boys“ compared to those who realize such events.

Giovanni Broccu
Concert Tour Promoter & Festival Organizer
Kultur Depot GmbH, Herten, Germany
Sardinia Entertainment Srl, Posada, Italy
Art & Craft Ltd, London, United Kingdom

Asteris Kutulas and Olympiacos FC fiesta
Lights of Hope Event, Piraeus (photo by Ralph Larmann)
Hans-Conrad Walter

Johann Wolfgang Goethe already called for „more light“ to make reality more visible. The artist and producer Asteris Kutulas succeeds in doing just that. With his polymedia events, he ignites fireworks of real emotions that inspire thousands of people worldwide. With his individual signature, Asteris Kutulas is without a doubt one of the greats in the entertainment industry and the aesthetics of „Lights of Hope – Olympiacos“ is one of his polymedia masterpieces.

Hans-Conrad Walter
Cultural manager and CEO of Causales, Berlin

Olympiacos Fc and Asteris Kutulas
Choir of Municipal Conservatory of Piraeus with Alexandra Dermati, chormaster Maria Spanou and DJ Antonis Dimitriadis
Gerd Helinski

I got to know Asteris in 1999 as a business partner and producer of the light architect Gert Hof. Since then, I have worked with him as a technical director on over 30 events worldwide. On exciting, large-scale projects, including the Millennium events at the Acropolis in Athens and in Beijing in 2000, but also on the development of a new show format in 2016/17 based on Asteris‘ liquid staging theory.

Asteris has not only worked together with Gert Hof, but also for decades with the Greek composer legend Mikis Theodorakis. He knows both the world of art and the world of production. He incorporated this experience into his „Lights of Hope“ show – a sensational event staged at the stadium of the Olympiacos Piraeus football club to celebrate their 45th title win.

Asteris used the „bridge of music“ as the basis for his show and confidently combined a children’s choir live act with projections, laser graphics, light and pyro designs. In doing so, he put the footballers and especially the very young fans of Olympiacos Piraeus in the centre of attention and simultaneously projected onto the pitch iconically everything that stands for the values of Olympiacos Piraeus. The euphoric feedback from this show proved that the visual combination of closeness and great expanse was superbly successful.

As a filmmaker, Asteris thinks in images. As a show producer, he thinks about the effect of these images on television. I think it is very extraordinary that he has realised the football fiesta of Olympiacos Piraeus in such an artistic and emotional way. The „Lights of Hope“ event at the Piraeus stadium was a great job by both the creative and technical teams.

Gerd Helinski
Technical Director at Gert Hof Productions (1999-2010)
Senior Account Manager | Special Events at Production Resource Group AG

Olympiacos FC and Asteris Kutulas
Alexandra Dermati and DJ Antonis Dimitriadis

LIGHTS OF HOPE

From Olympiacos FC to the World
Karaiskaki Stadium | Piraeus | Greece | July 19th, 2020
A Liquid Staging Show

Created & Directed by Asteris Kutulas
Music by Marios Joannou Elia

Projection Art: Ross Ashton
Laser Motion Design: Achilleas Gatsopoulos
Light Design: George Tellos
Laser Design: Daniel Brune
Pyro Design: Pavlos Nanos
Musical Director: DJ Antonis Dimitriadis
Choir of Municipal Conservatory of Piraeus
Solist: Alexandra Dermati | Chormaster: Maria Spanou

Technical Director: Aris Koudouris | Music Production: Nick Elia | Laser Programming: Merlin Schaadt | Light Programming & Operator: Makis Anastasakis | Projection Technicians: Bernd Gröger & Robert Foerster | Lighting Coordinator: Irene Samartzi
Pyro & Fireworks: Nanos Fireworks Greece | Laser Equipment: laserfabrik GmbH | Local Production, Light & Sound Equipment: Tempo Events | Logistics: Oliver Schulze & Uwe Foerster

Many thanks to Olympiacos FC & NOVA TV
Special thanks to Penny Langka, Alexandros Karozas, Kostas Karapapas, George Mandalos, Dimitris Tsingos, Athina Gkizi, Ina Kutulas, Ralph Larmann, MEGA TV, Dimitris Koutoulas and to many others

Lights of Hope – Interview der Zeitschrift pma mit Asteris Kutulas

 

 

Lights of Hope – The Olympiacos Stadium Celebration 2020

LIGHTS OF HOPE
From Olympiacos FC to the World
Piraeus | Greece | July 19th, 2020

Olympiacos FC Celebration 2020. With this video clip I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart the team and the fans of Olympiacos for their enthusiasm and amazing support when last July I was assigned to create and to direct the celebration for winning the 2020 championship entitled „Lights of Hope“. For me as an artist this production was something very special although difficult given the conditions of a threatening pandemic. I would like to thank everyone who participated and helped create such a fantastic work of art in such a short time, especially Ross Ashton, Georg Tellos, Daniel Brune, Achilleas Gatsopoulos, Pavlos Nanos and of course Penny Lagka and Antonis Dimitriadis. Enjoy!

Asteris Kutulas, Berlin

Με αυτό το βίντεο κλιπ θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω από τα βάθη της καρδιάς μου την ομάδα και τους οπαδούς του Ολυμπιακού για τον ενθουσιασμό και τη εκπληκτική υποστήριξή τους όταν τον περασμένο Ιούλιο μου ανατέθηκε να σχεδιάσω τη γιορτή για την κατάκτηση του πρωταθλήματος του 2020 με τίτλο „Lights of Hope“. Για μένα ως καλλιτέχνη αυτή η παραγωγή ήταν κάτι το πολύ ξεχωριστό αν και δύσκολο δεδομένων των συνθηκών μιας απειλητικής πανδημίας. Θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω όλες και όλους που μετείχαν και βοήθησαν στη δημιουργία ενός τέτοιου φανταστικού έργου τέχνης σε πολύ σύντομο χρονικό διάστημα.

Αστέρης Κούτουλας, Βερολίνο

Olympiacos FC Fiesta 2020

LIGHTS OF HOPE
From Olympiacos FC to the World
Karaiskaki Stadium | Piraeus | Greece | July 19th, 2020

A Liquid Staging Show
Created & Directed by
Asteris Kutulas
Music by
Marios Joannou Elia

***

Projection Art: Ross Ashton
Laser Motion Design: Achilleas Gatsopoulos
Light Design: George Tellos
Laser Design: Daniel Brune
Pyro Design: Pavlos Nanos

***

Musical Director: DJ Antonis Dimitriadis
Choir of Municipal Conservatory of Piraeus
Solist: Alexandra Dermati | Chormaster: Maria Spanou

***

Technical Director: Aris Koudouris
Music Production: Nick Elia
Laser Programming: Merlin Schaadt
Light Programming & Operator: Makis Anastasakis
Projection Technicians: Bernd Gröger & Robert Foerster
Lighting Coordinator: Irene Samartzi

***

Pyro & Fireworks: Nanos Fireworks Greece
Laser Equipment: laserfabrik GmbH
Local Production, Light & Sound Equipment: Tempo Events
Logistics: Oliver Schulze & Uwe Foerster

***

Many thanks to Olympiacos FC & NOVA TV

Special thanks to Penny Langka, Alexandros Karozas, Kostas Karapapas, George Mandalos, Dimitris Tsingos, Athina Gkizi, Ina Kutulas, Ralph Larmann, Nana Trandou, MEGA TV, Dimitris Koutoulas and to many others

***

Cameras: Ralph Larmann, NOVA TV, Asteris Kutulas
Editors: Asteris Kutulas, Nikos Arapoglou, Allexandros Alevras

Directed by Asteris Kutulas

***

Video by Asti Music, 2020

Lights of Hope – Interview der Zeitschrift pma mit Asteris Kutulas

Olympiacos FC Event 2020  by Asteris Kutulas
Titel-Story „Lights of Hope“ in der pma-Zeitschrift (06/2020), Photos von © Ralph Larmann

Olympiacos FC – Lights of Hope Event 2020
by Asteris Kutulas (Interview mit Lisa Schaft)

Olympiacos FC Championship Celebration

pma: Herr Kutulas, können Sie uns Ihre Showdesign-Grundidee etwas näher erläutern, die Sie entwickelt haben für den Stadion- und den Hafen-Event anlässlich der Siegesfeierlichkeiten der 45. Griechischen Fußball-Meisterschaft in Athen?

Asteris Kutulas: Ich wollte in dieser außerordentlichen Zeit von Covid-19 etwas sehr Emotionales kreieren und die Olympiakos-Mannschaft, ihre Fans und das TV-Publikum wenigstens symbolisch zusammenbringen und sie auf diese Weise gemeinsam feiern lassen. Um das zu erreichen, habe ich beim Stadion-Event einen Live-Act mit Projektions-Kunst, mit Licht-Design, mit Musik und mit Laser-Kunst zu einem Gesamtkunstwerk verschmolzen.

In Piräus inszenierte ich den Pasalimani-Hafen „amphitheatralisch“, indem ich diese wunderbare Landschaft und die Architektur des Hafens durch 5 symmetrisch angelegte Punkte, die mit Pyro, Feuerwerk und Laser bestückt waren, tatsächlich zum Leuchten gebracht habe.

Ergebnis waren der Stadion-Event und der Hafen-Event am selben Abend. Die polymediale Show im Stadion ergab ein tolles Gesamtbild und zugleich spannende Detailperspektiven. So konnten die Kameraaufnahmen vom Event für das Fernsehen wie ein Videoclip geschnitten und wie ein solcher gezeigt werden. Immerhin haben wir ja in einem Stadion mit pandemiebedingt leeren Sitzreihen für Millionen von Fernsehzuschauern emotionale Botschaften der Freude und der Hoffnung produziert. Auch der Hafen-Event war für das Fernsehen konzipiert, aber durch die Größe des Hafens konnten viele Menschen diese Augenblicke auch live – zusammen mit der Olympiakos-Mannschaft – erleben.

Olympiacos FC Fiesta 2020
Titel-Story „Lights of Hope“ in der pma-Zeitschrift (06/2020), Photos von © Ralph Larmann
pma: Über welchen Zeitraum reden wir, wenn wir von der Entwicklung der Ursprungsidee und dem Beginn der organisatorischen Vorbereitungen bis hin zur endgültigen Umsetzung dieser fantastischen Show sprechen?

Asteris Kutulas: Es gab gar keinen „Zeitraum“. Ich bekam am 25.6. eine Einladung, am übernächsten Tag nach Athen zu fliegen, mich mit den Verantwortlichen von Olympiakos zu treffen und innerhalb kürzester Zeit ein Konzept vorzulegen, weil der Event drei Wochen später stattfinden sollte. Ich flog nach Athen, entwickelte innerhalb von zwei Tagen das Konzept für einen Doppel-Event im Stadion und im Hafen und erarbeitete dann mit meinem Team und dem Team von Olympiakos die Kalkulation. Die positive Entscheidung fiel am 6.7., also 13 Tage von dem Event. Es war eine – im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes – Wahnsinns-Herausforderung und eine unglaubliche Leistung des gesamten Teams, in der Kürze der Zeit parallel zwei Events einer solchen Größenordnung zu stemmen. Mir kam sowohl meine frühere Produzententätigkeit bei den mehr als 40 Gert-Hof-Events zwischen 1999 und 2010 zugute als auch der Umstand, dass ich mich in den letzten drei Jahren intensiv mit Show-Ästhetik, Bühnen-Design und Konzept-Kunst beschäftigt habe. Ich hatte also fertige Ideen im Kopf, die „nur noch“ auf die Umsetzung warteten.

Olympiacos FC Event by Asteris Kutulas (Olympiacos FC Championship Celebration)
Live-Act des Events: Kinderchor Piräus & DJ Antonis Dimitriadis, Photo von © Dionissis Koutsis
pma: Es steckt viel Arbeit in einem Design für so eine spektakuläre Show wie diese. Wie viele Menschen bzw. Teams waren daran beteiligt? Wer hat an der Erarbeitung des Designs und an der Umsetzung mitgewirkt?

Asteris Kutulas: Ich konnte mich bei diesem Doppel-Event auf phantastische Kollegen stützen, die innerhalb kürzester Zeit wahrlich „gezaubert“ haben. Ich meine den Projektions-Künstler Ross Ashton aus London, den Lichtdesigner George Tellos und den Feuerwerksdesigner Pavlos Nanos aus Athen, den Grafiker Achilleas Gatsopoulos aus Berlin und den Laserdesigner Daniel Brune aus Hürth. Und natürlich die beiden Komponisten Marios Joannou Elia aus Zypern und Alexandros Karozas aus Frankfurt, aber auch DJ Antonis Dimitriadis aus Athen. Für mich ist die Musik immer die „Mutter“ einer jeden Show, weil sie unmittelbar die Emotionen der Zuschauer anspricht und die Dramaturgie für den gesamten Event bestimmt.

Olympiacos Fiesta 2020  by Asteris Kutulas
Titel-Story „Lights of Hope“ in der pma-Zeitschrift (06/2020), Event-Photos von © Ralph Larmann, Asteris Kutulas Photo von © Guido Karp
pma: Bei jedem Showdesign ist das künstlerische Anliegen von Bedeutung. Was möchten Sie mit dem Showdesign dieses Events bewirken? Welche emotionale Dimension ist Ihnen wichtig?

Asteris Kutulas: Ich habe diesem Doppel-Event den Titel LIGHTS OF HOPE gegeben. Was den Pasalimani-Hafen in Piräus anbelangt, so ist damit erstmals nach der Covid-19-Anfangswelle 2020 ein Public/TV-Event in einer solchen Größenordnung realisiert worden. Ich wollte mit LIGHTS OF HOPE ein Zeichen der Zuversicht von Piräus in die Welt aussenden. Sowohl der Sport als auch die Kunst bringt Menschen zusammen, also habe ich diese beiden Welten „zusammengebracht“, um genau das zu vermitteln: Haltet zusammen! Kämpft! Liebt! Verliert nicht die Hoffnung!

pma: Gab es Hindernisse, die bei der Organisation und Planung (sowohl des Stadion- als auch des Hafen-Events) berücksichtigt werden mussten bzw. mit denen man rechnen musste? Wenn ja – wie konnten diese Schwierigkeiten bewältigt werden?

Asteris Kutulas: Die Situation der Covid-19-Pandemie schwebte ständig über der gesamten Organisation – wie ein Damoklesschwert –, was sehr viele dadurch bedingte Einschränkungen zur Folge hatte. Aber das größte Problem stellte die Kürze der Zeit, die weder für den Stadion- noch für den Hafen-Event eine Generalprobe zuließ. Das nur als ein Beispiel von mehreren. Wir mussten quasi „blind fliegen und landen“. Aber wir haben es geschafft. Das Olympiakos-Organisationsteam war großartig; ich habe die letzten sieben Nächte vor dem Event fast gar nicht geschlafen, Ross Ashton schickte die letzten Einzelbildsequenzen für die Projektion am Tag der Show, Daniel Brune erfuhr seine finalen Standorte 24 Stunden vor dem Event und war dadurch gezwungen, sein Laser-Design völlig neu zu justieren und zum Teil neu zu programmieren, Oliver Schulze musste im Stundentakt den Projektions-Content neu einspielen und testen lassen, George Tellos stellte 40 Stunden vor Show-Beginn fest, dass falsche Lampen geliefert worden waren, und der ziemlich komplizierte Aufbau am Hafen wurde erst am vorletzten Tag genehmigt. Das alles klingt doch nach einer recht sportlichen Leistung – oder?

Das Interview führte Lisa Schaft (pma)
Olympiacos FC - Lights of Hope Event 2020  by Asteris Kutulas
Titel-Story „Lights of Hope“ in der pma-Zeitschrift (06/2020), Photos von © Ralph Larmann

CREDITS | Lights of Hope
From Olympiacos FC & Piraeus to the World

Olympiacos FC Championship Celebration

Created & directed by Asteris Kutulas
Music Marios Joannou Elia, Alexandros Karozas & DJ Antonis Dimitriadis

Piraeus Children Choir conducted by 
Projection Art Ross Ashton
Laser Motion Design Achilleas Gatsopoulos
Light Design George Tellos
Laser Design Daniel Brune
Pyro & Fireworks Design Pavlos Nanos
Musical Directors DJ Antonis Dimitriadis & Alexandros Karozas
—————————–
Technical Director Aris Koudouris | Music Production Nick Elia & Alexandros Karozas | Light Programming & Operator Makis Anastasakis | Lighting Coordinator Irene Samartzi | Laser Programming | Bas Verstraelen & Merlin Schaadt | Media Technician Bernd Gröger | Projection Technician Robert Foerster | Technical Director Light & Video Equipment Oliver Schulze | Logistics Uwe Förster
—————————–
Pyro & Fireworks Nanos Fireworks Greece | Laser Equipment laserfabrik GmbH | Projection & Light Equipment OS-VT Veranstaltungstechnik | Light & Sound Equipment Tempo Events

Olympiacos FC Championship Celebration 2020

Olympiacos FC - Lights of Hope
Rehearsing the laser show at the Pasalimani Harbor, Piraeus
Olympiacos Event 2020  by Asteris Kutulas
„Lights of Hope“ Event, Pasalimani Harbor Piraeus, Photos by © Ralph Larmann

Olympiacos FC - Lights of Hope Event 2020  by Asteris Kutulas
Olympiacos FC Championship Celebration Piraeus – Photo © by Ralph Larmann

Lights of Hope – From Olympiacos to the World

Olympiacos FC Lights of Hope Event 2020  | Braving Covid-19 with a polymedial Olympiacos FC championship celebration | 19.7.2020 | Piraeus, Greece 
Olympiacos FC Fiesta 2020. It was a big honor to create and to direct the double event „From Olympiacos and from Piraeus to the World“ on the occasion of winning the 45th championship of the Greek Superleague 2020 by Olympiacos FC.
Through two multimedia live TV shows (NOVA & MEGA) from Karaiskaki Stadium and from Pasalimani Piraeus harbor I wanted to unite all of them: the players, the fans, the people of Piraeus, all of Greece and the world.
 
Olympiacos FC - Lights of Hope Event
Olympiacos FC – Lights of Hope Event, Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus
Olympiacos FC Fiesta 2020. Especially under the difficult and extreme conditions of the Corona pandemic it was important for us to give a sign of hope and confidence. Sport and also the arts unite people in these uncertain times. That’s why I have given my show the name „Lights of Hope“.
 
I would like to thank all my friends and colleagues and the fantastic Olympiacos team for the great cooperation.
 
 
Olympiacos Lights of Hope Event directed by Asteris Kutulas
Lights of Hope Event, Pasalimani Harbor, Piraeus (Photos by © Asteris Kutulas)
About the Olympiacos double event

On the 19th July, Olympiacos Football Club celebrated their 45th Championship title by winning the Greek Super League Trophy.  Taking place amidst an unprecedented crisis and pandemic in Greece, Olympiacos FC wanted this event to be a message of hope and optimism from Olympiacos to Piraeus, from Piraeus to Greece, and from Greece to the World.

They brought in Greek-German artist and director Asteris Kutulas to create a double event, both inside and outside the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus.  His brief was to create the cup presentation event, and to send a message of strength, optimism, perseverance and hope.  The event was made up of two parts. 

The Super League Cup presentation ceremony took place inside the stadium.  The cup presentation ceremony inside the G. Karaiskakis Stadium featured 3D projection mapping, lights, lasers and pyro.  This was synchronised to a symphonic soundtrack composed by Marios Joannou Elia.

Outside in Piraeus Harbour there was a public event for the fans. The events inside the stadium were sent out to LED screens, whilst there was a separate show of lasers, lights and pyro around the water’s edge.  The music was remixes by Alexandros Karozas and DJ Antonis Dimitriadis.

Olympiacos FC - Lights of Hope Event 2020
Lights of Hope Event, Pasalimani Harbor, Piraeus (Photos by © Ralph Larmann)
Lights of Hope | From Olympiacos FC & Piraeus to the World
Created & directed by Asteris Kutulas

19.7.2020 | Piraeus, Greece 

Music by Marios Joannou Elia, Alexandros Karozas & DJ Antonis Dimitriadis 

Projection Art Ross Ashton
Laser Motion Design Achilleas Gatsopoulos
Light Design George Tellos
Laser Design Daniel Brune
Pyro & Fireworks Design Pavlos Nanos

—————————–

Technical Director Aris Koudouris
Music Production Nick Elia & Alexandros Karozas
Light Programming & Operator Makis Anastasakis
Lighting Coordinator Irene Samartzi
Laser Programming Bas Verstraelen & Merlin Schaadt
Media Technician Bernd Gröger
Projection Technician Robert Foerster
Technical Director Light & Video Equipment Oliver Schulze
Logistics Uwe Förster
—————————–
Pyro & Fireworks Nanos Fireworks Greece
Laser Equipment laserfabrik GmbH
Projection & Light Equipment OS-VT Veranstaltungstechnik
Light & Sound Equipment Tempo Events

Olympiacos FC - Lights of Hope Event, Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus
Rehearsing the show at the Karaiskaki Stadium, Photos by © Ralph Larmann

A Testimonial From “Nana” (Athena) Trandou

Asteris {a Greek name and word —extremely relevant to what follows—, meaning “Star”: That which shines enchantingly, indefinable, granting the wonder which allows for the autonomy in belief, and so, hope, despite antagonism; a light upon us, despite great distance and in darkest moments} has long been, in my eyes, an Ambassador of the Arts, Stage- Production and Greek Heritage for Greece, in Berlin.

From far off, his “Light” has been bright, making clear in every one of his works that an extraordinary ethos lay behind what he produces. Projects completed world-wide with Gert Hof, as well as the recent “Apassionata” Project, only begin to substantiate my claim.

I have seen, and see again in “Lights of Hope”, an urgency, a self-sacrificing effort, a focus of the highest degree in Asteris’ work. Yet it is not this drive, effort or passion which should fascinate us, but rather the meanings, concepts and ethics which incite such a complete focus for giving to others which must be noted. Asteris is sharing an idea which he holds within himself, and which makes this project of the highest level of Stage-Production and Art simultaneously. It informs his decisions and, entering into the process of creation, delivers unto us products only possible when containing such profound significance.

Such messages and ideas arrive by a creator’s sympathetic connection to and observation of past and present voices, events and creations. Having given Asteris energy, meaning, purpose, joy-of-union etc. they now seem to drive him, at all costs, to giving those messages/ideas back to the World.

Olympiacos FC Fiesta 2020 by Asteris Kutulas
Rehearsing with the Children Choir Piraeus, DJ Antonis Dimitriadis & Asteris Kutulas

While it is our choice to sympathetically connect which brings about our growth and happiness, we see an even more profound implication in Asteris work; he realizes and teaches that it is always actions in the immediate —the faith, dreams, hopes, sympathy, and resulting selfless-giving from others during their immediate (appearing to us as coming from the past) – –, that are ultimately required in order to allow any human to receive such growth. It is only by a human’s choosing in their immediate to take action and give, that those in a future moment may find something with which to connect and be inspired; to grow; to find that which drives us, in our immediate, to engage in a way which can provide such sources of connection and guidance towards selfless connection for future generations. It is not by watching in fear, but doing in faith, which may allow ourselves and others to become the links which continue to facilitate an ever-longer chain of connections, the passing of the light of thought, the carrying and passing of the eternal flame. It is only in this way that we, or they, as individuals, may choose to enter into a larger context, a context spanning hundreds or thousands of years, and so, which may be noticed and given to the entire World (no matter where or how it began).

Olympiacos FC Fiesta 2020 directed by Asteris Kutulas
Lights of Hope Event, Pasalimani Harbor, Piraeus (Photos by © Ralph Larmann)

I aim to give testimony to and emphasize for you the major significance of Asteris work by seeing:

1. The Olympiacos Team as a symbol of action and achievement, the production of a sense of union, joy and meaning in the immediate, despite darkness and antagonism; uniting not only the present inhabitants of the region it represents, but also all who have identified with the team over generations; uniting people despite dissonant social and economic conditions; creating the belief that greatness could be achieved in any circumstance and in a way which facilitates an otherwise impossible scale of human connection.

Creating evidence for the belief that it is their action which may become, as it does in Asteris hands, the reality-brought-about which may synergize with the ideas of a creator to show for all other people that it is this celebration in times of difficulty, this union in the face of isolation, this dreaming in the face of limitation, that produces the results in whose connection we may find the inspiration and impetus to continue the sharing, giving and connection which may then cause such beneficial receipt in others, ad infinitum.

2. It is the Olympiacos Team’s emblem and Title which lead us to a historical association of much larger scope and meaning. They, bearing the Daphne/Laurel-Crown and named after the athletes whose competing was a means to honoring the God Zeus, uniting entire City- States in their action, become a microcosm of the type of action which began as an expression of belief, and proof of the miraculous human achievement belief could bring about. Such action led to Panhellenic agreement, and eventually, after many generations of such giving, and the light (the thought, the memory of the results) which follows, the World’s recognition of, interaction with and receipt of the meanings of the event’s source. This birthed a world-unifying Olympic games at which burns a symbolic eternal flame; that fire is the thought, the meaning, the energy, the light which inspires each generation as and by the action which the previous generation took, by choice, to give to them.

3. It is Asteris’ observation of this confluence of:
a) This Modern Greek event-occurrence in the context of Pandemic.
b) The achievement-creator’s (the team’s) association with Ancient Greek messages. This achievement in the immediate by that message-bearing, symbolic unit (the football team) in the midst of the very darkness which most-requires the message contained in the Laurel- wearing adolescent, most-challenges us to continue in the immediate to pass that message, and most-demands awareness of the need and reason for selflessly carrying forth the meaning it possesses…
which results in…
c) Asteris, himself, becoming a crucial link —carrying and keeping the meaningful torch lit with the light of his thoughts, those found in its sources, mythologies, and ideas passed; pointing with all of his energy to the need for connection, immediate connective-action and selfless sharing, despite antagonism—, bridging the information gap between modern mankind and the future of our species, exactly by
his being able to observe, synthesize and express the meaning of the past, in and with the choices and actions of the present.

Olympiacos FC Fiesta 2020 directed by Asteris Kutulas
Lights of Hope Event, Pasalimani Harbor, Piraeus (Photos by © Ralph Larmann)

The work is imbued with myriad manifestations of connection; the invaluable bonds of family strengthened, and individuals united in belief and celebration of the symbolic group’s achievement across generations; the team’s emblem cries out the messages which these modern-manifestations of connection utilize and represent. The message-endowed Daphne, the Laurel-Crown, is shown as an emblem and then projected as light onto the field from which the meaning of the team’s immediate action emanates.
The youth of today stand by, applying masks obediently, closing their mouths and stifling their breath of life as they face the darkness, and yet, they are present for the celebration which has been called into appropriateness (by the team’s having competed and achieved despite circumstances isolative; so, proving the awareness of a symbolic and unifying role, as they dreamed and strived together in empty stadiums). The youth stare up in amazement and awe as those who have found a reason to and a way to express that there is something greater than the limited, fixed, defined, oppressive and isolating rules and ways of States and powers, do so. The youth, not yet knowing such reasons or ways, are shown that there
is something to seek; they are offered examples of what type of excitement, energy and increased ability such effort, seeking and selfless giving can grant us. They are encouraged by the words, lights and images, which constitute Asteris’ work, that it is now that they must act, that they

must remember to seek, that they are free to do so, that they will find, and that when they do, they will receive the energy, the belief, the informing meaningfulness, the sense of union which will give them, rejoicing, the purpose and inspiration to create and act in ways so great, for others.

———————

This is a matter of history. It is a matter of individuals taking action, despite difficulty, antagonism or discouragement in their immediate circumstances; to invent beliefs, achieve great feats by believing, and to create meaningful works. It is a matter of the messages of an ancient mythology being embodied by a team whose actions reflect its message, those messages being thereby brought into interaction with the present, alive, and the choice of an artist to see that synthesis and to create in a way which gives completely in order to show, guide to and emphasize that inspiring meaning and synthesis now manifested. This is what makes history; our choices as individuals.

It is our choice as individuals in our immediate time and place to sympathetically observe others and the past (to become inspired by and change due to such interaction) which allows us the choice to give what we have found in such interaction, to the future. We make the choice to selflessly listen and give in order to create and become that which can link our generation to other generations. One football game alone is but one game; but that one game played well, with self-sacrificing effort, is crucial, for it will be seen by the youth (that indefinable thought that drives the player to so risk and greatly perform kindles in the mind of the observer, the youth, an unlimited and imaginative seeking for such unknown value), and inspire the future games which will redefine that first game as the source of a tradition or a way; this is an analogy for all creation. It is when one culture passes one thought, symbol, light or message across generations, by such action in the immediate, that that light then not only has defeated physical death (Time), but also comes to represent an entire culture and so is witnessable by all of humanity; it breaks the barrier of borders, interacting with and giving to all.

As is reflected in a team like Olympiacos offering togetherness, joy, and awe-inspiring accomplishment during moments of darkness throughout history (through War, Crises and now, Pandemic) by sacrificing for collective effort, as a symbolic unit, so we see how creators and athletes alike may connect across time and space. Hence, the synergy of the team’s immediate history, and its emblematic relationship to a larger historical meaning/scope, are displayed powerfully by the artist.

Asteris masterfully assists us in witnessing the Olympiacos team as the present embodiment of the faith and achievement which is the intended result of the mythological messages their emblem boasts. They represent all such message-passing, “Lights of Hope” in any circumstances, and it is the Artist’s job (accomplished superlatively) to guide us to finding that truth in ourselves; to finding the message implied in the action of the team, and how and why we should do the same. That no matter what our vocation, no matter what our circumstances, it is creating such light in darkness which makes such light perceivable to others and so, unites us in ways otherwise impossible; across eras and borders.

Asteris leads us to see that, no matter what —without fans present, without profits, with little time or resources, with fear ever-present—, it is our persistence to hope, dream, believe, give, attempt and share which can allow for messages (whose creation and purpose is seemingly

disparate from our immediate lives or roles; like an ancient mythology) to enter into interaction with the present, affecting all of humanity, at any time.

It is our choice in the immediate to dream and attempt, then creating and acting —despite discouraging darkness driving us to isolation and inactivity—, which become the memories, the truths, the World in which those ‘things’ may be found which inspire the present to create again; so, connecting all humans across all times and locations. It is the action of each ‘team’ in its own time and place, the message in one creation made during one life-time, which connects all teams and all artists across millennia by their and our choice to give now, in the immediate, as individuals. “Lights of Hope” is sympathetically and generously riddled with paths and guidance to such most-crucial metaphysical information for Humanity and so, is of the highest level and value as a Production and a work of Art.

I need no more than mention his exemplary use of every resource available and his message- emboldening interaction with music, aware that we all witnessed the widely-relatable power that such selfless and significance-endowed creation can produce.

 

Lights of Hope by Asteris Koutoulas
Olympiacos FC – Lights of Hope Event, Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus

I suggest that, as a light may be used in stage-production for the functional purpose of making the actor visible, so may a set of codified words be used in the newspaper for the articulation of a common occurrence.
Yet, it is when we see stage-lights used to express a thought (a message which has brought the creator a sense of union, meaning, hope, completeness, happiness etc.) by someone who desperately wishes to share what they think, feel and understand —so others may utilize that same source of hope, energy, and sense of union—, that we leave the newspaper and head into the world of message-passing; Mythology; Art.

By looking into “Lights of Hope” this way, we come to see the messages and ideals of Ancient Greece found in the Olympiacos emblem, emphasized, recreated and brought into present interaction most-clearly and profoundly. This message, mind you, addresses all of Humanity, in every place and epoch. The messages found in such a source are not for or about that time or place, but rather about Humanity’s condition and the path to its nourishing connection with the World around it.

So, as I find Asteris growing from a sort of Ambassador for Greek Art/Production/Heritage in Berlin, to shining his light and the light of our people upon the entire World, I too have come to understand that the drive/urgency/effort/selflessness I consistently find in his work is not that of a draconian stage-producer, but that of an Artist using stage-production to and for its highest potential. I find someone using the abstract techniques he has mastered by extensive experience in every facet of stage-production in order to send a message which was birthed inside him, to and for others (having been guided by similar light from the past; and as it seems, largely influenced by his culture’s ancient beliefs).

It is this significance, this meaningfulness and all-giving focus that is the source of our not just saying, “Whoa! Wow!”, upon witnessing his work, but rather, being brought to tears as we watch the “Lights of Hope” unfold before us.

Asteris Kutulas & Olympiacos
Olympiacos FC – Lights of Hope Event, Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus

The Olympiacos Football Club is one directly affiliated with these ‘guiding lights’ and ‘beliefs’; the ideals of Ancient Greece, its Gods and mythology, and subsequently the teachings, concepts and meanings therein. This is confirmed and made irrefutably clear in their appellation and emblem.

When we witness such an achievement as Asteris has made occur within just a few weeks, we wonder, we are in awe, and we find it to be magical; impossible. Yet, it is when in the darkness of a pandemic —with fear-derived isolation threatening the passing of knowledge, ego-driven power-structures attempting to remove belief, art, sharing, creation, connection from the list of urgent priorities, in the face of the limiting and discouraging of the activities which spread such knowledge—, it is in such great darkness that stars shine the brightest, bringing us the greatest sense of awe, peace, connection, relief and limitless inspiration.

It is by a team bearing the mark and name of the ancients (the ever-burning torch of knowledge which spreads the light of Wisdom upon millennia), engaging someone who possesses that light, knows how to give it to others and sees the immediate need for the profound nourishment they may gain from it in darkness and lacking, that such creation comes to exist; that a star, Asteris, shines brightest.

We see the “Laurel-Crown”, featured in the team’s emblem, appear in Asteris’ projections throughout the work. Accompanied and juxtaposed with words and phrases like “Create”, “Love”, “Be Free”, “Hope” and “Keep dreaming…”, we are given the most sympathetic and selflessly-derived opportunity to receive the message held by that Laurel-symbol, the light long-passed by the Greek culture and now by Asteris himself; a message embodied by the activity of the Olympiads; games crucially rooted in mythology. I will articulate this most- relevant Laurel-message soon.

These games, games not unlike modern football, were engaged to honor Zeus, and so to remind us and teach us of the otherwise impossible feats belief in such Gods could bring to us; how, inspired by the messages found in mythology, Mankind could sacrifice energy-of- self, choose to give increased effort and focus for others, and so achieve things which are beyond the individual’s capacity if/when alone and meaningless. We were offered evidence of reason for and memories by which to recall the potential in/of connection with all things.

These were Panhellenic competitions which, by one person’s sacrifice and effort, could bring together entire city-states; such unification occurs today as each team represents a region or urban area. Notably, the area which Olympiacos represents is Piraeus Port: an age-old gateway to the Western World, suggesting not only the possibility of regional unification, but a message’s ability to unify all of Humanity.

While it is not my place or purpose here to tell, it is integral to mention Asteris’ use and recognition of the Laurel-Crown of fabled Apollo in his portrayal of the significance of this particular team’s achievement in and despite dark times. Again, this achievement and achievements like it will become the inspiring light which unites our immediate reality with a future immediate, forming connections, sources of energy and inspiration otherwise impossible.

The Laurel or Daphne, ‘stefani’ or crown, came to be when Daphne, fleeing from Apollo’s loving pursuit, gave herself to the will of the Gods, praying to her father the River God Peneus, to be saved, changed from her Apollo-attracting form, sacrificing her volition and physical existence so to remain in accordance with her Artemis-oriented beliefs. It was her belief that his catching her would produce horrible results (despite his only wishing to love

her) which allowed her to give herself, to sacrifice herself to the will of a God to such an extent that it resulted in an otherwise impossible, immortality-granting transformation {this is, as a creator or athlete may give all of themselves to give to and for others, the path to discovering new meanings and possibilities in the self, to changes, transformations, metamorphoses, only possible when in such degrees of selfless connection}.

But it is Apollo’s reaction which is of highest relevance here. He approaches and speaks to the tree (once the woman who so vehemently refused him), promising to honor her forever, showing that his love was true, not an animalistic hunger, but a human desire to connect, and so, she droops (as if lowering her defense) and her beauty is seen and remembered as a glistening in her leaves.

This is the message in the Laurel: That there is an autonomy-granting, companionship- providing, all-uniting and meaning-producing value in unconditional Love and admiration of others —despite loss of what we think we should have, what we immediately desire or consciously intend, and no matter what shape or form in which an ‘other’ appears—, available at all times; a type of loving focus always within our choice to give; in all epochs and places. And that this unconditional Love is the selfless human focus which may unite us, by the autonomy in conscious choice, with all others (all other humans, creatures and things, like the Laurel Tree, which exist along with Humanity across millennia) in a way which can offer us a sense of reconciliation, and end to loss and loneliness, increased interaction with surroundings, meaningfulness, purpose, identity, uniqueness etc.

Hence, the Laurel or Daphne Crown (“Δαφνοστεφανομένος έφηβος”, the “Dafne-crowned Adolescent”; a name for the team’s Emblem-Character) holds this ancient meaning. It is this type of love Apollo showed, to focus selflessly on others, to connect to and give to others despite loss or unavailability of the physical or immediate circumstances which may have animalistically, egotistically or fearfully driven us towards them, that the team who wears the Laurel embodied in their immediate, achieving action despite darkness; a modern-day embodiment of a meaning which, more than ever, needed to be reconfirmed, reminded of, brought back to life, shined light upon, and reignited by a great artist like Asteris.

What we bear witness to here is the work of an Artist carrying an ancient message, a Light, the energy of thought, coming off a torch which is always burning. And yet, a Light which has nearly gone out many times and will go out without our sympathetically receiving it and choosing to pass it forward; by lovingly listening and then sympathetically giving and creating in the present. Asteris is one of the few who has comprehended such messages; been inspired, nourished, informed, guided, energized, given new meaning and purpose by such light. It is guidance towards the path to finding this experience and its source in and for others, for which he shares it.

All the while, he remains aware of and emphasizes in his work that it was the selfless choice of others to take action by creating, sharing and giving in their immediate, in their present, during the now, in our Life, in their Life, in his Life, which is the only thing that could allow him to receive such knowledge. Were there no immediate action in the present of ancient times, there would be no mythologically-derived messages to take present action in order to share the light of.

It was creation, sharing, human connection, his own hope, the guidance to believe, being shown means to finding more meaning, sources of value, purpose, increased possibility in life, being offered limitlessness in imagination, which allowed him to receive such

knowledge, by choosing to sacrifice his own energy for connection; to receive the messages existing within that which was once given, for connection.

Olympiacos Lights of Hope Event directed by Asteris Kutulas
Lights of Hope Event, Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus, Photo by © Ralph Larmann

It is a team, a group giving their full effort for the sake of others, a symbolic entity providing a sense of unity for a larger group of individuals (again, small connections producing great ones), having succeeded, having come to achievement and redefinition in a time of great darkness, and despite such darkness producing joy, new accomplishment and increased connection —and all while bearing the mark of the Apollo’s Laurel—, that seems to be so meaningful and valuably illustrated by Asteris. For he could have shined light on the participants, he could have adequately and functionally produced, but he did not; he did much more.

Hence, we see in the first moments, in the exposition of the work:
1) The Heart: The physical embodiment of the choice to unconditionally love and focus on others.
2) The Star: The light which shines and enchants us, which by its indefinableness gives us the chance to think and believe in a way which, unique, causes a positive psychological effect, and especially in the greatest darkness.
3) The Emblem of Olympiacos: The Laurel Crown which carries the meaning of such unconditional love which, worn on the head of the adolescent (symbolically meaning that it is shown/offered/demonstrated/taught, by whatever means, to the youth of any generation), may guide them to finding within the self the purpose of selfless giving and connection, of the unconditional focus of love, and come to receive the nourishment which results from a completer truth or understanding of self, a growth, aliveness as the interaction which is change or redefinition having found new meaning during sympathetic identification with others; what arrives when we dream, hope, observe, interact, give selflessly to those distinct from us, seemingly separate from us (like a tree), despite antagonistic conditions (like a pandemic), by having been guided by others to see that there is something to seek and that it can bring great joy, meaning, energy and connection (as in the achievement of a team, or the creation of Asteris).

Soon after in the work, the emblem, as with the people, athletes and fans of history, become purely light (light, as they are when carried across time and space, as meaning) which is shined onto the field. They become perceivable again, they come into interaction with the present now as energy, meaning, light, yet, alive again (as life is interaction) when they are redefined, changed by this immediately enacted 45th achievement (and one which took place despite darkness). What happened on the field where they now become perceivable, as light/meaning, is what has made them perceivable. They, shining, becoming apparent and interacting, alive, remind us of and unify us in their meaning and their source. We are reminded that they may only come to be seen if and when an individual or group of individuals enters into choice and action in the immediate to give themselves, their effort, for others; so, bringing into the present interaction and making available for the future the light of the past which guided them to make such selfless choice.

We see here, and from Asteris poignant text, that “We are the World”. That the World will become what we give to it, and what we become within it; that it will become based on what we do with it today, now. That “Life is Beautiful”, “Όμορφή ζωή”. That it is our admiration of and connection with the World immediate, no matter how seemingly distinct, antagonistic,

dissonant, or enigmatic its forces/factors/conditions, which is our source of that loving identification which may bring us meaning, connection and nourishment.
Images of peace, brotherhood across cultures and peoples, connections between eras, within families and across borders all lend more implications to the possible power of the meaning held within the Laurel Crown, now saturating the field as light; the light which great immediate action has incited, again, into existence; the light which has burned and been passed, as a torch, for millennia, now held by Asteris.

It is shown that it is dreaming, “We keep on dreaming!”, which brings about such greatness, union, reason for celebration and creation; which brings into interaction with the immediate the light of the past. It is limitlessness findable by the unfixable meaning/potential/value in the nature of stars and stories, Gods and mythologies, symbols and creations, that permits the belief which allows us to interact selflessly, unassumingly, in a non-encumbering way with a tree, with someone different from us, an uncertain future or an antagonistic immediate; in a way which can show us new meaning about ourselves and others. Redefine the past. Create the World.

{We are no longer the 44-time winners; we are the 45-time winners who, despite darkness and recalling our role as a symbol, a connector of people, and carrying ancient messages which have united all of our people throughout history —changing the world entirely—, sacrificed today, to shape the World in this way.

I am no longer Apollo chasing Daphne, but the God who shows that, despite the loss of the physical/material object of his admiration, he retains the choice to love that in which he may see, imagine or remember his beloved; no matter how distinct from him an ‘other’ appears, he may look into it lovingly and find that of the beloved which he admired, and feel connection; that it is that unconditional love which allows one to find in that which is ever- present, like a Laurel tree, a sense of union; he becomes the one which holds the light of this meaning, the function and purpose of unconditional love, in a crown made of Laurel.}

It is that which we may hold in autonomy, which we may choose (especially provided by that which is indefinable), which is our freedom. “Have Faith”, “Be Free”, “…Keep on dreaming”, Asteris says. It is this type of choice and freedom of thought which redefines and changes something like ten years of loss or failure into an “Uphill” battle toward a most- rewarding success. Ten years of loss is redefined as the qualifying factor and necessary process for our most profound success. This is how we shape the World. Only with belief, by dreaming, by choosing to have faith in that which we can belief in ourselves, by ourselves, can we look out, can we seek without fear, without self-doubt, ego or assumption, in a way which allows us to find new meaning through our connection to others.

Asteris draws the parallel between the winning a team can do, the belief a person can have, and the survival of a species (“Survive!”) which, for its idiosyncratic humanness to be present (without these human-particular traits, it is not humanity that survives, but rather humanity which is extinguished, becoming a non-human entity), must engage in such connective gestures during each generation, no matter the circumstances.

He shows the masked children of the future looking out with some unsureness, donning their masks in obedience and concern, and yet being shown that there is a reason to win, to succeed, to fight, to be free, to search, to find, and to create the World by their choices and actions. He makes clear that this message offered by himself and the Olympiacos team is not only to the youth, not only to Olympiacos fans, not only to the Greek people, but to the entire World; for it is the World which is addressed by such messages.

And he shows that it takes real individuals, on single days, from specific neighborhoods and tiny villages, making the choice to connect, to give, to be selfless and sympathetic in identification with all others —as is symbolized/embodied by the unconditional Love of the Laurel-Crown, the love of the other, the tree, allowing us to find identification within it and a sense of union through it, in autonomy, forever—, a choice which we always possess the ability to make, but which can only be made alone, during each generation, for such a message to reach future.

———————

Asteris reminds us, shows us, guides us to seeing that it is having a dream, a belief, hope, faith, and by creating, attempting, connecting, sharing, giving, in the now, which is the very foundation of the message offered in the mark worn by the team which executed such choice in this year’s competition. His astounding and profound artistry asks the viewer to wonder why they are weeping, why they are so awestruck beyond that way they might be by some gymnastic and bombastic display. He shows us through what he chooses to emphasize, repeat, vary and place before us in elapsing time, such truths, and makes perceivable such messages.

It is our possessing the “Hope”, “Dreaming”, using the “Love”, and choosing to “Create” in the immediate, in the now, despite darkness and antagonism —despite what seem to be limitations and discouragement; despite a sense of uselessness, fear and unsureness—, that allows us to find in others, in connection, that which inspires us. And it is by taking action now, creating now, spreading the light we found represented and embodied in the choice of others to take action, as did the Olympiacos team for their region, as did the creators of the mythology which, passed for millennia, still burns with meaning on the team’s flag, that we become the Light for the next one who needs it; “Lights of Hope” in the dark, like Asteris, for Humanity across the World and all of Time.

Nana Trandou and Daniel J. Hyde

 

Holger Ehlers, Show Creator (Apassionata Interview)

An interview film with Holger Ehlers by Asteris Kutulas (Deutsch/English subtitles) – October 2015

Holger Ehlers Apassionata Interview von Asteris Kutulas

Bei „Apassionata“ arbeitete ich zunächst als Executive Producer (2010-14) und ab 2013 als Dramaturg und künstlerischer Berater zusammen mit dem Show-Creator Holger Ehlers, der seitdem alle „Apassionata“-Produktionen als künstlerischer Direktor verantwortet hat. Die ständige Weiterentwicklung, die die „Apassionata“ in den letzten Jahren durch Holger Ehlers auch mit meiner Hilfe erfahren hat – nämlich von einer Pferde-Nummern-Revue hin zu einer phantasmagorischen Family-Entertainment-Show von Weltformat –, machte sie zu einer immer ausgefeilteren und komplexeren Aufführungsform, die zugleich – und das ist das Beachtliche daran – immer publikumsaffiner wurde.

Parallel dazu kreieren wir zusammen mit Holger Ehlers seit 2014 für ein revolutionäres „Theater-Projekt“ eine kongeniale Show mit dem Titel „Der Traum“. Diese Show ist wie dafür geschaffen, mein seit über zehn Jahren entwickeltes Konzept des „Liquiden Bühnenbilds“ (Liquid Staging) in einem Theater konkrete Gestalt annehmen zu lassen.
Im Stück „Der Traum“ erzeugen Musik und Sound als Klangerlebnis ein „emotionales Grundrauschen“, das ergänzt wird vom – wie ich es nennen würde – „Storyboard eines modernen Grimmschen Märchens“. Holger Ehlers benutzt als drittes Element seinen eigenen spezifischen Stil, um seine Geschichten zu erzählen. Mein Konzept des „Liquiden Bühnenbilds“ vermag es schließlich, jenen emotionalen Raum der Illusion zu erschaffen, den dieses neue Genre braucht, um sich in idealer Art und Weise zu präsentieren.

© Asteris Kutulas, Winter 2016

Holger Ehlers Apassionata Interview mit Asteris Kutulas
Holger Ehlers during the shootings of an film by Asteris Kutulas (photo © by Peter Becker)

Asteris Kutulas interview with Holger Ehlers (excerpts)

Some answers/quotes by Holger Ehlers:

1 – What makes a horse show into a family show? That’s the fundamental question. Why is it more than a show for people who like horses? Why is it a show which tours big cities and captivates many people?

It works because two things are united here: the tradition of musical theatre, beginning with Monteverdi’s „L’Orfeo“, and the dressage training of horses at the royal courts, which began around the same time. The horses were no longer being trained just for war, but also for the entertainment of the nobility. The first operas were also written for the royal courts, and not for the common people. Horses and musical theatre thus have a parallel European tradition. The horses have different gaits, different rhythms – what we call „movements“. In this context, there is a close connection between what we call rhythm and the things which make „Opera Seria“ so special.

2 – In 2008 the „Sehnsucht“ show by Gert Hof combined a greater dramatic depth with orchestral music and phenomenal light effects. Light was suddenly more than just pointing a spotlight at a horse and making the ground glow green. This was pioneering. As was the introduction of actor-protagonists.

The next decisive show was APASSIONATA „Time for Dreams“ in 2011. That was the first time we engaged with video content for the dramaturgy of a show. The screen backdrop became a pivotal element, bringing together images and music. This was a new way of using the stage space. 

3 – When we talk about our inspiration, then this of course always magically stems from the horses. But we also need riders. Because they are supported by dancers and by the production team, they here appear as actors in a piece of great musical theatre. This gives us the three key elements to success: the great stage show in the arenas. The incredible „proximity“ created by the horses, which appeals to many people. The grand emotions of an opera. To bring together all three elements in a balanced form is not easy. Each time, it takes 18 months of work. And you are always close to the boundary where grand emotion can become excessive, and the pathos become farcical. It’s a balancing act.

4 – Apassionata is musical theatre. That is the big picture. The difference to a revue show. It’s the only way to convey the nature of the horse via music. The music does not „accompany“ the horse. The horse is in fact – in scare quotes – the „singer“, an „instrument“. The music assumes a different character. It no longer simply reaches „everything and everyone“, but instead transports the audience. This is of course a singular, unique experience. Nobody has ever pursued this approach as consistently as us. We now have the experience gained from 20 shows presented over the course of 13 years. And a team of highly experienced people with a background in rock and roll as well as theatre.

Holger Ehlers by Asteris Kutulas
Holger Ehlers during a rehearsal in Riesa, 2015 (photo © by Asteris Kutulas)

5 – With theatre, the space is inherently intimate. But APASSIONATA was born in the arena. And yet – if we appeal to the audience in the cool atmosphere of the arena, it’s because we create warmth. Because we are bringing back the „theatre“ to these big venues. We are using a very unique sort of melancholy – a kind that has almost faded into history – to transform an arena back into a small, beautiful municipal theatre. We take the time which theatre always allows itself, in an arena in which there is almost never time enough. And that’s where it gets exciting, because we are not performing theatre, and we are not performing an arena show – instead, we are performing APASSIONATA. We connect.

6 – If you ask yourself: what is Holger Ehlers? Then the cheery reply is: Holger Ehlers is the „pudding mold“. The APASSIONATA pudding mold. It is filled with sounds, good ideas, with the people from the creative team, with the actors. And then we steam the APASSIONATA pudding. 

Excerpts from a Holger Ehlers Apassionata Interview by Asteris Kutulas in October 2015

„Im Bann des Spiegels“ Apassionata Show – Video Blinks 2015

Gert Hof & Asteris Koutoulas, 11 Jahre

Liebe Partner, Kollegen & Freunde,

ich möchte Euch hiermit mitteilen, dass Gert und ich nicht mehr im Managementverhältnis zueinander stehen. Wir haben uns im guten Einvernehmen geeinigt, stattdessen ab jetzt projektgebunden zu kooperieren.

Wir möchten Euch für das jahrelange Vertrauen in unsere Zusammenarbeit danken.

Asteris Koutoulas, 22.9.2009

P.S. Was uns beiden jedenfalls bleibt, nach 11 rasanten Jahren, ist die unglaubliche Story einer unglaublichen Beziehung und eines unglaublichen Werdegangs. Hier die short-Variante:

Nach so viel gemeinsam verlebter Zeit ist es also nicht verwunderlich, dass da einiges zusammengekommen ist. Wir haben die halbe Welt umrundet und einige Licht-Zeichen gesetzt. Viel gelernt und viel gelacht. Und unsäglich viel Stress gehabt. „Der Schmerz ist dein Freund.“ Das Leben, wie es ist und wie es sein soll in der besten aller möglichen Welten. Das falsche im richtigen Leben oder umgekehrt, das ist die Frage. Halte aus. Halte durch. Bleib nicht stehen. Salute, capitano Gert!

Und noch ein Dankes-Wort an Meister Gert

Ich habe sehr, sehr viel von Gert gelernt. Die Weiterentwicklung einer Idee habe ich besonders ihm zu verdanken, obwohl ich mich nur einmal mit ihm darüber unterhalten habe. Bereits 1999 – als Gert eine neue Art der multimedialen Licht-Show kreierte und ich außerdem für ihn bei der Dionysos-Opernproduktion als Dramaturg und Regieassistent arbeitete –, entwickelte ich die Idee eines „liquiden Bühnenbildes“, das dem Medium Film eine neue Rolle in einer entsprechend gestalteten „Theaterbühne“ geben und eine neue Art von Show-Produktion ermöglichen würde. Der Grundgedanke dieses „Liquid Staging“-Konzepts besteht darin, dass man einen „FILM“ für die Bühne produziert, also nicht das Medium Film benutzt, um ein bereits bestehendes Stück oder eine bereits bestehende Show-Produktion damit – wie auch immer – „zu vervollständigen“. 

Und im Gegensatz zu Gerts Ästhetik, die von Brecht beeinflusst und auf dem deutschen Bauhaus-Prinzip beruhte, also mehr „abstrakter Natur“ war, folgte meine Idee dem Weg des „Einfühlens“, entsprechend der Hollywood-Film-Tradition. Schon 1991, während meines Studiums, hatte ich „Abstraktion und Einfühlung“ – Wilhelm Worringers Dissertation von 1907 – gelesen und fühlte mich dem antiken klassischen „Einssein mit der Welt“ (Einfühlung) mehr verbunden als der „dualistischen Trennung von Geist und Materie“ (Abstraktion).

Ich habe inzwischen dieses Konzept für ein Theaterbau-Projekt entwickelt, und ich hoffe, dass eine erste konzeptionelle architektonische Umsetzung bald realisiert werden wird. Gert, danke für die inspirative Zeit mit Dir!

Asteris Kutulas, 22.9.2009

(Photo with Gert Hof & Asteris Kutulas 2008, Philharmonie Berlin by © Anja Pietsch)

*** *** ***

Team (Gert Hof Produktionen)

Wir mussten in einigen Fällen nicht nur unter extremen klimatischen Bedingungen arbeiten, wie z.B. bei minus 15 Grad und furchtbarem Glatteis an der Dresdner Semperoper oder bei plus 60 Grad und Sandsturm im Oman, wir hatten es auch mit politisch diffizilen Veranstaltungen zu tun, die unser diplomatisches Geschick herausforderten, so im Jahr 2000 beim Millennium-Event in Peking, wo Mentalitäten und verschiedene politische Kulturen aufeinanderprallten. Kompliziert gestaltete sich auch die Galaveranstaltung am Berliner Gendarmenmarkt anlässlich der EU-Osterweiterung am 1.5.2004, immerhin musste man dabei den Interessen von 25 europäischen Nationen in einer Fernsehproduktion gerecht werden.

Eine Herausforderung ganz anderer Art waren unsere Events auf bzw. an denkmalgeschützten Gebäuden; am extremsten gestaltete sich die Arbeit für unsere Pyro- und Lichttechniker auf der – durch die griechische Verfassung geschützten – Akropolis, aber nicht minder hart waren die Auflagen der Behörden z.B. für das mittelalterliche Fort St.Angelo in Malta oder den Magdeburger Dom.

Sehr oft musste sich unser Team auch mit dem Sicherheitsaspekt der Events auseinandersetzen, bedingt durch die Dimension der Veranstaltungen (nicht selten bis zu mehreren Millionen Zuschauer), die Komplexität der eingesetzten Mittel (Feuerwerk, Licht, Stromversorgung, Helium-Ballons, Lasertechnik, Neon-Equipment etc.) oder auch durch die politische Dimension vieler unserer Shows (Anwesenheit hoher in- und ausländischer Staatsgäste, wichtige nationale Feiertage, Terrorismus-Gefahr etc.).

Unser Team war nicht selten gezwungen, Events unter enormem Zeitdruck zu realisieren, mal mitten in Großstädten unter komplizierten verkehrstechnischen Bedingungen, ein anderes Mal in Häfen bei laufendem Schiffs- und Fähr-Betrieb, aber auch im Hochgebirge oder auf dem Meer. Wir arbeiteten oft mit einer Vielzahl von Firmen unterschiedlicher Nationalität zusammen, manchmal mit bis zu 4.000 Mitarbeitern bei einem Event, und dabei ist es hin und wieder erforderlich gewesen, mit einer komplizierten internationalen Logistik fertig zu werden oder mit Fernseh-Sendern zu kooperieren, die unsere Shows live übertrugen.

Und schließlich haben wir auch mit namhaften Künstlern zusammengearbeitet, so dass unsere Techniker gleichzeitig Bühnenshow, Megaevent und Fernsehproduktion unter einen Hut zu bringen hatten, so geschehen mit Mike Oldfield an der Siegessäule in Berlin, mit den Scorpions auf dem Roten Platz in Moskau und mit Mikis Theodorakis an der Akropolis in Athen. Dank Euch Leute!

Asteris Kutulas, 2010

Unser Event auf dem Roten Platz in Moskau 2003 mit den Scorpions und Thomas Anders, Directed by Gert Hof & Produced by Asteris Kutulas | Photo © by Sabine Wenzel

DANKSAGUNG/ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We give MUCH THANKS to our partners, above all Achim Perleberg in Bochum, Tim Dowdall in Budapest, Sebastian Turner, Markus Mahren, Westbam, Peter Massine and Rainer Schaller in Berlin, Morten Carlsson and Jens Zimmermann in Hamburg, Andrew Zweck in London, Rafaela Wilde in Cologne, Marek Szpendowski in Warsaw, Michael Sladden in New York, Alexander Strizhak in Moscow, Dimitris Koutoulas, Vassilis Riziotis, Dimitra Rodopoulou and Dimitris Tziotis in Athens, Gerhard Seltmann in Magdeburg, Udo Hoffman and Sun Xiangyan in Beijing, Stephan Reichenberger in München, Michael Shurygin in St. Petersburg, Gil Teichmann in Tel Aviv und Eduardo Hübscher in Jerusalem, Stephan Gorol in Bonn, Linas Ryskus in Vilnius, Michael Thamm in Rostock, Robert van Ommen in Amsterdam, Ruslana in Kiew, Ivan Nestorov in Sofia and Tewe Pannier in Dubai. Without them the events that were documented here would not have been possible. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Many thanks to our partners, friends and colleagues Peter Amend, Anton Attard, Anouk, Petra Bandmann, Bruno Baiardi, Laci Borsos, Giovanni Broccu, Jack Calmes, Nigel Camillieri, Michael Casper, Scott Cooper, Anna & George Dalaras, Rene Dame, Sven Dierkes, Thomas Erbach, Maria Farantouri, Klaus Feith, Valery Feofanow, Knut Foeckler, Mike Finkelstein, Matthias Frickel, Christine Friedrich, Toni Froschhammer, Tim Geladaris, Steve Gietka, Jörn Gläske, Thilo Goos, Phil Grucci, Anne Hansen, Laszlo Hegedüsz, Andreas Heine, Christoph Heubner, Wolfgang Hörner, Klaus Jankuhn, Alexandros Karozas, Hans-Georg Kehse, Joey Kelly, Pericles Koukos, Alexander Koutoulas, Ina Kutulas, Dominika Kulczyk, Hansjörg Kunze, Marcus Kurz, Ralph Larmann, Denis Leonov, Till Lindemann, Sabina Linke, Panos Livadas, Zülfü Livaneli, Peter Madai, Jannis Mihas, Gerda Milpacher, Pavlos Nanos, Ivan Nestorov, Marco Niedermeier, Nikos Moraitis, Mike Oldfield, Fotis Papathanassiou, Rena Parmenidou, Anja Pietsch, Linda Powers, Alkistis Protopsalti, Ramin Rachel, Theodoros Roussopoulos, Lutz Rainer-Seidel, Rammstein, Peter Reiner, Uta Richter, Jens Rötzsch, Savas Savas, Scorpions, Susanne Schäfer, Volker Scherz, Henning Schmiedt, Klaus Schulze, Daniel Schwartz, Oliver Schwarzkopf, Melanie Sievers, Thanos Stavropoulos, Christian Steinhäuser, Andrea Szabo, Mikis Theodorakis, John Totaro, Donald Trump, Christine Uckert, Spiros Vergos, Matthias Weinert, Sabine Wenzel, Michael Wilde, Roger Waters, Arne Weingart, Elisabeth Wülfing, Giedre Zemaitiene

& especially

Sven Asamoa, Ross Ashton, Norman Bauer, Steffen Brandt, Daniel Brune, Gerd Helinski, Guido Karp, Markus Katterle, Spiros Nanos, Jens Probst & Oliver Schwendke

A&O Lighting Bremen, Art Hellas Athens, Art in Heaven GmbH, Bauer Concept Berlin, Black Box Music Berlin, Cleverbank Athens, Ellinika Petrelea, Esernyo Kft. Budapest, E/T/C UK Ltd. Projecting London, FansUNITED GmbH, FX Factory Berlin, Gil Teichmann Company, Helicon GmbH, Intracom Athens, JSA Moscow, Jerusalem Municipality, laserfabrik showlaser, Kulczyk Tradex Sp. z.o.o., Lufthansa-Büro Dresden, Maltese Government, Multimedia International Budapest, Nanos Fireworks Athens, Government of Oman, OPAP Athens, Orama Athens, Piraeus Port Authority S.A., Procon MultiMedia AG Hamburg, Pyro-Art Berlin, Sensible Events London, Silvretta Seilbahn AG, Scholz & Friends AG, Skoda Auto Polska S.A., Space Canon Italy, TuiR Warta S.A., Tourismusverband Ischgl, Trump Organization

Gert Hof & Asteris Kutulas, 2011

Mit Gert Hof in Abu Dhabi (Photo © by Asteris Kutulas)

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