Equestrian Theatre Berlin – Performing Arts With Horses

Equestrian Theatre Berlin – Performing Arts With Horses

Fancy some theatre? Fancy dressage riding? The Berlin Equestrian Theatre combines both into a special performance of horsemanship and performing arts. The repertoire of the Berlin Equestrian Theatre group ranges from small interludes to large-scale performances: just on three evenings in September, the Nocturnes play – and in development, a very large piece with the work of Eadweard Muybridge as its central theme.

The Nocturnes was performed on three Saturdays in September 2015 in the riding hall of the Ländlicher Reitverein Berlin Tegel: Ten riders. Women of very different ages and many horses’ legs in sparse lighting. Very little light from below at the sides plus lanterns with candlelight. White Iberian stallions, French ponies and German sport horses in a minimalist stage set showing a small bistro scene in front of a big screen with projected photographs and film sequences. The music is multi-faceted, mostly electronic. It underlines the sweeping movement of the horses. The colours of the horses furs mix with the earth, metal and wood tones of the riding hall. Scenery, music, make-up, a sometimes slightly androgynous costume design inspired by the style of the 1920s are never too much. Everything is coherent to create a beautiful painting of light and shadow, dynamics and rhythm.

The equestrian performance is varied and peppered with small acts. A horse ridden only with a neck ring without a saddle and circus lessons are exciting interludes. But also the joint performances of the women and horses in all tempos to perfectly set music offer great enjoyment for the audience.

The women of Tegel and one man were wonderfully staged in the Nocturnes by director, dressage rider and trainer Leon Vermeulen. The Belgian founded the Equestrian Theatre on the island Usedom, 15 years earlier. Then he worked with the riders of the LRV Tegel e.V. – sport riders and experienced show riders to artistically combine the elegance of the horses, their sublime, dynamic movements, forming the Equestrian Theatre.

The Nocturnes were created with many helping hands and comparatively small budget. Now the development of a larger project is on the agenda. The Pferdetheater Berlin is planning a play that focuses on film and the work of Eadweard Muybridge. The well-known works of the photography pioneer certainly had an influence on the teaching of horse ridin. With his serial photography of animals, he developed the first film-like sequences that could accurately depict the horse’s movements. Photo series he made of humans and animals are the inspirational template for the next piece.


Even more impressions from Nocturnes of the Equestrian Theatre:

Fotos: (c) Simone Fust / PferdKultur

7. September 2019 Off