Akward Human 2011

Set amongst the equipment of a traditional sports gymnasium - vaulting horse, parallel bars, rings, ropes and springboards - Someone has set themselves a series of tasks. Someone is trying to explore their most awkward habits and to re-train themselves to overcome their own awkward history. The exploration takes place in contrast to the culture of grace and control training associated with gymnastics and a particular childhood memory of Olga Korbut at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

  • Premiere:  25. February 2011
  • Concept and Performance:  Phil Hayes
  • Dramaturgy:  Julia Hintermüller
  • Stage:  Dominic Huber/Blendwerk
  • Assistant:  Nina Wagner
  • Video:  Susanne Hofer/Flimmer
  • Musik and Sound:  Thomas Peter
  • Lighting Design:  Tina Bleuler, Patrik Riman/Electric Gold
  • Sports Advisor:  Gregory Putnam
  • Production:  Lukas Piccolin/ First Cut Productions
  • Photographs:  Anita Affentranger, Luc Georgi

One of the great tragedies of life is that it can never attain the perfection, and importance, of sport. 
If only our chaotic and unsatisfactory lives could achieve its clarity; if only our sporting heroes could help us…

A co-production with Theaterhaus Gessnerallee Zurich, Theater Roxy Birsfelden Basel and Schlachthaus Theater Bern

Partners; Stadt Zürich Kultur, Fachstelle Kultur Kanton Zürich; Pro Helvetia Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Migros-Kulturprozent, Familien-Vontobel-Stiftung.

G – This is the position and what I want you to do now is, from here just jump off from your knees and move your weight onto one bar. Just to get the feeling for switching your hands over without injuring your knee.

P – But how do I get up there?

G – Just climb up from here, from behind. make youself compact first, exactly. Now you should have the feeling that you can jump off. Yeah exactly. You jump off and at the same time you move this arm over here behind.

P – But theoretically I could probably touch the ground with my hands where they are.

G – erm... touch what?

P – Touch the floor without switching my hands, theoretically.

G – Why do you want to touch the bar?

P – I don‘t. No, listen, when I stand on the floor. . .

G – Ah, Ok try. Ok, you meant this. Theoretically you could, yeah but I want you to have the feeling that you‘re just on one bar for a second. It's also this moment of this letting go, right? Again it's this whole thing with you. You‘re already thinking of all the possibilities..

P –  .. to not let go? Yeah.


  • photo: Luc Georgi
    photo: Luc Georgi
  • photo: Luc Georgi
    photo: Luc Georgi
    photo: Luc Georgi