Night Piece N°X
an overnight stay with O-Team
The Night Piece is a performance that begins in the late evening and concludes in the morning with a shared breakfast. The space resembles a large dormitory with lounges for the guests. If guests happen to fall asleep during the performance, the show continues for them in their dreams. The experimental format combines elements of object theater, ritual, concert, and staged art installation. The core of the performance is the conscious experience of a night spent together. The performance is understood more as a format than a piece, and during guest performances, it can be adapted and continually mutated to local circumstances under the ongoing numbering as “Nachtstück N°X.”
A guest performance can be planned in two ways. One option is a traditional guest performance with setup the day before and one or two shows. To keep the effort of setup manageable, it makes sense to use a technically well-equipped space. The second preferred option is to leave the “Nachtstück” in place for a slightly longer period and perform multiple shows. During intervals, the space can be used in two ways: either open during the day as an exhibition/installation or available for overnight stays as “Nachtstück light” – without live performance but with a continuous sound and video installation. For this option, it also makes sense to use a non-theater space, such as a lobby, gymnasium, rehearsal stage, attic, festival tent, etc.
Night Piece N°1: February/March 2023 Project Space Kunstverein Wagenhalle e.V. / Theater Rampe, Stuttgart
Night Piece N°2: December 2023 Project Space Kunstverein Wagenhalle e.V. / Theater Rampe, Stuttgart
Artistic Direction / Concept: Nina Malotta, Samuel Hof
Performance / Installation: Nina Malotta, Samuel Hof, Marius Alsleben, Martina Wegener, Frederic Ehlers
Live Music: Moritz Finkbeiner
Dramaturgy: Antonia Beermann
Production: Lisa Ticar
Graphics: Markus Niessner
The Night Piece is a production of O-Team in cooperation with Theater Rampe and Kunstverein Wagenhalle e.V. The Night Piece is funded by the City of Stuttgart and the State Association of Independent Dance and Theater Artists Baden-Württemberg e.V. with funds from the Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg.
In contrast to the day, which is consciously and productively used in a well-lit and organized manner, the night represents the other, the unknown, the mysterious, the eerie – everything that cannot be strictly defined conceptually. Fallen out of the routine of everyday life, attention, emotions, and thoughts intensify, whether positively as a sense of security, peace, or relaxation, or negatively as nightmares or insomnia. At night, we experience greater emotional permeability. That’s why the night is a time for celebration or art. The Nachtstück is a ritual or invocation designed to make our guests consciously experience and reflect on this nocturnal state.
The experience begins at home when one decides to participate. For many people, staying overnight in an unfamiliar place under unknown conditions with strangers is a challenge. Thus, minds start working – what will it be like? What should I wear? What should I bring? That’s why we send them a preparatory email a few days in advance.
In ancient times, the practice of dream incubation was widespread. An oracle seeker would visit the sanctuary of a god and, in connection with a corresponding ritual and preparations like baths, fasting, diet, sacrifices, and prayers, hope to receive an answer to a question in a dream. The ritual also carried the expectation of beneficial effects for the individual. We adopt this tradition. Guests are prepared mentally and physically. On-site, everyone receives matching costumes – simple nightgowns with a cap and slippers. They put their phones away and leave everyday life behind. Throughout the entire reception, we strive to convey a sense of security and calmness to our guests. Following a brief introduction, the night begins with hot cocoa and a foot bath.
From the water of the foot baths, samples are taken and mixed in a jar to create liquid paint. Throughout the night, an elaborate procedure is used to create several large-format inkblot folding paintings, similar to the images in the Rorschach test, which are then hung on the side walls of the room. Following this process and interspersed between, a very long and slow procession is happening featuring various animated night figures, large heat lamps, a mechanical centipede, shadow plays, expansive costumes, and more.
The musical accompaniment structures the night into louder, more active periods and quieter passages that invite sleep. The music is produced live in four channels with analog cassette loops and a variety of instruments, reflecting different states of fatigue, euphoria, meditative flow, or exhaustion. It is created in collaboration with various nighttime surround sound atmospheres recorded during a artist residency in Thailand.
The Night Piece concludes with a shared breakfast, providing an opportunity to share experiences, feelings, thoughts, and dreams from the night with others. The intimate experience of a shared night leads to a sense of community. The art installation, open during the day in addition to the nighttime performance, offers a more detailed exploration of the materials collected by us on the themes of night, sleep, dream, and ritual.