by Group50:50

09.06.2023, 20:00 h TICKETS

10.06.2023, 18:00 h TICKETS


PRESALE + BOX OFFICE 24 / 13 € (reduced) 




LANGUAGES French and Germand with German and French surtitles


DURATION 2:15 h 

In The Ghosts are Returning, GROUP50:50, a collective of artists from Congo, Switzerland and Germany, tells the story of seven so-called 'pygmy' skeletons that a Swiss doctor brought from the Congo in the 1950s  to Geneva and made available to the University of Geneva for research purposes. You travel to the equatorial forest in the DR Congo to the nomadic Mbuti people, who are threatened by illegal logging, are being driven out of the forests and at the same time are resisting. Do they want the skeletons and thus the spirits of their ancestors back? Because with the masks, skulls and skeletons, the ghosts that the Europeans stole and locked away in colonial times are also returning. Singing and dancing with them, they develop a ritual with which the seven spirits can come to rest. The result is a multimedia music theater piece about (neo)colonial crimes, about death and mourning.


The musicians and performers of GROUP50:50 dedicate their work to post-documentary music theater by taking up economic and political facts and transferring them into the future. After the music theater project Herkules von Lubumbashi - ein Minenoratorium (PODIUM Esslingen / Center d'Art Waza), in The Ghosts are Returning they deal with the restitution of African cultural assets and human remains and make a contribution to the current discourse with artistic means.


Musically, the production picks up on lamentations from both classical music and traditional Congolese music and deals with the ancient polyphonic chants of the Mbuti, who celebrated their funerals in complex polyphonic choral songs long before polyphonic requiems were composed in Europe. A musical-scenic funeral service is created for the seven skeletons and their spirits, with a choir of Mbuti, which enters into conversation with the musicians and performers on stage via video.


DIRECTORS Christiana Tabaro, Eva-Maria Bertschy, Michael Disanka, Elia Rediger | COMPOSITION AND MUSICAL DIRECTION Kojack Kossakamvwe , Elia Rediger | WITH Ruth Kemna (viola and performance), Christiana Tabaro (vocals and performance) Huguette Tolinga (percussion), Kojack Kossakamwve (guitar), Franck Moka (electronics and performance, Merveil Mukadi (bass), Elia Rediger (vocals and performance) In the Videos Josée Agbepa, Jean de Dieu Bongama, Jean-Baptiste Ekaka, Mama Sese, Mukombozi, Anselm Ngobe, John Bayaese, Tristan Köster (cello), William V. Murray (viola), Per Hakon Oftedal (trumpet), Josefine Schmidt (E -piano), Maxine Troglauer (bass trombone) | TEXT Christiana Tabaro, Eva-Maria Bertschy, Michael Disanka, Patrick Mudekereza, Ruth Kemna, Elia Rediger | DRAMATURGY & DISCOURSE Eva-Maria Bertschy , Patrick Mudekereza | EQUIPMENT | Elia Rediger, Christiana Tabaro, Michael Disanka , Janine Werthmann | VIDEO Joseph Kasau, Elia Rediger, Franck Moka, Moritz von Dungern | ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Luca Maier | TECHNICAL DIRECTION Sylvain Faye | PRODUCTION Pamina Dittmann, Véronique Poverello | SOUND & SOUNDDESIGN Philipp Ruoff | TECHNICAL ASSISTANT Anton Pelzer | SOUND STAGE VIDEOS Daniel Freitag | CONDUCTING STAGE VIDEOS Beltrán González | Technical management Sylvain Faye Production management Pamina Dittmann, Véronique Poverello Maria Pelzer (assistance) | TOUR MANAGEMENT Mascha Euchner-Martinez, Isaac Yenga | TECHNICAL COORDINATION ON TOUR Moritz Schick | ARTISTIC DIRECTOR PODIUM Esslingen Joosten Ellée | TRANSLATION Souzy Boukanayo, Julien Couturier, Katia Flouest-Sell, Luca Maier and Julie Guigonis


The Ghosts Are Returning is a joint project by PODIUM Esslingen, GROUP50:50 and Center d'Art Waza Lubumbashi in Projekt der GROUP50:50, produced by PODIUM Esslingen and Center d'Art Waza Lubumbashi in co-production with CTM Festival Berlin, euro-scene Leipzig, barracks Basel and the Vorarlberger Landestheater. Funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation in the TURN 2 fund and by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media in the NEUSTART KULTUR program, Dance & Theater BS/BL specialist committee, Pro Helvetia.