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Ballet of Slug and Shell is the first work that Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop and Black Cracker, did together. This project was carried out from being a commissioned work for Konzerthaus Berlin, to celebrate its 200th anniversary. Although in principle it was going to be presented live in April 2021, as a consequence of the pressure of the current global situation, the artists turned the piece into a version that could be recorded with 360º cameras, so that the audience would not miss a single detail.
Throughout the piece, we can highlight several important concepts, especially the dialogue between the two main characters, which shows a representation of hierarchy, power, oppression, but also faith, due to the unexpected change of events. The change of roles between them expresses the possibility of changing the path or direction of life circumstances.
A key reference in this work was Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz, known to many as the “German National Opera”. This work was shown to the public for the first time in 1821, in the current Konzerthaus. It was a great representation of the German identification and created a great engagement in the viewers. Kaleidoscope and Black Cracker used the symbolism of this work to develop the traditions and use of classical music in Ballet of Slug and Shell. Multilateral communication is visibly evident in their work and is another aspect that reminds us of Der Freischütz.
In this work, we find other references, mainly to social situations and human rights that over the last few years have had a great impact on our lives. Basketball is one of them, Cracker believes that the sport of African American context, has almost musical powers and draws parallelisms between the sport and classical music.
His search for the privacy of human rights continues with the symbolism of "raise your hands" acclaim the DJ to the audience, referring to "Hands up, don't shoot", this being the motto of the Black Lives Matter movement. The throwing of a pistol and the throwing of the basketball hoop are connected with the shooting of a camera, in a subtle way, Cracker has tried to use the elements they had in mind when creating his work in order to give an ethical and vindictive symbolism to the social and cultural injustices happening in the world today.
A Ballet of Slug and Shell is undoubtedly an innovative scenic proposal that allows the audience to choose the points of view they want, thanks to the 360-degree perspective that the camera captured. Has this work fascinated you as much as we have? When art is made with purpose and feeling, the public enjoys the experience much more when seeing it.