No President. A Story Ballet of Enlightenment in Two Immoral Acts by Nature Theater of Oklahoma (US)

Nature Theater of Oklahoma (US)
work in process sharing of
No President. A Story Ballet of Enlightenment in Two Immoral Acts
26. July @ 20:00 (doors open @ 19:00)

It’s not easy being a security guard today, with mortal danger lurking around every corner.

A public gathering such as a theatre performance is a particularly seductive target for an attack. Which is why a security company has been hired – to make sure everyone stays safe. But is merely protecting ever enough, in a world where everything – even security – aspires to show-business? Here, a small but successful security company, staffed with former actors, has been hired to protect a certain precious theatre curtain – and behind it, whatever mystery it conceals. But things are about to get out of hand as the guards find themselves infiltrated by a rival security company composed of ex-ballet dancers, who are not only artistically more up to date, but also faster and cheaper, and who want to take over this important gig at any cost.

In the end, as always in this contemporary world – where all conflicts are resolved through violence and cannibalism – life plays its fickle games of friendship, love, betrayal, and finally, we hope, redemption.

With their unique mix of full-hearted theater play, conceptual strength, and perplexing use of modernist art strategies the off-off-off-Broadway company Nature Theater of Oklahoma has become one of the most discussed and influential American groups of the last years. Recently the directors Kelly Copper and Pavol Liška, always looking for new challenges and borders to cross, moved into filmmaking.

But now they are back at live theatre with some of their old acclaimed cast members and challenge their performers with a furious choreography that draws from almost everything on offer: ballet, silent film, slap stick, calisthenics, predatory animal behaviour, and some virtuosic modern dance inventions accompanied in proper style by the music of “The Nutcracker”.


“Personnel is being hired for the Theater in Oklahoma! The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma is calling you! It’s calling you today only! If you miss this opportunity, there will never be another! Anyone thinking of his future, your place is with us! All welcome! Anyone who wants to be an artist, step forward! We are the theater that has a place for everyone, everyone in his place! If you decide to join us, we congratulate you here and now! But hurry, be sure not to miss the midnight deadline! We shut down at midnight, never to reopen! Accursed be anyone who doesn’t believe us!”

-Franz Kafka: Amerika

Nature Theater of Oklahoma is an award-winning art and performance group from New York under the direction of Pavol Liška and Kelly Copper. With each new project, they attempt to set an impossible challenge for themselves, the audience, and their collaborators – working from inside the codes and confines of established genres and exploding them. No two projects are formally the same, but the work is always full of humor, earnestness and rigor.

Using readymade material, found space, gifted properties, cosmic accident, extreme formal manipulation and plain hard work – Nature Theater of Oklahoma makes art to affect a shift in the perception of everyday reality that extends beyond the site of performance and into the world in which we live.

Credits for full production

With: Ilan Bachrach, Tale Dolven, Gabel Eiben, Robert M. Johanson, Bence Mezei, Kadence Neill
Corps de ballet: Laron Janus, Raymond Liew Jin Pin, Joana Kern, Hannah Krebs, Marlena Meier, Gustavo de Oliveira Leite, Anna Schneider, Philip Wiehagen
Text, direction & choreography: Kelly Copper, Pavol Liška
Production: Luka Curk
Set: Ansgar Prüwer
Costume: Jenny Theisen
Light: Maarten Warmerdam 
Dramaturgy: Florian Malzacher 
Translation: Ulrich Blumenbach
Production (creation): Ruhrtriennale & Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus 
World premiere: Ruhrtriennale, 14 September 2018
Production (restaging & touring): HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin) 
Berlin premiere: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, October 2019

Credits for work in process:
With: Ilan Bachrach, Tale Dolven, Gabel Eiben, Robert M. Johanson, Bence Mezei
Corps de ballet: Sebastian Sund