Erholungshaus. A feast of dance, theater and music – The 2017/18 program
Bayer AG has a long tradition of cultural engagement that stretches all the way back to 1907, although at that time this collective term was not used. Even going back over 100 years, managers felt it was important to not only continuously create jobs, but also take responsibility for employees and the workforce. Good infrastructure where staff worked and lived (homes, roads, stores) formed part of this commitment, as did the opening, in 1908, of the Erholungshaus, which Bayer AG continues to finance and run to this very day.
Parallel to these efforts, the “Education Department” – now called Bayer Arts & Culture – was formed with the goal of improving quality of life for staff through cultural events. As the decades went by, the department developed its own profile. Today, it puts on an impressive number of events each year, with its program spanning music, dance, theater and art. The events are open to all. Events for children and young people, educational theater workshops, “classroom plays” and the stARTacademy (a support initiative to foster the next generation of talented artists) complete the program (stART musicians and performers for 2017/18: Tamar Beraia, piano; Tobias Feldmann, violin; Germany’s National Youth Ballet, dance; Pre-College Cologne, music; weißensee kunsthochschule berlin, visiting art schools program).
In addition to serving as a venue for concerts and theater, the Erholungshaus also provides space for employees actively involved in the company’s ensembles to practice and perform. Bayer currently supports 18 groups of this kind at its facilities.
The 2017/18 season offers a varied program, with the themes of “circus” and “women” in the spotlight. As the new season gets under way in September, fans will get the chance to hear a new version of Monteverdi’s “Orfeo”. The l’arte del mondo orchestra will go all out to fuse the composer’s classical style with the modern sounds of a jazz rock funk band. The Irish Chamber Orchestra will share the stage with circus performers, while chamber musicians and pianists (including cellist Steven Isserlis, the South Korean youngsters with the Novus String Quartet, and award-winning trombonist Louise Pollock) will wow audiences with their skills on stage. As for theater performances, you’ll get chance to see a whole lot of “clowning around”, as well as classics such as “Saint Joan of the Stockyards” and well-known faces from the world of TV and film, including Walter Sittler in a musical reading of texts penned by Roger Willemsen, and Ulrich Tukur, who will team up with the Rhythmus Boys to capture the hearts of the audience. The dance section of the program will see European companies taking to the floor: Nederlands Dans Theater 2 will be strutting their stuff, as will a street dance club and Ballet Preljocaj. Three different exhibitions will be presented in the Erholungshaus foyer between September 2017 and June 2018.
Further information on Bayer Arts and Culture and the current program is available here.