Music, theatre and text by schoolchildren both with and without a migrant background

In February 2014, the Festspielhaus Hellerau and Maxim-Gorki-Theater Berlin will host the premiere of “Dede Korkut”, a musical theatre production by Marc Sinan.
To mark the occasion, complementary educational programmes – in the form of several workshops – will be held at four Berlin schools and one in Dresden.

Young adolescents, both with and without a migrant background, will team up to go on an incredible, musical-theatrical journey as part of the “Poor Monster – Evil Hero?” project.

The goal is to familiarise schoolchildren with the legendary Central-Asian tale of the bard “Dede Korkut” in a captivating and creative manner. Using the myth as food for thought, the pupils will then discuss and explore current-day problems and issues. In doing so, the youngsters will be given free rein and encouraged to come up with their own novel approaches to the issues of our time with an emphasis on candour and creativity.

This artistic debate will be fuelled by a look behind the scenes of the musical theatre “Dede Korkut” which will be produced at the same time. The Central-Asian musicians that star in the musical will visit the schools, get actively involved in the pupils’ work and give a first-hand account of their own experiences.

The project will culminate with a joint pupils’ performance presenting the outcome of the respective group of students’ work and deliberations.



08 February 2014, 10 am – 3 pm
HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden
Symposium: “The myth today”
Guest speakers:
Prof. Henrik Boeschoten, Turkologist, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Translator of Dede Korkut: An introduction to the region and the myth (A. T.)
Frank Aurich, Head of Department – Collections, Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB): Dede Korkut and other Dresden-based treasures of world culture on the internet
Holger Kuhla, Dramaturge Maxim Gorki Theater: The one-eyed in the theatre
Markus Rindt, Artistic Director of the Dresdner Sinfoniker: An excursion to the music of Central Asia and the South Caucasus
Roundtable discussion with all guest speakers and Turkic-speaking professors
Moderation: Dr. Martina Taubenberger
» see the program


08 February 2014, 2.30/3.30 pm
HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden
School production of “The journey to Dede”
Pupils in the 4th year of the 84th Primary School in the Hellerau district of Dresden will get to know about the lives of their counterparts in Central Asia with the help of pictures. Using a mixture of dance, music and rhythm, the pupils will then answer the following questions: How do the children in Central Asia play? What do they look like? What kind of songs do they sing? What stories do they hear? And: Are they any way different to us?


15 February 2014, 2 pm – 4 pm
Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin
School production of “Poor Monster – Evil Hero?”

In the spring of 2013, Markus Rindt and Marc Sinan made their way to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan in search of traditional Central-Asian music.
Pupils in the 10th year at Campus Rütli in the Neukölln district of Berlin will also go in search of the sound of their local area.
In doing so, they will be inspired and helped by a DJane and a sound artist to create a unique sound and video installation with the title “What’s the sound of Neukölln?”. This will feature each pupil’s individual interpretation of Neukölln’s soundscape.

Pupils in the 8th year at the Robert-Blum Secondary School in the Berlin district of Schöneberg will embark on a theatrical analysis of the legend about the stepbrothers Tepegöz and Bassat.
This myth offers an ideal template for encouraging the pupils to playfully explore the big issues of our age – one’s own identity, a sense of otherness, marginalisation and inclusion. This will help to pinpoint similarities and parallels between the myth and the teenagers’ everyday life.
The young teenagers will also compose musical scenes as a further expression of their thoughts and feelings.

The already up-and-running class orchestra made up of pupils from the 8th year at the Sophie-Scholl Secondary School in the Berlin district of Schöneberg will examine Marc Sinan’s compositional style. The students will be exposed to the musical treasures from Central Asia and embellish them with their own brand of contemporary music.

The literature class at the Heinz-Brandt Secondary School in the Berlin district of Weissensee is searching for a new form of the oral tradition. Pupils in the school’s 9th year will collaborate with an author to write a child-friendly version of the saga. This will then be combined with a “Choir of Heroes”, consisting of audio snippets that have already been compiled, and arranged into a group performance based on the myth of the stepbrothers Tepegöz and Bassat.