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Saturday, October 3, 2015

In Context: Hallo

Swiss choreographer Martin Zimmermann’s acrobatic one-man show Hallo comes to BAM on October 15. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of articles and videos related to the show. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought below and by posting on social media using #HalloMartin.

Curator's Note

BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo discusses his selection of Martin Zimmermann's Hallo for the 2015 Next Wave Festival.

Program Notes

Hallo (PDF)


Martin Zimmermann: Hero in a Paradoxical World (BAM blog)
“Zimmermann demonstrates that the burlesque mime figure still has its place in today’s world, precisely because it embodies a distraught being incapable of finding his place.”

Poetry of the Absurd—An Interview with Hallo's Martin Zimmermann (BAM blog)
Gwénola David sits down with Zimmermann to learn more about the broken walls, breached skylights, and sculptural echoes of his creative mind.

Watch & Listen

Hallo: The Short Film (YouTube)
A stop-motion preview of Martin Zimmermann’s whimsical movement art. 

Worthwhile Words

I have the feeling that I will never completely understand the human being – not even myself. Our entire existence strikes me as absurd. But that’s not to say I perceive it as something negative, and it has nothing to do with resignation. On the contrary: I’m especially attracted to the absurd. It’s a daily source of amusement for me. Precisely therein lie the things I find truly interesting. For instance, in the circus – in and of itself absurd – because somehow or other it’s always about the same thing: survival. That’s poetry for me. This form of art has always fascinated and inspired me. And with this poetry, I try to create my theatre. 
–Martin Zimmermann [link to BAM Blog interview above]

Now your turn...

What did you think? Keatonesque physical comedy? Essay on existential self-alienation? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #HalloMartin.


  1. Loved it. No need for explanation in words - Zimmerman's work is intense, aesthetic, sophisticated and yet seemingly simple. So we can just focus our sensors, let that trigger our thoughts. Not like many unsuccessful shows that I've seen recently that are screaming to teach some belief to the audience.

  2. Oof. This is probably the least favorite show I've ever seen at BAM. Derivative, well worn pathways. Minimalism to the extreme, without saying anything. Entirely too repetitive.
    There's a reason there was never a spin off of seinfeld based on Kramer. The bumbling idiot role, by itself, isn't enough to captivate. It just becomes frustrating.

  3. Have to agree with Oof. Really lame. No sure it would keep the interest of an 8 year old birthday party. Can honestly say I did not find a moment of the one hour plus show, time well spent.

  4. This is the worst show I've ever seen at BAM. Absolutely horrible and frustrating to watch. I can't believe my husband paid so much money for that show...It would've been bad even if it was free. The performance was filled with tired, old, ultra-basic slapstick and I felt like I lost an hour and a half of my life that I will never get back. How did you drop the ball so hard BAM?!?! NYC is abundant with talent and you managed to book this???? You definitely lost my trust in the caliber of performances at your venue.

  5. This show starts slowly and is difficult to like immediately. Nevertheless, after the first 15 minutes (or so), the performance takes off and it is a mesmerizing journey into the question of what makes life meaningful. To us, it seemed as though the main architectural box dominating the center of the stage was a metaphor for our daily humdrum. We all wake up and "live" inside a box. The question becomes how do we make our "outside" lives more interesting, meaningful, humorous and even delightful. This can be especially difficult due to the hardships Mr. Zimmermann represents through his illusions to dictators, poverty, broken glass, etc. He even steals someone's real life back pack! The acrobatics demonstrate skill and long years of practice. Light on his feet and nimble in every way this is nouveau cirque at its best. True, it takes a while to get going. However, once it does, the evening slips away into Mr. Zimmermann's fantasy and doesn't let go until his finally kiss goodbye.

  6. typo! "allusions" to dictators, poverty ...

  7. Everything about the performance, the set design, composition, lighting and the soundscape was a gift. A beautiful artwork – bravo! Come to Vancouver, BC Canada