A SHORT HISTORY OF RENEGADE THEATRE
German born Director Markus Michalowski took to the street busking Australia and New Zealand financing his studies until the theatre won him over. After training at FOOL TIME Circus School in Bristol, and a summer season as a clown with the Cuban state circus, Markus went on to study at the prestigious Folkwang School for Dance, Mime and Drama in Essen, Germany. There he co-founded Flöz theatre, one of Their production "Ristorante Immortale" which was co-directed by Markus played to great success in Edinburgh in 2001 and has been touring Europe and Australia extensively since then. Working as a fight director for major German theatres, he choreographed numerous productions of Romeo and Juliet, aspiring to find a physical, direct access to the story of the star-crossed lovers.
Along came Zekai Fenerci, Godfather of the HipHop-scene in the Ruhrvalley Area (an urban sprawl of some 7 million people, and the cultural melting pot of Germany), suggesting a collaboration with some of Germany's finest streetdancers.
They were joined by the French Choreographer Lorca Renoux, former collaborator of Markus Michalowski in the award-winning production of "Nivellierung". He created with Samir Akika the company "Les petits poissons", resident artists at the Tanzhaus NRW, Düsseldorf. Lorca, himself a sprayer and former b-boy in the urban ghettos of Montreuil, outside Paris, also trained at the Folkwang School and then went on to dance with Pina Bausch. In his person he embodied the connection between street culture and high-brow performing arts.
RUMBLE has, since its premiere in September 2003, taken its audiences by storm wherever it went. It won the major prize at Germany's biggest fringe festival THEATERZWANG and completely side-stepped the idea that dance-theatre is some niche activity enjoyed by a few intellectuals but simply a physical, funny, thrilling and awe-inspiring way to do good theatre for a broad audience.
RUMBLE has so far toured to Ireland, Holland, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Scotland, Zimbawe and of course all over Germany. At the 2004 Edinburgh fringe festival it had a 3 week sell-out run and won a Fringe First, Herald Angel and the Guardians best physical theatre award.
Renegade Theatres new productions STREETLIFE and "41" have played to great critical acclaim and are starting to tour as well.