In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

The spirits of the giants shall be like clouds, which shall oppress, corrupt, fall, contend, and bruise upon earth. They shall cause lamentation. No food shall they eat; and they shall be thirsty; they shall be concealed, and shall not rise up against the sons of men, and against women; for they come forth during the days of slaughter and destruction (…)
They may look like angels, but they are hungry ghosts all the same.

Hungry ghosts can be found in Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Sikh, and Jain texts.
They are usually represented as the remnants of the dead who are afflicted with insatiable desire, hunger or thirst as a punishment for misdeed or evil intent carried out in their lifetimes. A form of hungry ghost can be found in Old Testament Apocrypha as well. Mentioned in the Book of Enoch, that contains ancient Hebrew myths on the origins of demons and giants, fallen angels, the Flood, the prophecy about the thousand-year reign of the Messiah, and about the approaching Apocalypse, it also describes the Nephilim, or the Grigori, meaning the Watchers . The Nephilim survived the Flood as disembodied spirits condemned to stay on earth for an eternity of insatiable hunger and thirst. They are described as countless soldiers of human appearance, “their size being greater than that of great giants”, and as “the Grigori, who with their prince Satanail rejected the Lord of light”. Some “went down on to earth from the Lord’s throne”, married women and “befouled the earth with their deeds”. The Grigori and their offspring, created by the union of Grigori with humans, wander the earth endlessly yearning for food though they have no mouths to eat or drink with. In modern psychology, hungry ghosts are a metaphor for mental distress, feeling of hollowness, and addiction. Hungry ghosts are monstrous souls troubled by powerful desires they can never satisfy. They haunt people born with a feeling of void and insufficiency. A mental suffering and deep sadness resulting from the feeling of being unloved and living a life detached from others, devoid of fulfillment, awareness and meaning. Tormented by rage and desire, they are unfortunate souls of great violence and hidden depth. They chase after an Ersatz to fill the emptiness inside them; it can be drinking, overeating, drug addiction, perfectionism. But it’s not hunger and thirst that they are suffering – it’s the hidden monsters of pain and fear, who are eating at them. Sometimes they are inherited from their ancestors, for our children inherit our shadows. This is about how stories live in our body, about the fallen angels and the origins of evil. *

Dance and Choreography Yoriko Maeno
Music Makoto Sakamoto, Katja Kettler & E.L.L.I.
Concept and stage direction Aneta Panek
Konzept und Regie Aneta Panek