6th Festival 1996


»Vision Europa – dem Fremden eine Tür«

(»Vision Europe – an open door to the stranger«)

19 – 24 November 1996

(Preface to the printed programme – including conception of the festival)

euro-scene Leipzig intentionally by-passes the groomed park lanes of conventional theatre. Instead the festival searches in the thorny bushes of hidden pathways for those artists who, through their powerful individuality, stylistically break new trails and obstinately tackle the predicaments of our times.

Belgium is presently one of the leaders of avant-gardistic theatre, one speaks of a »Nouvelle vague flamande«. In 1992, the choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker was once already guest of euro-scene Leipzig with her »Rosas dances Rosas«. Now, this year, the completely different directors Jan Fabre and Alain Platel of Flanders will be presented for the first time in eastern Germany.

Alain Platel creates plays of great stylistic variety and of touching humanity. Despite depressive contemporary era references, he conveys hope of a better future in a marvellously relaxed and plain way. While Platel passionately embodies the »street's gracefulness«, Jan Fabre, one of the world-wide most prominent avant-garde directors, challenges via the smouldering glow behind a super-cooled »art world«. The actor star Hannelore Elsner guest appears with him in Leipzig. Tom Stromberg, the former theatre manager of TAT (Theater am Turm) – a theatre that fell victim to a catastrophic austerity measure in Frankfurt/Main – must be thanked for that mutual effort.

Three festival contributions with very different moods and genres from Montpellier, Amsterdam and Lugano devote themselves to the »night« topic. The intensive search for a serious, modern musical met with success in Copenhagen, Europe's Cultural Capital 1996. Eastern Europe is represented with two impressive productions from Budapest and Poznań. And then, for the first time in the new German states, S.O.A.P., the best-known independent German dance company, guest-plays alongside the refreshing Orphtheater from eastern Berlin. Schauspiel Leipzig is also involved with an unusual venue.

News beyond the agenda involve: an extension of the festival's framework, for the first time ever a subscription offer as well as a final party, and lastly a centrally located festival club in the Neue Szene. I herewith wholeheartedly thank not only the public donors and sponsors but also Schauspiel Leipzig and Oper Leipzig for their benevolent support.

The aim of our festival, namely to bring exciting international theatre to Leipzig, corresponds with this city's cosmopolitan attitude; with its university, trade fair, and great cultural tradition embodied in Europe's heartland. That is why I wish all members of the audience thrilling fun days and much enjoyment during euro-scene Leipzig 1996.

Ann-Elisabeth Wolff
Festival Director