9th Festival 1999


»Das neue Jahrtausend im Blick«

(»The New Millenium in View«)

2 – 7 November 1999

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

Time, it is a strange thing

»The time is out of joint. O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!«

      William Shakespeare »Hamlet« (Act I, Scene V)

»Time is the horizon of existence.«

      Martin Heidegger

»Not time, but the moment as that in time which does not belong to it, communicates with eternity, in which alone perfect joy has its measure.«

      Ernst Bloch

»Time is a remarkable thing. First we are heedless, it is as nothing! Then suddenly we feel nothing else. It is all around us, our souls are filled with it, our faces shows it, the mirror shows it - all my veins feel its throbbing and there, between you and me - it flows in silence, trickling like sands in the hourglass. Sometimes I arise at the dead of night and take the clocks and stop them every one.«

      Hugo von Hofmannsthal, »Der Rosenkavalier« (»The knight of the rose«)

I. The 9th euro-scene Leipzig – a time to catch our breath before the jubilee in the year 2000? Hardly! The millennium is rushing towards its end, and thoughts are revolving more than usual around being and the progress of time. The utopias that have always been connected to the 21st century are becoming unusable, and it is certain that we will not effect any sudden changes in ourselves. But new visions come into existence, and theater is always one of the places where they see the light of day.

This festival programme was born under the burden, but also under the desire, of the high demands that this millennium year brings with it: a brilliant, wordless »Faust«; two jewels among the greats of European theater; three areas of concentration (Oscar Wilde's »Salomé«, Lyon as Leipzig's partner city, and theater in »Live Art« style); for the first time a prologue; for the third time the competition »Das beste deutsche Tanzsolo« (»The Best German dance solo«); an extensive fringe programme; altogether seven German premieres; 15 different productions; 30 performances – thus no mention of a time to catch our breath.

II. Theater time: There are pieces that already seem old when they come on stage (these we of course do not invite), and there are others that radiate a sense of the times despite their age (these we invite). Two of the latter are featured as the opening and closing pieces: an overwhelming »Phaedra« by the Romanian director Silviu Purcarete and »May B« by Maguy Marin from Lyon, one of the most performed dance productions of Europe.

Lifetime – stage time: The young generation plays itself in a crazy, yearning, hectic and absurd world – »Live Art«, in which stage and life are one. Oscar Wilde preserves the classical unity of time and place in his steamily erotic drama; by contrast, »Faust« hurries through an entire life in a presentation length of 75 minutes.

III. euro-scene Leipzig, which has become one of the most important avant-garde theater festivals of Europe, is already in the middle of preparations for the year 2000 jubilee. Our tiny team will hopefully preserve its strength for it: Beate Fischer and Helga Müller have been busily at work for a long time; for about the last year their work has been gratifyingly enriched by the wonderful artistic collaboration of Michael Freundt and the sensitive technical direction of Bernd Gengelbach.

I express my sincere thanks to all who have made this euro-scene Leipzig possible and wish our audience a terrific festival.

Ann-Elisabeth Wolff
Festival Director