10th Festival 2000

Conception


»Abschied und Aufbruch«

(»Farewell and Awakening«)

Theater and dance from the nine European capitals of culture

3 – 11 November 2000


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


I. Ten years of festival – that means a farewell to ten years of life to European theatre development, one's own and that of the city. We remember vividly the euphoria of German reunification during the first festival in 1991 and the tragic death of the founder of the euro-scene Leipzig, Matthias Renner, in October 1993, the »avant-garde« discussions of the early days and the numerous meetings the festival initiated. All in all 122 guest performances were shown among 225 productions during the past 10 years.

Since then the euro-scene Leipzig has gained in influence, taking the name of Leipzig all over Europe. Its financial security, however, requires an increasing amount of »back-breaking work« year after year. Despite the support for which I thank all of you here, I hope for a growing understanding among responsible parties, in order to make the survival of the festival even more certain in future than it has been until now.

II. We must also bid farewell to the work of an artist to whom the euro-scene Leipzig feels especially closely connected: Alain Platel. Unusually, he is withdrawing at the peak of success in »marketing« his art. His guest performances have accompanied our festival since 1996. Now his last production, »Allemaal Indiaan«, is going to open our festival this year and will once more give artistic expression to the hope for humanness, juxtaposed with sorrow and violence.

Alain Platel is also responsible for the conception of our popular competition »Das beste deutsche Tanzsolo« (»The Best German dance solo«), which will take place for the forth time and under new artistic leadership this year.

III. Ten years of festival – that also means an awakening to new regions: productions from the nine European capitals of culture 2000 have been invited, some of which will receive their German premieres. They should be looked at from the point of view of interculturality. Here we will again see the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, Bologna, and the company Mossoux & Bonté, Brussels. The first production of our own, »Speicherung« (»Storage«), with three Leipzig directors, is devoted to the topic of utopia and sees itself as an endorsement of the independent theatrical scene of our city.

IV. And the awakening leads above all to new shores: In February 2002 the euro-scene Leipzig will organize the next Tanzplattform Deutschland (Dance Platform Germany), the most important dance festival of the Federal Republic. This is only possible for me due to extremely fortunate cooperation with my colleague Michael Freundt, who will take on the artistic direction of the 11th euro-scene Leipzig in 2001 and will surely give the festival fresh stimulus.

We also have him to thank for the wonderful book »Curiosity and Passion«, which has been published on the occasion of our jubilee, and which says »The festival shall be a feeling of exhilaration«. May everybody be overcome with this exhilaration, and may our festival be a stimulating, cheerful celebration, not a resting point, but an exciting stop on our journey to the future events …


Ann-Elisabeth Wolff
Festival Director