11th Festival 2001



(»Body search«)

06 – 11 November 2001
(Prolog: 03 – 05 November 2001)

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

Once again – or perhaps for the first time – you are holding a programme from euro-scene Leipzig in your hands. Welcome and thanks for visiting (lat. visitatio = »inspection«). You may also expect professional and experimental theatre from euro-scene in its eleventh year, theatre that is outside of the norm, provocative and poetic, unheard of and unseen.

»Body search« is the by-word and it means theatre and dance in whose midst there is the body, vulnerable and powerful, aggressive and touching, used in a virtuoso manner and placed on a stage. This is theatre that demands the full commitment of dancers, actors or performer all the way to physical and mental exhaustion. As with a body search, there's no »as if« and there's no faking.

We experience the fact that we are human beings when we experience our physicality. We might say, as long as we experience our physicality, when we think about the fact that we are continually supplying ourselves with improved technical instruments, fettering ourselves more and more to machines. If you want to be more flexible, more dynamic and efficient, you can't avoid using cars, cellular telephones and pc's. The body is networked with a great variety of technologies and information systems. This is a »symbiosis« that we ourselves are disappearing into. And while we can look on with this process as if the millions of years of evolutionary history were running off every hour before our eyes. We develop a spectacular interest in the »original nature« of the body, even in its flesh. In the great cities of the world, people gather to gigantic body spectacles of Love Parades. The world championships in boxing are the ratings hit in television, the plastinator Gunther von Hagens has been presenting his exhibition »Body Worlds« for years and the happening artist Wolfgang Flatz has himself hung on a crane with his blood dripping down. In spite of all this, our body doesn't leave us alone and it is very useful as a fascinating metaphor. When we're talking about the body, the individual is addressed just as much as the community, the whole social organism.

That's enough of theory. Our festival is supposed to be a place where artists can bring their ideas on our humanity into play. Guest performances orbit this theme like satellites, although they cannot be reduced to them. Nearer to or further away, they assert their own artistic energy and are rich and lively theatre. And therefore we experience virtuosity and precision in the choreographics of Angelin Preljocaj, the vulnerability of the flesh with »Rough Ride«, the difference between man and machine in »FCP – training method…«, intellectual objectivity with De Daders, animalistic energy in the theatre of Ultima Vez and, finally, sexuality and obsession with »pigg in hell«. The theme of body language appears with Jo Fabian, and brilliant stories told with the body await you with Oskaras Koršunovas Theatre and with Diquis Tiquis. It ranges all the way to artists such as Franko B and Ron Athey who look upon a radical operation on their own bodies as a work of art. The breakdancer Ernesg. This ranges from the body not just being on the stage, but also making it their topic, thrown into the struggle and risked.

With the festival's 11th year, you will not only encounter a number of German premiers and two world premiers. euro-scene is looking more and more upon itself as a producer of theatre and a partner. As an organiser of international guest performances, we see that we are interconnected into a network as a potential link between local and international developments. For instance, we consciously selected the form of co-production with euro-scene Leipzig's second own production »FCP« with Takashi Iwaoka's production. While euroscene Leipzig, TanzWerkstatt Berlin and Podewil Berlin are providing financial resources, the LOFFT is contributing its human and spatial resources. We also supported the latest work of Jo Fabian as a co-producer. It would not have come about without the joint commitment of the Festspielhaus Hellerau, Hebbel-Theater Berlin and euro-scene Leipzig. The 24-hour exhibition »body/check« is bringing two organisers together, the theatre festival and the GalerieRieRiemann. However, it is also linking up international guest performances and what Leipzig's artists have to offer, namely theatre and the fine arts, the Schauspielhaus and their anarchistic ideas.

In the end, I would like to say something about the beginning. The festival will be beginning before it is opened. The »Prologue« at the first November weekend will be offering you the premier of its own production and a wonderful spectacle of theatre from Hungary that encompasses time and space. We wanted to give it time to develop and this is the reason why we are showing both productions before the festival opens officially on November 6. That is something remarkable, or we might better say it's a trick. You'll be able to enjoy the productions and the theatre of the opening in the Schauspielhaus. The festival would not be possible without the support of the sponsors, with the trusting co-operation in the festival's office and without the many comments and remarks from the discussions with artists and our colleagues. Therefore, I would like to thank Ann-Elisabeth Wolff and the members of the advisory artistic committee, and in the same sense to André Agterof, Heike Albrecht, Martina Bako, Ulrike Becker, Péter Máté, Nikki Milican, Maria Magdalena Schwaegermann, André Theriault and Thilo Wittenbecher. No less than 16 productions and festival projects are awaiting you on the next pages and from November 3 to 11 on the city's stages. Let the images and ideas affect you. They are only suggestions. Not all of them are enjoyable. But I hope that none of them will leave you without an impression. I hope you like them.

Michael Freundt
Artistic Direction and Festival Programme 2001

Leipzig, 31.08.2001