Editorial January/February 2020

Editorial January/February 2020

Dear audience, dear artists,

we start into the new year with a dense programme, featuring a new thematic focus and some politically explosive works.

The first piece shown in 2020 is the documentary performance Pleasant Island by Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere about the island state of Nauru, located near Australia. They tell its incredible history, which, in the interplay of wrong ecological and political decisions, may be symptomatic of some developments in the Western world.

Alessandro Sciarroni, winner of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2019 Venice Dance Biennale, presents his latest ensemble piece Augusto, and Doris Uhlich has created stuck, an intimate work for and with two well-established protagonists of the left-wing cultural scene. This premiere starts off Remember!, our current thematic focus, whose featured pieces take a look into the past. Elizabeth Ward’s Dancing’s Demons, for instance, which deals with the complex political (ghost) stories of early modern dance. Lectures by philosopher Guillaume Paoli and dramaturge Goran Sergej Pristaš revolve around the connections between looking back and looking towards the future, between utopia and poetic imagination.

The great Deborah Hay, one of the most important choreographers of US-American contemporary dance, presents two performances in this context: a new group piece entitled Animals on the Beach, and a solo performed by herself. And who doesn’t remember JohnPlayerSpezial, the legendary alter ego of Viennese performance artist Barbara Kraus. Fans like us (and, hopefully, you too!) can look forward to celebrating his 20th birthday extensively and excessively in February.

Moreover, Jakob Lena Knebl will offer individual Coaching sessions in mid-February and, at the end of the series, will stage in Wir sind Henkel a tableau vivant “between fetish, voyeurism and wit” (Der Standard) together with Markus Pires Mata, in which Austria’s strongest bodies merge with garish design pieces from the 1970s, an era drenched in utopian ideas.

We look forward to celebrating and remembering together!

Bettina Kogler (Artistic Direction & Programme) & Christa Spatt (Programme)