Duration: 2 hours, no intermission
Notes: We recommend a minimum age of 18 to attend the performance. There is nudity and sexual acts in the play. We also note that stroboscopic effects are used in this performance.
“Death is not the worst thing that can happen to women.” – Loosely based on Plato
Conventionally, Dante’s Divine Comedy is divided into three sections: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. What heaven is for one might be hell for another – this divine comedy places heaven and hell all at once in the present moment, erasing the differentiation that we can find is so deeply rooted in our life and culture. For this show, Florentina Holzinger has brought together an all-female cast of performers of all ages and different physical, musical and athletic talents to bundle forces in an exploration of the human negotiation of life and death. Starting point is an 80-year-old dancer’s reflection on her life and century-spanning career and the planning and rehearsing of her funeral within this divine comedy. Assisted by two dance teachers, she sends the performers cascading through casting, dance class and training settings, exploring the sujet of the medieval ‘Dance of Death/Totentanz’, which was revived by German expressionist dancers in the 1920s. Inspired by this visual art and dance motive, the performers go on a journey to mirror and explore tensions within their own reality in relationship to gender, aging, sexuality and death. A possible spirituality of the 21st century: In an operatic celebration of life and death, music and dance join forces as art practices that aim to transcend.
This Divine Comedy digests humanity’s struggle with its short lifespan, the dualistic relationship of Thanatos and Eros and an (inefficient) inter-generational transfer of knowledge and wisdom. The life of a dancer as a journey of self-discovery and preparation for one’s own finitude: training, self-optimization, endeavours of beautification and health improvement – in competition and cooperation – aim to inspire the best in humanity despite its shortcomings. Death becomes her!
studied choreography at the School for New Dance Development (SNDO) in Amsterdam. After many well-received cooperations with Vincent Riebeek (Kein Applaus für Scheiße and Schönheitsabend, among others) and several solo projects, she worked on a trilogy about body discipline, with which she is still on tour: Recovery, Apollon and, most recently, TANZ.
Dangerous stunts, spectacular circus acts, splatter scenes or extreme martial arts – Florentina Holzinger’s work can be situated at the intersection of high culture and so-called entertainment culture, while it can also be read as a continuous feminist manifesto. TANZ, which premiered at TQW in 2019, was the only Austrian production to be invited to Berliner Theatertreffen in 2020 and was also awarded the Nestroy for best director. Holzinger’s Étude for an Emergency. Composition for Ten Bodies and a Car was shown at Münchner Kammerspiele in 2020. As of 2021/22, Florentina Holzinger will be part of René Pollesch’s artistic team at Volksbühne Berlin.