Twisted feet, snapped heads, jarring, abrupt movements, rhythmic stomping and trembling. In the end, death by exhaustion, the staged sacrifice for the heathen sun god. Dancing – excessive, powerful, disturbing.
The premiere of “Le Sacre du Printemps” at the Parisian Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on 29 May 1913 shocked audiences. Vaslav Nijinsky’s choreography and Igor Stravinsky’s music created one of the greatest scandals in 20th-century dance history. Performed on the eve of World War I, the ballet uncannily foreshadowed the slaughter on the battlefields: “Le Sacre du Printemps” – a dance over trenches.
One hundred years later, an international and interdisciplinary conference will address the special role that “Le Sacre du Printemps” played in dance modernity and as a cultural-historical phenomenon. The debate will focus on the aspects of victims and sacrifice, the relationship between abstraction and ornamentation, and the peculiar interweave of modernism and primitivism. What exactly caused the uproar at the premiere in 1913 and what relevance does the piece have today?
The conference is embedded in an extensive event programme which includes reconstructions of earlier choreographies and contemporary versions of “Le Sacre du Printemps”. The scenographer Detlef Weitz has created a video installation for the occasion, which will be shown in the rooms of Radialsystem V. With its call for choreographic pieces highlighting “Le Sacre du Printemps”, the HAU Hebbel am Ufer shall present a selection of young, contemporary approaches to the theme “Dance over Trenches”.
HAU Hebbel am Ufer - OPEN CALL
HAU Hebbel am Ufer is initiating an open call for choreographic projects regarding Le Sacre du Printemps. We invite young choreographers resident in Germany to send us a proposal for a new staging with their own perspective on this classic.
The proposal should include a short project description (maximum three pages) and a CV of the choreographer. The artists can choose one of the two parts of the original composition (I: “The Adoration of the Earth” or II: “The Sacrifice”) as the basis for their staging. The performance should last no longer than 15 minutes. The project description should formulate the artistic approach by directly engaging with Nijinsky’s choreography and describe the contemporary relevance of the topics chosen. “For every image of the past” as Walter Benjamin wrote in his essay “On the Concept of History,” “that is not recognized by the present as one of its own concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably.”
Ten of the proposed choreographies will be chosen by jury. They will be performed as part of a series at HAU Hebbel am Ufer. Alongside a small honorarium (max 1.000 Euro), HAU will also work with choreographers to make a rehearsal space available and will provide technical and artistic support. Following the initial performances, one of these works will be developed further into a full-evening program, co-produced by HAU Hebbel am Ufer.
Please send proposals in German or English by July 7, 2013, to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The members of the jury are:
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Brandstetter - Institut für Theaterwissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin
Ricardo Carmona – Dance Curator HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
Laurent Chétouane – Choreographer and Stage Director
Kerstin Evert - Artistic Direction K3 – Zentrum für Choreographie, Hamburg
Madeline Ritter - Direction Tanzfonds/ diehl+ritter gUG
54 young artist groups applied to our call. The spectrum of entries covered a wide range, from working with socio-political references to engaging with the specific qualities of the musical and choreographic material. The ideas selected are fascinating for their unflinching and serious ways of approaching the canonical piece, their originality, and their pointed perspectives.
We are pleased to announce that the jury has selected the following works for the events:
- Marcela Giesche
- Jorge Hoyos and Nir Vidan
- Milla Koistinen
- Melanie Lane
- Adam Linder
- Lea Moro
- Kenji Ouellet
- Tian Rotteveel
- Kareth Schaffer
- Netta Yerushalmy
We would like to thank all the applicants for the time, thought, and work that they invested in the concepts they submitted, and we’re looking forward to the presentation of the works in mid November.