The theme of this year’s performing arts program was the question, “How to get from here to there?” posed by the Indian artist collective Raqs Media in charge of the visual motif this time. And, opening the festival was the world premiere of
, a work created in collaboration between Spanish director Ang?lica Liddell and Korean film music composer Cho Young Wuk.
Among the world premieres produced by the festival, many had political themes. Christoph Marthaler, an artist known for his unique music, used music of Jewish composers persecuted by the Nazi regime in his project The Final Days: On the Eve
held at the Austrian Parliament. In a 120-hour project titled Commune of Truth. Reality-Machine
, German director Nicolas Stemann and a group of artists take a non-stop stream of news and translate it into theatrical energy. Austria’s Martin Kušej brings to the stage a trilogy titled In Agony (The Glembays / Galicia / In Agony)
by Miroslav Krleža, one of the most important Croatian authors of the 20th century, which explores European history through World War I. France’s Vivarium Studio led by Philippe Quesne presents a fantasy titled Swamp Club
, telling the story of a strange arts center in the middle of nowhere.
Other works on the program include Italian director Romeo Castellucci’s On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God
, the first work of his “J” trilogy dealing with the subject of Jesus; Robert Lepage presenting a new tetralogy with Playing Cards 1: Spades
; Brazilian director Christiane Jatahy offers a new interpretation of Strindberg’s novel in live performance and video with the work Julia
; multimedia artist Christian Marclay presents a visual concert named Everyday
; and Brazilian choreographer Bruno Beltrão’s Grupo de Rua, hailed as a philosophizing hip hop dancer, presents his dance work CRACKz
. From Japan, Akira Takayama and his group Port B join the program with performance Fukushima ? Epilogue?
staged as a field tour.
This is an international festival held since 1951 each May and June in Vienna on the largest scale of any Austrian festival. The venues include the MuseumsQuartier, Theater an der Wien, Wiener Konzerthaus and the Schauspielhaus, as well locations like markets and squares around the city, making virtually the entire city the festival’s stage. The programs feature operas and performing arts from around the world with leading directors, conductors and orchestras providing the latest in performing arts, with works presented in both classical styles and the newest productions, along with contemporary works in new staging. From 2014, the festival will come under new direction with the founder of the Kunsten Festival, Frie Leysen
serving as artistic director of the performing arts program.