The Japan Foundation
Performing Arts Network Japan
Archive Index Home
Nov. 27, 2014
Presenter  Topics
Steirischer herbst opens (Sept. 26 – Oct. 19, 2014)
Steirischer herbst is a multidisciplinary arts festival held each autumn in Graz, Austria. The 2014 festival’s theme is “I prefer not to ... share!” This is a quote from the Herman Melville novel Bartleby, about a young man who continues to hold his job at a company even though he refuses to do any work he is given. The novel is set in a suburb of Graz.
The opening highlight of the festival was a performance night titled All Tomorrow’s Parties I + II by the artists’ collective Needcompany headed by Jan Lauwers and Grace Ellen Barkey. In this production was developed specially for steirischer herbst and geared to the city of Graz and it combines drama, dance, music, text, stage art and plenty of video material.
The Nature Theater of Oklahoma presented the world premiere of the latest episode of its large-scale Life & Times musical project begun in 2009, titled Life and Times – Episode 6, while the also performed also be staging episodes 4.5 and 5. The artist’s collective machina eX presented machina excursion: Kingdom, a site-specific performance work set in the Graz suburb of Wildon that uses the simulation game format to create a theatrical adventure game in which the audience become players. Benjamin Verdonckha presented notallwhowanderarelost, a work utilizing props made by the artist himself and a tabletop theatre where he plays out stories using a crossover mix of performance, theater and visual art. In other works on the program, Árpád Schilling and his group known as Krétakör (chalk circle in English) present a satyrical work titled A Párt – Die Partei – The Party set in a small Hungarian town that largely shuts itself off from the outside world; and choreographer and performer Maria Hassabi presented her piece titled Premiere.
On the music program, pianist and conductor Marino Formenti, celebrated in reviews as the “Glenn Gould of contemporary music,” appears for the second time following his appearance in the 2010 festival with a work titled One to One that seeks – in private spaces provided by generous hosts who are open to experiments – direct contact and dialog with his vis-à-vis, developing out of it an entirely individual concert. There was also a workshop series named the “Autumn Academy” dealing with questions about forms of distancing.

Steirischer herbst means the festival of autumn in Steiermark. It has been held every autumn since 1968 in Graz, the capital of the Austrian state of Steiermark. It has one of the longest traditions as a comprehensive arts festival covering theater, music, architecture, literature, the visual arts and all other genres. Veronica Kaup-Hasler has been the artistic director from 2006 until 2014.
+steirischer herbst