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© Walter Lauterer



World Premiere: October 17th 2000

Performances: October 19th – November 12th 2000 8 pm

Revival 2001: February 15th – 25th 2001 8 pm

Director: Eva Brenner

Stage/Installation: Walter Lauterer

Dramaturgy: Eva Wallensteiner

Assistance: Corinna Sommerhäuser

Music: Macelo Gama

Musicdramaturgy: Ulrike Aistleitner

Performing artists: Beate Göbel, Clemens Matzka, Maren Rahmann, Stephanie Waechter

Departing from 9 unpublished poems of noted Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann, the ensemble will create a one-hour "physical-spatial theatrical association" dealing with the main motifs of the overarching topic of "PHANTOM: LOVE" (Four-year cycle of world-premieres in collaboration with Austiran writers): yearning for love, loss of love, love and personal identity. The cycle was opened recently with the March 2000 world-premiere of a text by renowned contemporary writer, Marlene Streeruwitz, and directed by Mary Overlie, New York.

Simultaneous with the new performance which as commemoration will take place on the day of the author's death in 1973, Bachmann's heirs are set to publish the full collection of last poems with Piper Publishing House, Munich, and presenting the new volume at Austria's National Library in Vienna (Oct. 12). Bachmann's poems all stem from the last five years of her life and are characterized by a menacing and gradually approaching sense of death, a faint nostalgic lyricism, a struggle for love in the face of despair, illness, and solitude. The poet writes for her life with her feelings and thoughts oscillating between dark, heavy images of death, and colorful, jubilant states of hopefullness. Those texts call out the message that as long as one is writing, nothing is lost, as long as one is performing, future is possible.

A white, empty space is shared by actors and audiences alike projecting a symbolic order: a giant central seasaw signifies a sculptural playing arena. The performers begin sitting on rows of small benches amongst the spectators designating the field of social life. Every so often and guided by imagistic emotional stuctures, they escape into the centre, onto the seesaw which solicits unusual movements and turns of playful ups and downs. It associates a borderless life where the weight of conventions are thrown over board. Into a stricly choreographed, repetitive blocking of the character's "outer" social life unbound and uncontrolled forces of desire are breaking through, the playful stream of life seeks its way. While following very personal visions of the texts main themes - and accompanied each by Marcelo Gama's sound-track laced with motifs from Richard Wagner's death aria from "Tristan and Isolde" - the actors switch back and forth between these two worlds, an "outer" and "inner" spatial reality. The poems are acted out alternatingly in choruses, solo, duo, trio, or quartet.

What is at stake is the longed-for land of freedom and of love. In her poem "Dissolution", Bachmann names the vision by its name: "Terra nova,... ultima speranza".

With thanks to Verlag Piper, Munich, and Bachmann's Heirs for the Rights to perform these texts.

Supported in part by: Kulturamt der Stadt Wien, Austrian Chancellery/Department of Art, handmade Strings by Thomastik-Infeld, private sponsors.


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