Edited By Alexandra Kolb
Topics covered range across the political spectrum: from dance tendencies under fascism to the use of choreography for revolutionary socialist ends; from the capacity of dance to reflect the modern market economy to its function in campaigns for peace and justice. The book also contains a comprehensive introduction to the relations between dance and politics.
3 ‘Theatre has to become political again…’ Interview by Alexandra Kolb
Born in 1939 in St. Margarethen, Austria, Johann Kresnik established his career in neighbouring Germany. He has been a most prolific dance and theatre director, having choreographed and directed around one hundred full-length works. Kresnik is also perhaps the most politically outspoken – and belligerently criticised – representative of German dance theatre. His often extreme choreographic images have earned him epithets such as the enfant terrible and Berserker of the German dance scene. I met the choreographer, together with dramaturg and author Christoph Klimke, in Erfurt in April 2008, where Kresnik was directing a production of Maskenball (A Masked Ball). (See Figure 1.)
Kolb: How did your career in dance take off?1
Kresnik: It started totally by accident, as a walk-on at the Graz opera house. We had a meter-reader who frequently visited the opera and one time he said to me ‘Don’t you want to come with me?’ and I said ‘OK’. I was then about fifteen or sixteen. We saw Aida and I was totally amazed that something like that existed. From TV I knew the Prisoners’ Chorus and the Triumphal March and things like that. It all fascinated me. And then I heard that they were looking for walk-ons for a production of Sommernachtstraum (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at the Schlossberg in Graz, so I went along. There the manager and the Russian ballet-master saw me, and the ballet-master said ‘You come to me and we will do Jäger [sic:...
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