Germany: World Theatre Festival
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From 30 June to 17 July nearly 400 artists from all over the globe have been invited to present their work at the Theater der Welt Festival in Mülheim an der Ruhr and Essen. Since it began in 1981 Theater der Welt has developed into the most important international festival for the performing arts in Germany.
The Theater der Welt artists come from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Oceania. They live in mega-cities, come from emerging nations, natural paradises and crisis regions. They work alone or in a collective as directors, choreographers, performers, dancers or musicians. Some are well-known greats, others are performing for the first time in Europe. Even if they are very different, they all have one thing in common, they share with us the time we live in.
Theater der Welt offers a unique opportunity to connect with artists, projects and companies from Asia:
- Pichet Klunchun - Bangkok
- Faifai - Tokyo
- Weng Hui, Wu Wenguang, Feng Dehua - Beijing
- Daisuke Miura - Tokyo
- Eri Mefri - Padang
- Brave New Worlds - project linking Guangzhou and Kinshasa
- Lav Diaz - Manila
- Kok Heng Leun, Ho Tzu Nyen, The Observatory - Singapore
Theater der Welt believes in the individual personality of the artist and views the contemporaneous as the language that connects all cultures. Contemporary art is free from aesthetic conventions and moves along the interface between genres and cultural traditions. The driving power is the artist's personality and his or her individual imagination. These Theater der Welt artists are not representatives of their culture. They do not stand for the traditions and conflicts of their homeland, however much they might grapple with them. They stand and speak for themselves. They unify the radical search for new forms and ways of working, for a language of the here and now.
Essen and Mülheim
Theater der Welt in Mülheim and Essen reveals quite how diverse contemporary art is, how alive and full of surprises. More than 30 productions work on the interface between theatre, dance, opera, music, visual arts and performance. The performances take place in classical theatre spaces as well as in industrial buildings on the land around the Zeche Zollverein, a one-time colliery, in inner-city Essen, in a manufacturer's villa in Mülheim. Some groups are developing their productions on site in Mülheim und Essen, nearly half of the productions are premieres: in total ten world, six European and nine German premieres.
A Festival on the Move
Theater der Welt is a festival on the move. Since its first incarnation in 1981, the festival has taken place every three years in another city, another region of Germany, with another artistic director. In this year of the European Capital of Culture, Theater der Welt is breaking its three-year cycle. Only two years since its last season in 2008 in Halle, the festival has accepted the invitation from the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010, Theater an der Ruhr and Schauspiel Essen.
Programme Director Frie Leysen
For the first time in the thirty-year history of Theater der Welt, not only the programme participants but even the programme director is an international artist. In 1994 Frie Leysen founded the multi-disciplinary Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. As its long-standing director, she turned the Kunstenfestivaldesarts into one of the most influential international festivals in Europe.
Theater der Welt – A festival of the ITI
The first Theater der Welt took place in 1981 in Cologne, initiated by the German centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). As a non-governmental organisation under the auspices of UNESCO, the ITI champions the free development of the performing arts and diversity of forms of expression at a national and international level.