Ruhrtriennale 15-17

Background information on the Triennial

»Be embraced!« that is what Johan Simons, artistic director of the Ruhrtriennale 2015-2017, and his team call to the people of the Ruhr area: the festival of 2015 to 2017 embarks on a search for the sparks of the gods (of knowledge). Dutchman Simons is well known to Ruhrtriennale audiences. From Sentimenti, his first production at the Ruhrtriennale in 2003, to the »Seid umschlungen« programme, there is a nice arc: At the center, man and his feelings, and the Ruhr area, to which the festival will forge new connections over the next three years. It starts with Ritournelle, the long night of electronic pop music. The line-ups of 2015-2017 attract new groups of spectators. With the first music theater evening, a venue of colossal dimensions is added as a Ruhrtriennale venue in 2015: Johan Simons stages Pasolini’s Accattone in the disused coal mixing hall of the Lohberg colliery in Dinslaken. The dimensions of the hall make people seem small and insignificant; the cantatas by J.S. Bach provide comfort. The Jahrhunderthalle Bochum is again the central venue of the festival. The studio of Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout builds an expansive festival center on the forecourt of the Jahrhunderthalle and gives it the title The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. In the mixing plant of the Zollverein coking plant in Essen, a radical aesthetic approach to Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo follows: Susanne Kennedy transports visitors in seven installative rooms into states of expectation and waiting, fright and liberation. Those who wanted to see Luigi Nono’s Prometeo at the Kraftzentrale in Duisburg had to walk through dense fog beforehand: To lose orientation? To sensitize the sense of hearing to the tragedy of hearing? Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, the great Belgian dancer and choreographer, is a regular at the Ruhrtriennale. The source of her choreographies is always music; in 2015, a text now makes a very present appearance: The Way of Love and Death by Cornet Christoph Rilke. Johan Simons’ Rheingold in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum is one of the most popular performances of the festival. The thesis is: With Rheingold, Wagner tells the story of the Ruhr region.