"A city dances: Le sacre du printemps" – a dance theatre project of the Kulturfabrik Hoyerswerda
A group stands together as a crowd. People take off their suit jackets, roll over each other, reach into the air. Falling, grabbing, standing up, running, breathing. Standing their ground - as an individual, as a trio, as a group.
Cut in between are small films with interviews of project participants, women and men from Hoyerswerda. Stories of failure, performance pressure, the fight for their own dreams.
"Le Sacre du printemps" by Igor Stravinsky - a play that tells the story of how, in archaic times, a village kills a young girl from its own ranks every spring in order to appease the gods and secure a fruitful harvest.
Seemingly an outdated story. But in truth, we constantly give sacrifices. We are sacrificing our democracy in favour of the global neoliberal market. We sacrifice our humanity, our empathy in favour of competition and performance pressure. We dehumanize ourselves, sacrifice our dreams and treat ourselves like machines that we constantly improve - to make money. The neoliberal ideal of a modern human being is a robot: infinitely productive, never sick, completely predictable.
The moment we can no longer withstand this pressure to function like a robot, we face devaluation: by others, by the system, and by ourselves. We live in brutal times. Those who fell through the cracks, just stay outside. Those who have lost, are simply losers.
Against this backdrop, this production of "Le sacre" shows what theatre can do.
It shows people not as functioning robots, but as breathing beings.
It shows bodies and movement that carry emotion, humanity and desire.
It shows theatre as a means to maintain our humanity in these hard and confusing times.
We are all bearers of personal, regional, European and global history. We all run, stumble, reach into the air and stand up again.
It seems as if the dancers from Hoyerswerda are wanderers between worlds: Our present one and the archaic world with its spring sacrifices. The myth is closing in on us: through dance and through the stories and faces of the interview partners.
The choreography of the Kulturfabrik Hoyerswerda captivates with powerful contrasts and a precise handling of space, light and movement. It captivates with highly present performers, who not only perform the movements, but give them individuality with their stage presence, their experiences and the level of their awareness. It captivates through a unique approach to the story.
Theatre can be empowerment. It can oppose the image of robots with an image of humans: humans as feeling, compassionate and longing beings who are exposed to requirements but do not blindly succumb to them, but instead grow with them and deliberately build a community.
Thus, the project "Le Sacre du Printemps" of the Kulturfabrik Hoyerswerda, under the direction of Dirk Lienig, does not only invites us to dance: It invites us to live.
On behalf of the entire jury, I would like to congratulate you on winning the Saxon Amateur Theatre Prize 2015!
Sebastian Eggers, Berlin, October 2015