Friday, August 14, 2020

Theater meets digital world: New festival in Darmstadt

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Acting and opera, music and poetry meet digital arts: at the end of September the new festival “Performing Arts Digital” premiered in Darmstadt.

Art has many colors: the logo of the first PAD festival in Darmstadt.
(Photo: Academy of Performing Arts)

DARMSTADT – (job). When public culture had to pause due to corona caution, theaters discovered the digital channels. They were mainly used as a storage, online and communication medium to keep in touch with the audience. But the combination of performing and digital arts offers greater content and aesthetic opportunities: They should be explored at the “PAD 01” festival, which begins in Darmstadt on September 30 and lasts until October 4. With the support of the Kulturfonds Frankfurt-Rhein / Main, the Academy of the Performing Arts in Bensheim is developing an extensive program, some of which will be experienced online, but can also be experienced live in different locations in the city, the Academy promises. The website www.performingarts.digital still only shows outlines; the participating artists and their projects will be published on them in the coming weeks; The site is to grow into an “interactive stage” and present the artistic works from the fields of theater, opera, acoustic art and film in connection with innovative technologies, according to a statement by the academy, which lists “top-class projects by national and international” artists Artist promises. The Academy writes that her contributions are experimenting with formats that establish new narrative styles and realign the role of the viewer. They are devoted to current social and political topics and lead the viewer directly into the digitally expanded art of the present. They are experiences along the border between reality and virtual space. The audience becomes an observer, an actor and part of the production.

A festival location will be the Catholic inner-city church of St. Ludwig. There, the artist Werner Cee stages his sound installation “When Weather was Wildlife”, which is based on an award-winning SWR radio play and reflects the attempts of people to intervene in the weather. In addition to the sounds, the Darmstadt version offers a live concert and the “Cloud Songs” written by Bettina Obrecht, which can be interpreted by a puppeteer and called up using a QR code on a cell phone.

In the Centralstation, the “Cyberräuber” ensemble will encounter artificially created tones, visual worlds and text in its play “Prometheus unbound”: an experiment between artificial intelligence and real theater. A contribution by the artist Evelyn Hriberšek will span the arch from the ancient myth of Eurydice to the present in the “Earlstreet”. The Gesamtkunstwerk mixes art installation, musical theater and computer game, in which the viewer is invited to an individual, interactively controlled journey.

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