"Please Take a Seat"

Project Direction, Concept and Staging

Helmi Vent

Performers (Cast 1987)

Ulrike Christian, Thomas Heuer, Ursula Demarmels, Daniel Erismann, Katharina Grill, Cornelia König, Silke Kreuzer, Markus Kuchenbuch, Susanne Rebholz, Dietmar Rudolf, Barbara Schönewolf, Irene Schwappach, Barbara Stieber

Sound Montage

Helmi Vent

Location

Großes Studio at the University Mozarteum Salzburg

Performances

29 June 1985; 05 and 06 June 1987

Guest Performances

28 April 1987, University of Music Köln (Germany)
09 May 1987, Theater Dachauer Straße, München (Germany)


1985-87

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A piece to illuminate positions
DanceMusicLaboratory, University Mozarteum Salzburg
Salzburg (Austria), Köln and München (Germany) 1985 and 1987

About the Piece

The Bizarre Dance of the Chair Creatures

It was bizarre, insect-like creatures that first appeared on the stage of the large studio: dancers (or gymnasts) hidden like snails under a shell of chairs, crawling like beetles under their protective armor or hovering like dragonflies with wings made of – chairs. The chair as the leitmotiv for an idiosyncratic performance lasting about 40 minutes; the theme: "Please take a seat" .

A group of students from the Orff Institute chose an original theme for their performance on Tuesday and Wednesday, an exposition in dance and gymnastics of what happens when one takes a seat. An elegant lady sat gracefully still, a gentleman rocked nonchalantly, another kept jumping up nervously – we heard typical sounds, continually recurring like leitmotifs. In between: original sequences, insistent allusions to both everyday and bizarre scenes. Living chairs do not always react the way the people about to sit on them expect – the varied spectrum ranged from the overbearing command "Sit!" to the wheedling "Do sit here with me!". One can be buddy-buddy with one’s chair, or place ten chairs one on top of the other and, seated upon this improvised throne, become inevitably isolated and lonely. The haughty lady did not appear to enjoy the comical "chair boogie-woogie". [...] This collective composition created under the guidance of Helmi Vent was the first part of a dance evening that was enthusiastically received by a mainly youthful audience ...

by Reinhard Kriechbaum. Salzburger Nachrichten, 07 May 1987

Conquest of the Chairs

For the second part of the evening, Helmi Vent had staged a group composition that abounded with humorous ideas. The integration of chairs into this scenic performance, which told the story of both the discovery and the conquest of the chair as something to sit on, involved a wide variety of striking effects.
The Orff ensemble imaginatively demonstrated how versatile chairs can be: from a ball to an airplane to a wormlike creature crawling slowly and deliberately across the stage, the scenarios they developed out of this everyday object gave the audience the gift of amusement as well as food for thought.

by Sabine Möseneder. Salzburger Nachrichten, 01 July 1985

Gallery

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