Helmi Vent Helmi Vent

1989-90 "The Unanswered Question"

More information

Project Direction, Concept and Staging

Helmi Vent


Chris Amrhein, Annette Birg, Thomas Heuer, Ruth Derschmidt, Gabriele Demuth, Maria Fritsch, Christine Hauser, Jutta Hilfrich, Barbara Koch, Johanna Korgel, Beate Krec, Irmgard Kristanell, Kirsten Lang, Arabella Lorenz, Michaela Papenberg, Martina Peter-Bolaender, Dagmar Rüdiger, Barbara Schönewolf, Johanna Spörk, Georg Veitl


Großes Studio of the University Mozarteum Salzburg


26 May 1988
28 June 1990 (Revised version)

Guest Performance

30 October 1990 in the frame of the "3. Europäisches Hochschul-Tanztheaterfestival - Tanz und Identität" (3rd European University Dance Theater Festival - Dance and Identity), University Bochum (Germany)

A Performance project based on the music of the same name by Charles Ives as a leitmotif
DanceMusicLaboratory, Salzburg (Austria) and Bochum (Germany) 1990

About the Piece

Salzburg Dancers Articulate Exciting Search for Identity

So far, the festival motto Dance and Identity has been best reflected in the piece by the dance-music workshop of the Orff Institute in Salzburg. The group, under the direction of Helmi Vent, staged the composition The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives.

The piece begins in reality. A table, two cups on the table, a woman and a man. The woman is left alone and re-experiences phases of her life. The audience is drawn into both dreamed and real connections between past encounters and the current reality of the abandonment of the woman.

The exciting search for an identity is not restricted to the interplay between recorded music and danced scenes. Several elements of Ives’ composition are also picked up by flutes and voices, as the dancers themselves enter into a musical process of questions and answers.

The most moving attempt to articulate the increasingly burning question through physical expression comes at the end of the piece, when the young woman succeeds in doing so with her own voice: she sings out the question in her own way – a first step towards a new beginning.

FEB, Rhein Ruhr Zeitung, 02 November 1990


"Beim Horchen erwachen die Bilder ..... Tanztheater am 'Mozarteum' in Salzburg"
[Listening Evokes Pictures… Dance Theater at the Mozarteum in Salzburg] by Eva Bannmüller
tanzdrama magazin, no 13, 4. Quarter 1990, p. 13

"Salzburger Tänzer artikulieren spannende Suche nach Identität"
Salzburg Dancers Articulate Exciting Search for Identity] by FEB
Rhein Ruhr Zeitung, 02 November 1990 (see: About the Piece)


"The Unanswered Question", based on the music of the same name by Charles Ives as a leitmotif

Concept, Staging, Performer, Location, Performances, Guest Performance: see above (Project Info)
Camera: Chris Amrhein, Coloman Kallos
Edition and film production: Helmi Vent (1990)

ReEdition 2006: Schnittrevision: Helmi Vent and Katharina Jankula
Video ReMastering: Hanz Eder
Audio ReMastering: Martin Gerhard Hantich
Production: Helmi Vent © 2006


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