Performing Music

Four strategies for combining music and performance

Laurie Anderson, Foto: Tim Knox

Concerts, song recitals and music theatre pieces are becoming more common in theatre programmes all the time. Conversely, musicians and bands are applying theatrical methods to enhance their performances and create more of a “live” experience. The project "Performing Music" focused on such cross-genre pieces and presented three outstanding international concepts for innovatively integrating music in performances, theatre and choreography. The project began with Delusion by Laurie Anderson, who has been an icon of performance art and sound art since the 1970s. Set up as a series of short plays, Anderson’s piece combines violin, electronic puppetry, music and visuals to create a poetic language rich in imagery. The American theatre minimalist Richard Maxwell and the Swiss playwright Laura de Weck were collaborating on a play called Neutral Hero which explored the interface of theatre, concert and performance.
The production Dark Material by Jeremy Wade, Xiu Xiu and Monika Grzymala presented a condensed amalgam of the fine arts, music and choreography on stage. In recent years the American choreographer Jeremy Wade has perfected the art of expressing extreme physical conditions through dance. Jamie Stewart and his band Xiu Xiu produce disturbing, melancholic indie/avant-garde miniatures and Monika Grzymala created explosive “spatial drawings” and fragile works of paper using adhesive tape. Together all three staged a “Gothic ballet” which highlighted human dependencies, closeness and distance and the endurance required to face one’s object of desire even when it hurts.

Artistic director: Amelie Deuflhard
Artists: Laurie Anderson (USA), Laura de Weck (CH), Xavier le Roy (FR), Richard Maxwell (USA)
Dark Material production: Choreography, performance: Jeremy Wade, Co-choreography, performance: Maria F. Scaroni, Music: Jamie Stewart, Shayna Dunkelmann, Set design: Monika Grzymala. 

Venues and schedule:
Kampnagel, Hamburg:
Delusion (Laurie Anderson), 20 – 21 May 2011
Neutral Hero (Richard Maxwell), 20 – 22 May 2011
John Cage, Sixteen Dances (Xavier le Roy), 2012
Vocal concert (Laura de Weck), 2012.
Dark material production: 8 – 11 August 2013


Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik

Jarrestraße 20

22303 Hamburg (external link, opens in a new window)