Die. Hochzeit was an experimental piece of performance, “liveness” that occurred only once, on the
evening of September 6, 2012 at the Freinberg above Linz.
The cast of performers numbered eight and spanned nationalities including Austrian, Syrian, American, Ghanian, and Korean. The production team worked deeply alongside the choreographic and scenographic process and ultimately the community which gave birth to this unique event.
The people came together through a shared intuition, and each found a personal way to take part by using their individual creative energy. The project was conceived by Josseline Black, a choreographer and filmmaker from the U.S, who imagined and developed the piece when she was quite new to Linz.
The performance invited an audience to be guests at a wedding; to journey through the forest of
Freinberg and to encounter, somehow magically (yet behind the scenes very technically), a series of
living dance pieces, at distinct locations.
“Die. Hochzeit”- the marriage. Why marriage? This concept is fundamentally speaking to the act
of unifying; of creating a union, typically between two people, to signify a commitment to sharing
and building a life. It is a tradition practiced world-wide, ofcourse, and considered a sacred act by
many. I was interested in looking at marriage as a method for tying a person to an idea (eg; she is
married to her politics), often the word is used like this. Furthermore, can a person be married to a
The vision behind the piece came from a desire to symbolize a connection between a human being
and a sacred site, moreover a human and a place. It was the second part of a three-part site specific
performance series entitled “And in the end we will have wanted to be upon the earth”. The
concept of the full series places one at a point in the future, projecting us into a situation where
civilization is broken down, urbanized, and totally concretized; and looks backward through time
searcing for value and meaning. The series opened the idea that what may matter in “the end” is
our memories of our individual devotion to certain places or phenomena in Nature itself (“that
grove of orange trees”, the wild atlantic seaside, beneath a cyprus on a grandmother’s property, a
cool night on the alps, etc”), because it is so often that we feel most in touch with our humanity
when we are truly absorbed in the magnitude of the natural world.
Within the structure of the “Die. Hochzeit” choreography and theatrics, I staged marriage rituals,
presented cross-cultural reenactments- and looked into raising the presence of LOVE, and how that
abstract but palpable force moves? The imagery developed from a highly feminine archetype of a
Bride performing a solo in the Barbarakapelle, into a progression of larger group piece in which
hegemonized, the cast cloaked in black moved across a hill, into a monarchical dramaturgy of
courtship and pursuits between men and women, and finally a detailed dance with chosen trees.
The evening performance lasted 2.5 hours and the audience was given a context and narrative by
following a highly skilled actor, “a godfather”, from one site to another.
I believe that “Die. Hochzeit”, was especially potent, as it occurred only one time after months of
intensive work on the part of the dancers, photographer, production designers. For the audience,
the piece was an interactive experience, blending surreality with reality.
The entire creation process was dutifully documented by the Linz based photographer Stefan
Weninger. The images he produced of the rehearsals, behind the scenes, and the show itself, speak
to the blurring of the real and dream worlds, that I was provoking with Die. Hochzeit. I feel that
these images capture the essence of the beauty of this creation. They are mysticism married to
formality, and show the characters of the people involved.”
Stefan Weninger (AT):
'Portraying the creation process of “Die. Hochzeit” has been very interesting, because a huge
number of people, most of them with a different cultural background met and worked out together a
piece, that was motivated and driven by everyone's individual interest in performance and
expression. This means, everyone who took part, influenced the creation with his own style and
character and of course, his/her own method of working and creating.
For me, as a photographer,who mainly works on projects with a very strong focus on body-language and in general onindividual expression (i.e. my series Portrait Unten & my portrait works), this circumstance was a gift to me.
I mean: On the one hand, it was demanding to recognize all these subtile emotions and
happenings on time. But on the other hand, it is one of the most inspiring and satisfying way of
taking images, when there is the opportunity to unite a personal style with the style of others. With
the selected images, I want to carry / communicate the atmosphere of the creation process and the
piece itself and of course, also the charisma and vitality of everyone's attendance.
The Stadt Linz played a vital role in realizing this project. Due to the support of the Linz AG and
the sanction of the city, we were able to use the power grid in Freinberg for lighting and sound. In
addition, the “Stadtgärtnerei” gave us a cabin, which we used to store production equipment, and
costumes. Freinberg came to life theatrically in a new way within Linz' open air artistic tradition.
We invited the public to a historically important location and transformed it into an artwork.
I am grateful to have had such an incredible team of artists behind me to manifest “Die. Hochzeit”. I
believe the images speak for themselves, so when you look at this collection you get a profound
sense of what we experienced as artists, and as a viewer."
Artistic Direction/Choreography/Concept: Josseline Black (US)
Performers/Dancers: Elias Buttinger (AT) , Lydia Teibler (AT) , Monica Nagl (AT), Sally Betinzane
(SYR), Josseline Black (US), Desmond Desmondosigbo (GH), Ilona Roth (D), Michi Vo (AT),
Celeste Young-film appearance (US)
Photography: Stefan Weninger (AT)
Dramaturgy: Andreas Wipplinger (AT)
Original Score: Mathias Mink (AT)
Audiovisual Production: David Chalupar (AT)
Live band: RedMachete (Linz, AT)
Vocals: Michael Ojo (AT)
Painting: Jules Muck (US)
Graphic design: Youri Marko (CH)
Advisors: Rafael Ollincoatl Esparza (US), Mehraneh Atashi (IR)