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Ragnar Kjartansson, Lina Lapelytė and Meg Stuart at Zürcher Theater Spektakel

August 18–September 4, 2022

The new durational piece Schmerz by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson will be included at this year’s Zürcher Theater Spektakel. On the Saffa islet in Lake Zurich at the festival location, Kjartansson has created a forest lodge that would resemble the remains of a stage left behind by a traveling operetta troupe. Kjartansson and renowned comedian Saga Gararsdóttir will loop a dramatic scene as pianist Kristin Anna Valtsdóttir plays the piano. The durational performance takes place from August 20 to August 23 over four days and lasts three hours each day.

The Field, a young Zürich-based collective, and American choreographer Meg Stuart present the world premiere of a new work with seven performers dancing in the water to an audience sat on floating pontoons, right there on that islet. From August 19 to August 26, Waterworks will be on stage. It explores the coastline as a transition between nature and civilization, as well as the interplay between liquids and bodies, natural elements, and human movement. It was commissioned by Tanzhaus Zurich and Zürcher Theater Spektakel.

On the first few days of the festival, Phia Ménard, a French artist, will display her Trilogie des Contes Immoraux (por Europe) at the Werft, a shipyard at the festival location (August 18 and 19). The monumental performance provides a unique queer-feminist perspective on the past and present of Europe. Documenta 14 at Kassel commissioned and displayed the first segment, which depicts Ménard building a cardboard replica of the Athenian Parthenon costumed as a punk warrior.

What Happens With a Dead Fish (Lake Zurich Edition), a musical performance by Lithuanian artist Lina Lapelyt, is another highlight of the second part of this year’s program, which runs from August 31 to September 4. The endless opera Sun&Sea, for which Lapelyt won a Golden Lion at the 2019 Venice Biennale (along with Rugil Barzdiukait and Vaiva Grainyt), is an intimate reflection on the present and an invitation to consider cycles, such as expired foods, disappearing forests, and life itself and what comes after. Lapelyt and the Seefelder Kammerchor, a local chorus, are among the singers who are floating on Lake Zurich and reflecting as they approach the bottom on everything’s fall and fleeting nature.

The Zürcher Theater Spektakel is one of the premier festivals of modern performing arts in Europe. The event, which will take place in 2022 from August 18 to September 4 at various locations on and around the Landiwiese—a magnificent, park-like setting immediately on the shores of Lake Zurich—will comprise brand-new installations, performances, and concerts by prominent international artists. Get more information about the 2019 festival schedule and purchase tickets for all performances here.

Artistic Director: Matthias von Hartz

Participating artists at this year’s Theater Spektakel
Meg Stuart & The Field, Ragnar Kjartansson, Lina Lapelytė, Colectivo Lastesis, Pussy Riot, Kae Tempest, Rita Segato, Franziska Schutzbach, Samara Hersch & Lara Thoms, Gisèle Vienne, Lia Rodrigues Companhia de Danças, Back to Back Theatre, Luanda Casella, Tiziano Cruz, Silke Huysmans & Hannes Dereere, Small Citizens, Anna Papst & Mats Straub, Ali Chahrour, Corsin Gaudenz, Igor Shugaleev, Wichaya Artamat, Phia Ménard & Cie. Mon Nova, Mariano Pensotti & Grupo Marea, Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger & Maroussia Diaz Verbèke, Théo Mercier, Benny Claessens, Bibata Ibrahim Maiga, Samaa Wakim & Samar Haddad King, Wanjikũ Mwawuganga, Anna-Marija Adomaityte & Gautier Teuscher, Martha Luisa Hernández Cadenas, MC Yallah & Debmaster, Camilla Sparksss, Ogutu Mũraya, Theater HORA.

In the last few years, the interdisciplinary festival has commissioned and/or presented indoor and outdoor works by artists such as Shilpa Gupta, Boris Charmatz, William Kentridge, Julius von Bismarck, Tim Etchells, Vlatka Horvat, Sharon Hayes, Mapa Teatro and Geumhyung Jeong.

Zürcher Theater Spektakel
8038 Zürich
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