Artist in Residence 2016/2017

Israel Galván, son of the flamenco dancers José Galván and Eugenia de los Reyes, was regarded as a flamenco wonder while still a teenager and is now the icon of contemporary flamenco.  He deconstructs and extends this typically Spanish style of dance with elements of his own, puts them back together and develops them into his own unique style – majestic, supple and succinct. For this bailaor, flamenco is much more than tradition. It is a way of life, a form of existence that Galván celebrates in his new work and invites familiar companions and guests to a brilliant natural fiesta of glances, words, songs, greetings, dances and farces. In his new creation, which will receive its world premiere at the Festspielhaus as part of a working residency nine dancing voices and singing bodies meet and abandon themselves in high notes to the immeasurable energies of their coming together.

Israel Galván is continually searching for true freedom and fearlessly trying new things. The artist has long since broken with the typical flamenco role of the solo dancer and he no longer choreographs only for himself, but also for other flamenco stars, whom he has invited to join him in this new creation. A recent guest at the Festspielhaus with Akram Khan and the enthusiastically received ‘TOROBAKA’, in his so-called “flamenco puro” choreography, Israel Galván brings together new techniques and sequences of movement from dance theatre and contemporary dance. For this bailaor, flamenco is much more than tradition. It is a way of life, a form of existence that Galván celebrates in his new work and invites familiar companions and guests to a brilliant natural fiesta of glances, words, songs, greetings, dances and farces.

Artists in Residence 2015/2016

Richard Siegal As the founder and artistic director of The Bakery Richard Siegal specializes in interdisciplinary work, increasingly collaborating with architects such as François Roche, designers such as Konstantin Grcic and composers like Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch. The former Forsythe dancer has already worked as a choreographer for numerous venues and festivals including the Festival d’Automne, Centre Pompidou, Ballett Frankfurt, Bavarian State Ballet, Danspace/NYC and the Théâtre National de Chaillot. With The Bakery Richard Siegal created a platform in 2005 that enabled artists from different disciplines to enter into a process of creative exchange and realize their ideas together. The dancer and choreographer  (‘Black Swan’, ‘UNITXT’, ‘If/Then For Strings’) has already received several awards for his innovative projects including the New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award, the German Theatre Prize DER FAUST and the Munich Dance Prize 2013. At Festspielhaus St. Pölten Richard Siegal presented what was then his latest piece, ‘Model’, a work commissioned for the opening weekend of the Ruhrtriennale 2015 with dancers from the Bavarian State Ballet.

Yuanyuan Wang Her spectacular choreography for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games Opening in Peking first attracted international attention to Yuanyuan Wang, the Artistic Director and co-founder of the Beijing Dance Theater. Having trained at the Beijing Dance Academy, she was appointed Resident Choreographer of the Chinese National Ballet in 1998 and was invited to be a guest choreographer at New York City Ballet five years later. Yuanyuan Wang has created numerous works for Chinese directors and was the first choreographer in Chinese history to win the highest award in international competitions on four separate occasions. Her works are now presented around the globe in countries including the USA, Russia, Japan, Germany and Australia.

In her choreography for the Beijing Dance Theater Yuanyuan Wang unites classical ballet with contemporary dance, complementing these with additional elements from Chinese culture. The choreographer made her first guest appearance at Festspielhaus St. Pölten during the 2015/2016 season, presenting a three-part evening after her working residency which included a world premiere with Austrian musicians.

Hussein Khaddour Born in Homs, Syria, Hussein Khaddour now lives and works in Damascus. He began breakdancing in the streets of his native city when he was 12 years old. In 2008 he moved to Damascus, joined the Sima Dance Company and was trained in ballet and modern dance. In 2012 he became a member of the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts Dance Department. His 2013 dance film ‘Point Zero’ aroused international attention. Based on Patrick Süskind’s novel ‘The Pigeon’ his most recent work received its world premiere in March 2015 at Damascus Opera House. In 2014 he founded the Vitamin Dance Project together with Nour Barakeh, a workshop programme for children in the area around Damascus which is now, with support from the Festspielhaus, being continued as ‘Vitamin Dance for Syria’. The young Syrian most recently worked in the Festspielhaus’s rehearsal rooms with Gloria Benedikt on their joint piece ‘InDignity’, that was recently presented at the European Forum in Alpbach.

Artists in Residence 2014/2015

Josette Baïz

Willi Dorner

Hofesh Shechter

Artists in Residence 2013/2014

The choreographer and composer Hofesh Shechter is internationally regarded as one of the most exciting artists with his inimitable spatial stage language of high energy physicality and explosive rock music. Trained in Jewish folk dancing, contemporary dance, percussion and piano and formerly a dancer with the Batsheva Dance Company – such is the artistic career of this Jerusalem-born multi-talent now resident in Britain. He presented his first piece in 2003 with ‘Fragments’, followed by ‘Cult’ (2004) ‘Uprising’ (2006) and ‘In your rooms’ (2007). Since his 2010 production ‘Political Mother’ (also shown at the Festspielhaus) which was presented in a spectacular rock concert version with 24 live musicians in Montpellier, London and in 2012 at spielzeit’europa | Berliner Festspiele, the choreographer, musician and performer was able to conquer both the international dance world and a young rock concert audience.  As Artist in Residence Hofesh Shechter presented an exlusive preview of his latest work ‘Sun’ after extensive rehearsals at the Festspielhaus with the company he founded in 2008 in September, which will receive its premiere in German-speaking territories in St. Pölten in December.

Lemi Ponifasio became known in 2006 at the New Crowned Hope festival curated by Peter Sellars for Vienna. With his MAU company he is now a regular guest at festivals around the world and appears at the Festspielhaus for the first time as Artist in Residence.  Ponifasio founded MAU in Auckland in 1995 in Auckland as a company of dancers from New Zealand, Samoa and the Kiribati Islands.  “MAU” is a Samoan word meaning “revelation of truth” or “change through revolution”. Lemi Ponifasio investigates urgent social themes with his unique theatrical language in which the audience is intrigued by new experiences of space, time and movement. He recently presented ‘Birds With Skymirrors’, a reflection on the destruction brought about by climate change, ‘Tempest: Without A Body’, about the increasing illegal use of state powers following 9/11, ‘Le Savali: Berlin’ about present day Berlina and a young generation seeking to belong. In 2012 he made his debut as an opera director with Carl Orff’s ‘Prometheus’ for the Ruhrtriennale.



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