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Music theatre as labyrinth: The extension of liminality in the production The Navidson Records by Till Wyler von Ballmoos and Tassilo Tesche

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For the 2016 edition of the Münchener Biennale – Festival für Neues Musiktheater (‘Munich Biennale – Festival for New Music Theatre’), its new intendants Daniel Ott and Manos Tsangaris organized a series of preparatory workshops intended to promote the creation of new works. This essay explains the influence that this new form of curating process exerted on the gestation of the production The Navidson Records by Till Wyler von Ballmoos and Tassilo Tesche. Our focus is on investigating the working methods employed in the process of conception and rehearsal: the setting of The Navidson Records was from the start intended to avoid creating fixed performance procedures and instead to create an open space of potential. The author analyses the characteristics of that space with the aid of hypotheses derived from ritual theory. A central role here is played by the concept of liminality, which Victor Turner uses to describe the ritual borderline phase between two stable states. This article demonstrates the tendency of current composed theatre to undermine normative patterns of roles and organization by means of strategies of liminalization. The potential and the difficulties inherent in participant observation in a creative work process are also discussed here.

Keywords: Munich Biennale; artistic research; composed theatre; contemporary music; liminality; participant observation; working process

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hochschule der Künste Bern

Publication date: June 1, 2017

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