It was nothing less than the start of a journey into a new dimension. In 1911, when the theatre reformer Adolphe Appia, the founder of Rhythmics Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, the architect Heinrich Tessenow and the artist Alexander von Salzmann came together in Hellerau, the Great Hall they created in the Festival Theatre was the ideal space for twentieth-century theatre. The stage constructed by Appia using flexible elements and von Salzmann’s shadowless room of lights opened up whole new means of expression and staging techniques. Major figures in the theatre such as Max Reinhardt and Jacques Copeau, and later architects of the modern age – Le Corbusier, van de Velde and Mies van der Rohe – were all lastingly inspired and influenced by this totally new spatial and theatrical experience.
In 2017, after more than 100 years, the Appia stage with its original lighting concept is now to be rebuilt at Hellerau Festival Theatre for the project Reconstructing the Future. We have set choreographers, directors and visual artists the task of addressing the possibilities of this revolutionary, historical stage. From 17 October to 11 November, works by artists such as Robert Wilson, Richard Siegal, Jan Martens and Luis Camnitzer will be picking up on Appia’s visions for the stage and recasting them in the present. The project is accompanied by academic supporting events with Richard Beacham and other experts on Appia.