20 years of Ruhrtriennale

What remains, what was important and what was exciting?

On the occasion of the Ruhrtriennale's 20th anniversary, dramaturge Dorothea Neweling, who worked for the festival from 2002 to 2017, compiles a personal retrospective here on behalf of the Ruhrtriennale.

The review will be regularly expanded until the end of 2022. Dive with us into the diverse memories of the individual festival years!

2002

The industrial legacies in the Ruhr region from the great days of mining and the steel industry are immense. From 1989 to 1999, the International Building Exhibition IBA Emscher Park made collieries, power stations, washeries, coking plants, blower and machine halls, slag heaps and wastelands visible, accessible and usable. The potential for transforming these places was uncovered. On the initiative of the state government, the Ruhrtriennale is founded: A festival with both regional and international appeal is to take place annually in the summer in what are now called "industrial venues". On 31 August 2002, the opening of the first edition of the Ruhrtriennale takes place under the artistic direction of Gerard Mortier.

With one hundred railway sleepers, Agustín Ibarolla gives the Haniel slag heap its own rhythm and a touch of poetry. This first installation already contains much of the idea and form of the Ruhrtriennale of founding director Gerard Mortier: the revitalisation of the former industrial sites of the Ruhr region with art that is as political as it is poetic by international artists.

In Bottrop, Peter Sellars calls for a discussion on asylum and immigration with his interpretation of Children of Heracles; in Duisburg, Winterreise is performed in a boxing ring; and Hanns Eisler's Hollywood Elegien are turned into an original experience by the punk musician Schorsch Kamerun in the Salzfabrik at Zollverein.

Agustín Ibarolla: "Totems" on the Haniel slagheap in Bottrop.
Agustín Ibarolla: "Totems" on the Haniel slagheap in Bottrop. | © Michael Kneffel
Peter Sellars: »The Children of Herakles«, Lichthof Bottrop, 2002
Peter Sellars: »The Children of Herakles«, Lichthof Bottrop, 2002 | © Ruth Walz
Oliver Herrmann: »Winterreise«, Kraftzentrale im Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2002
Oliver Herrmann: »Winterreise«, Kraftzentrale im Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2002 | © Manfred Vollmer
Schorsch Kamerun: »Hollywood Elegien«, Salzfabrik der Kokerei Zollverein Essen, 2002
Schorsch Kamerun: »Hollywood Elegien«, Salzfabrik der Kokerei Zollverein Essen, 2002 | © Mara Eggert

2003

Angels evoke the utopian power and humanistic potential of theatre, opera, dance and art in 2003 - the second season of Gerard Mortier`s Ruhrtriennale. There is, for example, Olivier Messiaen's Saint François D`Assise in front of Ilija Kabakov's large cathedral dome in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum and the 8-hour performance of Der seidene Schuh. Much spiritual power unfolds in this second programme. A new art form of theatre, music and dance emerges with the creations. Among the most formative creations of the Mortier years are Wolf in the Kraftzentrale Duisburg and Sentimenti in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. With this story of a family of miners, the festival explicitly connects with the labour history of the region. With the Century of Song concert series, the festival proves that popular music also belongs in this new festival. Because pop songs have been firmly inscribed in the biographies of all of us and in the history of the 20th century - and over many festival years also in the history of the Ruhrtriennale.

Olivier Messiaen / Ilya Kabakov / Sylvain Cambreling: »Saint François D`Assise«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2003
Olivier Messiaen / Ilya Kabakov / Sylvain Cambreling: »Saint François D`Assise«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2003 | © Michael Kneffel
Paul Claudel / Stefan Bachmann »Der seidene Schuh«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2003
Paul Claudel / Stefan Bachmann »Der seidene Schuh«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2003 | © Sebastian Hoppe
Alain Platel: »Wolf«, Kraftzentrale Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2003
Alain Platel: »Wolf«, Kraftzentrale Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2003 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Johan Simons: »Sentimenti«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2003
Johan Simons: »Sentimenti«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2003 | © Ursula Kaufmann
»Century of Song« mit Suzanne Vega, Bill Frisell & Friends, Gießhalle Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2003
»Century of Song« mit Suzanne Vega, Bill Frisell & Friends, Gießhalle Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2003 | © Andreas Mader

2004

"Rebuilding the Sky" - this is the title of the new literary series in 2004 and this is the leitmotif over the 2004 season. The programme brochure shows unpublished pictures from Gerhard Richter's Cloud Atlas for this purpose: clouds, sky, an open space, full of utopias. Peter Brook's "Tierno Bokar", something more like a meditation on dealing with violence than a classical theatre performance, fits in with this. The stirring scenes that Ariane Mnouchkine finds in "Le dernier Caravansérail" fit this in a completely different way - they are more than topical 20 years later.
Finally, the "Young Triennale" is a programme especially for children and young people. Cooperations with the independent scene are established in the special programme "Raum.Pfad". At the end, Mortier, who came to the Ruhr from Salzburg, says goodbye to the Opéra in Paris with a brilliant performance of "La Damnation de Faust". But soon afterwards he lets us know: "It was  most beautiful à la Ruhr!" 


Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Peter Brook: »Tierno Bokar«, Gebläsehalle Landschaftfspark Duisburg-Nord, 2004
Peter Brook: »Tierno Bokar«, Gebläsehalle Landschaftfspark Duisburg-Nord, 2004 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Ariane Mnouchkine: »Le dernier Caravansérail«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2004
Ariane Mnouchkine: »Le dernier Caravansérail«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2004 | © Wolfgang Silveri
Junge Triennale: »Irrfahrten über Tage«, Kokerei Zollverein, 2004
Junge Triennale: »Irrfahrten über Tage«, Kokerei Zollverein, 2004 | © Wolfgang Silveri
Raum.Pfad: »Der Mann von oben«, SWB Hochaus Mülheim, 2004
Raum.Pfad: »Der Mann von oben«, SWB Hochaus Mülheim, 2004 | © Ursula Kaufmann
La Fura dels Baus: »La Damnation de Faust«, 2004, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum
La Fura dels Baus: »La Damnation de Faust«, 2004, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum | © Ursula Kaufmann

2005

A Ruhrtriennale directorship lasts three years. The audience from the Ruhr region was very open-minded about the first edition. Open to the unknown and free in their perceptions, they try things out and go along with craziness. In this spirit, the change to the second artistic director in 2005 is also accompanied by curiosity. The German director and theatre-maker Jürgen Flimm has been appointed.
Flimm and his team are going backwards in cultural and intellectual history with their programme for three years: Romanticism - Baroque - Middle Ages. In doing so, the festival has given itself and the invited artists a theme.
The first season is dedicated to German Romanticism, and lines of connection to the early days of industrialisation in the Ruhr region become discernible. "Nights Underground" by Andrea Breth and Christian Boltanski in the mixing plant of the Zollverein coking plant is an exploration of unknown depths, a treading of abysses and like a timeless floating without romantic transfiguration. In Gladbeck, Alvis Hermanis stages Sorokin's "The Ice". This is also a kind of searching station theatre. Coming to Bochum for the "School of Romanticism" are: Patti Smith (who of course also gives a concert), Michel Houellebecq, Olga Neuwirth and Haroun Farocki. Sven-Eric Bechtolf and Franui have invented an exuberant and fun homage to alpinism - the beginning of which coincides with Romanticism - with "Stones and Hearts" for the Kraftzentrale in Duisburg. The music theatre creation "Das Trojanische Boot" by the music band Mnozil Brass is also full of beautiful lightness and subtle humour.

Andrea Breth und Christian Boltanski: »Nächte unter Tage«, Kokerei Zollverein Essen, 2005
Andrea Breth und Christian Boltanski: »Nächte unter Tage«, Kokerei Zollverein Essen, 2005 | © Bernd Uhlig
Alvis Hermanis »Das Eis«, Maschinenhalle Zeche Zweckel Gladbeck, 2005
Alvis Hermanis »Das Eis«, Maschinenhalle Zeche Zweckel Gladbeck, 2005 | © Ursula Kaufmann
»Schule der Romantik« mit Patti Smith, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2005
»Schule der Romantik« mit Patti Smith, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2005 | © Christoph Sebastian
Sven Eric Bechtolf: »Steine und Herzen«, Kraftzentrale Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2005
Sven Eric Bechtolf: »Steine und Herzen«, Kraftzentrale Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2005 | © Clemens Sippel
Mnozil Brass: »Das Trojanische Boot«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2005
Mnozil Brass: »Das Trojanische Boot«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2005 | © Ursula Kaufmann

2006

Von Beginn an wird die Ruhrtriennale finanziell durch Freunde, Stiftungen, Initiativen und Förderer großzügig unterstützt. Ein großes Engagement, das zu einer raschen Verankerung des Festivals in der regionalen, nationalen und europäischen Kulturlandschaft beiträgt.

Die Themensetzungen Romantik – Barock – Mittelalter für die Jahre 2005-2007 sind kein Gedächtnisakt und kein Vorgang des Bewahrens – die Suche nach Reibung und Gegenwartstauglichkeit macht die Verknüpfungen interessant. Nach der Romantik rückt 2006 der Barock in den Fokus. Den Anfang machen Johan Simons und Peter Vermeersch mit »Das Leben ein Traum« von 1653, das in Gladbeck als ein surreales Märchen stattfindet, in dem der Mensch in seine eigene Geschichte eingreifen kann. Die Partitur der Marienvesper von Monteverdi dient Alain Platel in »VSPRS« als Ausgangspunkt für eine Performance über Kontrolle und Verlust. Mit dem Barockgarten an der Jahrhunderthalle Bochum kommt (endlich) etwas Grün auf den Vorplatz – temporär erdacht stehen die Pappeln bis heute! »Rubens und das nichteuklidische Weib« lautet der auch nach Erleben der Aufführung rätselhaft bleibende Titel von Christian Stückls Inszenierung in der Duisburger Kraftzentrale. Bleibenden Eindruck davon hinterlassen haben die Tableaux vivants der Gemälde des übrigens in Oberhausen geborenen Peter Paul Rubens. Die vielleicht größte Anstrengung überhaupt unternimmt das Festival 2006 mit der Aufführung von Bernd Alois Zimmermanns »Die Soldaten«. Eine 130 Meter lange Szenenfläche, auf Schienen fahrende Tribünen, 22 Solist:innen, allein das Schlagwerk füllt schon einen Orchestergraben... 2008 wurde die Produktion zum Lincoln Center Festival in der Armory Hall New York eingeladen – und ist heute noch als DVD-Aufzeichnung zu erleben.

Pedro Calderón / Johan Simons / Peter Vermeersch: »Das Leben ein Traum«, Maschinenhalle Zweckel Gladbeck, 2006
Pedro Calderón / Johan Simons / Peter Vermeersch: »Das Leben ein Traum«, Maschinenhalle Zweckel Gladbeck, 2006 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Alain Platel: »VSPRS«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2006
Alain Platel: »VSPRS«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2006 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Eröffnung des Barockgartens, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2006
Eröffnung des Barockgartens, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2006 | © Olaf Ziegler
Péter Esterházy / Philipp Stölzl: »Rubens und das nichteuklidische Weib«, Kraftzentrale im Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2006
Péter Esterházy / Philipp Stölzl: »Rubens und das nichteuklidische Weib«, Kraftzentrale im Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2006 | © Matthias Baus
Bernd Alois Zimmermann / David Pountney / Steven Sloane: »Die Soldaten«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2006
Bernd Alois Zimmermann / David Pountney / Steven Sloane: »Die Soldaten«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2006 | © Michael Kneffel

2007

The Middle Ages is the focus for the third year of Jürgen Flimm's directorship. Independent of thematic considerations are the concerts in the "Century of Song" series. As a fixed part of the programme - curated by chief dramaturge Thomas Wördehoff since 2002 - they always take place under an opulent chandelier. A play commissioned on the theme goes to the author Wilhelm Genazino: "Courasche oder Gott lass nach", the premiere is in the Duisburg Gebläsehalle. This space is also the (ideal) location for the performance of another medieval material: "Le vin herbé". Willy Decker directs this secular oratorio by Frank Martin from 1941 about the Tristan and Isolde material. The young composer Jörn Arnecke receives a commission to set "Unter Eis" to music, a text by Falk Richter, who also directs. Also in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum: Jan Fabre's "Requiem for a Metamorphosis": images of death and decay in an endless sea of flowers. Dance has been an important section of the Ruhrtriennale programme every season since 2002. Stefan Hilterhaus curates the programme at PACT Zollverein. Choreographers and their companies from all over the world celebrate premieres in the Ruhr region - such as works by Wim Vandekeybus or Trisha Brown in 2007.

»Century of Song«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2007
»Century of Song«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2007 | © Michael Kneffel
Wilhelm Genazino, Stephanie Mohr: »Courasche oder Gott lass nach«, Gebläsehalle Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2007
Wilhelm Genazino, Stephanie Mohr: »Courasche oder Gott lass nach«, Gebläsehalle Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2007 | © Marion Bührle
Frank Martin / Willy Decker / Friedemann Layer / Wolfgang Gussmann: »Le vin herbé «, Gebläsehalle Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2007
Frank Martin / Willy Decker / Friedemann Layer / Wolfgang Gussmann: »Le vin herbé «, Gebläsehalle Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2007 | © Clärchen und Matthias Baus
Jörn Arnecke, Falk Richter, Johannes Debus: Titel in »Unter Eis«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2007
Jörn Arnecke, Falk Richter, Johannes Debus: Titel in »Unter Eis«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2007 | © Michael Kneffel
Jan Fabre: »Requiem für eine Metamorphose«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2007
Jan Fabre: »Requiem für eine Metamorphose«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2007 | © Ursula Kaufmann

2008

In 2006, Marie Zimmermann was named as successor for the years 2008-2010. But the dramaturge and experienced festival director died during the preparations. Jürgen Flimm's team then extended the festival for another year at short notice. The programme titled Aus der Fremde includes projects already planned by Marie Zimmermann, new productions, a selection of guest performances, concerts in the Century of Song series and readings.

In Duisburg's Gebläsehalle, Christoph Schlingensief recreates Oberhausen's Herz-Jesu church, where he »celebrates« his lung cancer diagnosis as an autobiographical liturgy. Schlingensief's latest work radically and pathetically intertwines art and religion. The work Eine Kirche der Angst vor dem Fremden in mir is invited to the 2009 Theatertreffen in Berlin. Schorsch Kamerun stages Westwärts in a labyrinth of milky foil tunnels. The Maschinenhalle Zweckel a quarantine camp? Sandra Hüller sings and speaks poems and writings by Rolf Dieter Brinkmann in this walk-in state of emergency. Alain Platel is also a guest at the Ruhrtriennale in the 2008 season. The performance pitié. Erbarme Dich! seeks compassion and pity in the face of death and finds touching images and intense moments for it. Fidena has long been a partner of the Ruhrtriennale. In 2008, life-size rabbit figures in the puppet theater performance Cuniculus. Eine Menschwerdung by Neville Trenter spread their terror at PACT Zollverein. Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers is staged by Ivo van Hove at Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. The story of the five brothers tells of the hope for happiness and the harsh reality of migration and uprooting: the stage is a boxing ring. Over the course of the 2008 festival, an open space for literature has been set up in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. In memory of the late festival director, readings from Marie's books will be held there.

Christoph Schlingensief, »Eine Kirche der Angst vor dem Fremden in mir«, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2008
Christoph Schlingensief, »Eine Kirche der Angst vor dem Fremden in mir«, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2008 | © David Baltze
Katja Eichbaum, Schorsch Kamerun: »Westwärts«, Maschinenhalle, Zeche Zweckel, 2008
Katja Eichbaum, Schorsch Kamerun: »Westwärts«, Maschinenhalle, Zeche Zweckel, 2008 | © Ursula Kaufmann
les ballets C de la B, Alain Platel, Fabrizio Cassol: »pitié! Erbarme dich!«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2008
les ballets C de la B, Alain Platel, Fabrizio Cassol: »pitié! Erbarme dich!«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2008 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Neville Tranter: »Cuniculus. Eine Menschwerdung«, PACT Zollverein, 2008
Neville Tranter: »Cuniculus. Eine Menschwerdung«, PACT Zollverein, 2008 | © Michael Kneffel
Ivo van Hove, »Rocco und seine Brüder«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2008
Ivo van Hove, »Rocco und seine Brüder«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2008 | © Jan Versweyveld
David Tushingham, Joachim Janner: »Maries Büchern«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2008
David Tushingham, Joachim Janner: »Maries Büchern«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2008 | © Birgit Hupfeld

2009

The Ruhrtriennale follows its claim of permanent renewal by electing music theater director Willy Decker as its third artistic director from 2009-2011. The self-confessed Buddhist is the first festival director to also present his own productions. As if written by hand, the word »Urmomente« and a logo painted as if by a Zen master appear at the Ruhrtriennale. Decker precedes each of the three years with a word: departure – migration – arrival. Departure reflects Judaism, Migration reflects Islam, and Arrival reflects Buddhism. In the years 2009-2011, which are accompanied by spirituality, many things seem distant and unknown: Dervishes, rituals and ceremonies, the mysticism of the Sufi. Willy Decker's production of Arnold Schoenberg's Moses und Aron in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, with the participation of Chorwerk Ruhr and the Bochumer Symphoniker, succeeds in opening the 2009 festival. The story of the suffering of the Jew Hiob, based on Josef Roth, is certainly one of director Johan Simons' most beautiful productions. In Dritte Generation, ten young players from Germany, Israel and Palestine discuss their origins. Yael Ronen stages them sparingly and directly. Jordi Savall has put together a special concert for the Ruhrtriennale with Jewish and Palestinian musicians and texts about the dramatic history of a special city: Jerusalem. Die Stadt der zwei Frieden. In the Maschinenhalle Zweckel Gladbeck, Sing für mich, Tod – ein Ritual for the composer Claude Vivier can be experienced. Vivier's life and work revolved around loneliness, fear and the search for love. A fictional land far away, far from any time - that is Autland. In this music theater piece, Johannes Ockeghem's canon for 36 voices from the 15th century meets music of the present time by Sergei Nevsky. From order to chaos to sensory overload.

Willy Decker, Bochumer Symphoniker, CHORWERK RUHR: »Moses und Aaron«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009
Willy Decker, Bochumer Symphoniker, CHORWERK RUHR: »Moses und Aaron«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009 | © Paul Leclaire
Johan Simons: »Hiob«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009
Johan Simons: »Hiob«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Yael Ronen: »Dritte Generation«, PACT Zollverein, 2009
Yael Ronen: »Dritte Generation«, PACT Zollverein, 2009 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Jordi Savall, La Capella Reial De Catalunya, Hespèrion XXI: »Jerusalem«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009
Jordi Savall, La Capella Reial De Catalunya, Hespèrion XXI: »Jerusalem«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009 | © Michael Kneffel
Albert Ostermaier, Christoph Poppen, musikFabrik: »Sing für mich Tod«, Maschinenhalle, Zeche Zweckel, 2009
Albert Ostermaier, Christoph Poppen, musikFabrik: »Sing für mich Tod«, Maschinenhalle, Zeche Zweckel, 2009 | © Paul Leclaire
Beate Baron, Sergej Newski und Justyna Jaszczuk: »Autland«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009
Beate Baron, Sergej Newski und Justyna Jaszczuk: »Autland«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2009 | © Michael Kneffel

2010

The Capital of Culture 2010 transforms the Ruhr region into an ideal cultural landscape for one year. Naturally, the Ruhrtriennale is also contributing a special program: the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck will host the premiere of the last opera by then 86-year-old Hans Werner Henze: Gisela! oder: die merk- und denkwürdigen Wege des Glücks. In Verrücktes Blut, a teacher takes her students hostage at gunpoint and forces them to play Schiller's Räuber. The co-production with Ballhaus Naunynstraße is invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen. The dance performance Vertical Road by choreographer Akram Khan, inspired by the myths of Islam, seeks a spiritual connection between earthly and heavenly life. In Leila and Madschnun, the devastating reality of war is juxtaposed with the utopia of forbidden love. Many tons of sand turn the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum into a desert for the music-theatrical narrative. In the same place, a large room is created under a heavy slab that hovers one meter above the floor. The human perspective in William Forsythe's The Defenders is oppressive. Hardly anyone has ever put the mixing plant of the Zollverein coking plant into heaven and hell as beautifully as Sue Buckmaster and her collaborators from Theatre-Rites in Paradise. Everyday life and religion from Orient and Occident also meet in dance. Le Cri by the Belaza sisters combines the gyrations of the dervishes with the movement language of contemporary dance.

Hans Werner Henze, Michael Kerstan, Christian Lehnert: »Gisela! oder: Die merk- und denkwürdigen Wege des Glücks.«, Maschinenhalle Zweckel, 2010
Hans Werner Henze, Michael Kerstan, Christian Lehnert: »Gisela! oder: Die merk- und denkwürdigen Wege des Glücks.«, Maschinenhalle Zweckel, 2010 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Nurkan Erpulat, Jens Hillje: »Verrücktes Blut«, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2010
Nurkan Erpulat, Jens Hillje: »Verrücktes Blut«, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2010 | © Paul Leclaire
Akram Khan: »Vertical Road«, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2010
Akram Khan: »Vertical Road«, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2010 | © Paul Leclaire
Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Albert Ostermaier: »Leila und Madschnun«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2010
Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Albert Ostermaier: »Leila und Madschnun«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2010 | © Paul Leclaire
The Forsythe Company: »The Defenders«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2010
The Forsythe Company: »The Defenders«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2010 | © Dominik Mentzos
Sue Buckmaster, Theatre-Rites: »Paradise«, Mischanlage Kokerei Zollverein, 2010
Sue Buckmaster, Theatre-Rites: »Paradise«, Mischanlage Kokerei Zollverein, 2010 | © Volker Beushausen
Nacera Belaza: »Le Cri«, PACT Zollverein, 2010
Nacera Belaza: »Le Cri«, PACT Zollverein, 2010 | © Agathe Poupeney

2011

Luk Perceval: »Macbeth«, Maschinenhalle Zweckel, 2011
Luk Perceval: »Macbeth«, Maschinenhalle Zweckel, 2011 | © Armin Smailovic
Toshio Hosokawa, Calixto Bieito, musikFabrik: »Hanjo«, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2011
Toshio Hosokawa, Calixto Bieito, musikFabrik: »Hanjo«, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2011 | © Paul Leclaire
Toshiki Okada: »The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise«, PACT Zollverein, 2011
Toshiki Okada: »The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise«, PACT Zollverein, 2011 | © Kikuko Usuyama
Willy Decker, Chorwerk Ruhr, Duisburger Philharmoniker: »Tristan und Isolde«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2011
Willy Decker, Chorwerk Ruhr, Duisburger Philharmoniker: »Tristan und Isolde«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2011 | © Paul Leclaire
John Cage, Robert Moran, Chorwerk Ruhr, Ensemble Resonanz: »Buddha goes to Bayreuth«, Gasometer Oberhausen, 2011
John Cage, Robert Moran, Chorwerk Ruhr, Ensemble Resonanz: »Buddha goes to Bayreuth«, Gasometer Oberhausen, 2011 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Mönche aus dem Königreich Bhutan: »Die Streuung des Mandala«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2011
Mönche aus dem Königreich Bhutan: »Die Streuung des Mandala«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2011 | © Paul Leclaire

Director Luk Perceval also has a relationship with Buddhism. His Macbeth is a minimalist, impressive, quiet production in an otherwise empty Maschinenhalle Zweckel of an imposing stack of tables and scattered soldiers' boots. Toshio Hosokawa's opera Hanjo, based on a traditional Japanese Nô play, is about the interminable waiting of three people. An ancient material is revived here with the means of Western theater. Choreographer Toshiko Okada comes to PACT Zollverein from Japan with The Sonic Life Of a Giant Tortoise. A couple from Tokyo struggles with everyday life and comes into collision with their (Zen) philosophy of a successful life. The deep, desperate love of Tristan and Isolde is redeemed in weightlessness and oneness in Willy Decker's production.
What would the Ruhrtriennale be without the participation of Chorwerk Ruhr? From the very beginning, this outstanding ensemble has contributed to the success of the festival with its own concerts and as a choir in musical theater productions. In the 117-meter-high Oberhausen Gasometer, Chorwerk Ruhr takes part in Buddha goes to Bayreuth, a spectacular space-sound experience. Also under the direction of Willy Decker, the magnificent festival audience has followed the quite daring path to the »primordial moments«. The final expression of this is the enormous response to the scattering of the sand mandala in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum by four monks from the Kingdom of Buthan - the streams of visitors do not want to stop. The Ruhrtriennale team around artistic director Willy Decker says goodbye with the ceremonial transfer of the South Asian sand into the Dortmund-Ems Canal.

2012

John Cage, Heiner Goebbels: »Europeras« 1&2, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2012
John Cage, Heiner Goebbels: »Europeras« 1&2, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2012 | © Wonge Bergmann
Boredoms, Halde Haniel, 2012
Boredoms, Halde Haniel, 2012 | © Ariette Armella
Romeo Castellucci: »FOLK.«, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2012
Romeo Castellucci: »FOLK.«, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2012 | © Wonge Bergmann
Mathilde Monnier, Dominique Figarella: »Soapéra«, Salzlager, UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein, 2012
Mathilde Monnier, Dominique Figarella: »Soapéra«, Salzlager, UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein, 2012 | © Marc Coudrais
Pavol Liska, Kelly Copper, Nature Theater of Oklahoma: »Life and Times – Episode 2«, PACT Zollverein, 2012
Pavol Liska, Kelly Copper, Nature Theater of Oklahoma: »Life and Times – Episode 2«, PACT Zollverein, 2012 | © Anna Stöcher/Burgtheater Wien
Klaus Biesenbach, Hans Ulrich Obrist: »12 Rooms«, Museum Folkwang, 2012
Klaus Biesenbach, Hans Ulrich Obrist: »12 Rooms«, Museum Folkwang, 2012 | © Jörg Baumann

»Art as experience, theater as reality.«, with these words the composer, theater maker and professor of applied theater studies Heiner Goebbels announces the programme of the Ruhrtriennale from 2012-2014. Goebbels and his dramaturgy team are focusing strongly on music and musical theater, showing a lot of visual art, including museums as venues, and giving more space to performance. The 2012 opening is a commitment: radical polyphony and the discipline of chance: Heiner Goebbels' first directorial effort brings John Cage's almost never performed operas Europeras 1&2 to the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum. Boredoms at Halde Haniel = Noise. Power. Performance. Folk. by Romeo Castellucci stages the drama of community and the drama of being alone as an act of baptism in a basin in the Gebläsehalle in Duisburg. The beautiful memory of Soapéra by Mathilde Monnier calls to mind the words »foam« and »time«. Beyond that, it is impossible to describe what happened: theater as experience. Life and Times 2 by New York's Nature Theatre Of Oklahoma is theater as a series – episode 2 of 10 runs at PACT Zollverein in Essen. The live art course 12 Rooms attracts a large audience to the Museum Folkwang. The intimacy of the rooms, the radicality of the presentation, the power of the performers and also the humor of the international artists leave a lasting impression.

2013

Subverting genre assignments is the declared intention of the 2013 programme as well, the second year of artistic director Heiner Goebbels. test pattern is the overwhelming experience of the perfect synchronization of reduced image and reduced sound at the Kraftzentrale Duisburg. Over 22,000 people have visited this 100-meter version of Ryoji Ikeda's installation in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord. Global arms trade and its consequences for the lives of different people worldwide, this is what the Situation Rooms by the performance group Rimini Protokoll tell us about in the form of an augmented reality installation that can be walked through individually. The subtitle of the performance 300 el x 50 el x 30 el reads »A play about what you can't see«. Pictures instead of words are the principle pursued with relish by the storytelling group FC Bergman from Antwerp. The premiere of Boris Charmatz' Levée des conflits in the amphitheater on the Halde Haniel took place in continuous rain. Performers and spectators united and held out until the end. The next evening the performance moved to the atrium of the Bottrop vocational school. Extraordinary, even for a producing festival like the Ruhrtriennale, is the undertaking to perform the unknown and unperformed masterpiece Delusion of the Fury by Harry Partch. Heiner Goebbels' production is preceded by the MusikFabrik ensemble's building and learning of the adventurous instruments for the 43-tone system of the exceptional American composer. Another significant music theater work, Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern, will be performed toward the end of the 2013 season, directed by Robert Wilson. Composer Helmut Lachenmann personally attends rehearsals and »controls« the sound. Dan Perjowschi's art of labeling and inscribing public spaces previously immersed in black will be on display at Documenta fifteen in the summer of 2022; in 2013 he turned the walls and windows of the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum into a temporary work of art with wall window workshop.

Ryoji Ikeda: »test pattern« [100 m version], Kraftzentrale, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2013
Ryoji Ikeda: »test pattern« [100 m version], Kraftzentrale, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2013 | © Wonge Bergmann
Rimini Protokoll: »Situation Rooms«, Turbinenhalle / Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2013
Rimini Protokoll: »Situation Rooms«, Turbinenhalle / Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2013 | © Jörg Baumann
FC Bergman: »300 el x 50 el x 30 el«, Salzlager, UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein, 2013
FC Bergman: »300 el x 50 el x 30 el«, Salzlager, UNESCO-Welterbe Zollverein, 2013 | © Sofie Silbermann
Boris Charmatz: »Levée des conflits«, Halde Haniel, 2013
Boris Charmatz: »Levée des conflits«, Halde Haniel, 2013 | © Michael Kneffel
Harry Partch, Heiner Goebbels, Ensemble musikFabrik: Delusion of the Fury, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2013
Harry Partch, Heiner Goebbels, Ensemble musikFabrik: Delusion of the Fury, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2013 | © Wonge Bergmann
Robert Wilson, Helmut Lachenmann, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Chorwerk Ruhr: »Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern«, Dampfgebläsehaus, 2013
Robert Wilson, Helmut Lachenmann, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Chorwerk Ruhr: »Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern«, Dampfgebläsehaus, 2013 | © Julian Mommert
Dan Perjovschi: »www 2013«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2013
Dan Perjovschi: »www 2013«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2013 | © Rainer Schlautmann

2014

During Heiner Goebbels' artistic directorship, the Junge Triennale underwent a completely new direction and was renamed »No education«. At the center of the work are The Children's Choice Awards, an initiative of the Canadian research and performance group Mammalian Diving Reflex and Darren O'Donnell: the official festival jury of children and young people attends and judges all the festival's performances, meets and interviews the artist:ins and awards prizes such as »The show where I thought wtf?«. Romeo Castellucci calls it a »choreography for 40 machines with music by Igor Stravinsky.« His Le Sacre du Printemps gets by with a recording of the music and no dancers at all: Machines perform and animal bone dust replaces the human sacrifice. Without wanting to reduce the performance of Louis Andriessen's De Materie to a single moment, the slow appearance of the flock of sheep, guarded by a luminous zeppelin, remains unforgettable. Since 2012, Urbane Künste Ruhr has made an artistic contribution to the Ruhrtriennale program. These are works of art in public space, mostly participatory and often processual in nature. In 2014, Melt is a footbridge built on springs from reflecting aluminum plates along the Hochofenstraße of the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord. Begins at 11 p.m., lasts four and a half hours, »The greatest possible silence is requested.« The »Night Concert« in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum with the Ensemble Modern will feature Morton Feldman's For Philip Guston. Audience members and musicians merge into a sworn community. The last of the many extraordinary concerts between 2012-2014 once again represents the programmatic spectrum of musical works of the past three years: The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam plays compositions by Zuidam, Varèse, Stravinsky, Ockeghem and Ligeti – his Requiem sets the final tone of Heiner Goebbels' Ruhrtriennale in 2014.

Darren O’Donnell: »The Children's Choice Awards«, 2014
Darren O’Donnell: »The Children's Choice Awards«, 2014 | © Stephan Glagla
Romeo Castellucci, Teodor Currentzis, MusicAeterna: Le Sacre du Printemps, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2014
Romeo Castellucci, Teodor Currentzis, MusicAeterna: Le Sacre du Printemps, Gebläsehalle, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2014 | © Wonge Bergmann
Louis Andriessen, Heiner Goebbels, Ensemble Modern: »De Materie«, Kraftzentrale, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2014
Louis Andriessen, Heiner Goebbels, Ensemble Modern: »De Materie«, Kraftzentrale, Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, 2014 | © Wonge Bergmann
cantoni crescenti, Urbane Künste Ruhr: »Melt«, LandschaftsparkDuisburgNord, 2014
cantoni crescenti, Urbane Künste Ruhr: »Melt«, LandschaftsparkDuisburgNord, 2014 | © Sebastian Drüen
Morton Feldman, Ensemble Modern: »For Philip Guston«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2014
Morton Feldman, Ensemble Modern: »For Philip Guston«, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2014 | © Wonge Bergmann
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2014
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, 2014 | © Michael Kneffel

2015

»Be embraced!« that is what Johan Simons, artistic director of the Ruhrtriennale 2015-2017, and his team call to the people of the Ruhr area: the festival of 2015 to 2017 embarks on a search for the sparks of the gods (of knowledge). Dutchman Simons is well known to Ruhrtriennale audiences. From Sentimenti, his first production at the Ruhrtriennale in 2003, to the »Seid umschlungen« programme, there is a nice arc: At the center, man and his feelings, and the Ruhr area, to which the festival will forge new connections over the next three years. It starts with Ritournelle, the long night of electronic pop music. The line-ups of 2015-2017 attract new groups of spectators. With the first music theater evening, a venue of colossal dimensions is added as a Ruhrtriennale venue in 2015: Johan Simons stages Pasolini's Accattone in the disused coal mixing hall of the Lohberg colliery in Dinslaken. The dimensions of the hall make people seem small and insignificant; the cantatas by J.S. Bach provide comfort. The Jahrhunderthalle Bochum is again the central venue of the festival. The studio of Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout builds an expansive festival center on the forecourt of the Jahrhunderthalle and gives it the title The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. In the mixing plant of the Zollverein coking plant in Essen, a radical aesthetic approach to Monteverdi's opera Orfeo follows: Susanne Kennedy transports visitors in seven installative rooms into states of expectation and waiting, fright and liberation. Those who wanted to see Luigi Nono's Prometeo at the Kraftzentrale in Duisburg had to walk through dense fog beforehand: To lose orientation? To sensitize the sense of hearing to the tragedy of hearing? Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, the great Belgian dancer and choreographer, is a regular at the Ruhrtriennale. The source of her choreographies is always music; in 2015, a text now makes a very present appearance: The Way of Love and Death by Cornet Christoph Rilke. Johan Simons' Rheingold in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum is one of the most popular performances of the festival. The thesis is: With Rheingold, Wagner tells the story of the Ruhr region.

»Ritournelle«, 2015
»Ritournelle«, 2015 | © Marcus Simaitis
Johan Simons, Philippe Herreweghe: »Accattone«, 2015
Johan Simons, Philippe Herreweghe: »Accattone«, 2015 | © Julian Röder
Atelier Van Lieshout: »The Good, the Bad, the Ugly«, 2015
Atelier Van Lieshout: »The Good, the Bad, the Ugly«, 2015 | © Heike Kandalowski
Susanne Kennedy: »Orfeo«, 2015
Susanne Kennedy: »Orfeo«, 2015 | © Julian Röder
Ingo Metzmacher, André Richard, Eva Veronica Born: »Prometeo«, 2015
Ingo Metzmacher, André Richard, Eva Veronica Born: »Prometeo«, 2015 | © Wonge Bergmann
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker: »Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornet Christoph Rilke«, 2015
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker: »Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornet Christoph Rilke«, 2015 | © Anne Van Aerschot
Johan Simons, Teodor Currentzis, Mika Vainio: »Das Rheingold«, 2015
Johan Simons, Teodor Currentzis, Mika Vainio: »Das Rheingold«, 2015 | © Michael Kneffel

2016

In order to enable artists and audience members to continuously connect with themes of artistic practice, appointments will be made with three artists over a period of three years: With the choreographer Richard Siegal and the directors Luk Perceval and Ivo van Hove. Richard Siegal is developing a Three Stages Dante trilogy at the Ruhrtriennale: Hell, Purgatory, Paradise. "In medias res" is the Purgatory stage. Luk Perceval is adapting Émile Zola's novel cycle "The Rougon Macquart" as the "Trilogy of My Family" for the semi-open casting hall in Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord in 2015-2017. The tragedy of man in the age of industrialisation - what fits better in the Ruhr region than this material? In 2017, the three parts "Love", "Money" and "Hunger" will be shown in a 9-hour theatre marathon. In parallel, Ivo van Hove is staging three novels over the three years by the author Louis Couperus, famous in the Netherlands but yet to be discovered in Germany. After "Die stille Kraft" in 2015, "Die Dinge, die vorübergehen" can be seen in 2016 at the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck. The finale is "Kleine Seelen" in 2017. With the premiere of "Die Fremden" in the coal mixing hall of the Auguste Victoria colliery in Marl, the artistic director is directing a creation of music, drama and film in a gigantic industrial hall, which deals with the debate about colonialism and racism and the immigration of refugees. We are the problem - this is what the negotiated change of perspective brings to light. Meanwhile, the Junge Triennale undertakes a change of power: with "Teentalitarianism", a group of children and young people with their own production office and self-determined programme become part of the festival. For "Urban Prayers Ruhr" by Björn Bicker, the festival goes to the believers in their places of worship between Duisburg and Dortmund, Hamm and Dinslaken. Emaciated, maimed bodies kneel around the carcasses of three horses - Alain Platel and his dancers are represented at the Ruhrtriennale with another touching choreographic work. "nicht schlafen" is a ritual about suffering and death with the music of Gustav Mahler.

Richard Siegal: »in medias res«, 2016
Richard Siegal: »in medias res«, 2016 | © Ursula Kaufmann
Émile Zola, Luk Perceval: »Geld. Trilogie meiner Familie«, 2016
Émile Zola, Luk Perceval: »Geld. Trilogie meiner Familie«, 2016 | © Armin Smailovic
Ivo van Hove: »Die Dinge, die vorübergehen«, 2016
Ivo van Hove: »Die Dinge, die vorübergehen«, 2016 | © Jan Versweyveld
Johan Simons, Reinbert de Leeuw: »Die Fremden«, 2016
Johan Simons, Reinbert de Leeuw: »Die Fremden«, 2016 | © Julian Röder
Mit Ohne Alles, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Darren O'Connell: »Teentalitarismus«, 2016
Mit Ohne Alles, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Darren O'Connell: »Teentalitarismus«, 2016 | © Lukas Wenninger
Björn Bicker, Malte Jelden, ChorWerk Ruhr: »Urban Prayers Ruhr«, 2016
Björn Bicker, Malte Jelden, ChorWerk Ruhr: »Urban Prayers Ruhr«, 2016 | © Christoph Sebastian
Alain Platel, Steven Prengels, Berlinde De Bruyckere, les ballets C de la B: »nicht schlafen (Mahler-Projekt)«, 2016
Alain Platel, Steven Prengels, Berlinde De Bruyckere, les ballets C de la B: »nicht schlafen (Mahler-Projekt)«, 2016 | © Chris van der Burght

2017

In 2017, hip-hop has finally arrived at the Ruhrtriennale. The audience's beloved theater maker Sue Buckmaster and her group Theatre Rites make sure of that; »The Broke 'n' Beat Collective« is enthusiastically celebrated – not only by children and young people. On three evenings, PACT Zollverein invites to an investigation of perspectives under the title »Episodes of the South«. Artists, intellectuals and the public will address the structural imbalance in the world that has been shaped by colonialism. This necessary rethinking of traditional geographies is practiced sensually by jointly viewing and analyzing museum exhibits. With »Projecting [space[«, choreographer Meg Stuart and her company Damaged Goods run a performance workshop in the Lohberger Zechen-Werkstatt. The result of this collective work is more than an interesting performance visit, it is a collaborative experience about space, material, body, energy. Dancer Trajell Harell's performances – including »Caen amour« – are always an intellectual exploration of dance traditions and narrative strategies. What may sound abstract in the descriptions becomes a deeply moving experience on stage. In the Kraftzentrale Duisburg, a »White Circle« of vertical fluorescent tubes surrounds the audience in the installation of the label raster-noton. archiv für ton und nichtton, the impulse is given by the sound of Alva Noto, among others. The Jahrhunderthalle Bochum is always the backdrop for the really big opera. In 2017 it is »Pelléas et Mélisande« by Claude Debussy. Directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, conducted by Sylvain Cambreling, performed by the Bochumer Symphoniker and sung by Chorwerk Ruhr and internationally renowned soloists. Since 2016, a truck converted by Rimini Protokoll into an auditorium has been traveling through the Ruhr region. The truck leads to seven albums (= places), each with seven tracks by local and international artists. Loekenfranke shows the »compilation« of Truck Tracks Ruhr as an artistic contribution of Urbane Künste Ruhr in the mixing plant of the Kokerei Zollverein.

Theatre-Rites, 20 Stories High: »The Broke `n`beat Collective«, 2017
Theatre-Rites, 20 Stories High: »The Broke `n`beat Collective«, 2017 | © Robert Day
»Episoden des Südens: the other way around«, 2017
»Episoden des Südens: the other way around«, 2017 | © Robin Junicke
Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods: »Projecting [space[«, 2017
Meg Stuart / Damaged Goods: »Projecting [space[«, 2017 | © Laura Van Severen
Trajal Harrell: »Caen Amour«, 2017
Trajal Harrell: »Caen Amour«, 2017 | © Robin Junicke
raster-noton: »White Circle«, 2017
raster-noton: »White Circle«, 2017 | © Daniel Sadrowski
Krzysztof Warlikowski: »Pelléas et Mélisande«, 2017
Krzysztof Warlikowski: »Pelléas et Mélisande«, 2017 | © Ben van Duin
Rimini Protokoll, loekenfranke, Urbane Künste Ruhr: »Truck Tracks Ruhr - The Compilation«, 2017
Rimini Protokoll, loekenfranke, Urbane Künste Ruhr: »Truck Tracks Ruhr - The Compilation«, 2017 | © Karsten_Enderlein

2018

In 2018, there Is once again a change in the artistic direction of the festival. As always, this is connected with the programmatic claim to renewal. Appointed is the dramaturg Stefanie Carp and as Artiste associé director Christoph Marthaler. Stefanie Carp describes the »today« as an »in-between time«. A time marked by millions of migrating people and global distribution and climate wars. For her program, she invites international artists from the African and South American continents, from Asia, Europe and North America. The program begins with The Head and The Load by the South African William Kentridge, whose artistic practice deals with the history of his country. The staging raises questions: Who gets to tell whose story and who gets to be on stage? The world premiere Universe, incomplete of the unfinished Universe Symphony by Charles Ives is a masterpiece from the Marthaler-Viebrock cosmos. Titus Engel conducts the Bochumer Symphoniker in the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum. This season, many choreographers shape the program: among them the dancer and activist Mamela Nyamza with Black Privilege, the choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly with Kirina and Exodos / EΞΟΔΟΣ by Sascha Waltz. Large-scale is also Diamante: This is the name of a workers settlement in the Argentine jungle. The author and director Mariano Pensotti is building a theatrical settlement of the same name in Duisburg's Kraftzentrale. What used to be the factory settlement in the Ruhr area is the private city of the 21st century. Shelter or surveillance room?

In her first season, Stefanie Carp also triggers widely noticed discussions. Central is the debate about the band Young Fathers and its connection to the BDS movement. In the course of this, the festival invites to the panel discussion »Freedom of the Arts«. It is about the tension between freedom of expression and freedom of art and about personal and social responsibility in the context of German history. Opinions differ widely, and it remains open whether an understanding will be possible.

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© Ursula Kaufmann
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© Walter Mair
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© Ursula Kaufmann
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© Paul Leclaire
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© Annette Hauschild
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© Caroline Seidel

The next years will be published shortly!