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Ruhrtriennale 2019 opens new perspectives on this ‘In-Between Time’

Press release   •   Mar 12, 2019 12:07 GMT

Dear Sir or Madam,

the Ruhrtriennale 2019 will begin on 21st August with Christoph Marthaler’s music theatre creation ‘Nach den letzten Tagen. Ein Spätabend’ in the Ruhr-Universität Bochum’s Audimax. Audiences will have the opportunity to experience the world premieres of Kornél Mundruczó’s music theatre production ‘Evolution’, Jan Lauwers’ theatre performance ‘All the good’, Sharon Eyal’s dance theatre ‘Chapter 3’ and Bruno Beltrão’s latest choreographic work in the former industrial spaces of the Ruhr region through until 29th September. And the German premieres of Heiner Goebbels’ music theatre collage ‘Everything that Happened and Would Happen’, David Marton’s production ‘Dido and Aeneas, remembered’ and Faustin Linyekula’s stage work ‘Congo’ can also be seen at this international festival of the arts. The music programme includes the concert ‘Coro’ by Chorwerk Ruhr, two concerts by Klangforum Wien conducted by Sylvain Cambreling and several unconventional formats in the series ‘MaschinenHausMusik’. There will also be a first ever chance to see the installation ‘Bergama Stereo’, an architectural sound construction by Cevdet Erek. The artist Jonas Staal creates a utopian training camp in ‘Training for the Future’ and the ‘Third Space’ in a converted Transall plane in front of the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum will continue to develop along with the Junge Triennale’s long term project #nofear, which this year addresses the topic of power.

After last year’s programme focussed on perspectives on Europe from the global south, 2019 will extend the thematic framework of ‘In-Between Time’ while concentrating on European self-criticism. The artists will examine the privileged existence of Europeans and the effects of European dominance in a variety of ways, question the current notion of democracy and develop new models for the future.

From 21st August to 29th September more than 840 participating artists will come to the Ruhr region from around 35 different countries in order to present some 35 productions and projects – of which 14 are world, European and German premieres – in 13 different venues in Bochum, Duisburg, Essen and Gladbeck. 

Tickets for this year’s Ruhrtriennale go on sale on Tuesday, 12th March 2019. Further information about the programme is available at


Artist associé Christoph Marthaler has chosen the Auditorium Maximum at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and will transform it into a futuristic world parliament for his music theatre creation ‘Nach den letzten Tagen. Ein Spätabend’ (from 21.8.). Here audiences will be able to see a Europe that has been destroyed. The resonant compositions of musicians who were deported, murdered or forced to emigrate during the Second World War are brought together in this imaginary parliament and placed in an evocative relationship with documented political speeches from the period leading up to the First World War, the present and the near future. In this newly created piece of music theatre Marthaler addresses the loss of democracy, racism and anti-Semitism.

The German premiere of ‘Everything that Happened and Would Happen’ (from 23.8.) by Heiner Goebbels also examines the destructive history of Europe during the last hundred years. With an international ensemble of dancers, performers and musicians, the composer and theatremaker creates a multimedia installation at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum that combines Patrik Ouředník’s Text ‘Europeana’ with uncommented current news images from the tv broadcaster Euronews.

In ‘Dido and Aeneas, remembered’ (from 28.8.) the director David Marton stages Virgil’s tragic love story as a musical collage of memory and forgetting. Henry Purcell’s Dido’s lament is juxtaposed with Kalle Kalima’s commissioned work ‘Remember me’. The German premiere of this music theatre project with an excellent ensemble led by the singer Erika Stucky and the Opéra de Lyon chorus and orchestra can be seen at the Kraftzentrale in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord.

György Ligeti’s ‘Requiem’ plays a central role in the world premiere ‘Evolution’ (from 5.9.) by the film and theatre director Kornél Mundruczó. After his staging of Hans Werner Henze’s ‘Das Floss der Medusa’ last year, in 2019 Ligeti’s ‘Requiem’ will be heard three times at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum together with the Bochumer Symphoniker (Musical Director: Steven Sloane), the Latvian State Chorus and actors from the Proton Theatre. Mundruczó uses this repetition to reflect on the horrors of the past, present and future.


‘All the good’ (from 22.8.) by Needcompany at the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck tells a love story from a time in which Europe is sacrificing its values and many people are being overcome by hatred and ignorance. In this new work which has its world premiere at the Ruhrtriennale, director Jan Lauwers examines his own legitimacy as a white, privileged artist in an intercultural context and places a family’s everyday concerns in relation to the omnipresence of war and terror.

For his new play the dancer, choreographer and director Faustin Linyekula has adapted Éric Vuillard’s story ‘Congo’ about Belgian colonial history. In the German premiere of ‘Congo’ (from 28.8.), he addresses memories of the colonial past and fights against these being forgotten together with his ensemble. In a collage of texts, songs and field recordings they trace the consequences of centuries of war and violence at the Gebläsehalle in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord.

Working with an international ensemble, the director Ofira Henig researches the effects of educational systems that deny any kind of tolerance towards those who are foreign or other in ‘KIND OF’ (from 12.9.) based on literary works by Heinrich Böll, Elias Canetti, Ödön von Horváth and others, together with personal experiences. In ‘The Bees’ Road’ (from 13.9.) in collaboration with the actor Khalifa Natour she gives a voice to the flora and fauna that have been silent witnesses to the migratory movements of recent years. Both productions can be seen at PACT Zollverein.  

Christiane Jatahy merges theatre and film in her project ‘Unsere Odyssee: The lingering now’ (from 19.9.) at the Gebläsehalle in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord. By interweaving documentary film material and stories by the performers, the boundaries between genres in this German premiere are blurred. This work gives voice to refugees from several continents.


PACT Zollverein opens this year’s Ruhrtriennale dance programme with Marlene Monteiro Freitas’ choreography ‘Bacchae – Prelude to a Purge’ (from 29.8.). An ensemble of eight dancers and five trumpeters interprets Euripides’s tragedy ‘The Bacchae’ as a boundary-breaking performance that, among other sources, quotes the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini. As its second contribution to the Ruhrtriennale PACT Zollverein has invited Alice Ripoll with her choreography ‘aCORdo’ (from 13.9.). In this work the hierarchies between performers and the audience are reversed.

Both Bruno Beltrão’s dance creation (from 6.9.) and Sharon Eyal’s choreography ‘Chapter 3’ (from 26.9.) will be given their world premieres at the Ruhrtriennale. At the Gebläsehalle in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord Bruno Beltrão will use his unique visual language to scrutinize Brazil’s current political situation. Sharon Eyal’s spectacular choreography uses techno music to add a new form of expression to dance at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum.


Under the baton of Artistic Director Florian Helgath Chorwerk Ruhr will present Italian choral works from the late Renaissance and the Modern Age accompanied by the Duisburger Philharmoniker in ‘Coro’ (31st August/1st September) at the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck. Here Alessandro Striggio’s 40- and 60-part mass will be contrasted with Luciano Berio’s work ‘Coro’, that is based on poems by Pablo Nerudas and the lyrics of folk songs from around the world. 

With Klangforum Wien we are visited by one of the most distinguished new music ensembles, conducted by Sylvain Cambreling. On the first day of its three part concert portrait there will be a chance to hear Georg Friedrich Haas’s composition ‘in vain’, which is personally dedicated to Cambreling, followed by Iannis Xenakis’s ballet score ‘Kraanerg’ (14.9.) in the former Salzlager at Kokerei Zollverein in Essen. On the second day the ensemble completes its concert portrait with ‘Rosen aus dem Süden’ (15.9.) and works from Johann Strauss, Anton Webern and others along with the world premiere of a new work for trumpet by Martino Traversa.

In addition to these large-scale concerts at the Lichtburg in Essen we will also present a digitally restored version of Robert Wiene’s silent movie ‘Orlac’s Hände’ (22.9.) with a newly composed score by Johannes Kalitzke.

In the ‘MaschinenHausMusik’ series the percussion ensemble Speak Percussion will performe the European premiere of Eugene Ughetti’s composition ‘Polar Force’ (28./29.8.), Gordon Kampe reanimates the ‘Gefährliche Operette’ (4./5.9.) which includes lyrics by Schorsch Kamerun, N.E.W. + Guests present their homage to superheroines ‘Catwoman’s Guide to Living’ (11.9.) and the hardcore/metal/new music/impro/rock band Steamboat Switzerland (25.9.) will have the Maschinenhaus Essen bouncing.

At the Gebläsehalle in the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord singer-songwriter Kat Frankie will appear together with the indie pop band Woods of Birnam (13.9.) led by actor Christian Friedel; and German rapper Ebow will perform along with avant-garde pop artist Ebony Bones (22.9.).


Britta Peters, Artistic Director of Urbane Künste Ruhr, has invited the artist Tony Cokes to present his site-specific multimedia Installation ‘Mixing Plant’ (from 23.8.) at the Ruhrtriennale. In the imposing architecture of the Mischanlage at Zeche Zollverein in Essen he explores the political references in local and international club music and weaves together animated text, found images, monochrome coloured surfaces and pop music in a powerful multi-channel installation. 

For his interpretation of the Pergamon Altar Cevdet Erek assembles amplifiers into a monumental frieze of loudspeakers that represents this famous altar in precise 1:2 scale. During the Ruhrtriennale the openly accessible installation ‘Bergama Stereo’ (from 25.8.) at the Turbinenhalle in Bochum’s Westpark will be accompanied by an extensive programme of concerts and performances, which, among other things, will focus on traditional music from the region around Bergama. 

In the video installation in several parts ‘Αλληλεγγύη’ (Greek for ‘solidarity’, from 24.8.) artist Barbara Ehnes asks both individuals and subcultural initiatives in crisis-ridden Greece and the Ruhr region in the midst of structural change about what they understand by solidarity. The interviews can be seen in Bochum city centre and in the ‘Third Space’ at the Jahrhunderthalle and will be augmented during the festival, so that visitors will have the chance to become part of the installation. 

At the Museum Folkwang in Essen the artist Candice Breitz will develop a commissioned Performance (20./21.9.) together with a group of young women who will explore the creative potential that is generated by learning a foreign language.

Following Olu Oguibe’s written sculpture ‘Appeal to the Youth of All Nations’ in Bochum’s Westpark for the Ruhrtriennale 2018, the artist will return in 2019 to create the temporary work ‘Colours of Europe’ (from 24.8.) for the glass façade of the Jahrhunderthalle foyer. Using coloured overlays he will reference the architecture’s minimalistic formal vocabulary, play with reflections of light and colour and thus change external perceptions of the building. Entry to all the installations is free of charge.


As part of Junge Triennale the group of emerging artists Mit Ohne Alles will be joined by the theatre company Berlocken and residents of Essen-Katernberg to examine how people achieve power. They will present their production #nofear: Macht den Weg frei (from 23.8.) at PACT Zollverein. In addition to this #nofear: Safe Space in Duisburg-Hochfeld will provide young people with a place for cultural exchange, workshops, artistic impulses and encounters between young and old.

Jetse Batelaan’s performance ‘(…..) – Ein Stück, dem es scheissegal ist, dass sein Titel vage ist’ (from 18.9.) at the Maschinenhaus Essen plays on what we expect when we visit the theatre and won’t let itself be pinned down to a specific genre. As well as this production for audiences aged 12 and above a diverse programme will be offered in the ‘Third Space’ aimed at children and young people that encourages active involvement.


The ‘Third Space’ (from 24.8.) which is made up of a former Transall plane and sections of various buses will once again invite audiences to share and discuss their perceptions with an expansive programme of performances, concerts, readings, film screenings and parties. In front of the Jahrhunderthalle there will also be a range of new events based on culinary delights.

‘Training for the Future’ (from 20.9.) is a utopian training camp set up at the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum by the artist Jonas Staal and his team. After a ‘pre-enactment’ last year, visitors now have the chance to prepare for the challenges of the future and develop alternative answers to contemporary crises in training environment installations.

Once again in 2019 the Ruhrtriennale will invite over 200 students from 19 European art and theatre colleges to the International Festivalcampus in August and September. The partner schools from outside Europe who are participating in the campus programme this year are the Université Abdelmalek Essaadi, the University of Chicago and Tel Aviv University. Its core is made up of encounters between established artists and creative young people, between the successful avant-garde and subversive experiments and between artistic practitioners from different cultural contexts. 

Norbert Lammert’s reading makes the contemporary relevance of Hans Magnus Enzensberger’s Essay ‘Die grosse Wanderung’ (8.9.) from 1994 particularly clear. Enzensberger write this text following the violent attacks on asylum seekers.

Further information about the programme can be found in our printed programme and at

With kind regards

Verena Bierl
Press Officer


Music, dance, theatre, performance and fine arts in the former industrial buildings of the Ruhr Area: that’s the Ruhrtriennale. The venues of the Ruhrtriennale are the region’s outstanding industrial monuments, transformed each year into spectacular sites for impressive arts productions. At the centre of all this are contemporary artists seeking a dialogue with industrial spaces and between the disciplines. World premieres and new works are the essence of the programme which makes visiting the Ruhrtriennale an incomparable event. Every season, festival productions from the Ruhr region go on tour around the world.

The artists and themes featured in the programme are chosen by Artistic Directors appointed in three year cycles. The Ruhrtriennale’s Artistic Director for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 is the dramaturg and experienced theatre and festival director Stefanie Carp. This year's Ruhrtriennale takes place from 21st August to 29th September.

Local district court: Bochum | HRB 16669, UST-ID Nr. DE 223 424 543 | Chair of the Supervisory Board: Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen | Artistic Director of Ruhrtriennale and Managing Director: Dr. Stefanie Carp | Managing Director: Dr. Vera Battis-Reese