On the Rettenbach Glacier

Auf dem Rettenbachgletscher - tanz.dance Sölden
Dancing through the mountains under a helicopter: It's a premiere for Jeanne Procureur, Tomaz Simatovic as Hannibal shows her what kind of adventure she's embarking on

Magdalena Lepka

It’s spring in the Alps. Temperatures are rising, the sun is shining down mercilessly after the snowstorm. Three hundred people on skis, in airplanes, in snow groomers, on motocross bikes, and dancers on foot, are all waiting to cross the Alps like Hannibal once did. There is a sense of danger in the air. A state of emergency?

It is a state of emergency. Perceived and measured – there are fewer and fewer dance stages out there. On the other hand, those who still have these stages at their disposal, those who manage them and are responsible for them, are increasingly interfering in the arts and helping to determine what they want their audiences to see. They look after their audiences. They offer workshops and training sessions as if going to the theater were as dangerous as skiing down the slopes of a melting glacier. They brief their clientele and educate them about the dangers of the discourses that are negotiated on their stages. As a result, theaters have more and more staff to protect them from art in the same way that security guards do in museums. Artists experience this first-hand: what they show and how they show it is questioned by the theaters as if all dancers were responsible for safeguarding a society that would otherwise fall into grave danger.

Lawine Torrèn ensemble on a pyramid carved out of the ice

Lorenz Seidler

Theater is not a playground. It is a complex organization of volunteers and underpaid people who work to ensure the safety of something as risky as the enjoyment of art. The model for this can be found on the melting Rettenbach Glacier, a ski resort on the Austrian side of the Tyrolean Alps. Every two years, Hannibal crosses the Alps here – no longer on elephants but with an arsenal of modern snowcats and rescue helicopters – to conquer ancient Rome. Or the theater. This performance, which unfolds some 3,000 meters above sea level, is not a natural spectacle. It is a theatrical model in the midst of a landscape that is undergoing climate change, showing what the theater can expect if it wants to remain a venture on uncertain ground. As if everyone here knew that in a few years, this theater would no longer exist. All the more reason for everyone to do everything they can to ensure that their onlookers still get their money’s worth in a natural setting that always retains the upper hand.

Jeanne Procureur dances as Venus under the helicopter

Ernst Lorenzi

Curtain up for an exciting story about the Lawine Torrèn company. Austrian cultural journalist Marie-Therese Rudolph did her research against a snow-white backdrop. And she had to take a deep breath when she saw how a well-oiled theater machine bravely confronts climate change, snowstorms, and an audience of people who don’t even look, but instead pull out their cameras because they would rather see whether nature looks as impressive in the safe two-dimensionality of the image as it does in real life.

Read on …

Hannibal’s dream


The Lawine Torren company is an alpine plant, so addicted to the mountains that it cannot be confined to a theater. Hubert Lepka’s choreographies roar and make a racket, reflecting the group’s enthusiasm for engines and motors. Every two years, they forge a new Alpine crossing, pushing man and machine to the limit

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