The epoch prior to World War I, the time in which Stravinsky composed 'Le Sacre du Printemps' (The Rite of Spring), was characterized by an ecstatic desire to experience the intensity of life, an emotion that would later mutate into an equally euphoric enthusiasm for war. Logically Stravinsky conceived 'Le Sacre' as an orgiastic mass ballet.
The dissolution of social structures is reflected in the dissolution of conventional developments and structures in the composition: Fragmentary, blocklike lining up of movements; abrupt shifts; polytonality and polyrhythm.
This led, together with Nijinsky's choreography, which translated the composition beat for beat with hectic and complicated movements into dance, to one of the largest premiere scandals of music history.
Now, nearly a hundred years later, the issue of the day is the authenticity of experience in the light of the ongoing virtualization of our habitats. It is the dissolution of our sensuous perception, of the space-time continuum, the fading dividing line between real and virtual, fact and fake, that takes us to the limits of our existence.
The discrepancy between subjective perception and seemingly objective perception produced by stereoscopic camera systems, whose images are filtered and manipulated by computer, constitutes the basis of my staging of 'Le Sacre du Printemps'.
It is about the immersion of the 'chosen one' in virtuality, her fusion with music and space, as an up-to-date 'sacrifice' for uncertain future and as a metaphor for deliverance and for the anticipation of the eternal happiness, that new technologies and old religions promise us. Or at least a new dimension of perception.
In addition 'Le Sacre du Printemps' brings up for discussion the complex relationship between music, dance and space. In conventional productions of 'Le Sacre' one choreographs and dances to the music. In this case, though, the dynamics and structure of the music interactively transform the virtual presence of the dancer and her avatars and thus produce a sort of 'meta-choreography.'
Stereoscopic projections create an immersive environment, which permits the audience to participate substantially more closely on this communication than in traditional theatre settings.
Stereo cameras and a complex computer system transfer the dancer Julia Mach into a virtual three-dimensional space. Time layers and unusual perspectives overlay one another and multiply themselves, and enable a completely new perception of the body and its sequences of movements. Real-time generated virtual spaces communicate and interact with the dancer. The human body is once more the interface between reality and virtuality.
The aesthetics reaches from the rune-alike characters of the Glagolitsa, the oldest known Slavic alphabet, up to 'Matrix'-like spaces, whose surfaces are visualized by the same binary or hexadecimal code, by which they are generated in real-time.
By means of microphones the orchestra is integrated in the interactive process. Musical motifs, individual voices and instruments influence the form, movement and complexity of both the 3D projections of the virtual space and those of the dancer.
Music is no longer only starting point, it is the consummation of the choreography.
Klaus Obermaier's staging of LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS was premiered in 2006, years before the hype about stereoscopic movies started with "Avatar". What still makes this project so different is the fact, that all the virtual objects and environments that you see are created live by the dancer Julia Mach and are generated in real-time. Also the orchestra is influencing the virtual worlds. These interactive processes combined with stereoscopic 3D projections result in an outstanding unique experience.