The film “The Sound of Music” is a source of inspiration for the Styrian-international artist formation The Loose Collective to reflect on national identity and belonging.
German and English language
Talk following the performance on Sat 10/10
When it comes to safeguarding international competitiveness, agencies are commissioned today to develop a marketable image for a country and its people. The so-called process of nation branding attempts to cram it all into an identity habitat devised on the drawing-board.
“The Sound of Music” counts among the most successful films in cinema history. For the past fifty years, the story of the Trapp family has unintentionally been contributing to Austria’s worldwide nation branding. With numerous references to the Austrian and German Heimatfilm, this US American musical film has propagated romantic notions of Austria, presenting green mountain pastures, aristocratic architecture and charming children making music under the guidance of a singing nun. Largely unknown in Austria, “The Sound of Music” transports a kitschy and easily recognisable image of the country to the world.
Against this backdrop of ideas, The Loose Collective assumes a postnational stance, throwing together text samples, choreographies, technicolor images, songs and souvenirs to create a complex patchwork piece. Caught in the treacherous chasm between representation and self-perception, the fundamental question that arises is: what is a nation anyway? And why should we accept an artificial, arbitrarily imposed identity when we find it embarrassing or alienating?
Concept, music and performance Guenther Berger, Alex Deutinger, Alexander Gottfarb, Hanna Hollmann, Thomas Kasebacher, Anna Maria Nowak, Marta Navaridas, Stephan Sperlich & Teresa Vittucci
Light Roman Streuselberger
Sound Stefan Ehgartner
Costumes Hanna Hollmann
Co-produced by steirischer herbst, tanzquartier Wien, Kunstverein Archipelago & Performanceinitiative 22
Supported by D.ID. dance-identity Burgenland, La Briqueterie, CDC du Val-de-Marne, Bundeskanzleramt Österreich, MA 7 – Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien, Stadt Graz Kultur & Kultur Land Steiermark
Thanks to Frans Poelstra, Yosi Wanunu & Monika Klengel
Dramaturgy Flori Gugger
Production Kirsten Patent
Project management Theresa Adamski
Technical management Karl Masten
Technical management Grazer Spielstätten Kurt Schulz
The Loose Collective (AT)
Founded in 2009, The Loose Collective is an Austria-based group of international performance artists, musicians and choreographers who jointly develop democratically structured dance and music performances. In 2011 the musical “Here Comes the Crook” was their first stage production, performed at venues including Dance Week Zagreb and Tanzwerkstadt Europa in Munich. In 2013 the nine-member team received both the Jury and the Audience Prize at BestOFFStyria for “The Old Testament According to the Loose Collective”, which was also performed internationally. The follow-up production “The Game Game” premiered at Tanzquartier Vienna in 2014. With their most recent production, the collective will appear for the first time at steirischer herbst.