Grotesque by Achim Freyer
Text Composition by Michael Hirsch


Direction: Achim Freyer
Stage and Costume Design: Maria-Elena Amos
Length: Klaus-Peter Kehr


Length: 50 minutes, no intermission
Premiere: April 2, 1994, Opera Bonn, Neues Theater für Musik,
Forum der Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Guest Performances: Sound Art Festival, Hannover; Akademie der Künste, Berlin;
Figuren Theater Festival, Erlangen; Burghof Lörrach; Gütersloh; Moskau;
Hamburgische Staatsoper


During the creation of DisTanzen the goal was to find a new form of story telling by combining composition, sound, word and gesture to a new vocabulary. Words and syllables dance as well as gestures and bodies, though still 'dis-tant'. The syllable 'dis' stands for the incongruity of certain word compositions, musical pitches and movement sequences. Thus a new universe is unfolding before the audience. The combination of unfamiliar and familiar experiences creates a delicate web, which the viewer explores with his or her own eyes and ears and interprets according to the roles in his or her own everyday-life. DisTanzen is about the exploration of theater and societal conventions at the same time.



The language, one without semantics, which was developed for the musical drama DisTanzen, neither appears as an abstract dadaistic composition of sounds nor as an imitation of an unfamiliar foreign language. The base is a square of 7 times 7 syllables. The composition exclusively consists of that material. The syllables of the square can be read horizontally, vertically and diagonally. This way each one of the seven players has their own variation, which serves as the base line of his or her musical material. The listener is being guided through an experience, which constantly alternates between musical and linguistic listening. "Linguistic composition is different from composing for language in a sense that it is not about setting a text to music, but rather about creating the music based on the material of speech. Language in itself already holds infinite potential in timbre and rhythmical nuances due to the varieties of cultural and psychological conditions under which it was created. Never could these nuances be created within traditional music notation."
Michael Hirsch



Freyer und Toscanini proben Traviata · Über die Einsamkeit der Dinge · Liebe von Kopf bis konfus
Metamorphosen · Messe en si mineur · Orchesterstück · Zauberflöte · Ab und An · DisTanzen · Komödia · Kids