Dance pioneer Johann Kresnik’s dead

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He was one of the most radical representatives of the political ballet – and not division, with theatre of blood. Now, the Austrian choreographer and Director, died. He leaves behind five children.

The Austrian choreographer, dancer and Director Johann Kresnik has died at the age of 79 years in Klagenfurt. The German dance film Institute confirmed in Bremen.

Kresnik was regarded as a pioneer of the modern dance theatre. Its about 100 productions triggered often scandals, because he created images of cruelty beyond all conventional ballet aesthetic: With force, he brought his political and socio-critical messages to the stage. In early July, the new production of his ballet “Macbeth had opened” by 1988, the Festival impulstanz in Vienna.

Kresnik was born in 1939 in St. Margarethen in Carinthia. After school he completed an apprenticeship as a tool fitter. To the theatre he found through an advertisement in the extras were sought. Soon after his training began at the dancers, and eventually led him in Graz and Cologne, on the stage. Then, he joined in the choreography.

Kresnik staged Opera – here’s a scene from “The sixth hour” at the Big house in Gera, 2003

1968 Kresnik as a ballet master went to Bremen. Later he was head of the dance theatre in Heidelberg, and Bonn, divisions, also at the volksbühne in Berlin. There, he created the 2015, the dance-theater piece “The 120 days of Sodom”.

The self-confessed Communist and Atheist showed danced biographies of “Ulrike Meinhof”, “Gudrun Ensslin”, “Rosa Luxemburg”, “Ernst Jünger”, and “Hannelore Kohl”. Also in his “vertanzten artist-biographies, such as “Frida Kahlo”, “Brecht”, “Picasso” or “Pasolini” it was always a critique of society.

jj/uh (dpa, munzinger)