Karin Schäfer Figuren Theater

Erik Satie


A visual concert

The current production of Karin Schäfer Figuren Theater is based on the Ballet PARADE by Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, Sergei Diagilev and Pablo Picasso, which was premiered in 1917 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris - causing a huge scandal. 

Parade is considered the "key and starting point of an advanced form of multimedia theatre" and is thus a distant forerunner of what has been the primary focus of our work as "visual theatre" for many years now. For the 101st anniversary of the premiere, Karin Schäfer will therefore show her very own unique version of "PARADE" in June 2018: where ballet becomes a piece of visual music-theatre.

The inharmonious clown Satie and his accomplice, the incompetent Picasso speculate on the never-ending stupidity of humanity.
— Critic in "La Grimace", Paris 1917

The Music

PARADE, just like our other visual theatre productions: IBERIA and PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION, can be presented with a piano or an orchestra.

Two pianists will be playing on one piano together and interpreting Erik Satie’s music four-handed for the first series of performances in June 2018 and not only will the original ballet music "Parade" be played, which is about 15 minutes long, but also a complete programme selected by Karin Schäfer from various piano pieces by Satie. 

Among them are very popular works, such as the Gymnopédies but also wonderful specialties such as the "Three pieces in the form of a pear" - all together form a coherent musical and staged arc - with "parade" as the final and climax.

The concept

Karin Schäfer grasps the original concept - which is attributed to cubism by Picasso's designs of costumes and stage design and even Satie himself labelled his composed music as “cubistic” - and creates the entire piece in the spirit of Cubism.

For this purpose, the final result, the final scene, is divided into individual parts, separated into surfaces and shapes, and, as in the case of a collage, assembled piece by piece in the course of the performance.

The ballet itself, however, transforms to urban dance: three dancers around the choreographer Valentin Alfery, together with the puppeteers, explore the fictive boundaries between bodies, objects, and perspectives in cubist terms.

Cubism is … an art, especially about form, and when a form has been created, then it is there and continues to live its own life.
— Pablo Picasso

The piece

The almost too provocative simplicity and banality of the plot is a harsh contrast to the immense effort put into the music, stage design, costumes and was one of the many causes of the huge scandal at the premiere in 1917.

With us, this simplicity is contrasted by the sequential and fragmented - cubistic - process of the genesis - each part stands and emerges for itself, it can tell a story for itself (entirely without words just musically and visually) and then integrates itself into the whole.

The three urban dancers and the two puppeteers inside are setting shapes and figures from Picasso's work in the limelight and are gradually creating new, constantly surprising pictures and scenes, each of which stands and can be understood for itself - or better said: can intuitively be perceived.

In the end, the individual parts - in interaction between dance and object theatre - are combined to form a final image: As already planned in the original version of the scene in a circus by Cocteau and Picasso, where artists, showmen, magicians and their managers try to get the audience to enter the performance - unfortunately without success.



Contact us

Karin Schäfer Figuren Theater

+43 676 933 0979




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