The Serapions Ensemble is directed by Ulrike Kaufmann and Erwin Piplits. For a quarter century it’s made a considerable contribution to the development of non-verbal, visual theater. Its home is the Odeon Theater in the second district of Vienna, a large, columned hall in the former Agricultural Products Exchange. Its first production,“Axolotl Visionarr,” was performed June 8, 1988.
This time, despite the special occasion, the brief was no exception. The synopsis Erwin gave me was succinct, provocative and open-ended. The title, he said, was conceived in the manner of the oldest forms of writing, like Hebrew, where only the consonants are written and each one has a special meaning:
P stands for Paschut: the simple, the material, the substantial and physical.
R stands for Remez: indication, hint.
D stands for Derasch: exegesis, cognition and apperception.
S stands for Sod: the secret, the mysterious – what cannot be said.
“If they are all in harmony, art can arise," he wrote and "art," quoting Friedrich Schiller, "is a daughter of freedom."
© Brad Holland