The Legionnaires

PaperCut-Film: Nicole Erbe
Composition: Christian Klinkenberg
Papercut: Dorthe Goeden
Graphic scores: Jeanne Weishaupt
Autoconductor: Lothar Felten
Performers: Neue Vocalsolisten

During the lockdown, Nicole, the theater-director found the artwork remnants of paper artist Dorthe Goeden.Nicole about the process: “Animating the negative forms of her silhouettes had been an idea that fascinated me for over 10 years, as I saw in them diverse figures with hidden lives of their own. The translation of my directing from the 3-D stage to the 2-D stage of my desk, was given the title PaperCut Films.
PaperCut Films refers to the idea of assembling black or white pieces of paper that fall out of the abstract works, which can be up to 9m in size and no longer have any meaning for the visual artist, into surreal figures and fairytale-like scenic images and bringing them to life cinematically.
The scenic idea is verified by animating the paper players via stop trick. This method impresses with its simplicity. The focus can be determined precisely and the logic of the plot becomes immediately recognisable. I work exclusively with natural light and allow the randomness of daylight to flow in.
The setting retains its imperfection in the style of a classic silent film and the clarity of a poetic space.
Staging with figures made of paper originated in my interest in figure and object theatre. In recent years, this genre has influenced and changed my directing work, as well as showing possibilities for development. The return of the direction of the three-dimensional theatre space to the silhouette-like object theatre, is therefore a welcome creative challenge.
In research, I observe how characters move in two-dimensional space and convey their desires, ambitions and emotions. I ask myself the questions:
How do dramaturgy and focus relate? What influence does the two- dimensional stage, with linear directions of ascent and descent, have on the action of the characters? How does this action, in turn, change the character and his motives.Similar to puppet theatre, there is an interaction between the character and the player. Therefore, it happens that a paper figure does not move in the way I expect it to move and thus sets a new direction.
Reacting to this is an extremely exciting process. In addition, I am not allowed to touch the shape of the paper scraps or even to cut new figures myself.
For the past year, a multitude of silhouettes have emerged from the initial research. From Hexeneinmaleins; to the 30-minute short film Kalif Storch, the small black-and-white format of film experiments continues to develop and offers an interesting pool for collaboration with other arts, such as music.”
The series “The Legionnaires” becomes the starting point for the collaboration with Christian Klinkenberg. In this film, the characters are incredibly independent and thus an inspiring template for a musical treatment in his compositions, which are notated as a graphic video score (Graphic Design Jeanne Weishaupt).

At this point a new transformation sets in. The film material is passed on and the composer processes this in his own way.

10. May 2022 @19h00: Conservatoire National de Région Pierre Barbizet Musique et Art Dramatique, 2 Place Auguste Carli, Marseille  (FR)

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02 June 2022 @10:00: Stuttgart Theaterhaus / MDJ, Siemensstraße 13, Stuttgart (D)

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