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A choreographed ritual of work and destruction to the famous musical work of Igor Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps.

The piece begins as an installation - a fully grown fir tree is seen suspended upside down hanging like a carcass from the constructed truss. The first note of the music signals the beginning of the performance as a professional woodworker, enters the performance space. During the next 20 minutes the tree is systematically dissected and taken apart through diverse traditional and modern woodworking techniques.  The actions and sounds of the work are rhythmic and cyclic - in complement and sometimes also in competition with the rhythms in the music.  Each cycle brings the performer closer to the core of the tree's trunk, which with his last action is split, cracked and splayed open for the audience to see. There is no end product, no goal, no symbol left behind from the performers actions, the movements of the the work are the dance itself.

Through the ritualistic and musical context of the Sacre the tree is framed and presented as the living being that it is - leaving us with the questions: 'What do we as a modern society sacrifice daily, for our dreams, wishes, aesthetics and ideals? Do we even acknowledge these sacrifices, and how do we justify them?'

This project is currently in further development with the aim to create a cinematic film of the work together with director Salma Chedaddi.

Concept and Direction:  Marcela Giesche

Light Design: Pablo de Fontdevilla

Music: Sacre du Printemps - Part 1 by Igor Stravinky

Performance:  Paul Schulz

Production:  Lake Studios Berlin,commisioned by

HAU Berlin for SACRE 100 Festival

Premiere: 14 & 15 November, 2013, HAU 2 Berlin

Trees: provided by Josef Vorholt, Revierföster Müggelsee

The  following poem was an inspirational source

for the original composition of Igor Stravinsky as well

as a reference point for the work.


By Sergey Gorodetzky (1884–1921)

First to sharpen the ax-flint they bent,

On the green they had gathered, unpent,

They had gathered beneath the green tent.

There where whitens a pale tree-trunk, naked,

There where whitens a pale linden trunk.

By the linden tree, by the young linden,

By the linden tree, by the young linden,

The linden trunk

White and naked.


At the fore, shaggy, lean, hoar of head,

Moves the wizard, as old as his runes;

He has lived over two thousand moons.

And the ax he inhumed.

From the far lakes he loomed

Long ago.

It is his: at the trunk

The first blow.


And two priestesses in their tenth Spring

To the old one they bring.

In their eyes

Terror lies.

Like the trunk their young bodies are bright,

Their wan white

Hath she only, the tender young linden.

One he took, one he led,

To the trunk roughly wed,

A white bride.

And the ax rose and hissed—

And a voice was upraised

And then died.

Thus the first blow was dealt to the trunk.

Others followed him, others upraised

That age-old bloody ax,

That keen flint-bladed ax:

The flesh once,

The tree twice

Fiercely cleaving.


And the trunk reddened fast

And it took on a face.

Lo,—this notch—is a nose,

This—an eye, for the nonce.

The flesh once,

The trunk twice—

Till all reddened the rise

And the grass crimsoned deep.

On the sod

In the red stains there lies

A new god.

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