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  • Writer's pictureNow Age Storytelling team

Bilateral world premiere "Holo Harmonies"

Sometimes you only travel as far as a cat jumps and end up in other worlds. That's what happened to me last Friday when I attended the world premiere of "Holo Harmonies" in Baden-Baden.

A stone's throw from Stuttgart. But this time I ended up in a unique bilateral ballet with the romantic music of Franz Schubert's "Death and the Maiden", complemented by Sven Helbig's electronic composition.

The concert at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and the ballet performance at the Prague State Opera are combined by hologram transmission.

As photorealistic light projections with motion capture and extended reality technologies, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with composer and musician Sven Helbig and the Czech National Ballet appear on each other's stage in real time.

Dancers and musicians move around a stage set of 3D animations; partly pre-produced, partly audio-reactive, they interact live with the action on stage. The multidisciplinary team worked for over four years to realize their vision for this fluid work of art.

With enormous intensity and sonic excellence, we experience many times and many worlds without headsets in a fluid bilateral triptych of analogue and electronic sounds with the expressive holograms of the dancers and the animated color formations of the stage set.

The choice of Franz Schubert's string quartet complemented by Sven Helbig's modern electronic soundtrack, which musically interprets Matthias Claudius' poem about our relationship to death and the experience of this world and the hereafter, fits perfectly with the immersive Gesamtkunstwerk.

The pioneering ballet work by the international artists' collective met with an enthusiastic audience in Baden-Baden and Prague, who greeted each other warmly at the end via video livestream and celebrated the artists on both stages together for a few minutes in real time.

This signal alone of how international understanding works today is encouraging and wonderful. But the clever and careful use of different types of music with the help of cultural technologies from different eras is also encouraging for the future.

Valuable stories can be produced with immersive technologies and reach many different people. Holo Harmonies fulfills this cultural and educational mission on top.

Entirely in the universal spirit of the aesthetic theorists of a Gesamtkunstwerk in Europe, in which nature and art become one.

First described by Friedrich Schilling in 1802 and taken up by numerous aesthetic theorists from Richard Wagner to Wassili Kandinsky, Edward Gordon Craig and Odo Marquardt, it encompasses all art genres, and unites political and aesthetic discourses.

It remains exciting for me to follow further experiments of this kind, and to see how immersive works of art leave the 2D peep-box stage and the picture frame and perfect the spatial experience, without a headset, as "Sphere" in Las Vegas and "ABBA Voyage" in London are already testing out.


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