18th Festival 2008 / Programme

Work show Josef Nadj

Josef Nadj – A portrait

Josef Nadj in Paris

For more than two decades Josef Nadj conjures absurd worlds onto the stages of Europe. Noticeably aligned to his country, the former Yugoslavia, and having lived in the dance country France for a long time, he creates scenic marvels as wanderer between cultures, which are, in all silence and melancholy, of strong identity and full of visions about our personhood. After his only previous guest perfor-mance at the euro-scene Leipzig 1992, which he opened with the play »Comedia tempio« (»Temple comedy«, 1990), we now introduce the artist with the three productions »Woyzeck« (1994/96), »Journal d’un inconnu« (»Diary of an unknown«, 2002) and »Entracte« (»Interval«, 2008) from different creative periods, two films and an exhibition with his latest drawings.

Ann-Elisabeth Wolff


1957 born in Kanjiza, a village in the Hungarian-speaking Vojvodina region in the former Yugoslavia, now Serbia
1972-75 attended the art grammar school in Novi Sad, capital of the Vojvodina
15 months military service in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Studied art and music history at the university as well as drama and theatrical body language at the Art Academy in Budapest
As from 1980 classes in Paris with Marcel Marceau, Étienne Decroux and Jacques Lecoq, additionally in Tai-Chi, Butô and contact dance with Mark Tompkins
As from 1983 lecturer for kinematics in France and Hungary
Actor with Sidonie Rochon 1984, Mark Tompkins 1985, Catherine Diverrès 1988, François Verret 1986

1986 founding of his own company Théâtre JEL in Paris
Selection of plays:
»Canard pékinois« (»Pekinese duck«, 1987, his first play)
»La mort de l’empereur« (»The emperor's death«, 1989)
»Les échelles d’Orphée« (»Orpheus' ladders«, 1992)
»L’anatomie du fauve« (»The wildcat's anatomy«, 1995)

Since 1995 direction of the Centre chorégraphique national d’Orléans
Selection of plays:
»Les commentaires d’Habacuc« (»Habacuc's commentaries«, 1996)
»Petit psaume du matin« (»Small morning psalm«, 1999/2001)
»Les veilleurs« (»Those who never sleep«, 1999)
»Les philosophes« (»The philosophers«, 2001)
»Poussière de soleils« (»Sun's dust«, 2004)
»Last landscape« (2005) – »Dernier paysage« (2006)

2006 »Artiste associé« (jointly responsible artist for the programme)
at the 60th Festival d’Avignon, here premiere of his play »Asobu« (in the Court of honour of the Palace of the Popes) and »Paso doble« with the Spanish sculptor Miquel Barceló (in the Église des Céléstins)

Graphic artist and painter, exhibitions to his sculptures »Installations« 1996, the ink cycle »Miniatures« 2000 and his photographies as from 2003


Josef Nadj in »Journal d’un inconnu«

Josef Nadj at the euro-scene Leipzig 2008

Main programme

Tue. 04 Nov. // 07:30 – 08:45 p.m. (Festival opening)
Wed. 05 Nov. // 07:30 – 08:45 p.m.
Centre chorégraphique national d’Orléans / Josef Nadj
 (Video clip  )
Theatre play
German premiere

Four dancers, four musicians and one stage design in sheets of ice, glass and steps. Josef Nadj, one of the most important choreographers in Europe, created a dance play about the topic of permanent change and of giddiness.

Followed by: Audience discussion (05 Nov.)
Presentation: Nele Hertling, Vice president of Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and former director of Hebbel-Theater Berlin

Thur. 06 Nov. + Fri 07 Nov. // 07.30 – 08.30 p.m.
Theater der Jungen Welt
Centre chorégraphique national d’Orléans / Josef Nadj
»Woyzeck – ou L’ébauche du vertige«
(»Woyzeck – or The hint of vertigo«)
 (Video clip  )
Theatre play based on the stage fragment by Georg Büchner

Soldier Woyzeck is driven to murder by the unfaithfulness of his wife. Based on Georg Büchner, Josef Nadj developed a firework of visual inventions without words – a cult piece of French theatre.

Followed by: Audience discussion (07 Nov.)
Presentation: Nele Hertling, Vice president of Akademie der Künste, Berlin, and former director of Hebbel-Theater Berlin

Sat. 08 Nov. + Sun. 09 Nov. // 05.00 – 06.00 p.m.
Schaubühne Lindenfels
Centre chorégraphique national d’Orléans / Josef Nadj
»Journal d’un inconnu«
(»Diary of an unknown«)
 (Video clip  )
Solo theatre play
German premiere

This dance solo by and with Josef Nadj shifts, full of enchanting imaginativeness, between humour and catastrophe, pain and lust for life. Nadj combs through his own diary about the Yugoslavian past and poets by Ottó Tolnai and enters the subconscious of human soul.

Fringe programme

Free entry for these events

Tue. 04 Nov. – Fri. 07 Nov. // 11.00 a.m. – 08.00 p.m.
Sat. 08 Nov. – Sun. 09 Nov. // 10.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m.
Galerie Irrgang
Exhibition »Les corneilles« (»The crows«)
Drawings by Josef Nadj
Tue. 04 Nov. // 11.00 – about 12.30 a.m.
Press conference for Festival opening
and art opening (both open to the public)
the artist will be present
Introduction: Dr. Meinhard Michael, journalist and art historian, Leipzig

Fri. 07 Nov. // 05.00 – about 06.45 p.m.
Festival café at Telegraph
»Dernier paysage« (»Last landscape«)
& »Paso Doble«
Two films by Josef Nadj
German premiers
Introduction: Dr. Martina Bako, Theatre scholar, University of Leipzig