The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL offers young theatre ensembles from all over the world an opportunity to present their theatre forms on Bremen's stages. We are looking for new means of expression and movement. Our primary focus is on the experimental and process-oriented aspects of each individual production. We are looking for the contents and forms of our time. Productions that develop strategies against social and ethnic ostracism and translate the existential questions posed by young people into formal artistic language are of particular interest in this framework. Our concern is with the accumulated force of young experimental theatre. We create a forum for playful dialogue about contents, forms of expression and stage tendencies. We want to encourage theatre as a space for encounter and discourse. Vastly different nationalities, characters and stories come together â€" life designs that have one thing in common: they are a product of our age, and they use theatre as a platform for expression and discourse. EXPLOSIVE!
Since its first realization in 1994, the EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL has become a prominent national and international festival of the performing arts in Germany. Its form is unique: with regard to its blend of ensembles, its spectrum from lay groups to professionals, and its diversity of musicians and performers, actors and dancers, directors and a public of all ages, it knows no equal in the German-speaking regions. The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL stands for coming together on an equal footing, and against the blanket dictates of pigeonholes â€" for the equivocalness and force of theatre in all its forms. Ensembles from Argentina, Palestine, Belgium, Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Russia, the Netherlands, the U.S., Switzerland, South Africa, Croatia and Germany have performed in Bremen within this framework. It has offered a stage to countless artists who have meanwhile made names for themselves, and it has contributed decisively to providing young theatre from Europe and the world a platform and making it accessible to a broad public. Long-lived collaborations and contacts have been established, and the EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL has never stopped growing and developing! Like theatre itself, the festival is a work in progress.
The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL ensembles come from the Near and Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. They work collectively, under professional stage direction, with choreographers and musicians, or they consist of young people who look for unique and innovative forms of theatre on their own. A number of the directors are well known; in other cases EXPLOSIVE! offers the ensemble its first opportunity to perform in Europe. A great diversity of nationalities, personalities and backgrounds come together here, but they have two things in common: the time in which we live and the use of the theatre as a platform for expression and discourse.
The forms of expression used in present-day theatre are in a constant state of change. Every ensemble encounters its concerns, material and form anew. It makes proposals, creates occasions and develops designs of the worlds in which we want to, have to or are allowed to live, or which we want to contradict. The energy lies in the equivocalness, in the searches undertaken by each individual in his or her art, in his or her life. In order to develop world designs further, we need the abstract art of theatre â€" the uncomfortable, the demanding, the immediate, the evasive, the poetic elements of theatre that invite us and permit us to experience something different. The change of perspective in the encounter with these designs takes place by way of the intellect â€" but also by way of images, atmosphere, sound and movement. The festival makes the direct, instantaneous encounter with the designs created by the guest ensembles and artists possible, and confronts us with their individual visions. The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL is intended as an invitation to change viewpoints; together we want to embark on world designs in order to transcend them, gain new perspectives on them and question them to the core.
The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL is a momentary take. On the national and international level it espouses the free development of the performing arts and the diversity of forms of expression.
The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL banks on the process aspect of each production and on the present as the language that connects the cultures. Theatre of the present probes categorical boundaries and cultural traditions. It turns process and individual visions into driving forces. The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL productions are not surrogates for their cultures. They don't represent the traditions and conflicts of their native countries, no matter how much they explore those aspects. They represent solely their own thoughts, viewpoints, stories and histories. The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL productions frequent the intersections between theatre, dance, music, the visual arts and performance. They share the elementary search for new themes, means of expression and forms of work - in nuce, for a language of the present.
An innovation introduced by last year's festival proved to be an enrichment: the invitation to send delegates. The EXPLOSIVE! FESTIVAL offers every ensemble which has officially applied but not been invited to participate the opportunity to send one to two delegates. The festival organizes room and board.
In 2013, we will develop and expand this principle.
The festival targets above all young people of Bremen, school pupils, university students, vocational trainees, and everyone else who already loves theatre or would like to get to love it. With the aid of EXPLOSIVE! these persons are to be involved in new theatre contexts. The resulting experience can then find expression in theatre work taking place in the region.