Robert Wilson is among the most celebrated figures in the contemporary performing and visual arts. The invention of his outstanding visual theatre makes him a main emblem of the postmodern theatre aesthetics. His productions are unusual and very powerful compositions of sound and color, of silence and light, of images and movement.
Robert Wilson was born on the 4th October 1941 in Waco, Texas. After attending local schools and studying business administration at the University of Texas, in 1963 he left for Brooklyn, New York, where he graduated architecture in the prestigious Pratt Institute. Here, apart from studying the space, he was attracted by the experiments in dance of George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham. Excited by this discovery of the possibilities for expression of the human body in the space, in 1968 Robert Wilson created his own experimental theatre company „Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds“. For the Avignon Festival in 1976 and in collaboration with the composer Philip Glass he created his most famous production – “Einstein on the Beach”. This production strongly announced the powerful visual theatre of Robert Wilson and after its premiere he started working more often for the big theatre and opera stages, and festivals, in Europe.
His signature artistic style is the mark of his over 50 performances, such as: “Hamletmaschine”, “The Black Rider” (in collaboration with William Burrows and Tom Waits), “Woyzeck”, “The Threepenny Opera”, “Happy Days”, “Shakespeare’s Sonnets”, “Krapp’s Last Tape”, “The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic” (with the participation of Marina Abramovic), “Rhinoceros”, “Faust” and others. Among these a special place holds his solo-performance “Hamlet”, created in 1995, in which Robert Wilson is director, set designer and performer.
The talk is moderated by:
Prof. DSc. Kamelia Nikolova – theatrologist, senior research fellow at the Institute for Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and a lecturer of “History of European Theatre” and “History of Theatre Direction” at the National Academy of Theatre & Film Arts (NATFA). Editor-in-chief of the “Stage” rubric of “Literaturen vestnik”; deputy editor-in-chief of Art Studies Quarterly. Author of 10 books, among which: “The Other Name of Modern Theatre. Stage Director” (1995); “Expressionist Theatre and the Body Language” (2000); “Bulgarian Theatre after 1989 and New British Drama” (2013, 2018) and others. Member of the editorial board of “Homo Ludens” journal.
Assoc. Prof. Asen Terziev – theatrologist and lecturer of “History of European Theatre at the National Academy of Theatre & Film Arts (NATFA), theatre critic with over 150 publications. Author of two monographs: “Theatricality – The Language of Performance” (2012) and “The Drama and English Romanticism – Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley” (2019). Member of the editorial board of “Homo Ludens” journal.
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