Opening performance of the Kunstfest Weimar using PLEXIGLAS® Reflections

© Kunstfest Weimar/Thomas Müller

Opening performance full of reflections at the Kunstfest Weimar

For two and a half weeks every summer, artists from all over the world transform Weimar into a theater stage. On the largest stage – the facade of the Deutsches Nationaltheater – PLEXIGLAS® glistened at the opening performance of 2016.

Visitors to the Kunstfest Weimar have the pick of around 25 productions and more than 100 events. With such a large program, there has got to be something special to keep hundreds of people spellbound for several minutes while looking in the same direction and keep them astonished the entire time. The opening performance of the 2016 Kunstfest Weimar was definitely something special. As a multimedia performance of music, dance, light and video art, it was the crowning culmination of the opening day – and at the same time an impressive kickoff to the cultural festival.

The Kunstfest Weimar

Since 1990, the Kunstfest Weimar has inspired an international audience with its extensive program. Dance and theater guest performances from all over the world are on the agenda, alongside concerts, literature, film and art. Since 2014, the Kunstfest has been organized by the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar under the artistic direction of Christian Holtzhauer.

Visual spectacle at the Kunstfest

The performance begins with dramatic music and flickering lights, continuously interrupted by emotional, calmer passages. At the same time, the facade of the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar is turned into a screen: Colorful geometric shapes, which, according to the designers Marcus Max Schreiner, Christian Scheibe and Stefan Kraus are supposed to represent patterns of thought and action, are projected onto the building. A visual spectacle, accompanied by a live, original soundtrack composed by Ludger Nowak and Marc Sauter.

The video of the opening performance of the Kunstfest Weimar 2016, where PLEXIGLAS® Reflections can be seen from 1:27 minutes in:

Dazzling effect of mirrors

Just as the piece is about to pick up pace again, a visual and acoustic shattering of broken pieces interrupts the melody, representing the end of a monotonous and dictatorial system. The artists then gather once again on the balcony – this time with diamond shaped mirrors in their hands. The mirrors create reflections and shadows on the facade of the Deutsches Nationaltheater and reflect the spotlight towards the audience.  “The mirrors represent the power of the individual. They are symbols of hope and optimism,” says director Marcus Schreiner. “At the same time, human beings are reflected in a new, better world.”

“PLEXIGLAS® is very easy to process.”

Lisa Kumpf
Set Designer Kunstfest Weimar 2016

Lightweight and unbreakable

“Usual mirrors made of glass would have been far too heavy for this performance,” says set designer Lisa Kumpf. “They could also shatter, which would be a danger for the actors.” Instead, the mirrors were cut from a plate of PLEXIGLAS® Reflections with single-sided reflective coating. Evonik’s brand acrylic glass is only half the weight of glass and yet eleven times sturdier. PLEXIGLAS® was a straightforward choice for Kumpf, given that she had already worked with the material on previous projects. “PLEXIGLAS® is very easy to process and simply has better quality than competing products.”