“The foreign observer has become a welcome and familiar participant,” theater man Achim Bening is excited about the collaboration with photographer Christine de Grancy. “With a sure instinct on stage, with a dramatic understanding, and with a respectful and cautious approach, Kristen co-created a new world with a fantasy experience and without voyeuristic intrusion. She became a member of the troupe “Summer Guests.”
The result of this extraordinary encounter between a photographer and a group can now be seen on the ground floor of the Theater Museum in Lubkowitz Palace. For her 80th birthday, “Christine de Grancy. Storm and Game” offers insight into her lesser known creative period as a stage photographer. Actor and director Achim Bening was director of the Burg Theater from 1976 to 1986. The Beyman era that followed wrongly overshadowed his management, because Benning had already opened the National Theater to new directing styles and international directors. In 1979 Christine de Grancy began filming rehearsals, performances, and guest performances at the Burgtheater Theatre. The photographer has now selected 400 images from her extensive archive and grouped them into 14 chapters; Benning played a pivotal role in Gorky’s production of “Summer Guests” from 1980, which was also invited to the Theaterretreffen at the time, as well as a Moscow guest performer for the same and other productions by Benning, Dieter Giesing and Dieter Berner.
The black and white scene photos depict intense theatrical moments and evoke the aesthetics of the 80s theater. At that time, much attention was paid to the atmosphere of the atmosphere, and the fashion also remained largely in keeping with the color of that time. However, the show above all is a meeting with great actors: Angie Conrady and Fritz Moliard, old Attila Horbiger and young Regina Fritsch, Kurt Swentz and Kitty Speicher can be seen and, of course, Erika Blohar, a friend from the photographer and at that time contacted the Burg Theater.
Christine de Grancy has been voted one of the 100 best in her field by “Photo” magazine, and her photographic work goes beyond stage photography. De Grancy has dealt with distant peoples and foreign cultures, documenting Tuareg lives, for example, and is considered an “ethnologist researching people and their lives with a camera.” An element associated with her stage photography is consistent black and white photography, and the abandonment of colour, which is now also unusual in stage photography, means “a completely different earnestness and focus” for de Grancy. You can convince yourself of this at the theater museum.
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