Fest — 1

The last days since arriving in Vienna have been in the high-30s with glaring blue sky, and me riding in this. I don’t think I’ve ridden in such heat since Melbourne, Berlin for sure in the last couple of years has never been that hot, and my previous times in Vienna have been maudlin summers. It’s both somehow gloriously indulgent and just plain horrific, and I am in awe at the Viennese cycle couriers, all tanned, shaved calves, blasting up and down the city’s hills on proper fixies all day in this weather.

What am I doing here then? Well, a couple of months ago, I got an email from Ivo, asking if I might like to assist him for a piece he’s making, to premiere in ImPulsTanz. Then I saw him in Berlin two or so weeks ago and we talked more, and early last week it fell together, seeing me and my bike (and Panda) on a train on Monday bound for here.

This time I’m staying in Zieglergasse, in Neubau, the 7th district on the end away from Mariahilferstr in a nice old apartment on the top floor. Somehow I thought it was the same street as last year — there is even a crane outside the window, but last year was in fact close to Hauptbahnhof and this year it’s Westbahnhof up the road. Seeing that I’ll be here a while, I’ve found my markets, Bio shop (I’m picky about Haferflocken), climbing halls, english bookshops, general getting around on bike, and other typical things.

Rehearsing, then. We’re currently in a studio behind a massive blue, metal door in Laxenburgerstr, one of a pair with kitchen and trellis outside shaded with dense grape vine growth. The first days working afternoons, then the last two, mornings; back to afternoons next week, I think. At the end of next week we move somewhere new, and then (again, I think), on to Kasino am Schwarzenburgplatz, where the premiere is on July 27th.

What are we doing? I originally supposed I’d blog as usual every day or as much as possible, but arriving in the heat and having my laptop hit 70º just reading the news made me leery of excessive mashing of keyboard, and now it’s already five rehearsals done. Also it feels a little private at the moment. Nonetheless, I spend some of my time (surprise!) mashing keyboard, hammering in Ivo’s conversations with himself. Other parts are spent developing strange fantasies that seem to cause simultaneous horror and mirth. We’ve written together probably over an hour of theatre, and whatever location could be called ‘The End’, is speculatively another quarter to third away.

The festival hasn’t started yet — well, this one has, because it’s called Fest — I mean ImPulsTanz hasn’t started yet, still two weeks away. Ivo is also DanceWEB coach this year, performing X-on in the festival, Lili Handel in Switzerland, and teaching a workshop. I shall continue to blog sporadically.