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Pic No. 1: Image of Bertl Gstettner at Medusa*Ode | By: Bernd Uhlig | Bildrecht Vienna, 2016  



SATURDAY, SEP 09 2017, 08:00 PM

Based on the famous painting "The Raft of Medusa" by french painter Théodore Géricault, the choreography "Medusa*Ode" goes beyond the historical event and connects the fateful myth of medusa, the unforgotten human failure of the historic shipwreck and the contemporary tragedies of refugees fleeing over the seas today.


The head of Medusa embodies the boundless horror, we are afraid to find in ourselves - through the head-mask, all bad turns visible and at the same time banished in the reflecting mirror.

This performance is an attempt at the tragic transformation of the ancient Gorgo Medusa. Everyone who looked into the eyes of Medusa turned into a lifeless torso. But when Perseus suddenly put the mirror in front of her face, Medusa got trapped by her own spell and her power was passed on to Athene. Later Medusa became a symbol of keeping mischief away. At the beginning of the 19th century a French ship called Medusa wrecked near the West African coast. The famous canvas "The raft of Medusa" which was painted by French painter Alexandré Géricault in 1817, keeps reminding us of this catastrophe. It is still relevant today considering all the sad refugee-accidents in the Mediterranean Sea due to the continuous migration movements over the past ten years from the Middle East as well as from Africa towards Europe. Working on the choreography of Medusa*Ode I confronted myself with the myth of Medusa in order to grasp the fundamental tragic aspects. The two performers refer to the different appearances of Medusa and to the role of the painter becoming part of the dramatic circumstances of his own painting. In the N.Y. performance of the excerpt of Medusa*Ode (premiere: March 2016 at Odeon Theater, Vienna) Matthias Mollner substitutes the Austrian painter Hannes Mlenek, who in the original version related his part to the French painter Alexandré Géricault. The drawing in the set of Medusa*Ode is also done by Hannes Mlenek.

Choreographer: Bertl Gstettner
Performers: Bertl Gstettner, Matthias Mollner
Music: Günther Rabl
Set: Drawing by Hannes Mlenek, Mask by Devi Saha
Financial support of: The Austrian Federal Chancellery Division II: Arts and Culture, Austrian Cultural Forum New York (Full performance Medusa*Ode was supported by the City Council of Vienna - MA 7)


Bertl Gstettner is a Vienna-based choreographer, dancer and head of Tanz*Hotel (founded in 1991) - an interdisciplinary label for contemporary dance and performance. He trained in Vienna, Paris and New York in modern-, contemporary-, butoh- and ethnic-dance, most importantly, with Erick Hawkins & dancers in New York. His work includes his own choreographic productions and creations as well as remittance work and collaborations with various companies in Vienna and New York (Sin Cha Hong Laughing Stone Cie., Gloria McLean & Dancers). He has taken part in festivals in Europe, India, Egypt, S outh America, Russia and the US. In his studio Tanz*Hotel | Resort 1020 he teaches classes and workshops for professional performers and dance lovers. He is also the founder and creative director of the residency program Artist At Resort. www.tanzhotel.at

Matthias Mollner is a Vienna and Lower Austria-based artist and performer. He is creating interdisciplinary work which combines performance, objects, photography and film. His work contains interventions in public space, exhibitions and he participated in festivals. www.mollner.blogspot.com

Hannes Mlenek is a Vienna-based artist. His work includes installations and paintings. He is especially known for his large-scale paintings. www.mlenek.at

Günther Rabl is an Austrian composer and musician. He also is the head of Canto Crudo and founder of the Electric Orpheus Academy. www.canto-crudo.at


Over four days September 7-10, 2017, the American Dance Guild marks its 60th year with the Performance Festival 2017 "Celebrating Diversity" with performances by 30+ artists.

Tickets available >>here.

American Dance Guild Performance Festival 2017
The Ailey Citigroup Theatre
The Joan Weill Center for Dance
405 West 55th Street at 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10019

Pic No. 2: Image of Bertl Gstettner, Hannes Mlenek at Medusa*Ode | By: Bernd Uhlig | Bildrecht Vienna, 2016

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