Crazy Clips – TikTok on stage

“Crazy Clips” from 1995 anticipated the viewing habits of the YouTube and TikTok generations. The daring dance theater piece deals with media addiction in our information society, sensory overload and daydreaming as remedy for the lack of real attention and the need for warmth and interpersonal relationships in a hectic world.

The plot – desire and reality

A woman stands in the kitchen and prepares a salad. While channel flipping on her kitchen TV the boundaries between the characters on the screen and her own reality become increasingly blurred. She always appears surrounded by her idols from the film and television world as well as famous characters from the New Testament, “Dangerous Liaisons”, “Doctor Zhivago”, “Koyaanisquatsi”, “Swan Lake” and “Jaws”. A baby and a man keep appearing – the child she never had and the man who has been cheating on her for years.

Sec and Crime – murder and manslaughter

When she finally kills her husband in an act of sheer desperation, she cuts her husband’s heart, which now finally belongs to her alone, neatly into small pieces as a clever crowning touch in this “Salade Folle”. Kreissig’s piece in Lucerne provided exciting discussions and contemporary entertainment in many ways.

Music collage from Bach to Techno

The piece is set to a music collage in which the musical accompaniment changes roughly every 90 seconds. The audience is subjected to a wild musical roller coaster ride: from Bach to Philip Glass, from techno to the Swiss national anthem, from Heintje’s “Mamaaaa” to Richard Wagner’s furious “Ride of the Valkyries”, Kreissig uses musical excerpts which are able to set an athmosphere within seconds. The 13 dancers from the Lucerne company take on a variety of roles, with the backstage costume change sometimes taking place in less than 20 seconds. This was possible thanks to a well-rehearsed interaction with the small wardrobe and make-up team.

The Lucerne venture

With “Crazy Clips” Kreissig took his concept of scenic and dance collage to the extreme. It was in his last season that he dared to take this step, which placed a great challenge on the audience: in Lucerne, central Switzerland, a figure of Christ who forgave the murder of a husband and “Vreneli Helvetia”, a personification of Switzerland that was often perplexed and despairing on stage, were quite daring. But after three years the Lucerne audience had kept up with the educational as well as seductive process and applauded this sarcastic view of the world.

Crazy Clips in Germany 1999

Four years after the premiere in Lucerne, Kreissig revised “Crazy Clips” for a youth dance theater ensemble in his hometown of Reutlingen. Martin Lutterbeck (member of the “Wilde Bühne” and player with the “Neckarwerke”) appeared in the role of the husband, while Renate Mach, the head of the JTT herself, appeared as the frustrated wife.

The many small roles have now been taken on by 40 children and young people between the ages of 9 and 21. At the same time, the framework was adapted to the current political situation in Germany. Instead of Swiss philistinism, German xenophobia and the shortcomings of German unity are now appearing on the stage. Even in the updated version, everything was brought to the point in a satirical and exaggerated way.

Work with young people

Many dance pieces that Kreissig created for young people are based on the reality of their lives. They offer children and teenagers excellent opportunities to creatively engage with reality. Kreissig’s special teaching system E.i.S. (Energy in Play) and his many years of experience working with children and young people are a valuable help here.
These projects combine artistic and educational aspects – without losing sight of entertaining the audience.

More about Thorsten Kreissig’s theater pedagogical work.