Cockaigne d'Or

For her graduate project at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna Marianne Vlaschits designed and manufactured a large scale stage setting in the theme of medieval carnival. The piece is inspired by the book “Rabelais and his world”, a scholarly work about the french Renaissance writer Rabelais written by Russian literary critic and philosopher Michail Bachtin. Fifteen amateur dancers were invited to have a feast and then dance for 10 hours in uniquely designed costumes to a live free jazz/techno improvisational set by keyboardist Philipp Quehenberger and drummer Didi Kern.The idea was to revive the carnival parties, which used to be an important part of the schools embassy halls history and to show a video work about the pleasure and freedom of uncontrolled celebration. Another source of inspiration was a scene from the movie “An American in Paris” by Vincente Minnelli. In the infamous final scene, a sketch drawn by the main character comes to life when the characters become real people in costumes in a three-dimensional setting, animating the frame with various choreographies. Consequentially, “Cockaigne d’Or” too resulted in a 40 minute long dance movie.


Academy of Fine Arts

Photos: Alexander Nussbaumer
Costumes: Thomas van der Jeught
Sound: Philipp Quehenberger, Didi Kern