Henrietta Horn

Kaiserkleider 1 c Ursula Kaufmann klein

photo: Ursula Kaufmann





A project by Henrietta Horn (choreography), Reinhard Hubert (lighting and video) and Frank Schulte (sound)


premiere: 28./29.10.2016
pact zollverein Essen


As already shown in her choreography “Rotlicht“, Henrietta Horn again investigates issues on cross-genre forms of art.

In “Kaiserkleider“ Henrietta Horn encounters sound and media artist Frank Schulte as well as video and lighting designer Reinhard Hubert and their respective media. Their joint work is based on a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen: The Emperor’s New Clothes (Des Kaisers neue Kleider).

“Kaiserkleider“ is not so much about the actual fairytale, instead it focuses on aspects of truth and lie, sly deception and someone who is about to be famously framed. The moral to the story is basically a given, which puts the narrative’s background and its text into focus. By randomly repeating and emphasizing single passages and words, the text is repeatedly put in a different context - the spoken word thus functions as a basis for musical interpretation, whereas the text itself functions as a basis for movement.

This team of three seeks structure in chaos and order, raises questions on style and substance, selective as well as objective perception and investigates the artistic scope of design within randomly generated events.

Does allowing for coincidence on stage inevitably produce chaos? Chaos theory describes chaos as a state that is not governed by any rules and does not feature any reliable patterns. That is why total chaos is actually of no interest to the researchers - they are much more interested in investigating forms of order underlying the alleged chaos or rather a transition from order to chaos.

Creative work is not interested in total chaos either. And yet it raises the question whether or not total chaos could actually happen on stage. How can one achieve total chaos, meaning to avoid every kind of order? Wouldn’t all things lead to order eventually, no matter how hard one tried to create chaos? And even if the experiment was successful, what would be the benefit of it - except for total chaos, of course?

Watching nothing but utter chaos would even scare off the most experienced audience. Chaos is only getting more interesting if it included a hint of order, something the audience can hold on to. Thus chaos turns into “alleged chaos“ and can be treated as an object of investigation for researchers as well as for the stage. Perhaps the “alleged chaos“ can be described as a state of sensory overload in which order is no longer distinguishable.

“Kaiserkleider“ is about expectation and perception - it is demanding, challenging and disrupting for both audience and performer. Genres will be changed, tasks redistributed. Is this “transactive“ art or dilettantism? Within the concentrated atmosphere of a theater space something develops and dissolves at the same time, since it questions and undermines itself.


Concept, choreography, performance: Henrietta Horn

Sound: Frank Schulte

Lighting and video: Reinhard Hubert

Management: Alexandra Schmidt


A production by Henrietta Horn, co-produced by pact zollverein, subsidized by the Ministry of Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports, the Cultural Office of the City of Essen, Baedeker Stiftung and Sparkasse Essen.




SCHIMMEWelchen Bewegungsimpuls gibt welche Farbe?