Surreal Estate: VIENNA: LUSTHAUS

VIENNA: LUSTHAUS

In the beginning was not the word but the ritual. Or so some of the most influential theorists of 20th century theater contend. Thus the avant-garde has sought to reinvigorate drama by going backward, to incantatory sound and allusive visual imagery. In the 1960s and 1970s, such experiments often evoked the grubby and primal. Lately artists like Robert Wilson have mined the elegant surrealism of dreams--and have willingly induced a drowsy semiconsciousness in audiences. Martha Clarke, a former modern dancer with the Pilobolus troupe, has traversed similar terrain in The Garden of Earthly Delights, echoing the Hieronymus Bosch painting that hangs...

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