Paris, April 4th, 18:00

“Human Requiem in Eleusis” Avant World Premiere at UNESCO

“Human Requiem in Eleusis”, the emblematic site-specific performance of the 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, directed by Jochen Sandigand choreographed by Sasha Waltz, has been uniquely captured on film by film director Stephan Talneau and will make its Avant-World Premiere at the UNESCO house in Paris on April 4th, at 18.00h. The film offers viewers the experience of ground-breaking exploration of the existential questions posed by the legendary Eleusinian Mysteries for almost two millennia.

The film screening is organised by the Permanent Delegation of Greece and the Federal Republic of Germany to UNESCO in collaboration with the World Human Forum and the Centre Culturel Hellenique. A short discussion with the filmmakers will precede the screening.

Specially designed for the Eleusis archaeological site, it aims to awaken the spirit of the place. It is based on the work by Johannes Brahms, “German Requiem“ and features the participation of one of the best choirs worldwide, the Berlin Radio Choir (Rundfunkchor Berlin) conducted by Gijs Leenaars, where each of its singers fill the space with their voices as soloists. It also features soprano Marlis Petersen and baritone Benjamin Appl, Angela Gassenhuber and Philip Mayers on the piano, as well as soloists of the dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests.

The ancient sanctuary of Eleusis becomes an open communal space of collective catharsis, where text and body, space and sound, merge into a single work of art. This is not a mass for the dead, but rather a rite celebrating life: a memento mori (remember you must die) being transformed into a carpe diem (seize the day). An experience of collective catharsis rooted in the recognition that mortality unites all human beings in a singular fate. Human Requiem in Eleusis is a re-creation of the Human Requiem that has toured around the world, from New York to Hong Kong, Berlin and Athens to Adelaide, and from Amsterdam to Granada. In 2016 it won the Classical: NEXT Innovation Award, while the New York Times acclaimed it as “an anthem for our time.”