A play about the culture of celebration

The first who celebrated the Celebration pure was, as it’s proven, Epicure who placed joy and festivity at the centre of human life. This produces the love of joy which Empedocles had already known and which was the only social common sense that he accepted. There is no greater good on earth than to be the friend of all celebrations. Society, Nation or Organisations were unstable territory for him. Such things the much revered Master taught in his garden. The students sat all around, that was called Symposium.

There, with women, song and wine and the sound of many well filled glasses the teaching was turned to deed by making sure to enjoy the celebration. I say it to everybody here in the theatre: The why we celebrate is not important, already since the Romans and the Greeks the wine was poured out in rivers.

For that I shout three times “Hellau”, “Hellau”, “Hellau”!

The Speaker


World premiere on 10 May 1997 at the Pantheon Düsseldorf

Staging: Jörg U. Lensing
Musical concept: Jörg U. Lensing / Thomas Neuhaus
Costumes: Caterina Di Fiore
Costume assistant: Elke Goldmann / Susanne Kardes / Monique Lipp / Ulla Wrobel
Stage design: Tinus Alsdorf / Caterina Di Fiore / Zarah Ritz-Rahman
Light: Thomas Neuhaus
Actors: Kai Bettermann, Susanna Curtis, Yael Elyashiv, Claudia Erkelenz, Clemente Fernandez, Jacqueline Fischer, Kerstin Hörner, Hiroko Kamimura, Shizuko Kashiwagi, Cornelia Zell
Head of training: Jacqueline Fischer / Kerstin Hörner
Theatre and project management: Jörg U. Lensing
Artistic office: Dorothea Verheyen
Poster and program design: Ernst Merheim
Photos: Oliver Eltinger
The scenic material was created in collective authorship by Kai Bettermann, Susanna Curtis, Yael Elyashiv, Claudia Erkelenz, Clemente Fernandez, Jacqueline Fischer, Kerstin Hörner, Hiroko Kamimura, Shizuko Kashiwagi, Jörg U. Lensing and Cornelia Zell

About the Production

With our production “jubilee” from 1997 we show our 10th video in the 10th week since beginning of the theatrical restrictions in 2020. From the next week we complement our financing model for this action, but also for our activities in general, with the possibility to become a supporting patron for the THEATER DER KLÄNGE!

Jubilaeum (“Jubilee”) – a piece about the art of celebrating

An international ensemble with actors fromGermany, Greece, Great Britain, Holland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Sweden and Spain dedicated itself to the theme “Jubilee” on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of this ensemble.

Thus was created a theatrical collage with the title “Jubilaeum”: 100 small sketches about the rituals of joy and grief, about man-invented and artistic ways of rejoicing…

– 10 x 10 ways;
– to hold a celebration speech
– to dance at a party
– to eat and drink
– to have a procession
– to act out the ceremony of the day
– to dress up
– to be honoured ceremonially
– to give oneself a gift

A 100 minute production which brings together music, speech, acting and dance with comedic, but also serious scenes and dances, into a feast for the stage. This “feast for the stage” took place mainly at the Pantheon, Duesseldorf (altogether 27 performances) in the course of the memorial inauguration of a festival hall from the 19th century.

JUBILAEUM was performed a total of 33 times in Duesseldorf, Paris, Essen and Weimar. It is a piece which the Theater der Klaenge offered to itself on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, in order to celebrate its existence with its friends, former collaborators and its public. Smaller short versions with the core ensemble followed in 1998/99.

Jubilee: Press

Behind the program title “Jubilaeum” hides a powerful repertoire, reflecting the most different cultures, about the sense and nonsense of celebration, about the ABCs of different occasions and their rituals. The ten actors of the ensemble (and that means just as many nationalities!), are at the same time musicians and dancers, quick change artists, who swap roles within seconds, who can stand on stage as a stone faced Yuppie, just as easily as a fidgeting Raver. “Jubilaeum” is a collage which transports us into far regions and traditions, and whose rhythm and colors are bewitching. The peculiarities of their compatriots are taken under the magnifying glass with razor sharp precision, however, known cliches and customs are also staged so accurately and humorously that the spectator is continuously given to belly laughter. (…) Really refreshing, to not only experience an uncommon theater evening, but to become familiar with rituals of hardly known populations in the most witty scenarios.

Foyer, Essen

The actors, coming from 9 different countries, gave interesting insights into celebration rituals of other cultures. Whether Bar-Mitzvah, the Swedish Lucia, or a Japanese tea ceremony – the differences between cultures show up in their way of celebrating. Altogether an entertaining stage event with sparkling actors.

WAZ, Essen

The independent ensemble from Duesseldorf Theater der Klaenge has never yet presented its interdisciplinary work with such concentrated power as in “Jubilaeum”. The new production also clarifies the multiplicity of cultural interests of the international ensemble. The minute long applause at the end of the two hour line of parties, celebration speeches, folk dances, mourning rituals and orgies was certainly not only aimed at the ten performers, out of almost that many countries, and at the directing team of Joerg U.Lensing. It also expressed respect for the immense achievement of the Theater der Klaenge, which has asserted its position in the cultural scene with such great originality, despite the handicap of having to always perform as a touring company without a stable address. “Jubilaeum” is a picture- book on the art of celebration, witty, parodistic and entertaining, (…) like the evening which ends cheerfully with Bacchus and the Hollywood diva, fanning herself as she smiles down at us. This usually very self-willed ensemble succeeds here in a grandiose finale of cinematic quality.

Ballett Journal, 6/97

Breathless and international, in the rhythm of a dance-revue: For its tenth anniversary, Theater der Klaenge, created a “piece about the art of celebrating”. The exalted joy with which the actors brought the rituals, traditional and ceremonial dances from all over the world to the stage, swept the spectators of the sold out Pantheon Theater off their feet.


In “Jubilaeum” is depicted whichever aspect relating to the topics: celebration, party and joy, there may be. The Theater der Klaenge has designed a sort of kaleidoscope which quite fairly portrays all traditions and rites, pageants and parades, honors, acknowledgments and whatever other significant and marvelous occasions there may be in the world. (…) To begin with, one must be able to come on to the idea of reading out the alphabet in terms of festivities, as Clemente Fernandez did so eloquently and precisely – from M like Mother’s day to X like Xylophone concert, and C like Civil wedding, he never found himself short of an answer, even to the most challenging letters.

Rheinische Post, Dusseldorf

(…) The hybris, so often found in the independent theater scene, to want to reinvent the wheel, did luckely not happen in this stormy theatrical momentum. No, the Theater der Klaenge have in every new creation been compared to the most diligent group of archeologists… As such, Lensing and his actors make consistently more sense, through their investigative work on the traditional vocabulary of stage and movement, than mere excavation workers: namely by creating lively art, relating to the present. The pieces shine with images brimming with detail, well thought out scenic compositions, and body work of such precision that it is hard to find outside the dance world.

Tanz aktuell / Ballett international 5/97 

Jubilee: Sound