In March 2014 the first Cheers for Fears Festival took place at Ringlokschuppen Ruhr. Around 30 young artists – students from the fields of dance, physical theater, acting and directing at Folkwang University and theater studies and scenic research at Ruhr University Bochum – met here.
In the Open Space format that opened the festival, the focus was on discussing what kind of free space is needed at universities and what kind of desire students have for cross-disciplinary exchange. Around 10 working groups eventually formed – including a digital platform for sharing requests and calls, designing a cross-university format for artistic experimentation, and, with a wink, developing a new, postmodern “blockbuster theater.”
In addition, there were three workshops by artists who collaborate across disciplines in their artistic work – among them were SKILLS from Hamburg (Camilla M. Fehér and Sylvi Kretzschmar), whose workshop explored space choreographically and compositionally and developed syntheses of sound and movement, installation and choreography, the figure and object theatre artist Anne Klatt, who dealt with the animation of objects on the border between performing and visual arts, and Copy & Waste (Jörg Albrecht and Stefan Klewar) from Berlin, who devoted themselves to the stage as a public space.
On two evenings, almost 20 performances and installations were presented in a performance marathon and reflected on in feedback discussions the next morning.