Charlotte Engelkes

The most important thing is to be able to give oneself and others a Yes: How Sweden’s most celebrated performing artist conquered Bayreuth. Lena Andrén joined her for yogi tea and a look back at her daring, instinctive career in the arts and some surprising discoveries

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The day after St Valentine’s Day, Charlotte Engelkes’ flat is brimming over with bouquets of various shapes and sizes: the perfect setting for La Engelkes, whose finely boned face, slender body and long dark hair give her the poetic aura of a Muse of famous men. In reality, the flowers are in different stages of decay and emitting a strange smell. We are sitting in the kitchen, eating rice cakes and sipping yogi tea, and the woman in front of me is a very down-to-earth ­feminist.
The flowers are spoils from “Miss Very Wagner” and the performance is still absorbing her thoughts.

When we start to talk about it I soon realise that this is much more than a show. Strangely enough, what she tells me about the performance manages to comprise much of what to me is the essence of Engelkes. Like this idea to go hunting for Wagner all over Europe on her own, with no appointments and no hotel reservations. Not even in Bayreuth, where the people in the tourist office just laughed at her. But it took her no more than about half an hour to organise a hotel room and an invitation to the Festspielhaus where she was introduced to Wolfgang Wagner. Three days later, when it was time for her to leave ...

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Tanz April 2006
Rubrik: Portrait, Seite 24
von Lena Andrén

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