The “Sacre del Gottardo” ceremony wins the 2017 Xaver Prize

The performance created by director Volker Hesse with Andrea Herdeg, choreographer and teacher of the Accademia Teatro Dimitri, received the Gold-Xaver Award in the category “Best Public Event & Show-Entertainment”.

As part of the “Gotthard Project 2016”, organized by the Federal Office of Transport (FOT), the SBB, and AlpTransit San Gottardo SA (ATG), the opening ceremony of the San Gottardo was held on June 1st, 2016. For the occasion, the Accademia Teatro Dimitri collaborated in a great theatrical project directed by Volker Hesse, who produced two performances executed simultaneously at the northern entrance to the tunnel at Erstfeld, and the southern entrance at Pollegio.


Most notably, the project has been praised for its original interpretation of the theme: beyond the traditional celebratory approach, the performance explored the most controversial aspects of a tunnel with such dimensions, unafraid of provoking social criticism. Simultaneously a celebration of man’s domination of nature through technology, while also a narrative of human effort and sacrifice, the project involved more than 600 actors, dancers, trapeze artists, and more: among these artists were students and alumni of the Accademia Teatro Dimitri. The show also combined elements of modernity and strong traditional references in an innovative fashion: performers danced choreographies alongside elaborate aerial acrobatics and video-art projections, while electronic music was played together with live-singers, in addition to music from the Army’s band and an orchestra of 57 alphorns.


Precisely for its innovative aspects and original approach, as well as for its more visual elements, the ceremony held at the northern entrance, titled “Sacre del Gottardo”, won the 2017 Xaver Prize in the category ‘Best Public Event & Show-Entertainment’. The Swiss Prize Xaver – the Swiss Award for Excellence in Live Communication – is the most important in the field and was awarded on May 18th to various projects including the “Sacre del Gottardo” created by director Volker Hesse with collaboration from Andrea Herdeg, choreographer and dance teacher of the Accademia Teatro Dimitri.

(Photo Judith Schlosser)

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