Alain Platel, “les ballets C de la B” and “Rimini Protokoll” to Visit Riga
The Flemish choreographer Alain Platel and “les ballets C de la B” will stage their latest performance at the Ķīpsala Exhibition Centre on the 8th and 9th of November. There are three sources of inspiration for the performance: the outstanding Dutch actress Elsie de Brauw, Marco Prado’s documentary “Estamira”, telling the story of a woman who suffers from schizophrenia and who lives and works at a waste disposal site in Rio de Janeiro, and the Polish artist Artur Zmijewski’s recording of a choir of deaf people interpreting Bach’s music.
Alain Platel is trained as a remedial educationalist, and is an autodidact director. In 1984 he and a number of friends and relatives founded “Les ballets contemporains de la Belgique”. By 1998, Platel’s company, renamed “les ballets C de la B”, had won widespread acclaim as a result of its unique mixture of artistic visions and the unusual, “wrong”, anarchic and ugly movement of the performers that nevertheless cut deeper and expressed much more than the most beautiful and perfect classical pas-de-deux. Its motto is “This dance is for the world and the world is for everyone”.
“Platel has found a way to pick people up from rock bottom and elevate them to the divine and spiritual dimension of Bach, without using any elements of kitsch or treacly sentiments. He has an immense artistic talent, which the Berlin public acknowledged in 2014 by giving him a standing ovation,” theatre critic Margarita Zieda told the Latvian Radio following the “tauberbach” performances in Berlin.
The other key event in the forte forte programme is “Rimini Protokoll” – three artists from Berlin who are considered the trailblazers of the so-called documentary theatre, and whose creative activity encompasses theatre, radio readings, installations, socio-political and research projects.
“Rimini Protokoll” continues the anthropological research started by ethnologists and anthropologists in Africa and Australia during the 1960s. However, there is an essential difference - the German artists follow the lives of suburban residents of modern-day cities, and the research is carried out in theatre environment.
“Rimini Protokoll” has been to Riga twice – in 2005 with “Cameriga”, a play about power and bureaucracy staged in what is now the building of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and a play about truckers titled “Cargo Sofia – Riga” in 2007. “Rimini Protokoll” has won numerous awards and widespread acclaim in Europe and around the world.
“Rimini Protokoll” brings real life to the stage, in a way no one has done before, according to the German media.
In Riga “Rimini Protokoll” artists will stage one of their latest works, the interactive video performance “Situation Rooms”, that will run from the 14th to 26th of October. “Situation Rooms” brings together twenty people from different continents – people whose lives are defined by weapons. These include a physician, a soldier, an athlete, a hacker and a drone operator. The performance resembles a computer game, and is a labyrinth of various rooms, events, and lives. The audience follow the players and their stories through I-pad screens and real time, becoming involved in events that take place in various parts of the world. “Situation Rooms” is a multi-layer film, a close-up on 3D reality, offering audiences an experience only theatre can provide.
“Situation Rooms” was awarded with the Children’s Choice Award from the Ruhrtriennale 2013 in the following categories: “Best of the Best” and “Most intense show that was so intense that I didn’t want to miss a second”. In addition, “Rimini Protokoll” received the Excellence Award of the 17th Japanese Media Arts Festival in Tokyo this year.
The contemporary theatre programme forte forte will close with a collaboration between “Rimini Protokoll” and one hundred Rigans – the unique performance “100% Riga” where the statistics for the city are brought onto the stage via a hundred residents of Riga, who reveal what Riga actually thinks and feels. The performance will be at the VEF Culture Centre on the 4th, 6th and 7th of December.
Tickets to “tauberbach” and “Situation Rooms” can already be purchased from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets and online shop, as well as at the New Theatre Institute of Latvia at Miera iela 39-2. Tickets to the “100% Riga” performance will go on sale in September.
The contemporary theatre programme forte forte, run by the New Theatre Institute of Latvia, is a year-long series of performances by leading European theatre artists. The programme features artists popular worldwide for their signature style and performances that centre on the relationships between the individual and power, personality and masses, as well as ordinary members of society, set against the background of major historical events, yet within routine contexts. The programme opened in January with a week dedicated to Latvian stage director Alvis Hermanis, whereas this past March, the programme presented performances by Flemish artist Jan Lauwers and “Needcompany”.
For more information about the forte forte programme, visit this website.