“Rimini Protokoll” and Riga Residents Present – “100% Riga”
The “100% Riga” performances will be at the VEF Culture Centre on the 4th and 6th of December at 7 p.m., and the 7th of December at 5 p.m. Tickets (EUR 10) are available from “Biļešu paradīze” outlets and online shop.
According to the Central Statistical Bureau’s data, the population of Riga was 643,368 at the beginning of 2014. Purvciems is the most populous neighbourhood of Riga, with one resident per 23.2 square metres on the average. Three girls in Latvia have been named Riga. People are forced into all kinds of curves, columns and rows to be used in political disputes or to justify an economic strategy. But what if statistics had human features? What if a hundred residents of Riga represented their city on stage, much like 100 percent do in statistics, to reveal what Riga actually feels and thinks?
“100% Riga” presents a portrait of the city in 100 faces. These people make our city what it is, they see each other for the first time and would probably not even meet if not for the project – a many-voiced choir that has had no rehearsals. “100% Riga” is a performance about that which statistics will never be able to capture.
The creators of the performance have been meeting and talking with these 100 Rigans for the past six months to find out if Riga is a source of joy or disappointment to those who were born here – and those who moved to Riga just recently, why some people dream about leaving the city while others are here to stay, which café in Riga sells the best crème brûlée, what is the best place to pick mushrooms, and where one should do exercises. It all started with the first “100% Riga” participant, the first percent in the 100% – the Head of the Central Statistical Bureau, Aija Žīgure. She invited the next participant, who in turn invited the next one, and so on until there were 100 performers assembled. Every participant in “100% Riga” represents 1% of the population of Riga, and all hundred present a cross section of Riga society as they meet the official city statistics on gender, age, ethnicity and other criteria.
No city can be measured or expressed in numbers alone. Every city has its own specific traits, an image that is being created by its residents. It is therefore important that the performance feature persons of certain professions, who have hobbies, feel that they belong to the given city. In San Diego, it was a taxi driver, in Melbourne – a surfer, whereas Riga will be represented by a fan of the Riga “Dinamo” hockey club, a hipster, and an ice angler.
“Rimini Protokoll” is an association of three artists noted for their ability to look deep into the ordinary lives people live and transport them on to the stage. They have invented and perfected theatrical tools that enable them to observe reality through a magnifying glass from a completely unexpected vantage point, to offer not only new, valuable theatrical experience, but also new and important knowledge about the world. “Rimini Protokoll” is considered the trailblazer of the so-called documentary theatre, whose creative activity encompasses theatre, radio readings, installations, socio-political and research projects. The “100% City” project has so far visited 21 cities in Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States. Riga is the 22nd city where the performance is staged, whereas on the 22nd of October, Riga public had opportunity to participate in another video performance staged by “Rimini Protokoll” – “Situation Rooms”.
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, this past March the programme presented performances by Flemish artist Jan Lauwers and “Needcompany”, and earlier this autumn – Alain Platel and “les ballets C de la B”, and “Rimini Protokoll”.
More information is available here.