When you are passionate about something, you try to find out as much as you can on the subject that stirred in you a level of curiosity and desire you did not know you possessed. You want to meet people in that field, who have already accumulated experience and can offer you plenty of information. You want to attend events, to experiment and to create connections. For the past 25 years, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival has managed to create such connections between artists and audience members, between actors and
directors, between financiers and producers.

Besides theatre performances, dance shows, exhi­bi­tions, public conferences, book launches, concerts, etc., performing arts connoisseurs know that the Performing Arts Market opens on the fourth Festival day – the very meeting platform for artists, producers, agents, cultural institution directors, festival managers and representatives of cultural centres from Romania and from all around the world.

Foto: Adrian Bulboacă

This year, the Sibiu Performing Arts Market will take place in 11-16 June. Having developed a lot, the Market has become an associated event of FITS and today – at its 22nd edition – it is a major cultural network that facilitates the connection between festivals and artists, independent companies or state institutions in the field of performing arts.

“It is the the only copyright-protected performing arts market in Romania and I am delighted that we were able to get this certificate from the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) because unfortunately in Romania and beyond there is this practice of copying an idea without grasping its meaning and without adapting it to a particular community. We are thrilled to have obtained this right so that we can guarantee an avenue towards a healthy market and towards the encouragement of the act of creation for artists, programmers, festival
directors or financiers. The Sibiu Performing Arts Market is an organized space in which anyone can find partners, whether they want to network with different partners from around the world, or are artists in need of promotion, financial support, or help in building their image.

This year too, we will host a ‘Speed networking’ section, which we launched last year, a speed-event for all who wish to meet great personalities. They will have 10 minutes to say ‘Look, I am young, I am talented, I didn't get the chance to be promoted and I would like to be part of your festival or I want to work with you’. It is an immense opportunity which should be seized by as many people as possible. We will also continue the special programme dedicated to Festivals of the 21st century, in which great festival directors and major financiers will offer precious information to the young people who are on the path of creating a festival. Moreover, this year we will hold an event dedicated to architecture and performing arts buildings, which will be a precursor to the Congress and Performance Centre and the Performing Arts and Cultural Management Research Institute, the grand objective we plan to achieve in the next 10 years. We will host exceptional architects as speakers, but also major institutional managers because we want to show best practice models to Sibiu concerning the way in which we should manage the available space", Constantin Chiriac, FITS President, stated.

Foto: Adrian Bulboacă

The speakers at the first edition of the event dedicated to performing arts architecture and buildings will be Andrzej Kosendiak, director of Narodowe Forum Muzyki (National Music Forum) in Poland, architect Eric Bunge, one of the founders of the famous US company nARCHITECTS, Jean-Guy Lecat, who was Peter Brook’s scenographer at the prestigious Bouffes du Nord Theatre and who has created almost 200 performance spaces over the last 25 years alongside other architects and theatre professionals, and Tateo Nakajima, repre­sen­tative of Arup, an international leader in the design and planning of performing arts venues.

The “Speed networking” meetings will take place on 13 June at Ibis Hotel where the participants will present their cultural offer to producers, programmers, festival directors and world class cultural leaders. They have the option of meeting Ása Richardsdóttir, director of Ice Hot Reykjavik Nordic Dance Platform (Iceland), Sabrina Chen, programme director of Shanghai International Dance Centre Theatre (China), J. Kong, founder and director of Guangzhou International Outdoor Perfor­mance Festival (China) or Tommy Kriegsmann,
president of ArKtype, among others. This event aims at creating a connection between professionals and the registered participants, granting them the chance to present their activity and their partnership goals and to extend their contact list during one-on-one discussions.

Talking Festivals

The “Talking Festivals” conference will be organized during the Sibiu Performing Arts Market, celebrating the festival’s 25 years of existence. For two days, on 12 and 13 June, experts and various stakeholders will discuss festivals and their connection to the cities and the buildings where they take place. Divya Bhatia, artistic director and creative producer of JODHPUR RIFF &G5A in Mumbai, will come to Sibiu and will share his experience as a music festival director, a theatre festival director and a professor. Alexandru Ion, actor, co- president of T.E.T.A. Foundation and of “Ideo Ideis” Young Theatre Festival in Alexandria, will also be part of the panel.

Foto: Adrian Bulboacă

“Talking Festivals” questions the how other festivals are inspired by the surroundings and the way in which the buildings and the urban environment help define a festival and create a unique experience. The discussions will also revolve around how a festival uses its strengths to overcome certain obstacles and how passion and care for the audience and the artists are the building blocks of a festival.

European Capitals of Culture

This year, discussions about the future European capitals of culture will continue in Sibiu. The conference aims to bring together the representatives of the future European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) designated for 2018-2022. This year, the conference “European Capitals of Culture” will take place over the course of two days, 11 and 12 June, tackling two main subjects: the importance of culture in driving community development and volunteering and the impact of non-formal education on young people and society.

Some of the speakers are: Joanne Attard Mallia, programme coordinator for Valetta 2018 European Capital of Culture, and Vojislav Prkosovacki, volunteer program coordinator for Novi Sad 2021 European Capital of Culture, Serbia. There will also be representatives of the European Commission at the conference, the main institution supporting the European Capital of Culture programme, one of the most important programmes of the European Union, an initiative that significantly contributes to the cities’ cultural and economic deve­lopment.

Meetings with great choreographers

The series of masterclasses within the Meetings with great choreographers invited at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival has already reached its fourth edition. So far, big names in the field of world choreography took part in this event, such as Noa Wertheim, Rami Ba’er, Guillaume Gabriel, Gigi Căciuleanu and Ohad Naharin. Designed as an opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the act of creation, this masterclass will have two parts, a theoretical one – an introduction and a brief presentation of the concepts and the principles of movement involved in creating a performance, and a practical one – experimenting with working methods.

Foto: Adrian Bulboacă

Cultural Conversations with Noel Witts, performing arts professor in performing arts at Leeds Beckett University, will also take place during the Sibiu Performing Arts Market, an event held at Atrium Cafe in the Small Square. Noel will interview people who have played an important part in developing the Sibiu Festival, but also with artists and managers of various international companies who will share their experiences and talk about how they manage to get funding and support for their projects.

This year, the Sibiu Performing Arts Market includes 300 participants from 26 European countries, as well as from USA, Canada, China and South Africa. The next edition will take place in 17-22 June 2019.