In 2013, when the International theatre Festival was celebrating its 20th anniversary, the alley in Sibiu’s Cetății Park saw its first stars on the pavement.

Year after year during the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, that alley surrounded by tile and acacia trees witnessed the coming and going of theatre, movie, art and culture personalities. Year after year, the city of Sibiu hosted countless performances, as the audience devoured a diversity of events, fit for all tastes.

Having become almost too small, Sibiu’s Walk of Fame seems to transcend the park, unveiling a new patch of alley to be imprinted with another great name of the world’s arts.

This year, the Sibiu Walk of Fame will celebrate seven other important personalities which stood out on the cultural arena, well established names that have changed our perspective on the world, brought us closer to reality and took us on journeys to fantastic and real worlds.

One new star on the Walk of Fame is dedicated to the actor, playwright and director Hideki Noda. Born in Nagasaki in 1955, in 2009 Noda became the artistic director of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. Even since he was a student, he distinguished himself with some successful performances, while also setting up his own theatre company, Yume no Yuminsha (Dreaming Bohemian). Having completed his studies, he set up a new theatre company – NODA MAP, where he set the basis of performances which were to receive international recognition; the director got involved in productions all around the globe and collaborated with British, Thai and Korean actors. Some of his most famous and internationally acclaimed performances are The Bee, Red Demon, The Diver, Descent of the Brutes, Messenger from the Comet, The Character, and Egg. Winner of countless awards and decorated with the Purple Ribbon for his contribution to culture and education, Hideku Noda collaborated with the Kabuki actor Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII and made adaptations after classical Kabuki plays (Tragedy of Togitatsu, Nezumikozo).

Taking a step further down the Walk of Fame, we will surely recognize the name of Isabelle Huppert, the famous theatre and film actress who manages to transpose us into the worlds of the characters she plays each and every time, making us love them or, on the contrary, loathe them. A well-established name on the international arena, Isabelle Huppert has collaborated with Jean-Luc Godard, André Téchiné, Maurice Pialat, Michael Haneke, Benoit Jacquot, Jacques Doillon, François Ozon, Anne Fontaine, Eva Ionesco and so on, and these collaborations brought her numerous awards at European and international festivals. Besides her contributions to the film industry, Isabelle distinguished herself through numerous interpretations on the theatre stage next to Bob Wilson, Peter Zadek, Claude Régy, Henrik Ibsen, Krzysztof Warlikowski and many others, due to her presence which emanates both force and gentleness, and to her interpretation of characters with deviating behaviours or social outcasts.

 

Then we may dance our way to the star dedicated to the well-known Mikhail Baryshnikov (dancer, choreographer and actor), whose imposing, yet fragile presence made him one of the best ballet dancers in history. His presence in the world of theatre, film and television has brought him international recognition and has helped him become one of the most famous contemporary ballet dancers. Fascinated by everything that’s new, Baryshnikov has always sought productions which combined classicism with modernism, thus acquiring experience and technique and impressing the world of dance. In 1980, he became the artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre, and in 2010 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, besides many other honorary distinctions. In 2016, Mikhail Baryshnikov started touring the Russian-language performance “Brodsky/Baryshnikov”, created as a tribute to his friend, the poet Joseph Brodsky, Nobel Prize nominee. Last summer, the Sibiu International Theatre Festival brought “Brodsky/Baryshnikov” to Sibiu as well.

I am grateful for being recognized in the Sibiu Walk of Fame, especially in the year of the Festival’s 25th Anniversary. My congratulations to Constantin Chiriac and his team on this important cultural accomplishment.- Mikhail Baryshnikov

Famous for his talent for and inventiveness of bringing classical works into the contemporary space, Peter Sellars has delighted his audience with artistic interpretations of the most important theatre masterpieces. His plays treat current topics, political and social confrontations, and are performed in collaboration with the Dutch National Opera, the British National Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the National Opera of Paris and San Francisco and the Salzburg Festival. Always interested in the fusion of arts, Sellars has directed countless festivals and has been the arts director of the New Crowned Hope, a one-month long festival in Vienna, which hosted actors from several cultural areas, with works covering a range of sectors as wide as music, theatre, dance, film, visual arts and architecture.

I am completely surprised and now moved to be included in your Walk of Fame, which celebrates so many great theatre artists whom I admire. My early work was deeply influenced by a generation of Romanian directors (Liviu Ciulei, Lucian Pintilie, and later, Andre Șerban) whose productions I followed and who later became my friends, and by the work of the Romanian avant-garde in puppetry in the 70s also made a deep impression on me. Every artist is always searching for the path. Thank you for making a path of searchers. – Peter Sellars

Another name which will add to the prestige of our Walk of Fame is Valery Fokin, director and artistic director of the Alexandrinsky Theatre in Sankt Petersburg. Renowned for having directed plays written by Nabokov, Gogol, Vampirov and Rozov, Fokin stood out through his productions abundant in metaphors and paradoxical truths. Decorated by the Russian state with four awards, Valery Fokin has directed performances in Poland, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Switzerland, Japan, France and the United States.

We know how much the Theatre Festival in Sibiu has already done for the development and international consolidation of the theatres of different countries. Participation in such a festival is always a great honour and responsibility. For us, meeting with the Romanian audience has a special importance: considering that the Alexandrinsky Theatre – the oldest State Drama Theatre in Russia – participates in the festival in Sibiu for the first time, and more significantly, this meeting takes place on the eve of the momentous international event – the Theatre Olympics, which we plan to hold in St. Petersburg in 2019.

On behalf of all Alexandrinians I wish good luck to all the participants and organizers of the festival! To spectators, I wish new, deep and bright theatrical impressions! After all, the theatre unites all of us and enables us to better understand world, man and each other! – Valery Fokin

Born in Lebanon in 1968, the playwright, actor and director Wajdi Mouawad left his country during the civil war at the age of 7, emigrating to France and then to Canada. In Romania, Wajdi Mouawad distinguished himself with the performance “Fires”, a play later turned into a film and nominated for an Oscar award in 2011, which speaks of the horrors of the civil war and unveils some fragments of the director’s own biography.

In 2018, the Walk of Fame will dedicate a star to the man who has been the President and Artistic Director of seven edition of the George Enescu International Festival – Ioan Holender. Mr. Holender was born in Timișoara, he studied at the Vienna Conservatory and got his university degree in 1962. Presently, he is an artistic advisor of the New York Metropolitan Opera and of the Spring Festival in Tokyo. Besides his impressive artistic career, Ioan Holender is also the author of the autobiography “Spuse, trăite, dorite. Amintiri” and of the publication “De la Timișoara la Viena”.

For me, the fact that my name is now engraved on the Sibiu Walk of Fame shows I have reached the summit of a long professional life, which started in Timișoara and continued with my activity at the Vienna State Opera, as well as at other theatre institutions, such as the New York Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and even the Tokyo Opera. I am honoured, grateful, and proud to become a part of this arts paradise. – Ioan Holender

Since 2013, the Walk of Fame meant to celebrate the achievements of the great names of the cultural and artistic world, such as Eugenio Barba, Ariane Mnouchkine, Nakamura Kanzaburo, George Banu, Silviu Purcărete, Martin Hochmeister, Radu Stanca, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Peter Brook, Thomas Ostermeier, Gigi Căciuleanu and others. At the 25th anniversary of the International Theatre Festival, the Walk of Fame remains an important touristic landmark, a celebration of the most cherished artists who performed under the umbrella of the festival.

Alexandra Coroi