Noh and Kabuki, contemporary African dances, theatre and jazz. Choreographies accompanied by the sounds of the typing machine or inspired by the movement of masses of people. Performances directed by Eirik Stubø, Hideki Nodaș or Timofey Kulyabin. Industrialization, capitalism, the flex style, the final encounter, love for parents: FITS 2018 highlights.

“One Green Bottle”, Hideki Noda, Japan

“One Green Bottle” is a coproduction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre in association with NODA・MAP. The performance is based on the play written by the famous playwright, actor and director, Hideki Noda. The Japanese premiere starred the legendary Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura XVIII, who was awarded a star on Sibiu’s Walk of Fame. The performance, which combines both Noh and Kabuki styles, explores the dimensions of absurd and modernism through vibrating colours and an aesthetics reminding of Japanese comedies. In his works, Hideki Noda combines modern Japanese elements with the culture’s traditional elements.

“Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero”, Vuyani Dance Theatre, South Africa. Photo: Siphosihle Mkhwanazi.

“Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero”, Vuyani Dance Theatre, South Africa

Vuyani Dance Theatre is a contemporary African dance company set up in 1999 by Gregory Maqoma, its executive artistic director. In a dynamic, theatrical manner, the company embraces the motivations and cultures which form the uniqueness of the South-African society. Rated as one of the best and hottest dance companies, Vuyani Dance Theatre has held exceptional performances in Europe, America, Mexico and New Zealand; in June they are coming to Sibiu with the performance “Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero”.

“Three Sisters”, Novosibirsk State Academic Drama Theatre “Red Torch”, Russia

The performance is directed by Timofey Kulyabin, one of Russia’s youngest, most prominent directors. The story of the three sisters who wish to get to Moscow and fulfil their dreams is transposed into the language of signs, with translation into Romanian and English. In 2016, the performance was awarded the title of “Production of the Year” by the Theatre Critics’ Association.

“Mourning Becomes Electra”, Det Norske Teatret, Norway

This theatre performance directed by Eirik Stubø combines the family tragedy written by Eugene O’Neill with live jazz music. Following its 2012 premiere, it received both the critics’ recognition and two Hedda awards: one for Best Actor (Torbjørn Eriksen) and the other for Best Supporting Actress (Gjertrud Jynge). Due to the actors’ astonishing, intense performance, and to the superb jazz trio on, the play written by Eugene O’Neill based on Aeschylus’s Oresteia, becomes a heart-breaking, extraordinary experience.

“Mono Lisa & Kosmos & O Balcao de Amor”, BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Canada. Photo: Pascal Duchesne.

“Mono Lisa & Kosmos & O Balcao de Amor”, BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Canada

“Mono Lisa” is a dance performance accompanied by the noises of a typewriter. It starts on several rows, while a strong light is projected on the dark stage, creating a factory-like atmosphere. In this bizarre space, where we find steel and iron sounds and visions, a pair of dancers in rusty coloured clothes twists and twirls, wraps and winds in a series of extraordinary, rapid movements.

In Kosmos, the choreographer Andonis Foniadakis is inspired by the world we live in, by the frantic rhythm of everyday urban life. His observations became the starting point for the creation of a choreography inspired by the movements of masses of people, moments of struggle and the general hustle and bustle of the city. Foniadakis is looking for a counterweight, bringing beauty to the foreground and transforming the frantic movement into a dance which brings people together in a cheerful, liberating manner.

After a trip to Cuba, Itzik Galili was inspired by the King of Mambo, Pérez Prado, to create O Balcao de Amor. Itzik Galili uses this timeless music in an energetic performance. It is an association which Galili fills with a lot of comedy, casualness, enthusiasm and a seducing absurdity.

“American Dance Show”, Reggie (Regg Roc), Peter Sellars & The Flex Community, USA. Photo: Clementine Crochet, Courtesy Park Avenue Armory.

“American Dance Show”, Reggie (Regg Roc), Peter Sellars & The Flex Community, USA

In 2015, the pioneer dancer Reggie (Regg Roc) Gray and the visionary director Peter Sellars created the performance entitled “FLEXN”, in collaboration with the flex dancers’ community in East New York, Brooklyn. The performance comes down to the flex dance style, which it transforms from an individual combative style into a collaborative work of boundless social activism, exchanges between people and artistic courage. It includes scenes created by 15 dancers from The D.R.E.A.M. (Dance Rules Everything Around Me) Ring Dance Company. The performance is part of the “American Democracy Series” project initiated and created by ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann.

“Mother’s Milk”, Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Israel

A Love Song for Parents. Rami Be’er, the artistic director, analyses through dance the love of his parents, Holocaust survivors, for the European cultural heritage which they passed on to him. Down there, in the “caverns of dancing” he manages for a second to resurrect fragments of memories from the life and culture passed on to him by his father and mother. On a stage that’s partially lit by a chandelier hanging in its centre, he creates the atmosphere of a dark space wherefrom one can hear heart beats.

“Hieronymus Bosch: the Garden of Earthly Delights”, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Canada. Photo: Sylvie-Ann Paré.

“Hieronymus Bosch: the Garden of Earthly Delights”, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, Canada

The performance is based on a three acts choreography developed according to the renowned triptych “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Act 1: The World of Vices (central panel), Act 2: Inferno (right panel), Act 3: Paradise (left panel). ‘As a choreographer may start their creative process with a musical piece, I chose to start with Bosch’s painting. And like a choreographer may choose to “adopt” a certain musical score (or not), I chose to “adopt” Bosch’s painting, his spirit. What a delight to bow to a masterpiece!’ (Marie Chouinard)

“Exit the King”, Teatrul Național “Ion Luca Caragiale”, Bucharest, Romania. Photo: Florin Ghioca.

“Exit the King”, Teatrul Național “Ion Luca Caragiale”, Bucharest, Romania

The text is the warmest, most touching and most honest confession of Eugène Ionesco, the man, about the great final encounter. The endless anxieties, the permanent agony of his diaries find their dramatic transposition in one of the deepest “poems” about death and its acceptance. An allegoric metaphor of the passage, a mirror confession of one’s own consciousness. An overwhelmingly emotional performance where each one of us plays the main role.

“On the Edge”, Kolben Dance Company, Israel

On the Edge is a poetic, dynamic journey which provides, both literally, and metaphorically, a captivating, energetic dance experience. This performance found its inspiration in the experience of living on the edge and takes place at the border between internal and external tension, while also exploring the relations between the two. It relies mainly on the experience of life in Jerusalem, the city of peace – which has not seen a single moment of peace in its entire history.

*Main: “Mourning Becomes Electra”, Det Norske Teatret, Norway. Photo by Erik Berg.