photo: Alex Brenner
The IYMA performances don’t stand on their own, but are embedded in festivals with a wide range of other works. While the Tunesian group Collective Corps Citoyen were in Birmingham to perform their work, the shootings in Tunesia took place. A statement.
Friday, June 26 2015
We wanted to share with you our surrealistic adventure to obtain the visa and come to Birmingham to perform. The visa process reminded us about how strongly enclosed borders are; all kind of borders.If it had been appropriate, we would definitely have read for you all the forms we had to fill out to obtain the visa. That would be great material for a very absurd, hilarious and yet tragic play. But this statement can’t be made today after the horrible news coming from Tunisia.
So far, 27 people were shot dead while enjoying the sea and the sun of the Mediterranean.
Today the enemies of life and freedom prove their power.
Today, extremist people had a bloody revenge and made the gap between here and there, even bigger.
We may become more isolated…
Us, those who aspire for life, freedom and democracy, whatever that means. We will have to explain to the whole world that THEY don’t represent us.
And on the other hand, we will have to survive this nightmare.
May all the victims rest in peace.
This show is, so far, our only tool to ask questions and to keep hope alive.
Collectif Corps Citoyen
by Evelien van de Sanden, photo Neeltje Knaap
At the start of the performance, we look at an empty stage, surrounded by only black curtains. Then Louis walks in, in simple sporty clothes with a beamer standard on a small trolley. On the beamer standard is electric music equipment, like a mixer, speaker and a sample machine. Nothing fancy.
photo Jochem Jurgens
The 18 years old Aike Jansen is a huge fan of English classics, theatre music, photography and art in general. She writes about all those things on the website De Pit. Next year, she’ll be off to Schotland to study English literature and theater in Glasgow. During ITs Festival Amsterdam, she met director Nina de la Parra.
Sex, love, identity. These are the themes that always reappear in the work of the 28 years old director from Amsterdam, Nina de la Parra. On Monday night, June 22, I saw HAUTNAH, her performance that was part of ITs 2015. On Tuesday morning, we met at a café and talked about what she did since finishing high school, the ‘life of a director’ but also about the superficiality of our generation. “I don’t want to spend all my time as a director sitting at a table and figuring out concepts.”
Ariane Kaper, dance and theatre lover with a critical eye, loves to be surprised. Of all the performances she visits per year, she may read just 1 storyline before taking her seat. With the excitement of not knowing what to expect, she visited the IYMA double date with Play House and Little Mermaid – The Wedding and wrote the following review:
Just 30 minutes after taking my seat at Play House, I was lost for words as to what to make of this french scenographic performance. A few days later, the words ‘neat’ and ‘tidy’ come to mind.
Love Midlands Theatre visited BE FESTIVAL in Birmingham and descriped it as ‘A thrilling festival vibe right in the heart of Birmingham.’ They also wrote about IYMA performance Acrophobia.
‘The evening’s theatre programme, performed in The STUDIO, opens with Acrophobia performed by Liv Knoche and Tobias Willasch, two incredibly talented performers who began their careers in youth circus. Using only movement and audio they convincingly portray a sweet and tender story about one woman’s journey to overcome her fear. Momentum builds, focus is never lost, and expression is well maintained. The young performers prove themselves phenomenal gymnasts as well as superb actors as the fear turns to fun.’
photo Jochem Jurgens
Dance historian and philosophy teacher Zeynep Gündüz went to see the performance HAUTNAH of Nina de la Parra at ITs on June 22, 2015. HAUTNAH is based on the text Closer of Patrick Marber.
‘Picture me upon your knee. Tea for two and two for tea. Just me for you and you for me alone.’ The song is sung by the stripper Alice as she teases Larry in a stripclub. Larry is the husband of the woman with whom Alice’s ex-boyfriend Dan has a relationship with. Sounds complicated? Step right into HAUTNAH to see how love in the 21st century is not rose-coloured.
Dance historian and philosophy teacher Zeynep Gündüz completed her PhD research on dance technology at the University of Amsterdam. She visited ITs to talk to Jimme Cloo and Marion Flament who perform their work Play House at ITs Festival Amsterdam on Thursday June 25. On top of that they follow the in-depth programme ITsINSTED for the whole week.
How does a performance about a personal theme or based on a personal experience come to life? How does an idea for a performance arise? What are the starting points? What are the possibilities? How can we make these personal feelings and thoughts tangible? Creating a performance, you start from your reality or the reality of your idea?
These are questions Mokhallad Rasem deals with in his work He worked at the National Theatre of Iraq before the war changed the course of his life. Now he is resident director at Het Toneelhuis in Antwerp, Belgium. His career has been quite successful. He won the 2013 Young Director’s award at the Saltzburger Festspiele for Romeo & Juliet. During ACT Festival he performed ‘Waiting’, a show on the act of waiting. Besides performing he also created a workshop voor ACT Festival 2015.
On June the fourth a group of young emerging artists came together in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa. They followed the workshop of Rasem and dealt with questions such as: How do you then seek the boundary between that reality and fantasy or imagination? How do you mix this reality with imagination to make a performance come to life?
Rasem his productions are built on the same principles as a crossword puzzle. He sees the crossword puzzle as the mind of the director containing all his thoughts, well ordered according the system of the game. This game is ingeniously constructed, with horizontal and vertical elements. The horizontal elements are the tangible, concrete elements, reality as it were. The vertical elements are the elements of the imagination.
Humor, play, bodily sensations, dreams, works of art and religious images can stimulate the power of our imagination. All these phenomena can transport us into a situation in which the self-evident world gives way to the experience of something new and surprising.
Therefore his workshop starts off with an improvisation session.
The participants were given exercises to warm up the body and to stimulate the imagination. The exercises are based on spontaneity, positivism, playfulness, daring and concentration. After which they will be asked to draw emotions and situations arising from these exercises.
Where is the balance between imagination and reality when dealing with these themes? Starting from the empty space we begin composing images. The drawings that were made in part one of the work-shop can be an inspiration to help us create these images.
The participants found the workshop very inspiring. An participant said: “I have a lot of imagination, but I can loose myself in there. As an artist I sometimes struggle to find a way out of my head to the stage and the theatre. It helped me a lot to let my imagination be artificial with a reality theme underneath” The methodology of Rasem provided the possibility for freedom and created a so called ‘no space’ which gave more peace of mind and enabled you to think of ideas around universal themes.
From June 26th till July 1st the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw Poland will organize the 8th ITselF edition. IYMA performances are of course part of it.
David Espinosa is programmed with ‘My Great Work’, which was performed at MESS 2014 as well. Other artists are: Oxana Smilkova performing a piece inspired by Dali. Agatha Dyczko adapts the well-known story of the Little Mermaid. They performed at Skena Up and now in Warsaw Bastards in the Mind will be present again.
The International Theatre Schools Festival ITSelF is a theatre biennial organized by the Academy. The Festival programme includes not only final degree shows, but also numerous associated events, such as Off Festival shows, meetings with theatre and cinema celebrities, as well as theatre workshop dedicated to both, professionals and amateurs.