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Highlights: Noorderzon Festival (Groningen, Netherlands) August 18-28, 2011

Highlights: Noorderzon Festival (Groningen, Netherlands) August 18-28, 2011

The Noorderzon has grown from a small scale culture festival into an internationally-profiled cultural event, spanning eleven days and receiving upwards to 135.000 visitors. In 2001 Mark Yeoman was appointed as director and artistic leader of the festival. The change to a director from outside the Netherlands created a number of possibilities for new initiatives, and the festival has undergone a number of fundamental changes, principally to do with the artisitc profile, but also the re-structuring of the organisation to meet the growing demands of a challenging festival climate.

The Noorderzon has the ambition ‘to offer high quality, cutting-edge international cross-over theatre to a diverse audience’, which presently accounts for 60%-70% of our programme each year. The festival also aims to provide a highly visible platform for makers (both new and established) from the North of Holland. In this way, the Noorderzon sets out to provide a unique addition not only to the local cultural climate in the North of Holland, but also to the national and European cultural scene.

Below are Contemporary Performance Networks’s Highlights of this year’s Noorderzon Festival

Bestiale Improvviso
August 22&23, 2011

For a number of years now, Santasangre has been one of the most innovative theatre groups in Italy. This will be the third time the company has performed in Groningen. In the past it has astounded thousands of visitors with its visually astonishing, raw and beautiful theatre. On this occasion, nature again forms the great source of inspiration for the latest performance, entitled Bestiale Improvviso. In a dark and poetic manner, Santasangre undertakes a quest to explore the force of nature by means of music, image, song and dance. It is a force that not only startles us but also causes great angst. Humanity creates myths to protect itself against this angst. Bestiale Improvviso sweeps those myths aside and releases the inconceivable energy that nature incorporates – energy that is released with the birth of stars for example – to explode from the stage.

Concept | Diana Arbib, Luca Brinchi, Maria Carmela Milano, Dario Salvagnini,
Pasquale Tricoci, Roberta Zanardo
Video editing | Diana Arbib, Luca Brinchi, Pasquale Tricoci
Sound | Dario Salvagnini
Body | Teodora Castellucci, Cristina Rizzo, Roberta Zanardo
Choreographies in collaboration with | Cristina Rizzo
Lighting and costumes | Maria Carmela Milano
3D animation | Piero Fragola, Alessandro Rosa
Cello | Viola Mattioni
Organization and distribution | Carlotta Garlanda
Production |  Santasangre 2010
Co-production | Romaeuropa Festival 2010, Centrale Fies, Festival delle Colline Torinesi, Fabbrica Europa
With contribution of | Regione Lazio
With the support of | Programma Cultura della Commissione Europea, Progetto Focus on Art and Science in the Performing Arts, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, OperaEstate Festival
Residences | Centrale Fies, Kollatino Underground, Fabbrica Europa/Stazione Leopolda

Gob Squad & CAMPO
Before Your Very Eyes
Augusts 18-20, 2011

(c) Phile Deprez

At the Noorderzon editions of 2005 (Super Night Shot) and 2007 (Gob Squad’s Kitchen), the inventive, open-minded performances of Gob Squad were a spectacular success. This year, the collective is coming to Groningen with the performance Before Your Very Eyes. For the very first time, the members of Gob Squad will not be on stage themselves. Instead, the performance will be played by seven children from Ghent, Belgium. The public watches these children as they move within a safe space with four glass walls, like insects in a jar. From this space, they envisage their own future as adult, and look back on their short past for the first time. Whereas adults often stubbornly attempt to hang on to their youth, these kids dream of leaving their childhood behind them forever. By means of a complex interplay of live and pre-recorded images, Gob Squad uproot, in Before Your Very Eyes, all notions about wise adults and innocent children.

Created, developed, played and directed by | Gob Squad en CAMPO
Co-produced by | Noorderzon/Grand Theatre Groningen, Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin; Forum Freies Theater, Düsseldorf;  NEXT Festival, Eurometropole Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai+Valenciennes; Künsterlhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt
Gob Squad is funded by the Regierenden Bürgermeister von Berlin – Senatskanzlei Kulturelle Angelegenheiten

Alexis. Una tragedia greca
August 23 & 24, 2011

During Noorderzon 2008, you may have become acquainted with the intriguing and topical theatre of the Italian company Motus. In that same year, the death of the 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a police bullet gave rise to an unparalleled storm of protest in Athens. Alexandros was soon regarded as an icon of rebellious youth, disappointed with and antagonistic toward the corrupt political system. A year later, as always fascinated by the transition from adolescence to adulthood, Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò – the founders and artistic leaders of Motus – left for Athens. They encountered a city that seemed to have forgotten the entire shocking occurrence. In a hybrid between documentary theatre and the mythical narrative of Antigone – the symbol of youthful resistance – Motus embarks upon an intense and physical dialogue by means of music and dance, supported by strong atmospheric images from Athens and other present-day centres of resistance.

Devised and directed | Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò
With | Silvia Calderoni, Vladimir Aleksic, Benno Steinegger, Alexandra Sarantopoulou
The collaboration of | Michalis Traitsis, Giorgina Pilozzi
Assistant director | Nicolas Lehnebach
Dramaturgy | Daniela Nicolò
Video editing | Enrico Casagrande
Sound engineer | Andrea Comandini
Music | Pyrovolismos sto prosopo di
The boy in the video | Stavros of the band Deux ex machina
Lights and sets | Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò
Technical director | Valeria Foti
Production | Motus, ERT Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Espace Malraux – Scéne Nationale de Chambéry et de la Savoie – CARTA BIANCA, programme Alcotra coopération France-Italie, Théâtre National de Bretagne/Rennes and the Festival delle Colline Torinesi
With the support of | Rimini Provincial Administration, Emilia-Romagna Regional Administration and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activity

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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.
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