20 March 2017

   Cristina Ghinea

FITS 2017, 11 Weeks Away

Eighty more days to go until the 24th edition of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival (FITS) begins, this year, scheduled for 9-18 June, and themed “Love”.

Theatre, dance, contemporary circus, music, film projections, exhibitions, book launches, special conferences, play reading performances, workshops and student performances from all over the world will be presented in both performance halls, classic and unconventional, as well as on the main streets and squares of the city. It is a performing arts festival, with a complex programme, including almost 500 performances and events, presented during the 10 days of performing arts excellency.

The dance section always brings some of the most famous and appreciated companies of the moment. This year, we are glad to, once again, have on the festival stage the extraordinary Israeli dance company, Batsheva, which will delight us in Sibiu with two representations of the performance “Naharin’s Virus”, choreography by Ohad Naharin, inspired by Peter Handke’s play, “Public Insult”. Winner of the New York Bessie Award, it will be performed for the first time in Romania in FITS 2017. Ohad Naharin received the EMET Prize for his contribution to arts and sciences in Israel. A New York Times article stated that “... no one can be immune to the emotional charge of the choreography... the calligraphy of the body is stunning.” Batsheva is considered the biggest Israeli contemporary dance company – in its turn, the country is globally renowned for the quality of its dance performances –, annually performing over 250 representations, both at home and on tours, for around 100.000 spectators.

Also from Israel, the Sibiu Festival will host the Kibbutz contemporary dance company, which will perform “Horses in the Sky” twice, another first for Romania. This company’s productions mostly identify with the work of the artistic director and choreographer Rami Be’er, his work methods and the unique character of his choreographies becoming a one of a kind global style. In Israeli culture, “Kibbutz” first refers to an open and international community, based on team work, constant collaboration, living together, and social and professional organization.

From far-away Argentina, Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Company returns to FITS 2017, with two representations of “Air Condition”. Aerial dance, geometry and lights – all these make up an unforgettable living picture. Visual and kinetic pleasure are essential in the performances of Brenda Angiel and her company, supported by digital elements, which reward the audience with optical, spatial and gravitational illusions. “The modern animated kaleidoscope” has travelled the world, performing in 100 venues, from Costa Rica to China, and, in 2015, stretching its cords for the first time in Sibiu. In FITS 2017, they are returning with a performance that will impress the audience with suspended dancers, combining energy with flight over the stage and the artistry of modern dance. Brenda Angiel, the choreographer, thus creates another type of tango, mixed with hip-hop and ballet, and live music, composed especially for this performance. “Ultimately, aerial dance is not about flying, but expressing different feelings, dimensions and energies”, states Brenda Angiel, winner of best video dance at the Video-Dance Festival in Buenos Aires.

Flamenco, one of the most popular and expressive dance forms, also returns on the festival stage. FITS 2017 will include two performances by the Spanish company Andalusian Flamenco Ballet: “...That Silverio” and “Flamenco Gala”, the latter made especially for FITS, meaning that, in June, Sibiu will see its world premiere.

The project “...That Silverio” began as an idea to show the current state of flamenco, and the main pillars of this art. The production is based on research, the recovery, analysis, study and reconstruction of dance forms, singing, music and the way in which they were made. Starting from the pillars of this dance, one of which is Silverio Franconetti, flamenco nowadays became a universal art, declared by UNESCU as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible Heritage of Humanity.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Sibiu European Capital of Culture, and this edition’s programme includes the two heritage-performances “Faust” and “Metamorphoses”, directed by Silviu Purcărete. In 2007, Sibiu and Luxembourg held this title, and, during the ten years since, their partnerships has proved to be a unique example of development and cooperation, every year seeing more and more collaborative projects. “We are now celebrating 10 years of cooperation and realize that, compared to 2007, the number of joint development projects has risen every year. It is not by chance that the Prime Minister of Luxembourg will come to Sibiu at the International Theatre Festival to celebrate these 10 years. And it is not by chance that the Radu Stanca National Theatre is going back with Metamorphoses, a performance we made together to celebrate Luxembourg 2007 European Capital of Culture, which then came to Sibiu, and was played continuously for 10 years. And now, we taking this gift back, this time in Esch, which will be European Capital of Culture in 2022.”, said Constantin Chiriac, President of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival.

The programme of FITS 2017 will be announced on 27 March, on the World Theatre Day. The first set of tickets will be up for sale starting the same day.

You are invited to be part of the FITS story!

      © Eyal Hrisch