22 june 2018

   Cristina Ghinea

FITS 2018. Festival results

The 25th edition of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival (FITS) has reunited in the city on the Cibin River 3.300 artists and guests from 73 countries which presented 525 events in 73 performance spaces, for approximately 70.000 spectators each day. FITS 2018 was held during 10 days, during the 8th and the 17th of June, under the theme Pasiune/Passion.

In its anniversary year, the event again enjoyed the validation of its quality and international renown, this time through gaining the High Patronage of the President of Romania - Centenary and the Patronage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

“Under the sign of Passion, for 25 years we have been trying to raise a festival which was insignificant and transform it into one of the most important in the world. You’ve seen how many companies and personalities have come again to Sibiu. As promised, not only did they delight the public, but expectations have been surpassed. It is important now to concentrate in the evaluation of this festival, so that the Summit that will follow to become a thing of pride not only for Sibiu, but also for Romania, to put Romania where it’s place is indeed, in the area of the great intercultural dialogue”, declared Constantin Chiriac at the end of the edition.

Certainly the most complex organizational part of this festival is still the technical production which requires a huge amount of resources, taking into consideration the dynamic of setting up invited productions and weather conditions. For the 25th edition of the festival the total usage was of 1400 kg of coal, 200 m³ of helium, 900 m² of stage carpet, 250 fences, 57 t of counterweights, over 600 units of lighting instruments, 10 lighting desks, 2000 m of cable, 500 m of scaffolding which was set up with the help of 40 motors and 60 speakers. All of this, but also the tons of sets, were manoeuvred and operated by 115 technicians.

This edition has marked more anniversaries and emblematical moments among which: the Romanian Centenary, 80 years of existence for the British Council in Romania, 70 years since the establishment of Israel, but also the prefiguration of the cultural exchange period between Romania and France from 2018-2019. Also, the event organized and hosted the public debate “Therme Forum: Theatre and Architecture”, within the framework of which some of the most important architects and theatrical spaces creators participated: Kengo Kuma (Kuma and Associates, Japan); Louis Becker (Henning Larsen, Denmark), Eric Bunge (nARCHITECTS, SUA), Nils Fisher (Zaha Hadid Architects, UK), Andrew Bromberg (Aedas, Hong Kong), Maximilian and Daniel Zielinski (Foster + Partners, UK), Jean-Guy Lecat (France), but also representatives of world-renowned performing arts structures: Joe Melillo (Brooklyn Academy of Music, USA), Andrzej Kosendiak (National Music Forum, Poland), Svanhildur Konradsdottir (HARPA, Iceland) and Annette Mees (Royal Opera House, UK).

On a stage set up at the “Nicolae Bălcescu” Land Forces Academy, through the American Democracy Series programme, Peter Sellars together with the Flex Dance Company presented to the NATO military the performance “American Dance Show/FLEXN”. Within the same project, David O’Hare, Oscar-nominated artist, presented the performance “The Iliad”. This platform has been developing within FITS for two years, and the organizers intend to continue the programme for military in future editions.

This year, six more stars have been added to the Walk of Fame to Peter Sellars (director and choreographer), Hideki Noda (director, author and actor), Wajdi Mouawad (author, actor and director), Ioan Holender (cultural personality, baritone), Mikhail Baryshnikov (actor, choreographer and dancer) and Isabelle Huppert (actress).

During the Celebrity Gala 2018 four special prized were awarded. The “Iulian Vișa” Prize was awarded to Alexandrei Badea for the unique artistic voice of the young generation. The “Virgil Flonda” Prize was received this year by Alexandra Maria Lara for her exceptional contribution in developing the art of interpretation. The prize for an exceptional partnership was awarded to Mr George Banu, at his 75th anniversary, and the Prize for collaboration and an exceptional partnership was awarded to Banca Transilvania.

FITS 2019 will take place between the 14th and the 23rd of June.

      © Paul Băilă