Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen is the somewhat curious combination of a cutting-edge art festival, with riveting modern performing arts from all corners of the world … and a large-scale summer fest in a beautiful park to which access is free. It is an annual eleven-day festival for 135,000 visitors from Groningen, the rest of the country and the rest of the world. The 22nd edition of the festival will be held in the Noorderplantsoen (park) and at various locations DownTown in Groningen, from Thursday 16 to Sunday 26 August 2012. We present new work by grandmasters, old friends and young theatre makers and musicians from countries such as France, Australia, Cambodia, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Thailand, USA, UK, Switzerland, Finland, South Africa, Mozambique and Hungary. Stories from all over the world, narrated in Groningen. We present a first preview of the main programme here below.
BERLIN - Land's End - (c) BERLIN [berlinberlin.be]
This year once again we are co-producing a number of international performances – often in collaboration with the Grand Theatre Groningen production house. This year, one of these activities involves the Belgian theatre company BERLIN, which will realize a major location project in the grounds of the former Suikerunie (sugar factory) on the edge of town. The performance, entitled Land’s End, concerns the bizarre story of the so-called ‘pancake murder’ that fired the imagination of the whole of southern Belgium and northern France some years ago. Another Flemish theatre maker is Inne Goris who, with the LOD theatre house, has created a beautiful theatrical installation entitled Tall Grass, about the experiences of war children throughout the world. Finally, the young Irish company THEATREclub has landed in Groningen, at our request, to work on a universal version of their incisive performance called HEROIN.
Boyzie Cekwana & Panaibra Gabriel Canda- The inkomati (dis)cord - (c) Victor Bello
Dance and identity
Just as in previous years, we again present an extensive international dance programme. This year it includes much work that has been inspired by a blend of traditional and modern culture and identity. For example, Pichet Klunchun, Arco Renz, and Boyzie Cekwana and Panaibra Canda have all created performances in which the past and present of a country are intertwined in effervescent dance performances. In the work presented by the Thai Pichet Klunchun, traditional Khon dancing is interwoven with modern influences to celebrate Thai culture. In a show with the dancers of Amrita Performing Arts (Phnom Penh), Renz comes to terms with the bloody Cambodian past, while the South African Cekwana and the Mozambican Canda offer their own special view of the old colonial border between these two countries. They attempt to breach the artificial boundaries and to transgress them by means of their own body, skin colour, identity and history. It is an urgent quest for rapprochement.
IIPM - HATE RADIO - (c) Daniel Seiffert
A cautious leitmotiv in the programme is the documentary-like approach by theatre makers, aimed at giving cultures, history and specific cultural occurrences a position onstage. BEERLIN takes a real-life event on the border between Belgium and France as its starting point, the work by Cekwana and Canda deals with the border between South Africa and Mozambique, and LOD discusses war children all over the world. The German International Institute of Political Murder (IIPM) has also rewritten a black page from recent history. This company reiterates the mass murder in Rwanda in the nineties in a shocking way by reconstructing an hour-long broadcast by the racist RTLM radio station. HATE RADIO is the name of this penetrating performance that is regarded in Germany as one of the very best in the past year. The Brit Ant Hampton – known for his small-scale one-to-one performances (on many previous occasions at Noorderzon) – creates interactive theatre about the people who ‘make’ our things: a performance on emigration, immigration and employment, with a focus on China.
Camille Boitel - L'Immédiat - (c) Vincent Beaume
International public favourites
In 2012, Béla Pintér and Company will appear at Noorderzon for the first time. Pintér is generally regarded as one of the most inventive and imaginative makers in the current theatre circuit. His work, entitled Muck, has already been acclaimed as a masterpiece in his own country. But there will also be lighter moments during this festival edition. The internationally renowned Camille Boitel, a hero of French circus theatre, is coming to Groningen with his festival hit L’Immédiat. This is circus theatre in the best Noorderzon tradition. Noorderzon is able to present this performance thanks to a contribution by the BankGiro Lottery to top festivals. Another international public favourite is The Table by the British company Blind Summit. Small-scale puppet theatre with grand results. The Table was a striking smash hit at the last edition of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Bela Pinter - Muck - (c) Gábor Dusa
Back to Noorderzon
It is only natural that Noorderzon closely follows the careers of theatre makers. In accordance with this interest, we again show work by international makers who have previously displayed their arts at Noorderzon. Besides the Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun (who also attended Noorderzon 2010) and the British theatre maker Ant Hampton (at Noorderzon on many previous occasions), the Norwegian De Utvalgte (The Chosen Ones) now return to Groningen with another astonishing, visual, poetic performance, this time in 3-D. In 2009, Ranters Theatre from Australia presented their poignant Holiday. This year they are back with the equally touching Intimacy. And many faithful visitors will undoubtedly be excited with the opportunity to see the American burlesque heroes Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz at their regular location in the Spiegeltent once more!
De Utvalgte - The Art of Being Tamed - (c) Ann-Iren Ødeby
Young, new and hip
Noorderzon presents much new work, also from younger theatre makers. For instance, for the first time in the Netherlands, GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, a leading exponent of a new young British generation, will present its brand-new live art performance called Big Hitsits. The Finn Hans Rosenström is coming to Groningen with an exciting installation / performance entitled Mikado. Finally, we have brought the Australian dancer and choreographer Luke George to Europe for the first time, with his own performance entitled NOW NOW NOW, a hilarious and innovative project that has earned great acclaim in his home country.
Work from the (North) Netherlands
Within the context of an international performing arts festival, Noorderzon again presents work by groups from the region and from the rest of the Netherlands. This year, Wunderbaum from Rotterdam and Lotte van den Berg/OMSK from Dordrecht are components of a programme featuring new performances. The celebrated choreographer Pierre Audi has created a music-theatre performance with soprano Roswitha Bergmann, which has been developed in the Grand Theatre, among other places. From the North Netherlands, we can present a unique co-operative effort of PeerGrouP (from the adjoining Province of Drenthe) with the American Los Angeles Poverty Department.
Noorderzon 2011 - (c) Pierre Borasci
And much more on the programme …
Noorderzon is once more proud to present an outstanding musical line-up this year. Bowerbirds, Of Montreal, Ewert and the Two Dragons, Of Monsters and Men, Boy & Bear, Dan Mangan and Deer Tick have confirmed their gigs, some of which are free. We shall announce the rest of the extensive, jam-packed programme on our website as soon as possible. Besides music, a prominent place will also be assigned to literature, science, film, audiovisual and visual art,and young guests.
Early Bird Ticket Sales
Just as was the case last year, it is possible to buy tickets for fifteen typical Noorderzon performances in the Early Bird pre-sales session between 25 June and 1 July. This is done via www.noorderzon.nl. The regular ticket sales will commence on Monday 23 July, via de website and also via the Noorderzon-Kiosk at the Akerkhof, adjoining the Vismarkt in Groningen.
Béla Pintér and Company (Hungary) – Muck
Camille Boitel (France) – L’Immédiat
BERLIN (Belgium) – Land’s End
Pichet Klunchun Dance Company (Thailand) – Black and White
IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder (Germany) – HATE RADIO
Boyzie Cekwana & Panaibra Canda (South Africa and Mozambique) – The Inkomati (dis)cord
LOD/Inne Goris (Belgium) – Hoog Gras/Tall Grass
Luke George (Australia) – NOW NOW NOW
Arco Renz/Amrita Performing Arts (Belgium, Cambodia) - Crack
Blind Summit (UK) – The Table
Ranters Theatre (Australia) - Intimacy
De Utvalgte (Norway) – The Art of Being Tamed
Ant Hampton (England) – Cue China
Hans Rosenström (Finland) - Mikado
GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN (UK) – Big Hits
THEATREclub (Ireland) - HEROIN
Mat Fraser & Julie Atlas Muz (USA)
Wunderbaum (Netherlands) – Het spookhuis der geschiedenis
Lotte van den Berg/OMSK (Netherlands) - Pleinvrees
WOLF/Pierre Audi (Netherlands) – Je sens un deuxième coeur
PeerGrouP & Los Angeles Poverty Department (Netherlands/USA) – De Koude Oorlog / The Cold War
Music programme: Of Monsters and Men (Iceland) * Boy & Bear (Australia) * Ewert and the Two Dragons (Estonia) * Bowerbirds (USA) * Of Montreal (USA) * Deer Tick (USA) in conjunction with Vera * Dan Mangan (Canada)
and many more …