Preview Programme 2014

People in all their various guises the focus of attention during Noorderzon 2014 - 21-31 August

The first names for Noorderzon (and many more will follow!):

Fernando Rubio (Argentina) * 600 HIGHWAYMEN (US) * BERLIN (Belgium) * Kid Koala (Canada) * Philippe Quesne & CAMPO (France/Belgium) * Kornél Mundruczó/Proton Theatre (Hungary) * Ula Sickle (Belgium) * Mariano Pensotti (Argentina) * Benjamin Verdonck (Belgium) * Sun Kil Moon (US) Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (VS) Hamilton Leithauser (VS) * Jagwar Ma (AUS) * The Rifles (UK) * The Orwells (US) * East Cameron Folkore (VS) * Bridie Jackson & The Arbour (GB) * Nick Waterhouse (US) * Gallowstreet Brass Band (NL) * Broken Brass Ensemble (NL) *  Lucius (VS)

Start of ticket sales

The Early Bird presale for a selection of performances will start on Monday 23 June, while the regular ticket sale for the whole programme will begin on Monday 28 July. 

People in all their various guises

The programme of Noorderzon 2014 lays the accent on people in all their various guises. In theatre and dance narratives, people such as international makers Mariano Pensotti (Argentina) and Ula Sickle (Belgium) tell of the lives and customs of diverse people. BERLIN (Belgium) acquaints us with people behind the major and minor stories in the news. The world première of the new performance of Fernando Rubio (Argentina) is about a quest for youth, for a child-like state. The French director Philippe Quesne works with children in his latest performance with CAMPO (Belgium), and the new work by Kornél Mundruczó (Hungary) covers the care given to our older fellow human beings. 600 HIGHWAYMEN (US) even eliminates all boundaries between the stage and the Groningen public. Finally, Sam Green (US) presents his live documentary covering extraordinary people such as those in the Guinness Book of Records. Noorderzon 2014 is about people, about the general public, about YOU!

photo © Pierre Borasci

Coproductions and European networks

Noorderzon will present much new work in 2014. Just as in previous years, the festival is involved in the coproduction of a number of these performances. To this end, Noorderzon has entered into cooperative endeavours with mainly international partners. Several of these coproductions have been made possible by networks such as NXTSTP (project leader: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels) and Create to Connect (project leader: Bunker, Ljubljana), which have been set up in the framework of the European Culture Programme of the European Union. 

photo © Pierre Borasci

Fernando Rubio – When We Were Children

Fernando Rubio - Everything By My Side (2013)

Fernando Rubio – When We Were Children

Buenos Aires/Argentina –  world premiere

After his successful project Everything By My Side in 2013, the Argentinean director Fernando Rubio returns to Groningen for the world première of When We Were Children. This performance forms Part 1 of a trilogy on the theme of time. In this case, it refers to our childhood years as a great voyage of discovery. It covers the genesis of love of others, and the idea that we call ‘the future’.  We review who we are and what we become, and what the notion of ‘future’ does to us. The theatre location is set up as a large classroom, in which visitors take their places on colourful stools. Noorderzon is a coproducer of this performance, which will be partly produced in Groningen in the month of August. 

The photo above is showing Fernando's project from last year.

600 HIGHWAYMEN – The Record

photo © Maria Baranova

600 HIGHWAYMEN – The Record

New York/Verenigde Staten - Dutch premiere

During The Record by 600 HIGHWAYMEN from New York, 45 strangers will appear jointly on stage to let us see who we are and who we could be. Together, they create a theatre/dance performance, but they meet one another for the very first time during the first performance. The actors are voluntary amateurs from Groningen, actors who have been recruited during the first visit of 600 HIGHWAYMEN to Groningen. The Record is a unique experience. Fragile, beautiful and, above all, human. This performance had its première in New York during the Under the Radar Festival in January (played by New Yorkers of course). It was an enormous hit. The New York Times awarded it 5***** stars. Noorderzon presents this performance in the framework of the Create to Connect European network. 

Check out the trailer.

Kid Koala  – Nufonia Must Fall (LIVE)

photo © AJ Korkidakis

Kid Koala – Nufonia Must Fall (LIVE)

Montreal/ Canada – Dutch premiere

The Canadian DJ Kid Koala is famous for his effervescent live shows, his albums based on old blues records and his collaborative projects with renowned acts such as Gorillaz. This year, as a DJ, he opened the large-scale shows by Arcade Fire. But Kid Koala is also a graphic novelist. In 2003, he presented the graphic novel called Nufonia Must Fall, a story about a robot that writes love songs, but actually cannot sing. He will perform a live puppet-theatre version of this wonderful book on stage in this edition of Noorderzon. The puppeteers will play the story in short sets on the stage, and these will be shown live on a large screen. The story will be supported by live music by Kid Koala and a music quartet. The production design for the performance is in the hands of K. K. Barrett, who became famous for his cooperation with directors such as Sofia Coppola in Lost in Translation and Spike Jonze in his Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are and Her, among others. Barrett was nominated for an Oscar for this last film.

Also appearing at: Internationales Sommerfestival Kampnagel Hamburg

BERLIN – Perhaps All The Dragons

photo © Marc Domage

BERLIN – Perhaps All The Dragons

Antwerpen/Belgium – Dutch premiere

A round table. With thirty screens on one side and thirty spectators on the other. Thirty face-to-face stories. The spectator can choose five of these to listen to. BERLIN deals with the people behind the major or minor stories in international magazines, newspapers, specialized internet sites, YouTube. All stories have exactly the same length and are interconnected at certain moments. BERLIN also appeared at Noorderzon 2012, with the performance entitled Land’s End (also a coproduction). Perhaps All The Dragons is coproduced by Noorderzon in the context of the NXTSTP European festival network.

Also appearing at: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels)

Kornél Mundruczó/Proton Theatre – Dementia

photo © Márton ÁGH

Kornél Mundruczó/Proton Theatre – Dementia

Budapest/Hongary –  Dutch premiere

The Hungarian theatre and film director Kornél Mundruczó enjoys rubbing the spectator’s face in matters that we, as a society, would prefer to ignore. This is also the case with Dementia. A run-down and almost deserted hospital is only inhabited by a small group of demented patients. There are no other people or staff, they live entirely in their own world. Feel free to move among them and make acquaintance with them. And now that you are here, are you prepared to pay for them? This performance is coproduced by Noorderzon in the context of NXTSTP.

Also appearing at: Festival De Keuze (Rotterdam)

Check out the trailer.

Philippe Quesne & CAMPO – Next Day

photo © Philippe Digneffe

Philippe Quesne & CAMPO – Next Day

Paris/France & Ghent/Belgium – Dutch premiere

In the past few years, the Belgian production house CAMPO made a series of performances for adults, with children in the leading role. For this series they consistently sought a different theatre maker. Next Day is again an exciting collaboration between an international stage director and children between 8 and 11 years old from Ghent. The direction for this performance is in the hands of Frenchman Philippe Quesne, who also appeared at Noorderzon 2009 with his hilarious and inventive performance entitled L’Effet de Serge. This time, he directs Next Day (with support from Noorderzon among others), which will enjoy its première in Mannheim (Theater der Welt), Germany, on 30 May 2014.

Also appearing at: Theater der Welt (Mannheim) and LIFT Festival (London)

Mariano Pensotti – Cineastas

photo © Bea Borgers

Mariano Pensotti – Cineastas

Buenos Aires/Argentina

Four filmmakers from Buenos Aires each begin on a new film. What they do not realize is that the creative process will give their lives a new twist. The Argentinian director Mariano Pensotti gained international renown with theatre in which the tension between reality and fiction plays a key role. For this piece, designer Mariana Tirantte created a decor in the form of a split screen that enables a recurrent switch between the lives of the filmmakers and the films they make. In much the same way as the leading characters in the films wish to capture an image for eternity, they too wish to find significance in their lives. Mariano Pensotti was a guest at Noorderzon 2011 with the marvellous performance El pasado es un animal grotesco. Cineastas (Filmmakers) was a great success during the Holland Festival of 2013.

Benjamin Verdonck – NOTALLWHOWANDERARELOST

photo © Kurt van der Elst

Benjamin Verdonck – NOTALLWHOWANDERARELOST

Antwerpen/België – Nederlandse première

For his latest performance, Benjamin Verdonck took as his basis the idea of a ‘table stage’ – a mobile foldable theatre that can suddenly appear anywhere in the city and vanish again just as quickly. The magic show-box – of which he is simultaneously the engine driver and the leading actor – reveals audiovisual poetry that is sometimes tangible but is just as frequently enigmatic. Benjamin Verdonck plays with this situation, literally and figuratively. NOTALLWHOWANDERARELOST is a performance with few words but with an abundance of strings, colours, geometrical figures, doors that open and curtains that close. It is theatre in its most essential form, close at hand and on a human scale. The performance has been made possible through support from NXTSTP.

Also appearing at: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels)

Check out the trailer.

Ula Sickle  – Kinshasa Electric

photo © Ula Sickle

Ula Sickle – Kinshasa Electric

Brussels/Belgium

Ula Sickle is a Flemish/Canadian choreographer who frequently works with African dancers. In this case, the performance involves three dancers and a DJ from Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In conjunction, they explore the popular dances of this moment. As their starting point of that exploration, they take the dancefloors of nightclubs in Kinshasa. Kinshasa Electric is coproduced by Noorderzon in the framework of NXTSTP.

Also appearing at: Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels) and SPRING (Utrecht).  

1st names on the music programme

photo © Bill Ellison

1st names on the music programme

The first bands on the Noorderzon music programme can also be announced. Under the name Sun Kil Moon, the celebrated American songwriter Mark Kozelek issued the stunning album Benji which has been praised by the musical reviewers as one of the highlights of the year and also of Kozelek’s commendable career up to the present. Sun Kil Moon will play in the intimate setting of the Spiegeltent on Sunday August 24. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (former frontman of Pavement) are coming to the Spiegeltent on Saturday August 23. Bridie Jackson & The Arbour, a four piece contemporary folk/acoustic band based in Newcastle, will play on Wednesday August 27 in the Spiegeltent. Hamilton Leithauser (ex frontman The Walkmen) will join our festivalprogramme on Thursday August 21.

Furthermore, Noorderzon presents free concerts at the Dok Music Stage by The Rifles on Saturday August 23 (enthusiastic, summer Britpop), The Orwells on Tuesday August 26 (young and hip American indie grunge rockband) and East Cameron Folkcore on Thursday August 28 (American folk rock band influenced by punk, blues and Irish rebel music). We also present Nick Waterhouse (US) on Thursday August 21, and Gallowstreet Brass Band (NL) and Broken Brass Ensemble (NL) on Sunday August 31. Newest additions are: Jagwar Ma (AUS) on Sunday August 24 and Lucius (VS) on Wednesday August 24.