From September 2 to 8 International Festival of Contemporary Theatre «Homo Novus» will occupy streets, parks and buildings in the centre and the suburbs of Riga. Its programme tackles the relationship between city and nature, offering expressive performances by local and guest artists, as well as a collection of 11 works «Last Human Venue», devoted to the 10th anniversary of the festival. In many of the shows, nature is an irreplaceable component of the stories and set designs, at times even becoming the protagonist.
«Homo Novus» was founded in Daugavpils in 1995 by the theatre director Pēteris Krilovs, and after moving to Riga, the festival bi–annually shakes the traditional theatre experience with the diversity of content, conversational form and the usage of space, as well as introduces emerging and already renowned artists.
The guest performances’ programme features the master of European contemporary theatre Romeo Castellucci with one of his most personal works «On the Concept of the Face, Regarding the Son of God», French naive art representative Philippe Quesne with two visually saturated performances discussing the autonomy of the artist, Swiss theatre director Milo Rau from the collective «International Institute of Political Murder» with his performance «Hate Radio» and installation «The Moscow Trials», which dramatises fragments and situations of contemporary history.
Works in the programme «City and Nature» reveal the relationship, interaction and conflicts both in the physical space, and in each one of us. The Norwegian choreographer Ingri Fiksdal will invite to join a musically mythical night journey in the forest, the British activist and artist «the vacuum cleaner» will reveal his complicated life story and the Dutch artist’s Lotte van den Berg’s cinematic production «Wasteland» is said to be one of the most inspiring interpretation of the novels of South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee.
A new performance is being created as well — «Lost Gardens» by an international team of artists. It tells about an incident in May, 2013 that deeply affected lives of many residents of Riga, but remained unnoticed by the wider public. Authors of the show are the German director Christine Umpfenbach in collaboration with Latvian artists Katrīna Neiburga, Rūdolfs Bekičs, Andžonis, and people of Riga.
The collection of works «The Last Human Venue» consists of new performances, installations and even a concert by Latvian directors Pēteris Krilovs, Vladislavs Nastavševs, Valters Sīlis, Andrejs Jarovojs, set designers Monika Pormale, Izolde Cēsniece, Reinis Suhanovs, artist collectives «Nomadi» and «umka.lv», fashion designers «mareunrol’s».
«Homo Novus» manifests that the contemporary performing art is not encapsulated, on the contrary — it is constantly changing and developing, trying to find new ways of expression, meaningful content and relationship with the spectator. The festival aims at offering programmes and shows that can change perspectives of artists and spectators, address urgent questions, go out in the city and create art outside the usual theatre environment.
The festival will encompass a large urban area, inviting to performances in a forest, in an apartment, in lively, as well as forgotten places both in the centre and the outskirts of the city. For the second time in a row, the festival’s centre will be Kaņepe Culture Centre. Information on the performances’ programme and other events can be found on «Homo Novus» website.