We have made it to the fourth edition of the Interferences Festival! As we have chosen a general topic for each of the previous editions, so are we trying once again to extend the concept of theatrical interferences. In the first edition our goal has been to approach the different cultures to each other and to present the most important current theatrical tendencies worldwide to the Cluj audiences; in the second one we stepped out from the main building of our theatre, involving other different spaces holding cultural significance in our city, to create an "interference of spaces", while in the third we focused on the dialogue between theatre and music - a dialogue of voices with common roots.
The subject of our upcoming Festival is the stories of the body. It is impossible to exhaust the richness of this "generous" theme, open to an infinite variety of theatrical approaches through a ten day-long event. We humans are constantly preoccupied by our own physicality, our outward appearance, our vital functions, our own aging, our timeliness and mortality, our conception into birth, our painful illnesses, our sexuality, in one word everything that binds us to the mysterious chemistry of our body, since God made mankind in His own image. Is there any better place than theatre to have us confront with all these questions in their full physicality? Theatre in fact is based on the presence of both actors and spectators connected in space and present time by the mutual convention of playfulness.
The human body constitutes the raw material, the indispensable expressive tool of the theatre performance. The most important contemporary theatrical tendencies - characterized by a recurring attempt to wipe out any borders between life and art - propose the re-definition of the concept of physicality, inviting the audience into a totally new adventure. Instead of dialogue, they seek to create a personal experience based on the "memory of the body" (Jan Kott), in a shared space where both "performers" and "viewers" become increasingly responsible for their participation, which takes the shape and significance of collective action.
Will the human body, which has been so many times divinized, glorified, tortured, dishonored and humiliated throughout history, finally resurrect? Will our souls be saved? These are some of the questions to which our invited performances try - each in its own way - to find an answer. Some of the highlights of this edition include Thomas Ostermeier's Enemy of the People from the Berliner Schaubühne and Declan Donnellan's Ubu Roi with Cheek by Jowl, both world famous directors and their companies performing for the first time in Cluj. Among the novelties I would mention in the first place Paper Music - a performance by the outstanding South African director, choreographer and performance artist William Kentridge and composer Philip Miller. Then Lux Boreal, the Mexican Dance Company from Tijuana, with their strongly physical and emotional Lamb; ZAR, the company from Poland known, too as heir of the Grotowski-theatre; Fractalicous! a controversial Dutch-American performance by Brian Reynolds with the Transversal Theater Company and Kafka Project presented by the Italian company of the Croatian Drama Theatre in Rijeka. Two other shows will represent the Italian theatre: Pippo Delbono will perform Amore e carne accompanied by violinist Alexander Bălănescu and Valeria Raimondi & Enrico Castellani present their own text in The End. Among the great "returning artists" are Josef Nadj, with his recent performance - Paysage Inconnu - and the amazing Pansori singer and performer Lee Jaram, whose Mother Courage (Ukchuk-Ga) has been one of the revelations of our last Festival, and who is performing Sacheon-Ga , an adaptation of the Good Person of Sechuan, directed by the same In Woo Nam. Present for the third time in Cluj, Habima - the Israeli National Theatre of Tel Aviv will perform The Merchant of Venice in the vision of Ilan Ronen, artistic director of the company and President of the Union of European Theatres (UTE). Among the "domestic" companies we'll have two theatres from Bucharest (Nottara and ArCub) as well as four performances of the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj. Voivodina - the Hungarian populated region of Serbia - will be represented by the Kosztolányi Dezső Theatre from Subotica, while young Italian theatre students close the program presenting Alban Berg's Wozzeck directed by renown set designer Csaba Antal.
This outstanding program enriched for the first time with important performances in the Off-section, as well as exhibitions, concerts (including an enchanting evening of jazz with Bucinatores Orchestra from Prague!), book-launches, after-show talks and projections with filmed performances of Pina Bausch, as a tribute to this immense artist of the theatre and dance, wouldn't have been possible without the major contribution and financing of the Romanian Ministry of Culture, the City of Cluj and all the sponsors and partners whose names are available in our catalogue. Many thanks for it!
I wish you a substantial physical and spiritual adventure!
Artistic Director of the Interferences International Theatre Festival