From June 12 to 21st, the International Contemporary Dance Festival “LAIKS DEJOT” (Time to Dance) will take place in Riga and Stameriena (Gulbene Municipality) with a diverse program of performances and master classes.
The festival, which started in 1998 and gained recognition both in Latvia and internationally, will this year focus on the theme “friends”, emphasizing the importance of supporting each other, maintaining friendship and meeting. Friends of the festival and friends of friends – individual artists and companies – will travel to Latvia from countries such as Lithuania, Estonia, Switzerland, North Macedonia, Finland, Tanzania, Croatia, Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and the United States. The organizers of the festival hope that artists from Ukraine, who are still waiting for permission to leave the country, will be able to join.
The theme of “LAIKS DEJOT” in 2022 has grown not only from the isolation caused by the pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of friendship, but also from the atmosphere of the long-standing festival. “We try to offer our guests to live in our environment, life, art and beautiful Latvian nature.
The festival is like a family, very friendly. It has never been the case that artists come, show a performance and say – Buy,” emphasizes the director of the festival Olga Zitluhina. At the festival, also spectators can not only watch high-quality contemporary dance performances from different countries, but also see their creators as personalities: how they live, how they think, how they dance, why they are in art. The master classes they lead, which are an integral part of the LAIKS DEJOT festival, also help to get to know the artists better. This year we are proud that the famous American choreographer Mark Haim will lead one of the master classes.
The festival program reflects not only regional, but also a variety of themes and formats.
Dance artist Anna-Marija Adomaityte (Lithuania / Switzerland) solo performance “workpiece” is a portrait of the body penetrated by the memories of the authoritarian regime and McDonald’s. How does the body, when affected by fatigue, begin to resist productivity? Based on the experiences of fast food service employees, “workpiece” considers work as an alienating and inevitable practice.
The collaboration of French artists – choreographer Zoi Lekorgne and musician Remi Thibault “FATAL.E” – is about mourning, time and celebration. It is an invitation to feel, immerse yourself and take time. It is a journey through a stopping time, through emotions and feelings. It is a journey to celebrate death and living together. It is an ode to life.
Thematically similar is the Skopje Dance Theater and choreographer Adrijana Danchevska (North Macedonia) performance “Don’t Touch My Eyes” identifying with the Macedonian people, glorifying life, beauty in simplicity and anger.
The regular guest of the festival “LAIKS DEJOT” is the Finnish dance company “Gruppen Fyra”, which gained public sympathy with its humorous works. This time there will be an opportunity see the performance “Soiree” (Event), which is a work about the fear of life and dancing to the ruins of the world. Soiree is a dark but humorous show that combines physical and dance theater. The tragicomic image of humanity depicted in the work draws inspiration from the legacy of Eugene Ionesco and Samuel Beckett.
While the Croatian art organization’s de facto show “The Wheel” is a choreographic work inspired by Croatian traditional dances and customs, which rests on the question of whether and how folk customs survived as popular phenomena of modernity. The specialty of “The Wheel” is the participation of very different performers: actors, dancers and folklore artists. The play explores the impossible and absurd effort that all these different artistic expressions, embodied in other and different bodies, create a community that represents the original folklore community.
Nantea Dance Company from Tanzania is already launching a festival program in 2023, with African dance at the center. The dance duo and the film projection “Moment – Wakati” reflect the many layers of moments and talk about how these moments can change an individual’s attitude, thoughts, experience and life in general.
Artists from different countries will meet together in several performances of the festival.
Contemporary dance, music and light performance “Tornado” (choreographers Olga Zitluhina, Valery Olehno, musicians Juris Kaukulis, Liene Dobicina and light designer Oskars Paulins), gathering and involving a large number of dancers of different dancer generations, as well as festival participants from Latvia and abroad, will make a dance tornado on an unprecedented scale. The idea of the “Tornado” is to stimulate artistic synergy in the movement by combining different artistic practices in one process around contemporary dance.
Meanwhile, mature dance artists from Scandinavia and the Baltic States, as well as the United Kingdom, met during the EU “Creative Europe” project BET – Body Experience Time through 45+ and create performance RAZDEDAUCH.
Performance “RAZDEDAUCH” – EU “Creative Europe” project “BET – Body Experience Time through 45+ dancers”, mature dance artists from Scandinavia and the Baltics met countries as well as the United Kingdom. The work also largely embodies the essence of the festival “LAIKS DEJOT”, emphasizing that something meaningful always arises when we are present with each other for a moment. This project celebrates the realization that dance and dancing belong to everyone – at any age. We assume that an special atmosphere to performance will be given by the venue – Stameriena Palace.
Venues of the festival: Latvian Academy of Culture branch “Zirgu pasts”, E.Smilgis Theater Museum, Dirty Deal Teatro, “Noass” Gallery, Hanzas perons and Stameriena Palace.
Tickets are available at “Biļešu Paradīze” box offices and on the Internet, as well as in small numbers before the performances. If you are coming from Estonia – search for tickets in www.fienta.com
Many festival events will also be free of charge. The program will be updated.
More information on the website: laiksdejotfestivals.lv
The festival is organized by the association PARTY in cooperation with the Latvian Academy of Culture, assisting the Choreographer Association and the Latvian Dance Information Center.
Supported by: Latvian Cultural Capital Fund, EU program “Creative Europe”, EU project Perform Europe, Nordic Culture Point, Laboratory for the investigation of dance and movement-based forms “Movement Research” from USA, “Hanzas perons ”.