Dmitry Krymov Lab, Rara Woulib, THE ROOF, TURFED and More Set for LIFT, May-June 2014
LIFT celebrates its 20th Festival in 2014 connecting the World to London - the most culturally diverse city on the planet - and London to the World.
From the football pitches and favelas of Brazil to the shopping malls of Japan, via Haiti and Moscow, artists from across the world make astonishing work about their lives, loves, triumphs and losses - linking us together in experiences we all share but express in a thousand different ways.
Artistic Director Mark Ball invites you to 30 joyous, moving and inspiring productions from 13 countries in 15 venues across the breadth of the capital. As ever LIFT pushes the boundaries and understanding of theatre. Extraordinary global stories and intense visual and personal experiences come from dynamic new voices, linking audiences with artists in London and around the world and with productions that take place everywhere from the theatre and museum, to the street and the internet. LIFT 2014 is a passionate affair with London and Londoners - reaching out to all those who love the city and are curious about the world.
"LIFT 2014 comes at a time when the world is experiencing seismic change - in our climate, in governments and, perhaps most significantly, in ways in which we can communicate with each other. We have looked at what makes up this astonishingly vibrant and tolerant city and made it a stage on which artists with radical imaginations will conjure visions of other lands, enthralling us with stories born in the worlds from which they come. We have discovered new ideas, commissioned artists with extraordinary insight, and spread this abundance right across London from Stratford East to Brentford, and Battersea to Finchley, in spaces as diverse as the Royal Academy, the Barbican, Sadler's Wells and the streets of London. This is something not to be missed - a sparkling, surprising and sometimes shocking window into this amazing world of ours." Mark Ball, Artistic Director of LIFT
A programme of World and UK premieres include invigorating and evocative new work: Russia's Dmitry Krymov Lab, an ensemble of visual artists turned performers, builds vast poetic imagery to breathe emotional life into Soviet oppression and censorship; French company Rara Woulib transform the streets of London into a Voodoo carnival; Brazilian choreographer Bruno Beltrao, has scoured the internet for movements and gestures to create remarkable fusion of street and contemporary dance and hip hop; Swedish/British artists Lundahl and Seitl immerse us in the archives and galleries of the Royal Academy in the build up to the Summer Exhibition; Requardt & Rosenberg (Motorshow LIFT 2012) return to LIFT with The Roof - surrounding audiences with a hair-raising mix of free running, dance and sound as a reluctant hero flees across rooftops in a bid to survive; and for Turfed, in partnership with the Street Child World Cup 2014, Brazilian director Renato Rocha (The Dark Side of Love LIFT 2012) and a young cast from the UK, Tanzania, Brazil and the Philippines use their passion for football to tell true stories of homelessness.
Some of these artists work in circumstances that can be difficult or even dangerous, and LIFT gives voice to their revealing work, connecting us all with the big issues of our times.
For its festival in 2014, LIFT is also responding to the long shadow that World War 1 still casts: a war that devastated Europe, created borders that are still sources of conflict and industrialised killing on a mass scale. In response to the 100th Anniversary of the start of WW1 and co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, LIFT presents After A War, curated by Mark Ball and Tim Etchells (Artistic Director, Forced Entertainment).
For After A War LIFT platforms 23 international artists and companies from the UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America, reflecting on the impact and legacy of this first truly global event and on contemporary issues of war and peace. After a War is one of the key London events of the four year 14-18 NOW programme, part of IWM's First World War Centenary partnership programme.
At the Southbank Centre, Hotel Modern & Arthur Sauer from the Netherlands present The Great War using live animation and a miniature film set to breathe life into letters sent home from the trenches, and Argentinian artist Lola Arias brings performers born in Pinochet's Chile who reveal how their parents' actions during the dictatorship moulded their lives. After A War culminates in a three-day weekend programme taking over the whole of Battersea Arts Centre, where trials for London's conscientious objectors were held from 1916. Forced Entertainment's new show The Notebook tells of the moral conflict faced by twin brothers in war, based on the compelling novel by Hungary's Agora Kristof; alternative punk cabaret band The Tiger Lillies transform British First World War poetry; Stan's Cafe use thousands of dominoes to demonstrate the impact of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination; Lebanese director Lucien Bourjeily invites you to draw out new maps of the Middle East; and Croatian Vlatka Horvat, in collaboration with seven other artists, replays the history of Yugoslavia.
All through LIFT is Change for a Tenner, a full programme of talks and events built around the shows and people LIFT works with and is inspired by. These will be held across London, giving audiences a chance to meet artists and make their own contribution to the festival.
Full Festival line up in brief below - and go to liftfestival.com for further details.
LIFT 2014 - SHOW BY SHOW:
Symphony of a Missing Room - archive of the forgotten and remembered (Sweden/UK)
Royal Academy of Arts 19 May - 8 June UK Premiere
Each year the Royal Academy of Arts is transformed by the Summer Exhibition as more than 1,000 works go on display in the world's biggest open-submission art show. But what is left in the museum after the art works have gone? Lundahl & Seitl's Symphony of a Missing Room is your chance to find out. Using multisensory technology, invisible dance and whispered illusion, it leads you on a collective and extremely personal journey through the Royal Academy's public and private spaces, revealing the building as never before. Based in Stockholm and London, Lundahl & Seitl create a unique art work that dissolves the difference between the real and the virtual. #LIFT2014
Fuel presents The Roof (UK) Doon Street Car Park, Upper Ground, opposite National Theatre 30 May - 28 June
A 360? panoramic performance under the night sky. A door opens and an immaculate ?gure steps out on to a roof. Knives are sharpened and the game begins ... Set within the suspended reality of a brutal and unforgiving game, this breathless mix of intimate three dimensional sound and the hair-trigger movement of free running will transport you into the body of a reluctant hero, desperate to stay alive. Wearing headphones, audiences are taken right inside this hero's mind. Following Electric Hotel and Motor Show, this is the third collaboration between theatre director David Rosenberg (co-founder of Shunt) and choreographer Frauke Requardt. Saltbox, the on-site bar, is open daily, including to non-ticket holders. #LIFT2014
CRACKz (Brazil) Sadler's Wells 3 - 4 June UK Premiere
Think you know hip-hop dance? Think again... Since co-founding his Grupo de Rua (Street Group) as a teenager in 1996, Brazilian choreographer Bruno Beltrao has dedicated himself to transforming street dance and its place in the theatre. He deconstructs it, subverts it and questions every stereotype that has built up around it. His new show, CRACKz, is a "piece without roots": Beltrao asked his dancers to scour the internet for movements, gestures and informal routines, then used these as the basis for his choreography. The result is a remarkable fusion of street and contemporary dance, everyday actions and avant-garde attitude, that opens up new possibilities for hip-hop and theatre alike. #LIFT2014
Testament (Germany) The Pit, Barbican 3 - 7 June UK Premiere
Jewellery, legal succession, family trees, gas receipts... just a few of the topics that rise up when fathers and daughters lay their relationships bare. Taking to the stage with their real dads, German performance collective She She Pop confront the complex dynamics between generations with frank tenderness. Shakespeare's King Lear is the backdrop to an audacious show that integrates film, personal testimony, big-band covers and dance to tackle the realities of ageing, inheritance and parenthood head-on. #LIFT2014
Opus No7 (Russia) Barbican Theatre 4 - 14 June
Dmitry Krymov is one of Russia's most influential theatre directors, the creator of visually majestic, moving yet witty experiences. Opus No7 places its audience on the stage, tantalisingly close to the action of a genre-defying double bill. The oppression of Soviet Jews and the censorship of Shostakovich under Stalin are depicted through larger-than-life puppets, duelling pianos, living walls and blizzards of newsprint; epic images conjured up from the simplest of materials. This is mouth-watering theatre on a grand scale and LIFT is thrilled to be bringing Krymov and his collaborators to London.
LIFT is delighted to be acting as a gateway for ground-breaking international work to tour outside London, and is very pleased to be producing an England-wide tour of Opus No7 to Brighton Festival, Norwich and Norfolk Festival and Northern Stage Newcastle. The Opus No7 tour is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Supported by the British Council and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. An Of?cial UK-Russia Year of Culture 2014 Event. #LIFT2014
Museum of Water (UK) Somerset House 6 - 29 June
What water will you keep? A melted snowman? Droplets from a baby's bath? Sacred draughts from an Indian river? Just some of the items donated to London's newest museum. In the atmospheric underground spaces of Somerset House, Amy Sharrocks invites you to consider our relationship with the most precious liquid in the world. As rainforests disappear and climate change turns fertile land into deserts, access to fresh water will be one of the key issues of the coming decades. Sharrocks invites you to browse the museum's collection and add to it yourself. #LIFT2014
Turfed (Brazil) venue tba 9 - 21 June World Premiere
Inspired by the 'beautiful game' LIFT is thrilled to continue its relationship with Renato Rocha and co-director Keziah Serreau, whose The Dark Side of Love was a hit in 2012. Created in partnership with Street Child World Cup, Turfed uses the philosophy of football to explore the global issue of youth homelessness.
Taking inspiration from the double meaning of his title (the turf of a football pitch, and what it is to be turfed out of home), Rocha and an international team of young artists will use spoken word, sharp choreography and stunning visuals to explore experiences of homelessness in London and across the world in a production that will make you see your home, family and friends in surprising new ways. #LIFT2014
Longitude (US/UK) 9, 16, 23 June on Google Hangouts, & throughout June at
Watermans Arts Centre World Premiere
How does a hyper-connected community experience art? How can new technology forge new international collaborations?
LIFT has commissioned digital theatre pioneers elastic future to create an international and interactive performance via the widely available, free-to-access networks and social-media platforms we use every day. Harnessing the potential of Google Hangouts as a digital space for performance, Longitude is a new experiment in creating live theatrical experiences. Working with digital creatives Hellicar & Lewis and an international artistic team based in three continents along a single line of longitude, elastic future will present a new performance piece live online over the last three weeks of the festival. Come with us on a journey as we explore life on the north-south oil trade routes. Complementing the online performances, Longitude includes a gallery installation at Watermans throughout June. #LIFT2014
Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich (Japan) artsdepot 10 - 11 June UK Premiere
LIFT returns to artsdepot with a brand-new work by Japan's most exciting theatre director, Toshiki Okada. Set in a supermarket, Super Premium ... takes a darkly humorous look at Japanese consumerism, through slacker language, dreamlike movement and a striking soundscape of J-pop and J.S. Bach. Working with his company, chelfitsch (pronounced "selfish"), Okada is celebrated as a chronicler of Japan's Lost Generation, the young people coming of age as their economy spiralled into decline. His theatre captures their unease, self-centredness and cynicism so astutely that his characters will need no translation for a London audience. #LIFT2014
THE SHIPMENT (USA) The Pit, Barbican 10 - 14 June UK Premiere
Young Jean Lee set herself the most uncomfortable challenge she could imagine: to make, as a Korean- American, a work about African-American identity and politics. Developed in collaboration with an all-black cast, this biting satire invites audiences on a rollercoaster ride through the assumptions, clichés and distortions that arise when exploring the experience of African-Americans today. Cultural caricatures, from a foul-mouthed comedian to a drug dealer-turned-rapper superstar, are parodied in a series of variety numbers reminiscent of a minstrel show. "Exhilarating, depressing and hilarious." - Lou Reed #LIFT2014
Red Forest (Belarus) Young Vic 12 June - 5 July UK Premiere
Chernobyl, 1986. As the radiation from the nuclear reactor explosion spread across Belarus, Ukraine, Scandinavia and Western Europe, the forests downwind turned a brilliant red. Nearly 30 years later it remains one of the most contaminated areas in the world. The award-winning Belarus Free Theatre return to the Young Vic to explore the profound impact of environmental change through the lens of local myths and legends. Incorporating true stories and native folklore from Belarus, Brazil, Nigeria and India, Red Forest weaves together a tapestry of stories to create a new legend of man and nature. Featuring live music and choreography, BFT challenges us to face the epic cycle of human and environmental destructiveness. #LIFT2014
Deblozay (France) A journey on foot at dusk 20 - 21 June UK Premiere
Have you ever met a dead person while walking down the street? What would you say to each other? Haitian culture looks at death in a very different way to our own. It is not a hushed-up affair of coffins and closed doors but a loud celebration of all that life has to offer, in this world and the next. Roaming troupes of Rara players and musicians travel the countryside and towns of Haiti, blending their songs and dances with elements of the sacred and profane, of work and play. As the sun sets, French company Rara Woulib transform the streets of London into a Voodoo carnival. The spirits of those who have left this life will throng the streets, in the most extraordinary funeral procession you will ever attend. Co-produced with Greenwich +Docklands Festivals and David Binder #LIFT2014
Michael Essien, I want to play as you... (Belgium) Stratford Circus 24 - 25 June UK Premiere
The lure of success in European leagues has drawn many into believing in football as a way out of poverty - and created an underclass of football-aspirants in foreign lands. Ahilan Ratnamohan and a group of African migrant footballers have devised this piece using their shared language of football. Sitting between dance and theatre, their performance explores the hidden stories of the game we all think we know. #LIFT2014
Next Day (France/Belgium) Unicorn Theatre 26 - 28 June UK Premiere
How do young people really think and feel? Ground-breaking Belgian theatre company CAMPO have made it their business to find out, exploring the world from a child's point of view. In Next Day, 13 performers aged 8-11 give a moving and honest account of everyday life. Their seemingly normal rituals become extraordinary, absurd and provocative under the microscopic lens of Paris-based visual artist and director Philippe Quesne. A sell-out at LIFT 2012, CAMPO invite audiences to share an unexpected glimpse into a child's view of the adult world. Live music and late bar after the show. #LIFT2014
The First World War can seem hopelessly remote to the 21st-century mind. And yet, this war ushered in modernity and set the pace for the most murderous century of human history. It ripped through Europe, dissolved empires, changed the nature of warfare and continues to define global relationships. For After a War, LIFT, Tim Etchells (Artistic Director, Forced Entertainment) and 14-18 NOW the First World War Centenary Cultural Programme, have invited 25 artists and companies from across the world - including the UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Lebanon, Egypt, Argentina and the DR Congo - to think about the global impact and legacy of the First World War alongside contemporary issues of war and peace. The Great War and The year I was born begin LIFT's After a War programme and are key events of 14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions. #LIFT2014
The Great War (Netherlands) Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre 24 - 26 June
1914-1918. Millions of soldiers wrote letters to their loved ones from the trenches. Millions died in the fire and the mud. Millions came home with stories that could not be told, or could not be heard. Just like after any war. Using live animation and a miniature film set, Hotel Modern & Arthur Sauer attempt to make these experiences tangible. The audience is witness to the reconstruction of the Western Front on a tiny scale, using soil, parsley and rusty nails. A Foley artist provides the soundtrack to the film: a rap on the table sounds like a hand grenade exploding, the striking of a match is mustard gas being released. The Great War deftly reminds us of the horror of war. #LIFT2014
El año en que nací / The year I was born (Argentina & Chile) Southbank Centre 24 - 26 June UK Premiere
LIFT is proud to premiere this new show from Argentinian artist Lola Arias, whose exceptional work using the stories of real people is seared with authenticity as part of its After A War programme. Eleven performers born in Pinochet's Chile in the 1970s and early 1980s tell the stories of their parents living in the grip of dictatorship. Like stunt doubles, the actors re-create their parents' lives with photographs, letters, cassettes, old clothing, anecdotes and elusive recollections. Playful and political, The year I was born gives a seldom-seen and highly personal insight into the impact of a parent's actions. Two generations face one another in a reckoning of both the joy of childhood and chilling secrets. #LIFT2014
The Notebook (UK) Battersea Arts Centre 24 - 26 June UK Premiere
From Forced Entertainment, and part of After A War, based on the award-winning 1986 novel by Hungarian writer Agota Kristof, The Notebook tells the story of twin brothers evacuated to the countryside during the Second World War to stay at their grandmother's farm. Though strange and dysfunctional, the unnamed narrators are slowly revealed as struggling moralists, trying to live by consistent principles in a central Europe that is unravelling in the conflict, and a world given over to vice, cruelty and opportunism. Kristof's bold, crisp and reduced language is the basis for a compelling performance, as Forced Entertainment's Richard Lowdon and Robin Arthur stand side by side on stage to tell their story: an uncanny double act of two people trapped in one voice. #LIFT2014
After a War (International) Battersea Arts Centre 27 - 29 June 15 World Premieres
Our programme culminates in this three-day takeover of Battersea Arts Centre - a potent venue which, from 1916 onwards, housed the trials of many of London's conscientious objectors. Stan's Cafe (UK) will use several thousand dominoes to demonstrate the impact of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's assassination; Lucien Bourjeily (Lebanon) will invite you to draw out new maps of the Middle East; Lola Arias (Argentina) meets veterans of the Falklands war; and Vlatka Horvat (Croatia), in collaboration with seven other artists, will replay the history of Yugoslavia. Full details of the programme can be found at liftfestival.com #LIFT2014
A Dream Turns Sour (UK) Battersea Arts Centre 28 - 29 June World Premiere
From the trenches to the music hall. Operating within their own eccentric definitions, The Tiger Lillies are recognised as one of the foremost avant-garde bands in the world and the Godfathers of alternative cabaret. For this new performance, they are transforming British First World War poetry - by the likes of Arthur West, John McCrae, Noel Hodgson and Wilfred Owen - into a haunting, angry, lyrical set of songs. Expect a startling mixture of opera, Gypsy song, Left-Bank Paris and black humour in a spectacular musical finale to After a War. #LIFT2014
"Just brilliant and utterly fantastic! You'll never hear more perverse and twisted as well as haunting and sorrowful songs." - Marc Almond
Change For A Tenner - A series of gatherings about change - small change, big change, change we want. And for only ten quid a piece (it's £9.99). Go to liftfestival.com for dates and venues
For 33 years LIFT has championed theatre that reimagines the world. This year we're developing a programme of six events across London combining speakers, stories, music and more, which showcase imaginative, brave and surprising attempts to make change happen. Curated by Charlie Tims, Peter Jenkinson and Shelagh Wright. Each gathering offers you a chance to meet people who are trying to make a difference.
Some people think I'm bonkers but I just think I'm free. A celebration of people who are campaigning for the unlikely. Why do they do it? And how far will they go?