Vol 1, No 8, 16 August 1999
E V E N T S:
Coming Up in the UK
Andrew J Horton
Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks, including angelic sounds from Bulgaria; love in an elevator - Bosnian style; a puppet-performed contemporary Hungarian opera; and highlights of the forthcoming Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Click on the appropiate heading or just scroll down to browse.
In 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival was formed with the idea of an international arts festival helping to bring about peace to a Europe still recovering from war. The concept may sound idealist but it must have resonated at the time, because 8 theatre companies turned up uninvited and, playing at hastily arranged venues, they cashed in the success of the official festival. The trend continued the following year and the phenomenon of the uninvited guests was labeled the Fringe Festival. Today the proportions of the Fringe, held every August, are staggering, with over 500 theatre, dance and music groups from all over the world performing 1,643 shows with 14,108 seperate showings. And that's on top of the events connected with the official festival.
Full details can be found on the Fringe website, which has details of performances, venues, times, prices and even a map of Edinburgh to help you find your performance. Their site also usefully has a search engine which enables you to search by performer, title, country or venue
The listings below contain some of the Fringe events, covering performers hailing from Siberia to Bosnia and most places in between. For full details click on the links to the Fringe's own pages. Eulogies copied from the Fringe's blurb appear in quotes and are by no means always endorsed by CER!
Kurtag has emerged in recent years as one of Hungary's foremost contemporary composers. The Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival honour him in a series of concerts and events.
Concert including Kurtag's music (Hommage a R Sch and Jelek)
An Evening of Gyorgy Kurtag's Music
The Sayings of Peter Bornemisza by Gyorgy Kurtag
Concert including Kurtag's music (Stele)
Concert including Kurtag's music (Grabstein fur Stephan)
The Music of Gyorgy Kurtag (by Rachel Beckles Wilson)
Conversations (with Kurtag himself)
Secrets - Nomad Dance Company
"An Islamic woman and a Western man are suspended together in an elevator shaft in London, unwitting pawns in a terrorists game. Their own battles over faith, trust and elevator music reach acrobatic heights. Spectacular Dance." Click here for more information.
The Bulgarian Voices: Angelite
Internationally acclaimed female choir. "...the most unearthly, beautiful, eerie, joyous sounds the voice can make" (Guardian). A highly recommended series of shows which will undoubtedly sell out. Pounce soon. Click here for more information.
"Fly, Fly my Sadness": Huun Huur Tu, Angelite, Moscow Art Duo
"Final performances of a five year world adventure. Incredible visionary musical collaboration. Beyond anything ever heard." Intriguing Russo-Bulgarian mixed bill. Click here for more information.
Croatian Theatrical Triple Bills
Three of Croatia's top theatre companies in repertory with a different combination of shows presented each day. Includes a world premiere.Click here for more information.
For more Croatian theatre see also East Goes West
Modern Czech Classics at the ICA
The nineties have not been the brightest decade in Czech cinematic history. However, this week the ICA is showing two films from the last few years which have managed to attract considerable recognition abroad for their wry views of modern morality . Jan Svankmajer was already internationally famous for his grotesque animations with a dark philosphical bent when he probed middle-class passions in Spiklenci slasti. Knoflikari on the other hand shot Petr Zelenka to international attention when it triumphed at the Rotterdam International Film Festival two years ago. To read Kinoeye's review of the latter click here.
Spiklenci slasti (Conspirators of Pleasure, 1996)
Knoflikari (Buttoners, 1997)
Rough Trade at the Lux
"A lot can be bought for the price of a cinema ticket if you know where to get it" starts the Lux's blurb for their Rough Trade series of films on men who sell their bodies. Most of the films are American with classics such as Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho and John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, the only x-rated film to have won an Oscar. Three of the ten films, however, take us to the seedy back-streets of Prague. Scraping off the thin veneer of Europe's most beautiful city, Wiktor Grodecki exposes the exploitation festering underneath in three films: two documentaries and a later feature film that was based on his hard-hitting investigations.
Body Without Soul, documentary (1996)
Not Angels but Angels, documentary (1994)
Hommage a Jiri: Czech Collage of the 80s and 90s
Picture poet Kolar's latest work presented in the context of other prominent collage artists.
...And More Czech Culture in London
The Czech Cultural Centre in London has just gone electronic! Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Czech related events in London.
Turul - Grotesque Myth of a Plucked Angle
"Hungarian company Artus' incomparable talent lies in its East European poetic language. The absurdity of scenes obeys the logic of dreams, surrealistic images connect dark humour with audacious fantasy. Awarded and played worldwide." Click here for more information.
Kati Szvorak and the Water Carriers
Folk, jazz and world music described as"beautiful material with a Balkan edge, pretty wonderful stuff" by Folk Roots playing into the early hours. Click here for more information.
Kalman Balogh: Romano Kokalo
Marriage of Kocsonya Mihaly
"The modern opera company, Kolibri presents this one-act opera. A 17th-century masterpiece using exciting and innovative, man-sized puppets. The contemporary music has been especially composed and is heavily influenced in its style by Hungarian folk traditions." Click here for more information.
An English language performance of Mihaly Babits's play by the Hungarian Merlin Theatre group as part of Edinburgh's Fringe Festival.Suicidal macho pride kills King Protesilaos in Trojan War. Lusting widow Laodamia begs the gods for his ghost's return. Her gruesome wish is granted but for three hours only. Click here for more information.
...And More Hungarian Culture in the UK
Check out the website of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London. As well as listing events of international importance, the site also carries details of their support network for Hungarian au pairs working in the UK and Catholic mass in Hungarian.
Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Hungarian events in the UK.
Drink Vinegar Gentlemen
After Teatr Biuro Podrozy's 1996 Fringe success, the group reveal their versatility with this new show inspired by a short (less than 200 words) story by persecuted Russian satirist and master of the absurd Daniil Kharms. Already it has received a top Polish award. Click here for more information.
...And More Polish Culture in the UK
Check out the website of the Polish Cultural Institute in London.
Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Polish events in the UK.
The History of Pandas Told by a Saxophonist with a Girlfriend in
Matei Visniec's award-winning play, given its UK premiere by the Blue Orange Theatre Company, is a taste of the poetically absurd. The performance of Mon 6 Sept 1999 will be in aid of Art-Inter Romania, which supports an orphanage for HIV positive children near Bucharest.
ION by the Hard and Fast Theatre Company
"This terrifying vision of the future sees a Romanian boy delivered from conflict by an Enlgish professor. But is the reluctant relationship formed whilst searching for a solution amongst the atoms too great a price to pay for freedom?"
...And More Romanian Culture in the UK
There is the website of the Romanian Cultural Centre based in London. Click here if you want to see a their diary page.
If you are a Romanian academic or student working in the UK or have links to Romanian studies you might be interested Romanul's site. It aims to give wider support to educational, scientific and cultural issues and has pages devoted to the Romanian community's acitivities in the UK. Click here to have a look.
"Physical In the aspiration to the World Spirit, you see the spiritual substance in the uncovered bloody flesh the unity of human substance ascending to Death. The choreographer transfers the national worldly drama into the crystal of the world tragedy." Click here for more information.
"Highly original, brilliant, driving five piece fusion jazz/folk/rock band fronted by charismatic singer Inna Zhelannaya. Unbelievable!" Click here for more information.
"Two astonishing solo singers, Pelageya (12, Siberia) and Katya Chilly (18, Ukraine) with their band, astonish, delight, exhilarate, amaze!" Click here for more information.
"Solo electric guitarist, Crimean Tartar, Enver Izmailov creates incredible musical universe. Ivan Smirnov Trio: acoustic guitar and accompanists - powerful delivery, total mastery, passion and poetry. Both world class." Click here for more information.
Mozart & Salieri - Ulysses Theatre Company
"Why did Mozart perish? Did Salieri poison him? Who was the man in black who commissioned the Requiem? Two actors - Scottish and Russian - desperately and selflessly play Pushkin's Little Tragedy as an unexpected version of Superstar Amadeus's mysterious death." Click here for more information.
Pushkin on the Moon - Ulysses Theatre Company
"A troupe of wandering actor clowns perform a farce. The great Russian poet's spirit doesn't come alone... Masks images people puppets fairytales mysticism transform into a joyous carnival of love and dance of death." Click here for more information.
Compiled by Andrew J Horton
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