GIFT Festival of Arts to bring award-winning theatre shows to Tbilisi

  • The Hofesh Shechter Company will bring their production ‘SHOW’ to the festival. Photo: Hofesh Shechter Company., 10 Oct 2018 - 17:41, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Mediterranean Sardegna Teatro, the Winter Guests from Norway and the Hofesh Shechter Company will be among theatre troupes travelling to join local companies for the Georgian International Festival of Arts in Tbilisi starting next week.

Over the next month, venues in the Georgian capital will be open for visitors looking to see guest country focus programmes, individual shows and crafts exhibitions for the annual GIFT celebration.

Macbettu, a 2017 winner of Italy’s Prize of the National Association of Theatre Critics, will be brought to the event by the Sardinia company, in a production by Alessandro Serra.

See a teaser for ‘Macbettu’, a production of the Sardegna Teatro and director Alessandro Serra:

Also carrying the 2017 UBU Show of the Year Award, the show’s headlining of the Focus Italy: Sardinia Culture Days programme will be accompanied by performances by the Tenore Murales folk vocal ensemble from the Mediterranean island.

A meeting with Sardinian contemporary author Marcelo Foi, and a conference titled Response to the Future will be some of the other highlights of the focus programme.

The showcase of Sardinian scene will be followed with the Norwegian Culture in Focus section, in which Danish director Jonas Corell Petersen and Norwegian choreographer Ingri Fiksdal will present STATE, a “part dance performance and part live concert”.

[Developed] out of a lengthy research into ritual dances from a range of places and times [...] [the show’s] interest lies in what mental and bodily states these dances can produce amongst performers and spectators”, the director’s summary of the production notes.

Director Dmitry Krymov’s award-winning staging ‘Without a Dowry’ is in the GIFT programme for this year. Photo: GIFT.

The Norwegian focus will also feature Simulacrum by Alan Lucien Øyen, a performance involving dancers from the Winter Guests company.

The production has been referred to as “weaving dance together with theatre, and Japanese kabuki with Spanish flamenco”.

To contribute to the focus section, the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre Company and The Krumple troupe will bring their staging of YŌKAI, a 2016 Les Plateaux du Groupe Gestes prize-winning work.

Combining dance, magic, poetry and sheer stupidity, the Krumple tells a contemporary tale of our attempts to find hope in moments of despair”, a preview for the staging said.

A screening of a Georgian documentary about the Caucasian legacy of the famed  Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and other events will round off the second focus programme at the festival.

Tbilisi’s Movement Theatre are set to present their performance of Astigmatists to festival visitors. Photo: Movement Theatre.

Venues selected for the stage performances will include the Shota Rustaveli State Drama Theatre, the Tbilisi State Conservatoire and the National Parliamentary Library.

Outside the focus sections, GIFT will bring shows by local and foreign directors, as well as public talks, workshops and a crafts fair.

The latter will see young creatives bring a range of paintings, wearable art and ceramics, among other selections, for visitors of the Vinneria multifunctional ethnographic space.

The GIFT festival celebrated its 20th anniversary edition last year. Paying homage the legacy of Georgian theatre director Mikheil Tumanishvili, it was founded by artistic director Keti Dolidze in the the 1990s.

A member of the International Festival and Events Association (IFEA), GIFT has hosted over 300 "international visiting groups" since its founding.

This year’s festival will run between October 18-November 16.