Tbilisi’s Budrugana Gagra theatre, acclaimed artist Avi Avital in Dortmund show

  • The hand shadow theatre will present their seminal 1991 work 'The Four Seasons of the Year'. Photo: Budrugana Gagra theatre.
Agenda.ge, 20 Feb 2018 - 17:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s hand shadow theatre Budrugana Gagra will introduce audiences in the German city of Dortmund to its unique performances in a concert involving Grammy Award-nominated mandolinist Avi Avital next month.

The Tbilisi-based troupe will bring their seminal production The Four Seasons of the Year to a show that will also feature the classical work of the same title by composer Antonio Vivaldi.

Titled Time Island, the show will also involve the Venice Baroque Orchestra and present a novel version of the famed Vivaldi piece at Konzerthaus Dortmund on March 18.

The troupe will join Grammy-nominated Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital in his novel version of the classical work. Photo: Avi Avital artist Facebook page.

While Vivaldi's Four Seasons may be one of the "Baroque hits" strained in countless recordings and versions, this version for Mandolin with Avi Avital promises to be truly unique”, said a preview from the Dortmund venue.

Avital’s collaboration with the orchestra and the Tbilisi theatre will transform the musical piece into the acclaimed artist’s "very own audiovisual realization”, said the summary.

The Israeli artist, praised by The New York Times for "exquisitely sensitive playing" and "stunning agility”, became the first mandolinist to be nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist.

For Budrugana Gagra, The Four Seasons of the Year is a crucial show of their repertory, as it launched the theatre into existence at the international festival Les Semaines De La Marionette a Paris in 1991.

The symphony concert will be hosted at the Konzerthaus Dortmund venue.

Staged "about the adventures of a bear boy, friendship and Georgian traditions”, the production marked the start of the road for the company founded by their creative director Gela Kandelaki.

The troupe is distinct for only using hand shadows in their stagings, unlike other shadow theatres that also use puppets to present stories.

Assembled mainly by internally displaced persons (IDPs) fleeing the early 1990s conflict in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region, the company took its name from the resort town Gagra in the region.

They have staged over 300 productions — many of them charitable events that raised money for IDPs and homeless children.

Budrugana Gagra has also been involved in international collaborations, with the group working with students of the University of Klaipeda in Lithuania for preparing hand shadow shows in 2016.