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Visos naujienos

Klaipėda and Vilnius are on the September agenda of international performing arts experts

This autumn, the Lithuanian Culture Institute’s Visits programme places a particular focus on performing arts professionals. Nearly twenty leaders of international festivals, foreign theatres and other influential organisations from Europe and Asia will visit Lithuania to discover the Lithuanian performing arts panorama, which has lately grown in terms of genre and geography. This September, the visiting experts will be exploring the Lithuanian theatre realm not only through the usual Lithuanian programme of the Vilnius International Theatre Festival  “Sirens” but also within the frame of the Lithuanian puppet theatre showcase “Materia Magica” held in Klaipėda for the first time.

The Lithuanian Culture Institute Visits programme created an opportunity for Lithuanian puppet theatre shows to be seen by professionals from the UK, China, Israel, Germany, Poland and Croatia. They gathered in Klaipėda on 20-23 September. On 27-20 September, the major “players” of the global performing arts stage from Italy, Poland, China, Germany and Ukraine will join the “Sirens” theatre festival audiences.

“We at the Lithuanian Culture Institute are delighted to continue our collaboration with the Vilnius International Theatre Festival  “Sirens”, which has now become a tradition, as well as at the contribution of the Visits programme to the partnership with the Lithuanian puppet theatre showcase, organised for the first time in Klaipėda. Perhaps assumptions can be made that success stories that followed experts’ visits to the “Sirens” festival, such as initiated tours, co-productions and other signs of international recognition of Lithuanian theatre, inspired other platforms to discover this great cultural tool. The enthusiasm of the organisers of the Puppet Theatre Festival in Klaipėda and their determination to make it to the global performing arts map with the very first edition of the festival is a perfect example that ambitious initiatives are fostered not only in our capital”, – the Director of the Lithuanian Cultural Institute Aušrinė Žilinskienė shared her thoughts.

“Not only the organiser of the showcase Klaipėda Puppet Theatre but Lithuanian puppet theatre, in general, saw the massive interest of the foreign experts in the first “Materna Magica LT” showcase edition and their wish to come to the festival as a sign that such invitation from Lithuania was very timely. However, without the lovely collaboration with the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, it wouldn’t be possible for us to bring so many important experts both from our neighbouring countries and from further away – countries like China, Japan, Israel and Turkey. We very much hope that our partnership will not only continue but will bring the much-awaited fruits: that we will see joint projects between Lithuanian and foreign artists, that Lithuanian puppeteers will be invited to festivals abroad, and that Lithuanian puppet theatre will become widely known in the international community,” –  said the Director of the “Materia Magica” festival Aušra Juknevičienė.

The team behind the jubilee – fifteenth – edition of the Vilnius International Theatre Festival  “Sirens” also value the long-term collaboration with the Lithuanian Cultural Institute’s Visits programme. “The visiting programme curators of international festivals, producers, theatre critics and researchers from various countries have an opportunity to get to know, apart from the newest work by the established directors, the young theatre scene of Lithuania. This year, foreign experts will see nine theatre shows that have been created in various theatres of Lithuania. Also, there will be as many as four networking events within the framework of the festival during which representatives of Lithuanian organisations working with performance arts will be able to meet with the foreign guests, and establish new professional contacts,” – said the Lithuanian Programme Coordinator at the “Sirens” festival Kristina Savickienė.

The Visits programme, run by the Lithuanian Culture Institute since 2015, is one of the most effective ways to present and promote Lithuanian culture abroad, as well as help the Lithuanian artists and culture professionals to get established in international networks. The programme has been developed for contemporary art curators working in various fields, as well as representatives of festivals and residencies, culture reviewers and publishers, who have an opportunity to learn about the Lithuanian art scene first hand, discover Lithuanian artists, institutions and curators, establish and strengthen international collaboration. The Visits programme also introduces the Lithuanian cultural sphere to new curating practices and encourages an exchange of ideas.

Through the Visits programme, the annual budget of which does not exceed 50 000 euros, about 400 culture sphere professionals from 25 different countries visited Lithuania and had over 1500 meetings with Lithuanian artists and cultural operators organised for them by the Lithuanian Culture Institute together with Lithuanian cultural attachés. Festival d’Avignon, Seoul Performing Arts Festival and The Jerusalem International Dance Week are just a few most notable platforms where Lithuanian artists have already performed following their initial encounter with the organisers through the Visits programme. Each year sees joint theatre, dance, visual arts projects and co-productions, while esteemed foreign publishers publish literary work by Lithuanian writers.

The programme is implemented through close collaboration between the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, cultural attachés, as well as Lithuanian and foreign cultural professionals. The programme is partly supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Council for Culture.