East European Performing Arts Platform (EEPAP) supports the
development of contemporary performing arts (dance and theatre)
in 18 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Homo Novus International Festival of Contemporary Theatre (Riga, Latvia)


Homo Novus 2015

The International Festival of Contemporary Theatre Homo Novus started 20 years ago in Daugavpils with the idea to build new relationships between local artists and audiences and international performing arts scene. This year’s festival programme started two years ago with the closing performance of the last festival, The Swamp Club. A new friendship was born between the director Philippe Quesne and our spectators back then, and it was important for us to make you meet again. Therefore the opening performance of this festival is The Melancholy of the Dragons – one of the most brilliant works by Philippe Quesne about the affectionate meeting between Isabelle and six ageing rockers.

The possibility and beauty of new, unexpected relationships has been the driving force of Homo Novus during these twenty years. Together with artists who don’t speak in standard ways, challenge imagination and evoke empathy, who dare to be serious when talking about the beautiful, and poetic when talking about the painful and ugly, we have been building more human and profound mutual relationships, developing deeper, more sensitive and respectful relations with the world and our epoch, and encouraged a new experience of space and time.

The festival’s anniversary programme Twenty – new works by Elmārs Seņkovs, Mārtiņš Eihe, Mammalian Diving Reflex, as well as Edit Kaldor and Kristīne Brīniņa is an invitation to honest conversation between young people and adults based on joint adventures and common experience of life and theatre.

Active and exciting relationships with time, space, sound, light and the world of things will be initiated by the performance space and scenography programme Shared Space: Music, Weather, Politics with the impressive installation Thirst by sound artist Voldemārs Johansons, poetic and rigorous works by set designer Dries Verhoeven, dance film Levée by Boris Charmatz and César Vayssié , the collaboration of Philippe Quesne with festival audience in the participatory event Bivouac, performances by fieldworks and Gaetan Rusquet which require physical and emotional interaction between human bodies, space and objects.

In her work Life of My Belongings choreographer Kristīne Brīniņa talks about her relationship to the world of things, while the contemporary duet Whirl by dance artists Krišjānis Sants and Erik Eriksson is based on the dialogue with the tradition.

The reading-performance Notebook by Forced Entertainment discloses the ambiguous nature of unbreakable human bond in the war conditions, the sad British comedian Kim Noble talks about the impossibility of real trust and togetherness in times of virtual relationships, while the eccentric Flemish artists Banjamin Verdonck and Pieter Ampe finally start a creative partnership not only between themselves but also with composer Antonio Vivaldi.

The last performance that we included in the festival’s programme is 81 Avenue Victor Hugo by Olivier Coulon-Jablonka – eight of those thousands of people who have experienced the harsh journey to Europe speak to us from the stage, inviting to form new relationship with the global migration phenomenon.

New Theatre Institute of Latvia