From 29 September to 1 October, the “Liepāja Art Forum” Contemporary Art Festival will bring together contemporary music, art, and dance lovers for the ninth time to enjoy an exciting celebration of modern art. The unifying motto of this year’s festival is “All Birds Sing Beautifully”, referring to the diversity and colour of the programme, featuring artists from Scotland, Latvia, the USA, Norway, and Spain in four different venues across the city.
Announcing this year’s programme, Baiba Bartkeviča, Artistic Director of the festival, says: “The motto of the festival “All Birds Sing Beautifully” is not just a verse of a well-known Latvian folk song, but an ode to the diverse and unique voices that exist in our world. Just as every bird has its own unique song, every human being has its own unique voice that is fundamental for a just and equal society. We are committed to making these voices heard! Over three days, we will experience virtuoso guitar performance, a rave in a concert hall, the fusion of ancient sutartinės singing with contemporary dance, circus performances, avant-garde flamenco, and a musical spectacle at a special venue. Whether those will be the distant, resonant voices of American a cappella or the nearby, lonesome voices of seniors”.
This year, the festival will kick off with the “Cirque Musique” Arts Lab, three days of learning and mastering interdisciplinary techniques of creating stage works under the guidance of professional musicians and circus artists. On 28 September at 19.00, we will invite everyone to experience their collaborative work in the Great Hall of the Concert Hall.
On the opening day of the “Liepāja Art Forum”, in our Art Space we will open the exhibition “Milk Diaries. Dementia in Statistics and Stories” by the artist Anna Priedola. Through audiovisual artworks and data visualisations, the exhibition draws on the artist’s personal experience to address such fundamental topics as ageing and loneliness, dementia, and the changes in family relationships in the face of these natural life processes.
Sean Shibe, the guitar virtuoso who has earned a reputation as “one of the finest guitarists in the business” (Gramophone), will come to perform in Latvia from Scotland for the first time. His solo programmes are exceptionally intelligent, masterful and deeply musical. The festival’s opening concert will also feature “Out there” programme, a novel performance of electric and acoustic guitar, with works by contemporary and antique composers merging as effortlessly as the two instruments.
Like every year, the opening party will follow the concert. This time, rave music sounds will pour out of the concert hall in a programme by renowned producer and DJ Ksenia Kamikaza. She will be joined at the DJ console by audio and visual artist Śūnyata and techno priestess DJ Orthodox. With the festival motto “All Birds Sing Beautifully”, we welcome everyone to come as their most beautiful self.
On the second day of the festival, in the Club “Kursa” the talented duo Ieva and Krišjānis Sants “IevaKrish” will present their dance show “Meet”, a fusion of two art forms – song and dance. Inclusive choreography and Lithuanian sutartinės singing, combining several singers singing different melodies at different pitches, will coincide in a coherent performance form.
On the stage of the Great Amber Concert Hall, the audience will have the opportunity to experience an inspired a capella programme by the internationally renowned American vocal ensemble “Roomful of Teeth”, whose vocal works include powerful, gifted, and talented contemporary American women composers.
Moving on to Saturday, we will spend it with a Spanish group of artists in the arms of passionate avant-garde flamenco dance and music at the Fontaine Palace. The exciting performance will blend the elements of flamenco – dance and guitar – with the element of jazz – saxophone. A unique instrument, a so called “flamenco machine”, will infuse the performance with an innovative and thrilling rhythmic sound. Once the performance is over, you will be able to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a Spanish nightclub.
On Sunday morning, kids and parents are welcome to Norwegian juggler Julian Sæther’s adventurous “Circus in the Enchanted Forest”, juggling, dancing, and performing theatre, meeting a pleiad of fairy tale and fantasy characters. You can also try out circus tricks before the show.
We look forward to closing the festival with a special venue musical performance “All Birds Sing Beautifully” in the Seaside Park, by the “Mother Wind” monument. This will be a performance by Krista Burāne and her team on the boundaries of culture and nature, people and singing. The audience will also shape the show’s collective sound by listening and hearing the stories of birds and people.
“Liepāja Art Forum” is organised by SIA “Lielais Dzintars” Ltd. You can purchase tickets for the festival’s fee-based events at the “Biļešu paradise” box office and online:
https://www.bilesuparadize.lv/lv/custompage/3688. For more information about the festival’s programme please visit: https://lielaisdzintars.lv/en
The events are supported by the Liepāja Municipality, the European Regional Development Fund, “Valmiermuiža”, “Kokmuiža” and “Gardu muti”, DOTS Foundation, the State Culture Capital Fund, the Kurzeme Planning Region, the Historical Lands of Latvia.
Partners – “Flamenco Agency”, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, “Kursa” Club and “Fontaine Palace” Club.
LIEPĀJA ART FORUM 2023 | PROGRAMME:
29 SEPTEMBER | FRIDAY
18.00 ANNA PRIEDOLA. OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION "MILK DIARIES. Dementia in Statistics and Stories" (Art Space Civita Nova, “Great Amber”)
19.00 GUITAR VIRTUOSO SEAN SHIBE. OUT THERE (Big Hall, “Great Amber”)
21.00 LMF OPENING PARTY (Public space, 2nd and 3rd floor, “Great Amber”)
30 SEPTEMBER | SATURDAY
15.00 DANCE PERFORMANCE “MEET”. IEVAKRISH (Club “Kursa”, Zvejnieku aleja 11)
18.00 ROOMFUL OF TEETH. AMERICAN A CAPELLA VOICE (Big Hall, “Great Amber”)
21.00 SPANISH NIGHTCLUB. AVANT-GARDE FLAMENCO (Club “Fontaine Palace”, Dzirnavu iela 4)
1 OCTOBER | SUNDAY
11.00 | 14.00 CIRCUS IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST (Chamber Hall, “Great Amber”)
17.00 ALL BIRDS SING BEAUTIFULLY. Participatory performance (Square in front of the monument to the sailors and fishermen perished at sea, or so called “Mother Wind” monument, Zvejnieku aleja 11A)
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