100 artists, 50 events and only 4 days to see them in… Brilliant, sounds great, but where on earth do I start?
With IBT13 just around the corner we asked Artistic Director Helen Cole for her tips on what to see during this intense festival. Alongside her recommendations, Helen gives a short glimpse of what the artists mean to her.
1) Theatre Lovers: Nic Green
One of my favourite images from IBT ‘s past is an image of Nic. Her face is completely engulfed in a massive watermelon as if she were trying to climb inside it. Nic Green creates moments that lodge in the audience’s imagination, remaining with you long after the original.
In 2012, we presented SlowLo, a tale of birdsong and escape in which Nic leapt repeatedly as high as she could towards the overhanging branches. As she crashed to the muddy floor again and again, it was like she was trying to break free of the earth and the very confines of her own skin. Nic’s work is committed, delicate and fearless. I expect Fatherland will, once again, make me cry…
Fatherland, Nic Green
Sun 17 Feb, 1.30 pm
2) Young Artists & Producers: Holzinger & Riebeek
I heard about this duo from two European colleagues whose curatorial judgement I trust implicitly. Sure enough, when I eventually saw them last year, Flo and Vince were full to the brim with wild virtuosity. They are perfect IBT artists. They know no boundaries. They trust each other completely on stage so that the usual rules need not apply. They are bright, proud and incredibly tender. They are exploding with chaotic possibility and potential. I am so very happy they will be with us for IBT13.
Kein Applaus Fur Scheisse, Holzinger & Riebeek
Fri 15 Feb, 8 pm
3) First Timers: Fake Moon
I love the gently radical humour of Simon Faithfull’s public artwork. He celebrates the idea of the ‘fragile spectacle’, and creates moments of ‘mass intimacy’ amongst a crowd – in this case sharing a beautiful intervention into the night sky. Fake Moon is full of hope and mad endeavor.
Propelled by pulley and people-power, Fake Moon will rise as the sun sets each day of the festival, drawing our eyes upwards beyond the city sky line to the stars and the dark spaces between. Thousands of people will witness this phenomenon on their walk home introducing IBT to those who have never heard of us. I hope it will make them stop and smile.
Fake Moon, Simon Faithfull
Thur 14 – Sun 17 Feb
College Green, 6 pm – 7.30 pm
4) Made in Bristol: Sylvia Rimat
As part of our local Associate Artists programme we have commissioned five artists to make new works for IBT13. Their art works take over shops, shipping containers, churchyards, stages and private living rooms. This five represent some of the most exciting artists making work in this city.
The premiere of Sylvia Rimat’s new work is my surprise hot tip for IBT13. Her work is always original, intelligent, spirited and full of wry humour. Think thoughtful material and imaginative ideas delivered with a pet barn owl on your shoulder and a chintz lampshade on your head. Enough said.
If You Decide to Stay, Sylvia Rimat
Sat 16 Feb, 1.30 pm
5) WildCard: Kim Noble
Kim Noble is my wild card. Who else?
Perrier Award Winner, Kim Noble splits the opinions of audiences everywhere he goes. He hilariously challenges by exploring the uncertain terrain between what is morally right and actually legal. In subtle, uncomfortable, piercingly funny ways he makes us question our complicity in his dodgy behavior, ensuring we are acutely conscious of our attitudes to important societal issues such as poverty, loneliness, treatment of the elderly, mental health.
It is important to say that Kim’s work is utterly original and brave. He is the victim in the midst of it all. Underneath the unsettling bravado lies Kim’s tender heart.
I Am Not Alone, Kim Noble
Sat 16 Feb
Sat 16 Feb, 3.30 pm
6) A Special Mention: Night Tripper
We gather as the sun is slowly sinking from the world. Trees loom and mists gather. The air feels damp and moisture settles around us. We are taken together deep into the forest.
We exhale and our breath lingers as fairy tales of wolves and witches weave around us, and a million horror story moments linger in our minds. The forest is growing before us, the trees softly looming, the damp rising, as light fades. We are really part of the forest now it seems.
I won’t say more as I don’t want to spoil it. Night Tripper was co-commissioned with IBT for Up To Nature last summer and it remains one of my favourite shows of all time.
Night Tripper, Fiksdal, Langgard & Becker
Sat 16 Feb
Deep in the Woods, 4.45 pm
IBT13 International Festival of Performance takes place from 14 – 17 February 2013. You can browse the full programme here. All tickets are available from Arnolfini Box Office.
IBT13 is produced by In Between Time in collaboration with Arnolfini. The festival is made possible by funding from Arts Council England and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. IBT13 is supported by University of Bristol, Bristol City Council, Bristol Temple Quarter Commissions and Theatre Bristol.