On Friday 23 August at 21.30, the 29th Cultura Nova festival will be opened with the open-air spectacle ‘Romeo & Juliet’ on the Burgemeester van Grunsvenplein-square. This time Toneelgroep Maastricht is honoured to open Cultura Nova 2019 and they are doing so together with Groupe F (FR), Aérosculpture (FR) and Progression Freerunning (NL). They present a refreshing urban interpretation of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’. Prior to this, Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture and Science, conducts the opening ceremony.
‘Romeo & Juliet’: a large-scale open-air performance
Romeo & Juliet’ sketches Shakespeare’s well-known, timeless story about young love and the tragic consequences of intolerance, ignorance and misunderstanding. Cultura Nova has created a unique link for this spectacular opening between the Maastrichtians and three other companies: the pyrotechnicians of Groupe F (FR), spectacle group Aérosculpture (FR) and the parkour team Progression Freerunning (NL). Groups with extensive experience and expertise in presenting large-scale open-air performances. This collaboration results in a highly visual and contemporary ‘Romeo & Juliet’, with lots of music and large theatrical gestures. There is room for 20,000 visitors.
Cultura Nova has built up a lasting relationship with Toneelgroep Maastricht; in the past co-productions such as ‘Ich bau dir ein Schloss’ and ‘Emma’ were made. The Netherlands does not have enough big companies capable of performing in open-air performances for large numbers of visitors. Cultura Nova has expressed its intention, as a reaction to this, to link the makers of international companies to Dutch makers and companies/groups. Last year, philharmonie zuidnederland in collaboration with the renowned Spanish production company La Fura dels Baus brought the Carmina Burana by Orff to the Beaujean Sand Quarry. This is now also happening with Toneelgroep Maastricht.
The experience and expertise of Groupe F, Aérosculpture and Progession Freerunning in large-scale open-air performances promises to transform the opening into an impressive spectacle. Groupe F, a renowned group of pyrotechnicians, is known worldwide for, among other things, fireworks spectacles at the Eiffel Tower and major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games in Brazil. Last year they were also responsible for the impressive opening of Kerkrade’s new city centre. Aérosculpture is known for, as the name suggests, its flying objects. Spectacles vivants are created by literally floating people from the company on large zeppelin and balloon-like constructions. Between all the turmoil and theatrical gestures, Progression Freerunning’s freerunners will perform daring air jumps and antics.
In addition to international companies, various Limburg associations are also contributing to this grand opening of the spectacle. The Koninklijke Zangvereniging Venlona in Venlo, the DSM Men’s Choir in Geleen, the Rumpens Men’s Choir 1921 in Brunssum, the Royal Kerkrade Men’s Choir St. Lambertus in Kerkrade and soloists Sef Thissen and Antonello Palombi are responsible for the singing. Egbert Derix and Kasper Schonewille play the piano and André Heuvelman the trumpet. And breakdancer Jop Vermeesch from the HFC studio in Heerlen dances along.
Cultura Nova celebrates the imagination, shifts the route and enhances the contrast. Already 29 years
Cultura Nova will be 29 years old in 2019. In three decades, this ten-day festival in the heart of South Limburg has grown into an iconic event with international allure. Born from a strong tradition in spectacle and street theatre, it has grown into a multidisciplinary festival with a rich programme for a broad and diverse audience, on a large number of indoor and outdoor stages. The programme is colourful and layered, accessible and risky: from the largest opening and closing spectacles to intimate artistic crossovers, from accessible family performances to daring experiments, from international top circus to ground-bound theatre, from eclectic dance evenings to musical avant-garde and from historical soundwalks to social projects.
The international theatre festival Cultura Nova in the Heerlen region will be held from Friday 23 August to Sunday 1 September. Information and tickets: www.culturanova.nl.
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