International Istanbul Theatre Festival

The 17th International Istanbul Theatre Festival one of Turkey’s most popular events for performing arts begins on May 10th until June 10.

The Festival opening will take place on May 15 at the Haghia Irene Museum. The 17th International Istanbul Theatre Festival programm includes 9 international theatre and dance groups as well as over 100 shows including 25 plays, dances, and performances from Turkey to be performed for the first time.

The 17th International Istanbul Theatre Festival also includes workshops aside from the plays performed by world-renowned theatre groups. The 17th International Istanbul Theatre Festival will open with a special staging of Hekate’s Song at Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall on Monday night, May 10.

The International Istanbul Theatre Festival extends to three new theatres on the Asian side. The venues that host the festival this year are: Harbiye Muhsin Ertuğrul Stage, Caddebostan Culture Centre, Haldun Taner Stage, Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Garajistanbul, Üsküdar Tekel Stage, Üsküdar Stüdyo Stage, State Theatres Cevahir Stage, Muammer Karaca Theatre, Semaver Çevre Theatre, Ses Theatre, Salon, Sabancı University, Çıplak Ayaklar Stage, Talimhane Theatre, Kumbaracı50, Ibrahim Paşa Mansion, Bayrampaşa Penitentiary and Theatre Pera.

Tickets for the 17th International Istanbul Theatre Festival can be purchased from the IKSV building (Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No:5 Şişhane, everyday between 10.00-19.00) and through Biletix starting from Saturday, April 3. Festival tickets can also be purchased from Atlas, Yeni Rüya and Kadıköy theatres, which are participating in the 29th International Istanbul Film Festival until April 18.

The 17th International Istanbul Theatre Festival, organised by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, and sponsored for the fourth time by AYGAZ and OPET, will welcome guests from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Britain, Italy, and Japan.

John Malkovich will meet Istanbul’s audience with one of the most ambitious productions of the festival, an opera play titled The Infernal Comedy. Sponsored by Enerjisa, The Infernal Comedy stages the real life story of Austrian serial killer and incorrigible womanizer Jack Unterweger. In the play, Malkovich plays Unterweger who was released from his apprehension in 1974 upon observing his recovery of sanity. He became famous as a journalist yet could not give up murdering prostitutes, and committed suicide after being found guilty again. The famous actor will be accompanied by melodies from Vivaldi, Handel, Gluck, Haydn and Mozart from Academy Orchestra of Vienna as well as two sopranos representing Unterweger’s women. The Infernal Comedy that questions the justice system while portraying a serial killer will be staged in Istanbul following the performance at Opéra National de Paris during its European tour.

The famous dance centre of London Sadler’s Wells is a guest in the Istanbul Theatre Festival with the choreography of one of the masters of contemporary dance, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. Cherkaoui’s work Sutra gets its inspiration from skill, strength, and spirituality of Buddhist Shaolin monks. Designed by the Turner award recipient Antony Gormley for this performance, the stage is built on a flexible construction composed of twenty-one wooden boxes. Seventeen monks from Shaolin Temple in China is accompanied by live composition by Szymon Brzóska, composed specifically for this work by piano, percussions and strings. You will hold your breath while watching this surprising and lyrical performance chosen as the production of the year by the prestigious German dance magazine Ballet-Tanz in 2009.

The 17th International Theatre Festival dedicated a special section to Japanese theatre on the occasion of 2010 Year of Japan in Turkey. In this section three famous theatre and dance groups from Japan will be sponsored by Sony as guests of International Istanbul Theatre Festival.

The most famous and influential theatre director of Japan, Tadashi Suzuki, whom will be remembered with his Ivanov interpretation in the 15th International Istanbul Theatre Festival, is in the programme with Elektra this year. Elektra is Suzuki’s interpretation of the classical text of Euripides, through Hoffmansthal’s turn of the century Sophocles adaptations, and is a must-see. This staging incorporates various audio-visual techniques of the traditional Japanese theatre to represent Elektra’s fantasy of taking revenge from her mother. Tadashi Suzuki will also be presented with the Life Time Achievement Award by the International Istanbul Theatre Festival in a ceremony before the play.

Ko Murobishi, who comes to Turkey for the first time as part of the events organised within the Year of Japan in Turkey, is a Butoh artist with a worldwide fame with his choreographies and solo dances. He formed two important butoh groups during the years he lived in Europe, and founded Ko & Edge collective with three young dancers after returning to Japan. During the festival, Murobishi will perform his solo dance Quicksilver which captivates the audience with his magnificent body use and will stage Dead 1 with Ko & Edge Co. In Quicksilver, Murobishi’s magnificent body travels between the limits of life and death while moving in a dark and painful universe. On the other hand, Dead 1 pushes the limits of the bodies of dancers as well as the limits of the audience’s imagination.

The programme of New National Theatre of Japan includes Moriyama Kaiji’s choreography, Yoroboshi, which skillfully blends Japanese “noh” dance, contemporary figures, and The Rite of Spring. The Rite of Spring is a lyrical duet performed by a male and a female dancer alongside live piano music. This work is choreographed by Hirayama Motoko in memory of world-renowned ballet dancer and choreographer Nijinsky, who previously staged this memorable work by Stravinsky. The choreography of Motoko and Masahiro meets with the enchanting melodies and complicated rhythms of The Rite of Spring in this duet, the basic form of communication in dance. Yoroboshi is a meeting of Noh theatre figures with contemporary dance. Hirayama Motoko was awarded the Japanese Ministry of Education’s Best New Artists Award in 2008 with this successful production.

Festival tickets can be purchased from;

BILETIX retail outlets,

BILETIX call centre (0216 556 98 00) and IKSV building (Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No: 5 Şişhane, everyday between 10.00-19.00).

Author: istanbul

Share This Post On