BETA CIRCUS Participatory experience


Artistic experience

28 October - 17 November 2024
Riga, Latvia

Developed by Rigas Cirks.

Immersive residency of the artistic experience with Ana Jordão [DE/PT] and Krista Burāne & Mārtiņš Eihe [LV], with the artistic mentoring of Marleen Scholten [NL].

Stay tuned for more information soon.

Ana Jordão is a multidisciplinary performer, originally rooted in contemporary circus, yet constantly moving through the fields of dance, improvisation and artistic research. She is currently working on “Body and other objects” (working title), a performance which explores the body as “matter”, as “object”, as “container”. It aims to question and explore the qualities and capacities of this container, providing an insight into what a body holds, or can hold. Through the objectification of a human body, the piece aims to create a poetic yet exploratory and participative space which embraces the diversity and ambiguity of the self. It attempts to blur the boundary between body and object, and consequently between the genres of circus and dance. As a starting point, the work explores hair-hanging as a condition which objectifies the body. The suspended body is placed in relation to human as well as non-human objects, and the audience is invited to explore themes such as agency, manipulation, gender, physical limitations, etc. We will be designing an installation in which my passive body (hair-hanging) is connected to a container. With the help of the “audience” / participants, this container is gradually filled up (using rock salt) making it lower down and consequently making my body rise upward. This installation (endurance art / durational work?) will be the starting point of this research. Additionally, the work embraces the idea of “performative rigging”: acknowledging the presence and essentiality of the rigging apparatus and exploring the ways in which the interaction with these functional objects transforms the space, the atmosphere and the human gesture. We will be investigating different ways to involve the audience in these tasks, focusing on creating a sense of shared responsibility and connection between all the people present in the space, blurring the boundaries between performer and audience.

Krista Burāne and Mārtiņš Eihe are artists renowned for their expertise in creating participatory artworks. Krista Burāne, a theatre and film-maker, holds master’s degrees in philosophy and film directing, while Martiņš Eihe is a theatre director currently leading the Latvian State Puppet Theatre. Their artistic journey took an exciting turn when they jointly organized NoMadI, an international summer theatre festival for children and young people. This festival, which ran until 2014, revolutionized the perception of contemporary theatre for young audiences in Latvia. Their innovative approach brought about significant changes and opened up new horizons for children and young people to explore the nature of theatre. Krista and Mārtiņš played pivotal roles in the cultural program application for the European Capital of Culture 2027 project in Daugavpils, specifically in the realm of participatory arts. Their collaborative and participatory performances have garnered widespread acclaim and numerous awards. They delve into thought-provoking themes such as trust in a world marked by radicalization, feminism, and the complex dynamics of violence. Krista’s recent works, including “Nocturne” (2019), “..trees have stopped talking since then” (2020), “The End of the World and other nonsense” (2021), and “All birds sing beautifully” (2023), are captivating showcases of her artistic vision. These works serve as poignant reflections on the consequences of an anthropocentric lifestyle, urging us to reconsider our relationship with nature. In a captivating manner, Krista invites diverse communities to co-create alternative scenarios, fostering a shared vision of how we can mend our bond with the natural world. Krista Burāne and Mārtiņš Eihe’s work transcends boundaries, captivating audiences and encouraging a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit.

Marleen Scholten is actress and co-founder of the Dutch collective Wunderbaum. She is graduated as actress in 2001 and since then she created more than 50 performances, national and international, together with the company. They made different projects in Europe, created, and presented in Los Angeles, New York, Teheran, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto. They write their own text, are their own directors and perform themselves. Starting from political, social themes, they always try to create a community with every performance, involving people from different backgrounds. Architects, homeless, choir singers, judges, innovators, writers. Apart from the performances with the collective, Scholten creates her own work as actress/director. She moved to Italy 6 years ago. She created Who is the real italian?, The national song, La codista and Il disperato. These works have been presented at RomaEuropa festival, mare culturale urbano and Triennale Teatro in Milan, in Germany and The Netherlands. Together with African refugees and Italian teenagers she made a clown’s project in Carrara, invited by Casa Betania, an organization for refugees in Italy. In 2017 she was asked by Tramedautore festival and the Piccolo Teatro di Milano to give a masterclass to young actors. They worked around sexuality in times of social media and used as inspiration the documentary film ‘Comizi d’amore’ of Pier Paolo Pasolini. Actors collective Wunderbaum has its base in Rotterdam and from 2018-2022 they ran collectively the artistic direction of Theaterhaus Jena in Germany. Wunderbaum has won The Proscenium Award for most impressive theatre (Amsterdam), The Mary Dresselhuys Award for the best show of the year (Rotterdam), The Total Theatre Award (Edinburgh), they were nominated for Most outstanding international piece (Toronto). For La codista Marleen won the national playwriter’s price Premio Nazionale Drammaturgico “Antonio Conti” and it has been selected at the Dutch Theaterfestival as one of the best performances of the year 2022.