Theatre event of the year: Prague Quadrennial 2015, the biggest theatre exhibition in the world, to fill historic Prague city center and public spaces in June
To feature Julia Taymor, Robert Lepage and Robert Wilson
The most important theatre and performance design exhibition in the world, with a tradition dating back to 1967, returns to Prague after four years. The 13th edition of the Prague Quadrennial will take the form of a live exhibition, offering tens of thousands of visitors presentations of works and artists from a record 78 countries from all over the world. For the first time, this year the entire program will take place in the historic center of Prague, both within major buildings and monuments and in the public space. The chief component of the program of the Prague Quadrennial 2015 is the Section of Countries and Regions, offering visitors an astounding labyrinth of scenographic exhibitions from 68 countries, with their own live events. Visitors themselves often become part of interactive exhibitions, affecting the form of dozens of exhibitions inspired by this year’s theme SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics. At this year’s Quadrennial you can encounter clouds, storms or wind, see and hear diverse kinds of music and think over artists‘ commentaries on current political events. The PQ further offers the general public school exhibitions, theatre and street performances and a specialists‘ section featuring workshops, lectures and discussions with the leading personalities in contemporary theatre and performance design, and even film, such as Robert Lepage, Robert Wilson and Julie Taymor. There’s something for the young ones, too, in the form of the special PQ for Children program. The gala opening of the 13th edition of the Prague Quadrennial will take place on Old Town Square on Wednesday 17 June.
Since 1967 the central event of the Prague Quadrennial have been the national exhibitions, presenting current trends in performance design and theatre, from scenic art via costume, lighting and sound design to new approaches to performance design such as site-specific, street performances and much more. These exhibition experiences give visitors the chance to, as it were, walk across a map of the whole contemporary world of theatre.
SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics
The theme of the 13th edition of the performance design festival is SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics. Individual exhibitions will not deal only with the closed space of theatre buildings – theatre is nowadays routinely performed in galleries, on the street, on squares, in parks, at swimming-pools and so on. Music, Weather and Politics are sub-themes that further develop the main theme of shared space, inspire artists and encourage diversity in the exhibitions presented in Prague.
Location: PQ 2015 takes over the center of Prague, historic buildings and the public space
For the first time, the upcoming edition of the PQ shifts into the historic city center of Prague, where it will take over the imaginary triangle between Old Town Square, the National Theatre and Charles Bridge. The premises chosen for the exhibition include an abandoned house, a Baroque palace, a Gothic church, a gallery, a tunnel and others. One major innovation will be moving exhibitions that take place in the public space. The central event in this section will be the Tribes live exhibition, during which dozens of masked groups from all over the world will walk through Prague – along their way these Tribes will stop in the street, in supermarkets, in the theatre or in museums.
Many countries have also elected to supplement their national exhibitions with an accompanying installation and events in public places – for example, the Australians will sail boats that they have made themselves along the Vltava River and the Swiss will install a large-scale ramp across almost the whole of Wenceslas Square; also worth a mention are the special musical/artistic performances at the Podolí Swimming Complex.
Program taster: world-class stars!
Another considerable attraction, apart from the exhibitions from more than 68 countries, are the lectures and discussions in the specialist part of the program. One of the main events at the PQ will be the lecture to be held by theatre guru Robert Lepage (Canada), a versatile artist, director, performance designer and actor who is famous primarily for his multimedia productions. Through his production company Ex Machina he directs in leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He is regarded by many as the most talented theatre artist today. Another star of the program is one of the founders of Berlin company Gob Squad Sean Patten, whose lecture will focus on the use of media in the theatre. Czech experts will also have an opportunity to meet American director Julie Taymor, whose most well-known film Frida gained six Oscar nominations, two of which it won. Her most famous theatre production is Broadway musical The Lion King, which won awards not only for direction, but also costume design. During the workshops experts will be able to collaborate with artists such as theatre professional Philippe Quesne (France), founder of Vivarium Studio. Also attending will be scenographer Dominic Huber (Switzerland), who has collaborated with, for example, pioneers of ‘documentary theatre’ Rimini Protokoll, theatre director Kirsten Dehlholm (Denmark), artistic director and founder of the Hotel Pro Forma company.
Golden Triga for Best Exhibition
At the 13th edition of the Prague Quadrennial the prestigious Golden Triga will be awarded for Best Exhibition, as well as the Gold Medal in several categories covering a variety of disciplines in performance design. Special prizes will be awarded for Innovative Approach to Performance Design and Provoking a Dialogue, as well as a children’s prize. Members of the expert jury include major personalities of current theatre such as director and performance designer Kamila Polívková, Russian director and performance designer and Golden Triga laureate at PQ 2007 Dmitri Krymov and Antônio Araújo, artistic director of the Teatro da Vertigem, professor of performative art at ECA-USP and Gold Medal laureate in the category of Best Production at the PQ.
Basic admission to the PQ 2015 is 300 CZK (11€).
The Prague Quadrennial is organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and realized by the Arts and Theatre Institute.
The project is supported through the EU Culture program.
The Prague Quadrennial 2015 is part of the three-year SharedSpace: Music Weather Politics international 2013 – 2016 project.
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