“Cēsis 2021” Art Festival Programme Announced

Informācija medijiem, 2021. gada 17. jūnijā

Press release, 17th June 2021

“Cēsis 2021” Art Festival Programme Announced

On 10 July this year, the fifteenth Cēsis Art Festival, dedicated to myths and rituals, will open to the public. On the opening day, the Cēsis Centre for Contemporary Art will be launching a vast exhibition “Flying Closer to the Sun. Myths and Rituals” showcasing seven new large-scale works by Latvian artists. A sound and motion act “Danse macabre” (“The Dance of Death”), created by composer Edgars Mākens and artist Krišs Salmanis, will be performed at 20:00. The festival will close with a performance of the third act of Richard Wagner’s “The Valkyrie” on the open-air stage of the Cēsis Castle Park.

“The central theme of the festival this year is “Myths and Rituals”. Myths have always been present in the realm of culture. Throughout history, humanity has been resorting to myths to find explanations to existential questions while simultaneously generating ever new myths. When creating this programme, we saw our current age as a great time to unravel and recreate myths and rituals. We are doing this both with the exhibition and the musical performances. We are proud to be able to offer the spectators an encounter with one of the myths on the open-air stage at the Cēsis Medieval Castle Park where Richard Wagner’s “The Valkyrie” will be performed on 14th August by excellent and internationally acclaimed Wagnerian solo performers. Conducted by Andris Poga and directed by Viesturs Kairišs, it is expected to be an unforgettable occasion,” elaborated Juris Žagars, the director of the festival.

The Cēsis Art Festival is scheduled to open on 10th July, at 20:00 with a sound and motion performance in the courtyard of the Cēsis Centre for Contemporary Art “Danse macabre” (“The Dance of Death”) inviting the viewers into a world of unusual soundscapes and visual effects. The puppet ballet, Death with an electric guitar, the musical saw, the mystery of sound and the burlesque of movement – just like in the olden days when the dance of death was a societal mechanism for blowing off steam. The creator of the choreography for the show is Rūdolfs Gediņš.

The idea for the project was conceived by composer Edgars Mākens and artist Krišs Salmanis. The recipient of Latvia’s annual theatre award “Spēlmaņu nakts” (“The Players' Night”) Edgars Mākens has composed for numerous theatre plays and Latvian National Symphony Orchestra pieces for children, as well as written and played for bands like “Hospitāļu iela”, “Gaujarts”, “Manta”. Krišs Salmanis, widely known both in Latvia and abroad, represented Latvia at the 55th Venice Biennale, and in 2017, alongside Anna Salmane and Kristaps Pētersons received the Purvītis Prize in art. The longstanding partner and general sponsor of the festival, “Latvijas Mobilais Telefons”, will be offering the “Danse macabre” performance to a wider audience by streaming this music event on the LMT Streaming Service and Smart TV.

From 10th July, the Cēsis Centre for Contemporary Art will be offering an exhibition “Flying Closer to the Sun. Myths and Rituals” with new works from renowned Latvian artists: Aija Zariņa, Miķelis Fišers, Andris Eglītis, Ģirts Muižnieks, Krista and Reinis Dzudzilo, Katrīna Neiburga and Vika Eksta. With its title borrowed from the book “Flying Closer to the Sun” by the historian and art curator James Cahill, the exhibition studies the impact of myth and mythology on contemporary culture. It is intended as a selection of works of art creating a storyline exploring myths and phenomena that have captured the attention of contemporary artists and inspired their devotion to discovery. The exhibition is curated by Daiga Rudzāte and will be open for visitors at the Cēsis Centre for Contemporary Art until 15th August.