LIFT 2014


Where The City Meets The Stage

Symphony of a Missing Room
Each year 1,000s of works go on display at the Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition. But what is left in the museum after the art works have gone?  The world's longest running continuous exhibition, this archive of the forgotten and remembered was a rare chance to find out. Using multisensory technology, invisible dance and whispered illusion, it lead audiences on a collective and extremely personal journey through the Royal Academy’s public and private spaces, revealing the building as never before.
The Roof
A 360 panoramic performance under the night sky. A door opens and an immaculate figure steps out on to a roof. Knives are sharpened and the game begins…Set within the suspended reality of a brutal and unforgiving game, this breathless mix of intimate three- dimensional sound and the hairtrigger movement of free running transported a crowd into the body of a reluctant hero, desperate to stay alive. Wearing headphones, audiences were taken right inside this hero’s mind.
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Japan's most exciting theatre director Toshiki Okada takes a darkly humorous look at Japanese consumerism, through slacker language, dreamlike movement, and a striking soundscape of J-pop and J.S. Bach.  Working with his company, chelfitsch, Okada is celebrated as a chronicler of Japan’s Lost Generation, the young people coming of age as their economy spiralled into decline. His theatre captures their unease, selfcentredness and cynicism so astutely that his characters needed no translation for a London audience.
A "piece without roots". A remarkable fusion of street and contemporary dance, Bruno Beltrão's company explores movements, gestures, and informal routines from the internet as a basis for choreography.  Beltrão asked his dancers to scour the internet for movements, gestures and informal routines, then used these as the basis for his choreography. The result was a remarkable fusion of street and contemporary dance, everyday actions and avant-garde attitude, that opened up new possibilities for hip-hop and theatre alike.
Michael Essien, I want to play as you
A group of African migrant footballers have devised a piece using their shared language of football to explore the ways football can be a way out of poverty, creating an underclass of football-aspirants in foreign lands.  Ahilan Ratnamohan and a group of African migrant footballers devised 'Michael Essien I want to play as you...' using their shared language of football. Sitting between dance and theatre, their performance explored the hidden stories of the game we all think we know.
Jewellery, legal succession, family trees, gas receipts…just a few of the topics that rise up when fathers and daughters lay their relationships bare. This German performance collective, She She Pop, with their real dads confront the complex dynamics between generations with frank tenderness. Shakespeare's King Lear backdrops this audacious show, integrating film, personal testimony, big-band covers, and dance tackles the realities of ageing, inheritance, and parenthood head-on.
Transforming the industrial hanger of Hackney Downs Studios with intimate performances of passion, rebellion, and hope, a group of young artists used spoken word, sharp choreography, and stunning visuals to shine a light on the global issue of youth homelessness through taking inspiration from the double meaning of the title (the turf of a football pitch, and what it is to be turfed out of home).
Opus No. 7
Placing the audience on stage, tantalisingly close to the action of a genre-defying double bill.  Opus No. 7 explores the persecution of Soviet Jews and the censorship of Shostakovich under Stalin are depicted through larger-than-life puppets, duelling pianos, living walls, and blizzards of newsprint.  Dmitry Krymov is one of Russia’s most influential theatre directors, the creator of visually majestic, moving yet witty experiences.
The Shipment
How does Korean-American, Young Jean Lee, create a work about African-American identity and politics? An all-black cast satirizes their roller-coaster ride through clichés and distortions that arise when exploring the experience of African-Americans today.  Cultural caricatures, from a foul-mouthed comedian to a drug dealer-turned-rapper superstar, were parodied in a series of variety numbers reminiscent of a minstrel show.
A triptych of three interactive performances using social-media platforms we use everyday. Following three countries , around the Greenwich Meridian, a drama will unfold presented live online in Goggle hangouts over three weeks about the impending global struggle to corner the market in fresh water and make a killing from climate change.
Red Forest
Aisha is on the run. Forced to flee her village due to radiation sweeping across the land, she crosses the globe in search of shelter. She must overcome the terrible cruelties of nature and man.  The award-winning Belarus Free Theatre returned with an epic new legend for the 21st century, created from extraordinary true stories from around the world and woven together with stunning video and hypnotic live music.
Haitian culture looks at death in a very different way to our own. It is not a hushed-up affair of coffins and closed doors but a loud celebration of all that life has to offer, in this world and the next.  French company Rara Woulib conjures the ghosts of the city's departed for this joyous pilgrimage. See for yourself why the dead have so much more fun than the living.
Museum of Water
In the atmospheric underground spaces of Somerset House, Amy Sharrocks invited London to consider its relationship with the most precious liquid the world has to offer. As rain-forests disappear and climate change turns fertile land into deserts, access to fresh water will be one of the key issues of the coming decades.  What is your relationship with the most precious liquid the world has to offer? 
Next Day
How do young people really think and feel? 13 performers, aged 8-11, give their honest accounts of everyday life.  Their seemingly normal rituals became extraordinary, absurd and provocative under the microscopic lens of Paris-based visual artist and director Philippe Quesne.A sell-out at LIFT 2012, CAMPO invited audiences to share an unexpected glimpse into a child’s view of the adult world.
Back to Back Theatre
A 10-day residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum explores at a deep level the interests in obsolete gods no longer worshipped and stories of those who were destroyed by their own success.
Cinema Imaginaire
Explore London with these promenade workshop performances, made through the eyes of the spectator. Creating the world through simple tasks and exercises, the boundaries of the self begin to blur, and the fragility of our individuality is felt.
Change for a tenner!
Six events across London combine speakers, stories, music and more shocasing imaginative, brave, and surprising attempts to make change happen.
The Great War
Using live animation and a miniature film set, the letters, stories, and lives of the millions of soldiers who died in World War One come to life. This epic WW1 battle was reconstructed in front of audiences on a miniature film set that uses soil, parsley and rusty nails as trenches, trees and bombs and with sound effects from a Foley artist providing a gritty, intimate realism to the live soundtrack: a rap on the table sounded like a hand grenade exploding, the striking of a match became mustard gas being released.  Intertwined were the poignant words from the Great War: the very personal letters written by soldiers to their loved ones back home. 
The Year I was Born
Nine performers born in Pinochet’s Chile in the 1970s and early 1980s told the stories of their parents living in the grip of dictatorship. Like stunt doubles, the actors re-created their parents’ lives with photographs, letters, cassettes, old clothing, anecdotes and elusive recollections.Playful and political, The year I was born gave a seldom-seen and highly personal insight into the impact of a parent’s actions. Two generations faced one another in a reckoning of both the joy of childhood and the dark secrets from a bloody moment in international history.
The Notebook
Based on the award-winning novel The Notebook (1986), by Hungarian writer Agota Kristof, two actors, from Forced Entertainment, stand side by side to tell their story in an unsettling and uncanny double act recounting how they were evacuated to the Hungarian countryside during World War II, to stay at their impoverished grandmother's farm.  Directed by Tim Etchells, The Notebook was an unraveling knot of naïve logic that wove dark and subversive humor from wartime hardships. Forced Entertainment performers Richard Lowdon and Robin Arthur stood side by side to tell their story in an unsettling and uncanny double act – a marathon narration of two people trapped in one voice and one shared perspective. Kristof’s narrational language – bold, crisp and reduced – provided the basis for a compelling performance.
A Dream Turns Sour
Recognised as one of the foremost avant-garde bands in the world and Godfathers of alternative cabaret, The Tiger Lillies operate within their own eccentric definitions. Transforming British first world war poetry, this performance takes you through a haunting, angry, lyrical set of songs.  LIFT 2014 featured the World Premiere of their new show 'A Dream Turns Sour' which saw them transform British and German first world war poetry — by the likes of Arthur West, John McCrae, Noel Hodgson and Wilfred Owen — into a haunting, angry, lyrical set of songs. The result was a startling mixture of opera, Gypsy song, Left-Bank Paris and black humour in a spectacular musical finale to After a War.
After a War
25 artists from across the world bring their unique insight into the impact and legacy of the First World War. Battersea Arts Centre is filled to every corner with performances, sound and film installations, participatory works, storytelling, and more.  The audience swapped their tickets for wristbands and stayed as long as they liked to create their own journeys round the extraodinary shows and experiences scheduled throughout the days and evenings.
Credits: Story

LIFT 2014 Supporters

Principal Supporters:
Arts Council England
Lottery Funded
British Council
EU Culture Programme
14-18 Now
Heritage Lottery Fund

The Keir Foundation
Flanders Fits You
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Japan Foundation
Goethe Institut
Jerwood Charitable Foundation
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany London
Kingdom of the Netherlands

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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