Artistic Director Kris Nelson Celebrates The Return Of The LIFT Festival

Artistic Director Kris Nelson Celebrates The Return Of The LIFT Festival

Guest Blog: Artistic Director Kris Nelson Celebrates The Return Of The LIFT Festival

We’re so thrilled to be bringing LIFT 2022 to life. London, it’s been too long.

With ‘Unexpected Perspectives’ as our theme, LIFT 2022 asks you to shift how you take in the world and experience performance: whether that’s from a birds’ eye view, around a campfire, or hunting for ghosts in a shopping centre.

You’ll meet artists from Glasgow, Helsinki, Milan, Nairobi, Vilnius and all across London. They are playing with scale – from a maximalist slice of life featuring hundreds of performers (and several tons of sand), to very intimate and personal experiences. We’re spanning across London – this year’s festival happens in eight boroughs and involves collaboration with dozens of partners.

You’ll watch from above as dozens of performers sing on loungers on a beach installed in the Albany in the world-renowned Lithuanian beach opera Sun & Sea by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė. It’s a large-scale project with a huge imagination involving hundreds of Londoners, dogs, kids, ice cream and a deep message. Sun & Seaplaces the threat of climate change amidst a lazy beach idyll, a contrast that makes for an unforgettably wry and poignant experience. Don’t miss it.

Guest Blog: Artistic Director Kris Nelson Celebrates The Return Of The LIFT Festival
The Feminine and the Foreign

See the world through the eyes of Kenyan multi-disciplinary artists The Nest Collective. Highly versatile, their artmaking encompasses empathetic and evocative films, provocative visual art exhibitions, and hosting must-attend parties. For LIFT 2022, the Nest take up residency in Lewisham at Shipwright. They’ll host the salon series Kitchen Conversations† Then in a sensational double bill, they’ll show the world premiere of The Feminine and the Foreign , their docu-portrait film featuring activists across London in intimate conversations on migrant, queer and Black experiences. Then they host Nairobi x Local, an day-to-night party in a Thames-side garden with DJs from South London’s LOCAL and AJAA Radio.

On a more intimate scale, Italian-Armenian artist Giorgia Ohanesian Nardin submerges you in personal and political visuals and voices. For the UK premiere of -gisher, they collaborate with eight London-based artists, including choreographic trailblazer Jamila Johnson-Small. Calling on their shared South West Asian and North African (SWANA) heritage, Nardin assembles a collage of reflections on geography, the body, heritage and conflict in this show beginning inside Sadler’s Wells and ending in a gathering around a fire.

Guest Blog: Artistic Director Kris Nelson Celebrates The Return Of The LIFT Festival
The Making of Pinocchio

Glasgow couple and artist duo Rosana Cade and Ivor MacAskill offer a different kind of intimacy: autobiographical meta-theatre full of tenderness. Surrounded by puppets and cameras in the Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, they recreate Pinocchioamidst Ivor’s gender transition. The result is The Making of Pinocchio a performance that shows us how to define and redefine who we are to the people we love the most.

About in Brixton at the Black Cultural Archives, We Should All Be Dreamingby Finnish artists Sonya Lindfors and Maryan Abdulkarim asks you to discover the radical potential of dreaming. It’s a celebration of community that is a space for collective imagination. Over at Shoreditch Town Hall, up-and-coming creatives from across London – the UpLIFTers (LIFT’s Young Producers Programme) take over a unique basement space. They’ve got a jampacked series including Choosing the Margin tactile workshops exploring marginalized identities, the installation комнаты/ Rooms Left Behindimmersing you in rooms fled in Hong Kong and Russia and Rising Stars of the Galaxya showcase of talented young musicians playing beats from around the world.

Guest Blog: Artistic Director Kris Nelson Celebrates The Return Of The LIFT Festival
Radio Ghost

In three shopping centers scattered across London, interactive theater maestros ZU-UK refresh your experience of the everyday withRadio Ghost † Join them for a ghost hunt where you uncover spirits found in everyday commerce and the hidden stories of how products make it into our hands while you play.

We’ll be digital too – with online versions ofThe Making of Pinocchio andThe Feminine and the Foreignmade available for audiences across the globe. These are accompanied byScorching Suns, Rising Seascurated by Radical Ecology – films and workshops addressing deforestation, Indigenous rights, migration, and the unequal distribution of toxicity.

Each of these works asks you to shift your viewpoint, and they do it with a sense of adventure, curiosity and empathy. From all of us at LIFT, we welcome you. Enjoy uncovering these fresh takes, new views and unexpected perspectives.

LIFT Festival runs from 23 June -10 July

Photo Credit: Tyler Kelly

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