Puikus naujas kūnas
SCRIPT, ACTION: Žygimantas Kudirka
MUSIC, ACTION: Arturas Bumšteinas
ACTION ASSISTANT: Giedrė Kriaučionytė
CHOIRMASTER: Algimantas Kriūnas
COSTUMES: Juozas Valenta
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Mindaugas Gavrilovas
VJ: Vytautas Narbutas
LIGHTS: Julius Kuršis
SOUND: Ignas Juzokas
CAST: Choir artists of state ensemble “Lietuva” – Ilona Pliavgo, Viktorija Šedbaraitė, Rima Žukauskienė, Laura Stančikaitė, Irena Kerulienė, Gintarė Kulikauskytė, Daiva Čepulionienė, Estera Paukštytė-Penkaitienė, Saulius Vasiliauskis, Zenius Sakalauskas, Osvaldas Petraška, Ramūnas Juknevičius, Donatas Kaikaris, Rokas Jasikas
PREMIERE: 19 October, 2022
DURATION: 60 min.
DATE: 22 September | 18:00
VENUE: Arts Printing House, Black Hall
LANGUAGE: Lithuanian with English subtitles
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Brave New Body is a result of an unexpected collaboration between two eccentric artists – composer Arturas Bumšteinas and artist Žygimantas Kudirka.
Combining social criticism, science fiction and absurd, this corporate dystopia for voices addresses the ever-problematic relation of human beings towards their bodies. Illusions rendered by diverse industries form unfounded expectations as to how we should look, while our presence on social networks results in an endless comparison of own body against numerous other bodies. Paradoxically, we often strive to be similar to non-existent, digitally altered body images.
Do not worry. Corporate dystopia will reveal a new technology allowing to transfer oneself into another body or the body of another. Hypnotic polyphonic songs sutartinės serve a kind of anaesthetic while lying under the “beauty knife”, submerging into a dream invoked by deep sedation. You will see perhaps a vision, perhaps prophecy, where the humanity of the future finally finds a way to get rid of the ever unsatisfactory biological bodies and acquire “brave new” ones.
It seems to be the promised land where the souls soar free, acquiring any desired form. You have become a racing motorcycle and feel way sportier? You have turned into an air humidifier and your inner self is full of harmonious tranquillity? Having transformed into most unexpected things and gadgets the souls celebrate their liberation from the old body, singing sutartinės about their new being. At first glance – it is a never-ending feast celebrating brave new bodies. And yet, what was it that encouraged to get rid of that unique, nearly miraculous biological body capable of curing its wounds and grow broken bones together?
Having started composing music in his teens, composer Arturas Bumšteinas turned to performing arts much later. One of his first works that attracted attention from theatre community in Lithuania and abroad was “Bad Weather” (2017, Operomania) – a performative sound art piece that uses baroque theatre noise machines reconstructed by Ernest Volodzka. Among the best-known theatre works of this author are the sound performance “Olympian Machine” (2018, Operomania), the musical theatre piece “Urbantschitsch Method” (2020, State Youth Theatre), and the corporate dystopia/probiotic ecotopia for voices “Brave New Body” (2022, Operomania), created with the artist Žygimantas Kudirka. Arturas Bumšteinas works in theatre not only as a creator of independent stage works, but also as a composer of music for performances.
Žygimantas Kudirka is a writer, artist, and performer. His works often take unexpected forms: alternate reality audio-guides, radio plays to be listened to inside car’s, hacking into public media, or interactive solutions where the reader or listener has to complete the piece by themselves. The author has published a book of interactive poetry, seven music albums, performed hundreds of times in Lithuania and all over the world, created contemporary art and performance pieces.
Operomanija is a production house based in Lithuania, dedicated to the creation and promotion of new musical theatre through diverse cross-disciplinary artistic collaborations. Since its formation in 2008, it has produced about 60 contemporary operas and various multidisciplinary art projects.
Through graceful humour of the Brave New Body Bumšteinas and Kudirka accurately project a dystopic vision, where robots-humanoids may become the best versions of ourselves, should we desire so. Creators also allow us to dream of ourselves existing in a form or air-conditioner or dishwasher. And like true sales agents, they promise exactly what all of us, in fact, desire the most: a creation of a more durable, beautiful and happier existence for ourselves.
Rima Jūraitė, Krantai
Brave New Body blends science fiction and absurd, also expressing harsh social criticism. Invitation of the choir of state ensemble “Lietuva” to join the creative process allowed the authors to reconsider the sutartinės genre. <…> On the one hand, anyone who has heard sutartinės at least once will admit they are indeed present in Brave New Body, on the other hand – there is certain dissonance between calm meditative music and absurd text.
Ugnė Kačkauskaitė, menufaktura.lt
Sarcastic texts by Ž. Kudirka entwined with semantically fairly distant melodies based on the principles of authentic sutartinės (performed by choir of “Lietuva” ensemble) resulted in an unexpected combination, immersive and slightly provoking.
Justina Paltanavičiūtė, mic.lt