Along with steady increase in trade and investment between Central Eastern Europe and China, Chinese government is also emphasizing to increase cooperation in the fields of education and culture.
In October 2016 theater studio “Zīļuks” of Children and Youth Centre “Rīgas Skolēnu pils” (Riga, Latvia) received an invitation from The Arts Committee of the 2017 China-CEEC Cultural Season to perform their play “Sprīdītis” in China
Every year the most striking arts representatives from various Central and Eastern European countries are selected for participation in this international festival; therefore, it is a great honour for Zīļuks to travel to China in order to introduce the audience with the play Sprīdītis.
Sprīdītis was written in 1904 by a famous Latvian author Anna Brigadere. It is a story about a small boy who is struggling to live with his stepmother, therefore leaves his home to find happiness. He meets mythical and strange characters along the way, some that help him overcome life struggles and some of them need to be defeated.
“We will go to China with the play “Sprīdītis” by Anna Brigadere. Due to the successful visual and drama solution, the play is one of the most demanded plays in Latvia and international festivals; moreover, it has been specifically adapted to open-air stage specifications. “Sprīdītis” as performed by “Zīļuks” can be easily transformed; as decorations are used not large-scale structures but large puppets – masks, which make the play dynamic, mobile, and thus can capture the child’s attention. Yet currently, when preparing for the trip, the large masks provide also one of the largest challenges. They exceed any permitted limits for transportation. Therefore, our designers have a special task to decrease the size of the masks by creating new foldable structures. Since renewal of the play in 2003, this play has constantly been a part of the active repertoir of the theatre and has been performed more than 110 times; and the group of actors who have grown up has been changed 8 times.
“Sprīdītis” performed by Zīļuks has received countless festival awards, has been nominated for a successful work of educators, visual expressiveness and harmonised work of the creative team at Riga Amateur Theatre Festival “Riga Plays Theatre 2004”; it has been nominated for ability to bring the text to life and thoughtfully performed staging at the “Festival International de Theatre Jeunes d’Enfants et de Theatre Jeunes 2006” in Toulouse, France; it has received the festival award and has been nominated for the scope of theatrical new findings and wealth of creative individuality in X International Children’s’ Theatre Festival “Brancevskij Festival” in 2009 in Saint Petersburg, Russia; it has performed as a special guest among the professional puppet theatres in the 23rd International Theatre Festival for Children in Subotica, Serbia, in 2016.
In order to make the play more perceptible to the Chinese spectators, we understood that translation of the play’s text and songs in Chinese was necessary. “In Facebook I placed a message that we are looking for someone who could translate the text appropriately, and soon we received a message from the translation bureau Linearis“, said Zane Goiževska, the project director of “Zīļuks”.
Kārlis Ozols, Marketing and Sales Manager at Linearis acknowledged that Sprīdītis has long been used as designation of people who leave their country in search of better luck. “Linearis can also be viewed as Sprīdītis, because seven years ago we made a daring decision to search for our luck in a rather exotic market of China. Currently already two branches have been opened, many major customers have been found, and we have helped other Baltic companies to enter this market. Thus, we believe it to be our matter of honour to support a visit of Rīga Skolēnu pils teātris “Zīļuks” in China by providing translations of play’s text and songs into Chinese without asking for remuneration.”
We welcome you to see Sprīdītis performed in China in these venues:
1/10/2017 Garden Expo Park, Fengtai District, Beijing
2/10/2017 Garden Expo Park, Fengtai District, Beijing