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Hermanis one of top ten European theater personalities of the decade - Swiss magazine "DU"


New Riga Theater (Jaunais Rigas teatris) Director Alvis Hermanis has been named among the top ten European theater personalities of the decade in a survey by the Swiss cultural magazine "DU", the theater's advertising department head Dagnija Grinfelde told LETA.

The Swiss magazine interviewed a number of festival directors and theater experts from various European cities, for instance, Avignon, Berlin, Moscow, Milan, London, Zurich, Krakow, also Riga.

The top ten list was comprised out of a total of 85 candidates - not only theater directors but also set designers and artistic unions.

Besides Hermanis, the other top ten theater personalities of Europe are Romeo Castellucci of Italy, Frank Castorf and Rene Pollesch of Germany, Swiss-German association "Rimini Protokoll", "Forced Entertainment and Katie Mitchell of Great Britain, Jan Lauwers of Belgium, Christoph Marthaler of Switzerland and Krzysztof Warlikowski of Poland.

New Theater Institute of Latvia Director Gundega Laivina, one of the experts surveyed by "DU", said that 20 festival heads and experts from various countries were surveyed, asked to name ten most influential modern theater directors or companies.

"Based on my experience, I gave my ten candidates. I am pleased that five or six I mentioned made it to the top ten. I also mentioned Hermanis, but not so much in terms of Europe, rather thinking of his contribution to the theater and the development of contemporary art in Latvia," said Laivina.

Hermanis himself is also pleased at his inclusion in top ten of the most influential European theater personalities of the decade.

"I believe that society and politicians, who take the liberty of doubting the importance of culture, should take such instances into account to discover that there are excellent artists in Latvia. This is a major event in Latvia, because candidates from several major countries have not even made it to the list. I hope that this will be a good stimulus to make politicians respect culture," said Laivina.

Laivina is also very pleased that several of the top ten European theater personalities have visited Riga, participating in the new theater festival "Homo Novus" organized by the New Theater Institute , even before they rose to international prominence.