BITE is a fabulous showcase for a very wide selection of international theatrical and performance art talent, and the Barbican has earned a world-wide recognition for its role in showcasing it at the heart of the City of London.
Here are this year's highlights:
BITE: 03 — Now Booking
Jan - April
Compagnie Jérôme Thomas
Pit: 3 perfs. in January
Jérôme Thomas and his stage partner Martin Schweitzke put a spectacular spin on improvised performance. With eye-popping dexterity, Juggling Hands blends elements of circus, choreography and conjuring in a program of intricate solos and duets, woven together with live accordion accompaniment. A veritable master class in balance, speed and object manipulation. The Holy Body Tattoo and The Tiger Lilies
One woman. One man. A celebration of the sensual forces of submission and control, Circa is imbued with the dark beauty and the unspoken language of desire. Saturated with smoky tango and cabaret debauchery, it is a raw dance duet of uncompromising eroticism evocative of the tangled rituals of foreplay.
"A dead sexy masterpiece" The Vancouver Sun
Post-show talk with the company on Feb. 11.
Goodbye Seattle Coffee Company
After the hot bodies of Circa, things take a bizarre twist with a slice of late-night, left-field comedy from Julian Fox. Without a doubt one of the most imaginative performers to come out of the Edinburgh Fringe, Fox's unique combination of deadpan monologues, home-grown songs and surreal dance routines won him a nomination for the Guardian Alternative Perrier Awards. Goodbye Seattle Coffee Company is an engaging and oddly moving comic confessional not to be missed.
"The Harold Pinter of stand-up comedy . . . he is an extraordinary performer." The Scotsman
New York City Players
Written, directed and composed by Richard Maxwell.
After his first, successful visit to the UK and BITE with House and Boxing 2000, Maxwell returns with the compulsive two-hander, Drummer Wanted. Using fragmented dialogue, restrained movement and hackneyed song, Maxwell paints a bleak picture of contemporary American suburbia, where soap opera-esque scenarios are blend of emotion and artifice to reveal a darker side of human nature.
"One of the most innovative and essential artists to emerge from American experimental theatre." New York Times
Post show talk with the company on March 6.
A fresh and astonishingly visual incarnation of Don Quixote's mythical quest for the female ideal. Depicting a nostalgic world of romance and chivalry alongside the harsh realities of unattainable expectations, this epic tale is ravishingly brought to life by Colombian director Omar Porras. Expect stunning imagery, gripping narrative, dramatic physical gesture, music, masks and puppetry.
"Omar Porras presents a utopian world which reaches out to the audiences imagination" Le Courier
Performed in French with English surtitles.
Vau Da Sarapalha
by Guimarães Rosa
directed by Luiz Carlos de Vasconcelos
Teatro Piollin inspire a virtually cultish following in their native Brazil. To BITE they bring a tragic tale of unrequited love in a traditional Brazilian farming community. Handed down by generations, the piece has been performed over 1,000 times and here is brought brilliantly to life with an unorthodox blend of "aroma-theatre" and stunning pyrotechnics.
Performed in Portuguese with English translation.
Barbican Theatre: April
After the acclaimed reception for Life is a Dream, in BITE: 99, the inimitable Spanish director Calixto Bieito returns to the London scene with an apocalyptic and thrilling reworking of Shakespearean bloody tragedy.
"It's Shakespeare meets the Godfather, with a touch of Bruce Willis . . . Stunning" The Guardian
8 - 10 April - Performed in Catalan with English surtitles
11 - 12 April - Performed in Spanish with English surtitles.
La Syncope Du 7
Barbican Theatre: April
Part of "Crying Out Loud, London"
The first creation from a young circus group who fuse contemporary circus, dance and a live DJ to create an amazing spectacle where the performers float in the air above large trampolines and literally walk up the walls.