New Riga Theatre, Riga, Latvia
Director: Alvis Hermanis
Performed in Latvian, with simultaneous interpretation in Hungarian
1 hours 40 minutes, without breaks.
The New Riga Theatre was founded in 1992, and for the past twenty years it has been led by artistic director Alvis Hermanis, recently named one of the ten most influential European theatre personalities of the last decade by DU, a Swiss magazine on the arts and culture. He currently works with major European theatre companies and has received almost innumerable accolades. With the performance of Black Milk, Hermanis aims to find the archetype of Latvian identity. “The world created by Alvis Hermanis is rich and multifarious. One can find the confrontation of masculine and feminine radix and the complexity of relation between a director and his actors there,” claims critic Valda Čakare. The actors from Riga spent two years collecting stories from different regions of Latvia to create the foundations of the performance. In their experience, only when one is in the countryside is it clear that Latvians are different from other peoples. These differences disappear in the city. The core of country life is agricultural work, which in Latvia predominantly means animal husbandry. The moral here is simple: when the last Latvian grandmother hands over the last cow, the real Latvia becomes a piece of the past. And this is why cows are also important characters in this performance.
Stage annd costume design: Alvis Hermanis
Light: Normunds Alsiņš
Sound: Andris Jarāns
Stage manager: Liene Samīte
Tour organizer: Agnija Apele