Opening show From The Ashes

La Fura dels Baus

A phoenix rising from its ashes at opening performance ‘From the Ashes

From the Ashes’ is the title of the grand opening performance that the Catalan company La Fura dels Baus from Barcelona has created especially for Cultura Nova. The story of our region is told in a modern way with large visual scenes: the origin of Heerlen, the mining history, the dark period after the closure of the mines and the current renaissance; the revival of Heerlen and Parkstad. It will be a large open-air spectacle in which more than 100 people from the region will take part; break dancers, climbers and extras. Heerlen will literally rise from its ashes and a great phoenix will spread its wings over the audience! To be seen on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August at 21.30 on the Burgemeester Van Grunsvenplein in Heerlen-Centre. Free entrance.

La Fura dels Baus is known for its large-scale theatre spectacles. The opening performance of Cultura Nova is realised by this renowned company in co-production with the festival. IBA-Parkstad is a partner in its realisation. With Cultura Nova, IBA concludes its Expo year. The spectacular open-air performance features numerous talents from the region. Break dancers from the HFC Crew foundation present a dance in which they pay tribute to the miners in a modern way. They do so to music that Heerlen-based audio architect Subp Yao has composed especially for them. This will be a completely new version of ‘Gluck Auf’, the miners’ favourite song. They will then depict the prosperity that the mines brought to Heerlen and the Parkstad region. Over fifty experienced climbers from Heerlen, Parkstad and other parts of the country will work on a number of spectacular scenes under the leadership of climbing coach Rachel Nilwik (5 times national title). They will portray the birth of Heerlen, the dark period after the mines, the transition thereafter and the birth of the new era. Heerlen is like a phoenix rising from its ashes and flying through the air.

During the performance, the Heerlen director and actress Zorba Huisman is not only a narrator, but she also portrays ‘The Soul of Heerlen’. Zorba also provides dramaturgical advice to Catalan director Pera Tantiñá and his co-directors Agata Tantynia Vidal and Raúl Vargas. A team of volunteers from the Cultura Nova festival are involved in the performance. Among other things, they will portray the transition of the region, take care of the movements of a gigantic puppet and accompany the audience. Heerlen poet and writer Merlijn Huntjens wrote the text for the performance. La Fura dels Baus will come to Heerlen with a whole team to rehearse with all those involved, starting a week before the performance.

The organisers of Cultura Nova expect a large audience for the opening performance ‘From the Ashes’ and have therefore decided to present the show on two evenings: Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August on the Burgemeester Van Grunsvenplein in Heerlen-Centre; starting at 21:30. Admission is free.