Discoveries: Clint Lutes

May 16th, 2012 - 


The next „Discovery“ in our series is the dancer and choreo­grapher Clint Lutes. Read what inspired him to found the dance festival Lucky Trimmer and learn about his work experiences in different cultures and his ultimate passion: dance!

It is quite exceptional for artists to create their own festival. How did you end up starting Lucky Trimmer Festival in Berlin?

Lucky Trimmer began due to a couple of factors. First, Berlin lacked a platform that suited the work I was interested in making. I didn’t feel prepared professionally to take on a full-length (or half length) evening, rent a theater, etcetera. In New York it is common to make shorter pieces and having just arrived one year earlier from New York, I still found myself with this interest. Secondly, it was a bit of a protest against the work I was seeing in and around Berlin which felt long and drawn out, lacking in actual dance and was technically complicated. Each piece had video, complicated lighting and some sort of set and existed generally to serve these other elements, rather than having well-developed content.


You currently live in Grenoble, France. Do you experience significant differences – for your work as an artist – compared to working in the US or Germany?

I think in each country there are different qualities in contemporary art that are more common and that people connect to. Grenoble and France (with limited experience I must admit!) are more relative to my experiences in New York with more focus on the body and technique than what I experienced in Germany. As for my own work, I think I spent a lot of time and energy in the past reacting to whatever situation I was in, rebelling in a sense to what I was experiencing. I feel like I have connected recently to something that is clearly my own and not necessarily connected to the surrounding ‘scene’.


Do you remember a special situation or experience on stage?

Doing a commercial job in Sardinia, we had a waterfall in the show that we never rehearsed with.  The water was really cold (and there was a lot of it) and we all forgot the choreography and almost drowned because we were laughing so hard.


What would you be doing today if you had not chosen to become a professional artist?

I think I would be a translator or I would train dogs or be a professional bowler.


For you personally, what are disadvantages of being an artist?

I’m always really poor. I don’t really understand how it happens because I work a lot, but it definitely happens. We also don’t have much regularity in our schedules and I think that reduces our abilities. We lack connection to a constant community that holds us accountable which makes us even more egotistic than we already are.


And what do you love the most about it?

I really love to dance.  That gets lost sometimes in all the other bullshit.


What are your upcoming projects?

I’m currently dancing with several different choreographers/companies. My own work is being performed here and there, mostly in France. Next year I will premier a new piece in Theater Freiburg (D) collaborating with Monica Gillette and I will also make a piece for amateurs in Festspielhaus St. Pölten (A) as part of a project called ‘Alles Bewegt’. I’m really happy for both of these projects!


Get in touch with Clint
and other great artists
from around the world.

Keep us up to date

May 14th, 2012 - 

Shows and premieres, concerts and release parties, courses and classes: publish all your professional events on artoporta. Your new personal calendar is a clean and simple way to provide partners, fans and audiences with up to date information on all your events and activities.

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Discoveries: Lydia Maria Bader

May 8th, 2012 - 

Welcome to our latest “Discovery:  We gladly introduce the pianist Lydia Maria Bader, who is used to giving concerts all over the country and beyond.  We learn about her travels, the particularities of performing abroad, and a “rock star experience” she once had in China.

What does one learn giving concerts all over Germany? 

As a concert artist you have to learn very quickly to adjust to all kinds of situations. You must play under all conditions, if you feel well or not, if you’re well rested or had to travel all day, with every instrument. On stage you just have to forget all and focus on the music.


What is the difference in stays abroad?

In addition to playing your concert you are always a kind of ambassador of your country.  For example in Russia I had meetings with young people from high schools and universities, just to talk about life in Germany.  For me it has always been an unforgettable experience, people value highly if you travel far to play for them, so they get very interested in you personally, you meet many new people and even make friends on the other half of the world.


Is there a piece of music that you enjoy performing the most? What is its special appeal to you?

In every program I play, I have my favorites. But of course there are a few special pieces, which became a part of my life, for example Liszt Dante Sonata. In this piece is everything. Drama, big emotions on the dark and the bright side, and also the most tender moments.


Do you remember a special situation or experience on stage?

So many… as every concert is unique. There are concerts where the setting is extremely beautiful and you look over a beautiful lake or mountain. Then there are concerts where you manage to create an especially intense communication with the audience. A special event was in China, where I played as a special guest together with 100 pianists at the same time in front of 10.000 people. Feeling like a rock star for once  :-)


What would you be doing today if you had not chosen to become a professional artist?

Becoming an artist was never an active decision. I started playing the piano at age 4, started playing competitions shortly after, had piano lessons at the music university from age 15, so it was just a natural development.


For you personally, what are disadvantages of being an artist?

Financially, in relation to the effort. There are brilliant artists, who can hardly make a living. In any other profession, somebody at their level would be in a leading position or would otherwise do really well. Also concert organizers who try to make you play for a dumping price and don’t seem to value your effort.


And what do you love the most about it?

The moment on stage where you sit down, forget your real life and just live in the music. And when you can feel that the audience feels with you.


What are your upcoming projects?

In April I started my new program “Music of the North” with pieces by composers from Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Grieg, Sibelius, Nielsen and also contemporary composers like Erkki-Sven Tüür, Rihards Dubra and Arvo Pärt. I’m really excited about this music and hope to be able to record it, too.


Get in touch with Lydia Maria
and other great artists
from around the world.

“The atmosphere is unique!”

May 4th, 2012 - 

A small village between Nîmes and Montpellier may not be the likeliest venue for a classical music festival, yet the festival Aigues-Vives en Musiques proves conclusively that great musical experiences are possible wherever passionate artists and enthusiastic audiences meet. It also illustrates that the most charming atmosphere and the most dedicated fan bases are not necessarily always found in the metropolis.


Aigues-Vives en Musiques was born out of a personal fascination of its location. The founders Judith Ingolfsson and Vladimir Stoupel first came to Aigues-Vives as visitors and were inspired by the special atmosphere they found. They fell in love with the idea of establishing a festival in such an environment. It was a bold experiment at first, in the face of critical voices: could a chamber music festival thrive in an area that is otherwise known for its taureaux culture, wine and ancient Roman ruins and in such temporal and geographic proximity to the famous festival at Montpellier?

As it turns out, the answer is clearly yes! It thrives and flourishes far beyond the initial hopes and expectations. Currently, there are masterclasses for 20 students of violin, viola, cello and piano, sixteen student concerts over the course of ten days and many additional concerts featuring internationally renowned professionals for the duration of the festival. The entire village opens up to the music and becomes drawn into the festival experience.

“The entire village is a part of this festival.”

And this is to be taken quite literally: all the students are accommodated privately by the citizens of Aigues-Vives, and the local population is the most dedicated audience. For the duration of the festival, the sounds of chamber music concerts and classes are ever present in the streets and places of the village.

This close and intense encounter contributes significantly to the familial character and unique atmosphere of Aigues-Vives en Musiques.



TAKE PART | In August 2012, there is the possibility to experience this extraordinary festival first-hand: a few places are still available for the masterclasses. Application deadline is May 15th, so take a close look and act quickly. More information & application: in English (PDF download), auf deutschen français (website).


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and other great festivals
on artoporta.