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La Biennale di Venezia

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Biennale Teatro 2019

Jetse Batelaan

Silver Lion

Award Ceremony

During the 47th International Theatre Festival
(22 July > 5 August 2019)

Jetse Batelaan

La Biennale di Venezia has attributed the Silver Lion to the Dutch author-director Jetse Batelaan, creator of innovative children’s theatre and not only.

Just over forty years old, director Jetse Batelaan, says the motivation, “has become established on the international scene as a singular and innovative artist, with a strong and recognizable highly personal approach to theatre. Presenting works of powerful visual impact, Batelaan reinterprets contemporary myths, creating a kind of magic on the stage that seduces even the most sceptical of spectators. Thanks to his masterful use of theatrical conventions, the Dutch director, who chooses to address his works primarily to audiences of adolescents and children, succeeds in involving people of all ages, a characteristic that is intrinsic to great popular theatre. With Batelaan, theatre for children, which is often mistakenly considered to be second-class or in a category below 'official' theatre, reclaims the importance it deserves and which has been acknowledged in the past, as the history of the Biennale Theatre demonstrates”.

Jetse Batelaan will present two productions during the 47th International Theatre Festival: The Story of the Story, an archaeology of storytelling, and War, which addresses tragic themes with profound and unexpected levity.

Biographical notes

Jetse Batelaan (Leiden – Netherlands, 1978) – He graduated from the Theatre Director’s Course at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. After working as an independent artist and as a regular director for the Theatergroep Max and the mime-theatre group Bambie, from 2009 to 2013 he was associated as a director with the Ro Theater in Rotterdam. He was earning national and international acclaim before becoming the artistic director in 2013 of Theater Artemis, a leading company in the field of children's theatre. Along with Theater Artemis, he also collaborates with other theatre companies, including Het Zuidelijk Toneel and De Warme Winkel.

He has won important awards since he was very young, including the Young Theatre Prize at the Theater aan Zee Festival in 2001, the Erik Vos Award, many Silver Cricket Awards and one Golden Cricket Award. For his productions titled Come on father, drink (2005) and If you run fast enough, no-one will know where you are (2016) he won the VSCD Mime Award, one of the highest acknowledgments by Dutch critics.

His works have been performed at important Festivals: Het Theaterfestival, Theaterfestival Boulevard, New Island Festival in New York, Parc de la Villette in Paris, Wiener Festwochen in Vienna, La Bâtie-Festival in Geneva, Theaterfestival in Basel, Westwind Festival in Cologne, and the Panoptikum in Nuremberg and the BIBU Biennale for Children Helsingborg among others.

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