Arts Presenters: Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada

Photo: Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia KoliadaThe Belarus Free Theatre is at the forefront of the democracy movement in Belarus. Founded by Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada in 2005, the Free Theatre has quickly become known internationally as much for their political actions as they are for their theatrical artistry.

Last August, the performers and audience of a Free Theatre performance were arrested. (Read the original story, and the theatre’s open letter.) Since then, the international community, including Tom Stoppard, Mick Jagger, Václav Havel and many others, have helped bring attention to the theatre’s struggle to create honest and truthful work.

This interview was recorded between the theatre’s performances at the Under the Radar Festival, part of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ conference, in New York and the Arts in One World conference at Cal Arts, outside of Los Angeles.

In our talk, Nikolai and Natalia examine their own artistic and political journeys, and the revolutionary spirit of their work.

On-site translation provided by Yuri Kaliada.

This interview is part of an ongoing series with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters.

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13 Responses to “Arts Presenters: Nikolai Khalezin and Natalia Koliada”

  1. KadmusArts - where culture speaks » Blog Archive » Our World’s Enforced Disappearances
    September 1st, 2008 01:32
    1

    [...] Our friends from the Belarus Free Theatre have sent out a special notice: August 30, 2008 marked the 25th anniversary of the International Day of the Disappeared. [...]

  2. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Free Belarus - in US
    September 17th, 2009 00:10
    2

    [...] Washington Post Belarus Free Theatre Podcast [...]

  3. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus: “Lies and Dirt” Only Offline
    December 31st, 2009 23:09
    3

    [...] Associated Press Belarus Free Theatre Podcast [...]

  4. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus – Arts Lead?
    June 15th, 2010 00:09
    4

    [...] Welle Belarus Free Theatre Podcast Belarus [...]

  5. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus’ Voice for Freedom
    December 14th, 2010 01:12
    5

    [...] Guardian KadmusArts Belarus Free Theatre Podcast Interview [...]

  6. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus Free Theatre Leader Imprisoned
    December 21st, 2010 01:12
    6

    [...] Reuters KadmusArts Belarus Free Theatre Podcast [...]

  7. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus Underground
    December 23rd, 2010 01:10
    7

    [...] York Times KadmusArts Belarus Free Theatre Podcast Under the Radar [...]

  8. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Being Harold Pinter, Being on the Run
    January 6th, 2011 01:09
    8

    [...] York Times KadmusArts Interview with Belarus Free Theatre Under the Radar [...]

  9. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus Freedom Gets Public Support
    January 14th, 2011 01:08
    9

    [...] KadmusArts Interviews Belarus Free Theatre Under the Radar [...]

  10. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus Free Theatre Trapped in US?
    January 23rd, 2011 01:14
    10

    [...] Wall Street Journal KadmusArts Interviews Belarus Free Theatre [...]

  11. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus Gov Stays, Artists Leave or Hide
    February 11th, 2011 01:13
    11

    [...] Deutsche Welle Are You Free to Create? KadmusArts & Belarus Free Theatre [...]

  12. KadmusArts Culture News » Blog Archive » Belarus Free Theatre, But Not Home
    April 20th, 2011 01:08
    12

    [...] New York Times KadmusArts Belarus Free Theatre Podcast [...]

  13. KadmusArts – where culture speaks » Blog Archive » How to Create an Artistic Protest
    July 18th, 2011 07:45
    13

    [...] Give the Belarusians credit for not only courage, but also creativity. The “Alarm Clock Action” was preceded by the “Clapping Protest”, in which several thousand people gathered in a Minsk square to clap. Without any anti-government slogans, protesters hoped they would be protected from arrest. The clapping was an ironic comment on the government’s handling of the economy. Later, one government official proposed banning all public displays of clapping. Such logic can only exist in a world of illogic. (Such an upside down world will surely inspire the next work of the Belarus Free Theatre.) [...]

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