The 2017/20178 season of the International Performing Arts Centre Vaba Lava in Tallinn, Estonia with the focus on Francophonie starts with the opening show BIG DATA created by the French theatre and film director Alexandre Zeff.

BIG DATA is a show that questions the world of today and the dangers and benefits of digital revolution. Today, we are facing a new reality, where the speed and volume of data is rapidly increasing. The massive collection, easy accessibility and rapid processing of data is changing our world beyond recognition. On the one-hand, the digital and ICT revolution has brought about unprecedented benefits to humankind, on the other hand, there is an imminent threat that people are going to lose their right both to their identity and their privacy. The information overload can become a `data smog`, which dulls the senses, and makes it hard to assimilate and discriminate between things that really matter and what are just white noise. A new world is about to be born for better or for worse. For how long will our souls belong to us and we can call ourselves humans possessing free will in a world where artificial intelligence is about to take over? Have humans been throughout evolution only a start-up for digital superintelligence?

BIG DATA is a contemplative visual poetic installation, which portrays the turbulence and chaos of the modern world. In a huge glass sphere on stage, dancers` bodies will struggle and move in circles: like fish trapped in a glass jar as if they swim around in the ocean of data. Today everything is fused together… we`re feeding off of one another… cannibalism and contamination… an orgy of the senses; the sphere can also be perceived as a crystal ball where you can see the future.

The two books that have inspired Alexandre Zeff`s BIG DATA are the Naked Man. The Invisible Dictatorship of The Digital Society (L’Homme nu. La dictature invisible du numérique) by Marc Dugain and Christophe Labbé as well as Sapiens. A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.


Conceived and directed by Alexandre Zeff

Director`s assistant: Nele Suisalu

Artistic councellor: Claudia Dimier

Dramaturgy: Antoine Hamel

Scenography: Benjamin Gabrié

Choreography: Teet Kask

Video design: Alyona Movko

Sound design: Argo Vals

Light design: Priidu Adlas

Cast: Mirtel Pohla and Jarmo Reha (actors); Jevgeni Grib and Marita Weinrank (dancers)


Produced by Vaba Lava

The language of the show is English, with Estonian, French and Russian subtitles.


Alexandre Zeff is a French theatre and film director, performer and producer who has directed both short-length and feature films as well as documentaries. He has a graduated from the French National Academy of Dramatic Arts (Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique) first as an actor and later as a theatre director. He is also a graduate of the film school La Fémis (Fondation Européenne pour les Métiers de l’Image et du Son). In 2007, Alexandre Zeff founded his own theatre company La Camara Obscura.


Curated Programme of Vaba Lava

BIG DATA is one of the 8 shows on the international curated programme of the Vaba Lava 2017/2018 season. The French curators of the season are José Alfarroba and Tristan Barani, while the consultant for the Estonian projects is the Managing Director of Vaba Lava Kristiina Reidolv. The shows for the programme were selected from the 142 project applications submitted to the Vaba Lava international ideas competition. The focus for the upcoming 2 seasons is Francophonie and the French culture, in addition several of the projects on the curated programme involve both French and Estonian performative artists and actors. The Vaba Lava curated programme is supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment Fund and the French Institute in Estonia.


The performances of the Vaba Lava curated programme 2017/ 2018 are:

  • Big Data, conceived and directed by Alexandre Zeff (France), premier on 19th September 2017.
  • (The Dissident), conceived and directed by Andri Luup (Estonia), premier on 4th November 2017.
  • The End of the Night, conceived and directed by Rainer Sarnet (Estonia), premier on 20th December 2017.
  • The Cloud Opera or The Dido Problem, created and conceived by Mart Kampus (Estonia), Liina Keevallik (Estonia) and Christina Batman (USA), premier on 26th January 2018.
  • The Deluge, conceived and directed by Andris Feldmanis, Jaak Kilmi and Kiur Aarma (Estonia), premier on 22nd March 2018.
  • Spring Awakening, created and conceived by Armel Roussel (France/Belgium), premier on 10th April 2018.
  • Hackathon of performing arts, French and Estonian performative artists, September 2018.
  • Pandora 3.0, GEN Z – searching for beauty, created and conceived by Salvatore Calcagno (Belgium/Italy), premier on 19th September 2018.


The foundation Vaba Lava (Open Space) was established in May 2010 with two aims: firstly to provide opportunities for both established and emerging independent companies in Estonia and secondly to promote and develop interdisciplinary projects between different fields such as arts (performing arts, applied and visual arts, music, new media etc) and sciences in order to access new knowledge, new technologies and know-how from different fields.

Since its foundation in 2014, Vaba Lava has already been recognized as a venue for performances, international guest-performances, festivals, concerts, receptions, symposiums and conferences.

At present, Vaba Lava runs a venue in Tallinn, which is located in the Telliskivi Creative City in Kalamaja. In 2018 a sister venue will be opened in Narva, the third biggest town in Estonia.