For this year’s celebratory tenth edition, CoFestival, the international festival of contemporary dance, which will take place in Ljubljana from 25 November to 1 December 2021, will feature various aspects of in-depth “movement research” that distinguish contemporary dance from functional kinetics, such as those on display at the Tokyo Olympics. As it is not true that we want empty venues, we urge you to set aside the late autumn evening dates in your notebooks today and come see the spectacular and exploratory choreographic works of the currently confirmed artists Isabelle Schad, Christos Papadopoulos, Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, Sheena McGrandles, Mala Kline, Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik, Roni Chadash and Anna Nowicka. Even though you don’t know it yet, rest assured that you don’t want to miss their performances. You will be able to attend the performances at various venues around Ljubljana, in Kino Šiška, the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, the Ljubljana Dance Theatre and at Španski Borci.
Yours, Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia and the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture
COFESTIVAL 2020–21: THE AMPLIFIERS OF VOICES – second segment, 28th to 31st of May 2021 @ Kino Šiška
We are very pleased to announce The Amplifiers of Voices at CoFestival, the international festival of contemporary dance. The programme, which could not be held last November due to the pandemic, will finally take place between 28th and 31st of May2021 at the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture. We are featuring artists and collectives who, despite a number of restrictions in the countries where they live and work, or in our country, will be able to come to Ljubljana: Maulwerker (Germany), an experimental-music collective, will present a series of choreo-vocal compositions; Sergiu Matis (Romania, Germany), a very interesting artist of the younger generation, and his co-creators will perform their fresh work Unruhe (Unrest); and Jule Flierl (Germany), one of Europe’s most exciting female choreo-vocalists, dancer and choreographer, will perform her solo work I Intend to Sing. We will open CoFestival with the performance Special Edition by Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik. The festival is produced in cooperation between the Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia and the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture.
In November 2020, due to the pandemic, we were forced to reduce our programme and put it online. While waiting for the moment when our programme could be implemented, our plans changed, our programmes were sporadically cancelled, but our will to implement it was not affected. Our voices have not been hushed.
Performances of The Listeners by Alma Söderberg and contemporary dance ensemble Cullberg and Jonathan Burrows and Mateo Fargion with choreographies Speaking Dance, Rewriting and The Solo Piece were cancelled in November, and in the end it turned out that we will not be able to host them this year. The concert of Bulgarian perfomer and choreographer Ivo Dimchev was broadcast from Sofia, while the exceptional performance of Tuvan vocalist Sainkho Namtchylak was broadcast from the Cathedral Hall of Kino Šiška. We presented three group procedural works involving more than 20 local artists and precarious workers in the field of contemporary dance and artistic and cultural practices that are associated with it. At the Atelier international workshop of the European Dancehouse Network, we followed the edition title The Amplifiers of Voices to historically, theoretically and practically dissected the phenomena of choreo-vocalism, speech and choreography, and experimental music composition, which included unusual uses of the voice in the twentieth century. The following lecturers, mentors or speakers led the workshop: Irena Tomažin Zagoričnik, Jasmina Založnik and Rok Vevar, Luka T. Zagoričnik, Jule Flierl and Igor Dobričić. The contributions produced at the Atelier will be published in the form of articles, lecture transcripts and interviews in a thematic issue of Maska in the end of this year. In the November segment of CoFestival, we also presented two sets of films. The first was dedicated to the life and work of Valeska Gert, a German dancer and perfomer from the Weimar Republic, and the second to Anna Halprin, an American pioneer of postmodern dance. We also hosted the German co-visual duo Wilhelm & Groener with their online choreographic work 33 Sketches_Performing@Archive and the book presentation Ksenija, Xenia:Londonska plesna leta Ksenije Hribar 1960-1978 (London Dance Years of Xenia Hribar 1960-1978) by Rok Vevar (Maska, JSKD, NDA Slovenia, 2020).
Although it is usually associated with silent body movement, contemporary dance has never been a silenced subject in its outstanding examples. It always had its own specific voice. In a situation where, as a result of a pandemic, politics has turned into a choreographer, as it increased the distance between bodies, prevented touch and created social scores with unprecedented somatic scenarios, we decided to set the dance »on high volume« at CoFestival and also persist with it. To ear-splitting highs. Now that we all learned how to embody a piece of freedom in disciplined choreographies along the city streets, as if we would be realising pleasure in inventive dance scores, perhaps the conditions may be met to help us understand who or what are the true amplifiers of our voices.
The festival will be held in accordance with the recommendations of the National Institute of Public Health and will ensure the safety protocols are in place allowing for a limited number of spectators.
The Amplifiers of Voices programme was curated by: Irena Tomažin (guest co-curator), Dragana Alfirević, Mitja Bravhar, Rok Vevar and Jasmina Založnik.
Due to the limitations of the epidemic, the International Festival of Contemporary Dance CoFestival, with curatorial theme »The Amplifiers of Voices« will be performed in two separate segments. Between 20 and 25 November 2020, a series of online events will take place and the festival with live shows will be postponed until April 2021.
Although dance is usually associated with silent body movement, contemporary dance has never been a silenced subject in its outstanding examples. It always had its own specific voice. In a situation where, as a result of a pandemic, politics has turned into a choreographer, as it increased distance between bodies, prevented touch and created social scores with unprecedented somatic scenarios, we decided to set the dance »on high volume« at CoFestival. Ear-splitting loud. Now that we all learned how to embody a piece of freedom in disciplined choreographies along the city streets, as if we would be realising pleasure in inventive dance scores, perhaps the conditions may be met to help us understand who or what are the true amplifiers of our voices.
This edition of the festival is again co-produced by Cultural Centre Kino Šiška and Nomad Dance Academy Slovenija.
Co-curators: Irena Tomažin (guest co-curator), Dragana Alfirević, Mitja Bravhar, Rok Vevar, Jasmina Založnik.
CoFestival 2020 – November online festival and platform (20 to 25 Nov 2020, web)
Between 20 and 25 November we plan a series of online events: film screenings, lectures and presentations, live streams of concert performances, a workshop and Atelier, an educational programme of the European Dancehouse Network. In addition to live streams from Kino Šiška, the work of the Temporary Creative Platform will also be featured, this initiative is composed of three groups of local precarious workers in the field of art and culture.
In the CoFestival programme, historically notable artists in the field of contemporary dance are a constant selection. This year, we decided for two outstanding artists who, in their oeuvre, included specific use of voice, among others, their artistic work is represented in different ways in two documentary films.
We will feature the Berlin dancer and performer Valeska Gert. In the second decade of 20th century, her unusual approaches to dance and mime were recorded in the form of short silent films, and in 1977 the German director Volker Schlöndorff created a one-hour documentary about her life and work, entitled Just a Joke, Just a Play – Kaleidoscope (Nur zum Spass, nur zum Spiel–Kaleidoskop). Since history rehabilitated her in recent decades as one of the main dance artists of the Weimar Republic, choreographers have taken an extremely frequent look at her for inspirational study material. We will discuss this legendary German artist with the German dancer, performer and choreographer Jule Flierl, who studied Valeska Gert closely because she also works with voice.
We will also present an excellent documentary, entitled Breath Made Visible (2007) about the life and work of Anne Halprin, an American choreographer and dancer who celebrated her 100th birthday this year and who, like Valeska Gert, has only managed to establish a suitable historical recognition in recent years. Having spent the most part of her life in the dance community of San Francisco, she was very well known exclusively to the artists themselves, especially those who resorted to her for dance skills, but less familiar to a wider audience. Over the past two decades, that has changed. For our regional context, it is particularly important to note that in 1963 her ensemble performed in Zagreb at the Music Biennial with her neo-avant-garde dance work, and it was exactly this performance that led Zagreb artist Tom Gotovac to the decision to dedicate himself to performance in his life.
In the November segment of our online CoFestival programme, we invited Bulgarian artist and performer Ivo Dimchev, who has been well known to the local contemporary public since his first appearance in Ljubljana, when he presented his legendary work Lili Händel (2004) at the international performing arts festival Mladi levi in 2006. Ivo Dimchev is an excellent contemporary rhyme for Valeska Gert’s grotesque dance figures and an artist who elevated his precarious and sexually labelled bodies to the level of divinity. At CoFestival we will watch a live stream of his concert, which he will perform in the environment of his shared household.
We will also host the outstanding vocalist and »world music« star Sainkho Namtchylak, already well known to the domestic audience, as her mix of traditional throat singing techniques derived from Central Asian cultures and contemporary vocal acrobatics has already excited the domestic audience on her performances at the festival editions of Druga godba in the 1990s. Sainkho Namtchylak, who hails from the former Soviet Republic of Tuva and has lived in Europe for many years, represents a kind of distillate of the kind of contemporary vocalist that turns the vocal tradition into a more contemporary invention and where the body acts as an extension of the voice, not the other way around.
We will also present a project of 33 sketches, a procedural staging project of the artistic tandem WILHELM GROENER – Günther Wilhelm & Mariola Groener. In this series, the creators set a spatial and contextual situation as a starting point, which they associate with their current research focus. The CoFestival performance will be placed in the Media Resource Centre of the Mine Centre, an international theatre institute in Berlin, and their long-running research of »staging of the archive« will be the vantage point.
Historical material will also be featured at the presentation of the book by Rok Vevar, Ksenija, Xenia, Londonska plesna leta Ksenije Hribar, 1960-1970 (Ksenija, Xenia, The London Dance Years of Xenia Hribar, 1960-1970), where the author will tackle two artist’s episodes that directly and indirectly touch the theme of a choreo-vocalist. The first is about one event, when Xenia Hribar wrote two critical texts shortly after she left the ballet ensemble of the Ljubljana Opera for Naši razgledi (Our Views), which dissected the work of this institution. The second concerns her performance in the show Masha, in which she performed as a member of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre in the spring of 1973, and where the Russian composer Vladimir Rodozianko worked with the ensemble, they created dance materials with choreo-vocal elements together with dancers.
Since September, invited local artists (Bor Pungerčič, Ines Simunić, Petra Veber, Liza Šimenc, Tajda Podobnik, Katja Legin, Urban Belina, Bojana Robinson, Beno Novak, Ajda Tomazin, Dejan Srhoj, Loup Abramovici and Nina Meško) who work in the field of contemporary dance are tackling the topics of dance and choreography. CoFestival’s co-curators Dragana Alfirević, Mitja Bravhar, Jasmina Založnik and Rok Vevar collaborate with the groups that formed in this initiative. The groups explore three topics: urban space and body, choreography that works (as a useful or functional methodology) and contemporary dance practices in a broader social context. The results of the work will be presented through videos, interviews, sketches, written and visual material, questionnaires and surveys during the November segment, and with additional live events in April.
Programme (we reserve the right to make changes)
VALESKA GERT: DANCER AND PERFORMER FROM THE TIME OF THE WEIMAR REPUBLIC
Online screening of Valeska Gert’s films from the 1920s and a lecture by our guest Jule Flierl
LONDON DANCE YEARS OF XENIA HRIBAR Online conversation with Rok Vevar and presentation of the book Ksenija, Xenia: The London Dance Years of Xenia Hribar (1960-1978)
WILHELM & GROENER: 33 sketches_Performing@Archive Online presentation of the work of the German choreo-visual tandem Wilhelm & Groener
CONCERT BY IVO DIMCHEV Live stream of concert performance
CONCERT BY SAINKHO NAMTCHYLAK CONCERT Live stream of concert performance
COFESTIVAL FILM PROGRAMME A BREATH MADE VISIBLE (Dir. Ruedi Greber, 2009)
Online screening of a documentary about legendary American choreographer Anna Halprin
ART ATELIER(EDN ATELIER)
Two-day international event (workshop, conference and lectures) co-organised with the European Dancehouse Network on the topic the Amplifiers of Voices. Featuring: Irena Tomažin Zagoričnik, Rok Vevar, Jasmina Založnik, Luka Zagoričnik, Jule Flierl and Igor Dobričić.
DANCE LIVE STREAM WITH NATAŠA ŽIVKOVIĆ A dance class on the topic Dance and Wellbeing
TEMPORARY CREATIVE PLATFORM
Since September, three research groups of invited local artists (Bor Pungerčič, Ines Simunić, Petra Veber, Liza Šimenc, Tajda Podobnik, Katja Legin, Urban Belina, Bojana Robinson, Beno Novak, Ajda Tomazin, Dejan Srhoj, Loup Abramovici and Nina Meško) who work in the field of contemporary dance are tackling the topics of dance and choreography. CoFestival’s co-curators Dragana Alfirević, Mitja Bravhar, Jasmina Založnik and Rok Vevar collaborate with the groups that formed in this initiative. The groups explore three topics: urban space and body, choreography that works (as a useful or functional methodology) and contemporary dance practices in a broader social context. The results of the work will be presented through videos, interviews, sketches, written and visual material, questionnaires and surveys during the November segment of CoFestival 2020.
CoFestival 2020 – April live festival (9 to 13 April 2021, live in Ljubljana)
We assembled the programme segment of CoFestival 2020 that will be implemented in April 2021 with works from a hybrid field between voice and contemporary choreography, which is traditionally associated with experiments of artistic movements of historical avant-garde, e.g. dadaists (Art of Noise, Kurt Schwitters), and dance experiments by the German dance artist Valeska Gert, American postmodern choreographers (Yvonne Rainer, Meredith Monk, Kenneth King) and Austrian Actionism (Valie Export), and at the same time, the theory of voice in our context that has developed in recent decades within the framework of the Ljubljana Lacanian School. Mladen Dolar’s book O glasu (About the Voice, 2003) resonated not only in Slovenia, its English translation received a lot of attention also in the international arena. The voice in our programme is not only a bodily extension, but also the material part of the human body, its kinetics, its elemental, metaphorical, metonymical and metaphysical category, a material prerequisite of communication and subjectivation and a manifestation of the record of the Other. We invited Irena Z. Tomažin, an internationally established dancer and choreo-vocalist, to join the team of co-curators, and together we selected a programme from some of the most prominent names of this specific choreographic-vocal field.
The April segment of CoFestival will feature: the legendary Swedish Cullberg Ballet with the performance »Listeners« choreographed by the choreographer Alma Soderberg, Slovenian dancer and singer Žigan Krajnčan, the British duo Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion with the performances »Talking dance«, »Re-writing« and »Solo Song« and German dancer, performer and choreographer Jule Flierl with solo »I intend to sing«. The Berlin Maulwerke collective will present a selection of choreo-vocal compositions, while Finnish artist Elina Pirinen will present a group choreography entitled »Sea Fog«.
The ninth edition of the festival, titled The Amplifiers of Voices, will take place from 20 to 25 November at various locations around Ljubljana.
Alma Söderberg and the Cullberg ensemble, Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion, Jule Flierl, Sainkho Namtchylak and more than 20 local artists, creators and researchers; precarious workers in the field of culture. That is what the choreo-vocal program of CoFestival 2020 will feature, among other things. Even though it is usually linked to the silent movement of the body, in its good cases, contemporary dance has never been the silent subject. It has always had its own specific voice. In the conditions and circumstances that have caused politics to become the choreographer due to the pandemic, distancing bodies, preventing contact and creating social partitions through bodily scenarios we have never witnessed before, we at CoFestival have decided to turn dance “up loud”. Very loud. Now that we know how to embody a fragment of freedom through disciplinary choreographies on city streets, as if enacting pleasure in inventive dance partitions, the conditions for the easier understanding of who or what the true amplifiers of our voices are have perhaps been met.
The festival is again co-produced and co-curated by Kino Šiška and Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia.
we are writing on behalf of the Cofestival team of curators and producers, as we felt the need to share the process of selecting, curating, and producing the works featured at the festival.
The idea of Cofestival began in 2011, and you can read about its genesis and the way we have navigated through its history here. Ljubljana has a wild and dynamic festival scene, so Cofestival had to find its own place within this rich landscape. Since 2016, Cofestival takes place in the second half of November, and lasts for about seven full days. We, the curatorial team, start working on the next edition immediately after the current edition is finished. We attempt to complete the program by the end of May the following year, even though it is sometimes difficult with the rhythms of financing that we have.
We select works by invitation, and often by creating artistic frameworks to which we invite artists to contribute. We take the time to look at each proposal that comes to us, from any side, and discuss it.
We do not work with a topical frame set in advance; we simply see what the works that arrive speak about, what we see as the very reality of that moment, our own reality, the reality of the artists we want to invite, the political reality, and imagine how all this would unfold into the reality of the festival. We also believe that stating a topic very loudly would perhaps go against what we do, which is always more complex than a single-line topic could manage.
By organizing the festival in this way, we ensure that there are different generations of artists present; that there is a balance between the localities of the artists, between the already established artists and the experimental works.
Over the years, we have received more and more proposals. Even though we are very curious to find out about works by others than the “usual suspects”, we sometimes take more time than we would like to take a look at every proposal.
As we are five curators, we like to cultivate the process of dialogue, learning and dissent, rather than to neutralize and persuade each other. We tend to work with different timings, some topics and frameworks stay with us for years, while with others we leave the space for them to pop up and surprise us, as we always work with bridges between contemporary art and contemporary society.
In the future, we would like to work more with creating spaces for the public (as opposed to “audiences”), as we feel that a certain number of our colleagues from Slovenia and abroad have developed sense of belonging to the festival, which we appreciate, and which also creates a sense of noble duty on our side.
We thank you for being patient with our late responses, and we thank you for supporting the festival through the years – this support and long-term relation is the foundation that creates the sense and motivation for the years to come.
The official recap of the 2019 CoFestival, the international festival of contemporary dance, organised in Ljubljana by Kino Šiška and Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia.
Thank you all for being with us and creating all those amazing moments! See you again in November!
CoFestival 2019 is over. Thanks to artists, local and international guests and the public and of course the curatorial team Dragana Afirevic, Mitja Bravhar, Dejan Srhoj, Rok Vevar, Jasmina Založnik! We enjoyed our journey together and looking forward at new edition in 2020 !
Letošnji festival sodobnega plesa in koreografije v Ljubljani bo potekal od 22. do 27. novembra. Dogodek bo obsegal šest dni predstav, delavnic, konferenco, predstavitev knjige, pogovore z umetniki itd. zaenkrat potrjeni sodelujoči umetniki in umetnice so: Deborah Hay, Michael Vandevelde, Aleksandar Georgiev, Darío Barreto Damas, Jefta van Dinther, Leja Jurišić, Milko Lazar, Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik, Doris Uhlich, Michael Turinsky, Darko Dragičević, Martin Sonderkamp, Samuel Lefeuvre, Florencia Demestri …
Festival bo kuriran in produciran prek partnerstva s
med Kinom Šiška in Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia, kar pomeni še več dejavnosti letos.
the 7th CoFestival is in the books, the impressions remain. We would like to warmly thank our entire team, the performers, our partners and supporters, and of course all the visitors for another successful festival edition. See you in November 2019!
Kino Šiška and Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia are proud to announce the upcoming beginning of the 7th international festival of contemporary dance CoFestival, which will take place at various venues in Ljubljana from 23rd to 29th November. This year’s special focus will be on the Croatian art collective BADco. In addition to the performance Spores, the installation Time Bombsand a discoursive forum on the collective’s work, we will also pay a visit to Zagreb on 17th November to view two of their art pieces there. The most recognizable and internationally renowned performing arts collective in the region is well-known to the Slovenian audience, but their work has never before been presented in such a comprehensive form.
The festival will launch on 23rd November with the performances Opus (Christos Papadopoulos) and Choreoeroticon (Ana Dubljević, Darja Janošević, Marko Milić), alongside the Time Bombs installation and the Nao the Robot (Dejan Srhoj) performance.
CoFestival, the international festival of contemporary dance, will take place from 23rd to 29th November at various venues in Ljubljana. We will serve up both international and Slovenian productions, a conference, symposium, presentations and discussions.
In 2018, we’re paying special attention to a visit by Croatian group BADco.: alongside the performance Spores (Kino Šiška, 28. 11.) also a trip to Zagreb (17. 11. – a performative installation at the Richter Collection and the performance Correcting Rhythm). During the festival, we will also organise a discursive segment: a symposium, installation and documentation.
CoFestival remains a junction of the artistic and production capabilities of Kino Šiška and Nomad Dance Academy, as well as collaboration with partners at home and abroad.
We are happy to announce the participation of the following artists already: Christos Papadopoulos, Ana Dubljević, Marko Milić, Lucinda Childs, Dance On Ensemble/Rabih Mroué, Gisela Mueller, Mala Kline, Anna Konjetzky, BADco., Dejan Srhoj, Ana Vujanović and Marta Popivoda.
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This year’s edition of CoFestival comes to an end. Successfully on different levels, regarding the number of artists, events, location and audiences.
Thank you for making our festival stronger, and we really appreciate your participation to the festival program.
Your contribution and friendly expression of trust are expressed in your believing in us. We sincerely hope that joint efforts make our program unique, powerful and worthwhile, with long-term effects. Your contribution is truly a pleasure for us, on an artistic and human level.
Once again, thank you very much for believing in us and becoming a part of the CoFestival family.
After eight days of contemporary dance performances, we invite you to the conclusion of this year’s CoFestival at Kino Šiška on Sunday, featuring Polish choreographer, dancer, performer and musician Magdalena Chowaniec‘s performance Sanctuary.
We invite you to the opening of CoFestival, the international contemporary dance festival, on Saturday, 16th September 2017, at 8 pm at Kino Šiška.
The festival will be launched by the Yvonne Rainer’s WAR installation by Bojana Cvejić and Lennart Laberenz in the upper lobby, and Austrian choreographer Doris Uhlich’s performance Boom Bodies in the Katedrala Hall.
Viktor Gårdsäte: Performance GRIND by Jefta van Dinther, Minna Tiikkainen and David Kiers
CoFestival, the international contemporary dance festival, will take place from 16th to 24th September 2017 at various locations around Ljubljana. We will present international and domestic productions, art workshops, presentations, discussions and a film evening.
The festival is a meeting point between the artistic and production powers of Kino Šiška and Nomad Dance Academy and the cooperation with local and foreign partners.
We are happy to confirm the participation of the following artists: Doris Uhlich, Christos Papadopoulus, Martin Nachbar, Barbara Matijevic, Jefta van Dinther, Mateja Bucar, Rodrigo Sobarzo de Larraechea, Samuel Lefeuvre, Andrea Bozic, Willi Dorner, Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik, Jana Jevtovic, Celine Larrere, Jack Walsh and Magdalena Chowaniec.
In cooperation with Spider Festival, we are also preparing the premiere showing of Chorus, by Slovenian authors Žigan Kranjčan, Gašper Kunšek and Jan Krmelj.
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Zaključni del CoFestivala prinaša tudi festivalske vrhunce. Z vidika telesnega nasilja v sodobni družbi se ukvarja predstava mladih nemških umetnikov Verene Billinger in Sebastiana Schultza Nasilni dogodek, v petek 2.12.2016 v LGL Odru pod zvezdami. Tradicionalne obrazce plesnih kolektivov pod optiko korporativne ekonomske eksploatacije z antropološkim pristopom koreografsko raziščeta Amanda Piña in Daniel Zimmerman v predstavi Ples in upor iz serije Ogrožena človeška gibanja v soboto 3.12. in nedeljo 4.12.2016 v Kinu Šiška.
Predstava Približevanja #5 nemško-srbskega tandema Martina Sonderkampa in Darka Dragičevića nam razodene, da družbenega in političnega prostora ali prostora emancipacije ni mogoče razumeti brez temeljnega razumevanja posebnosti fenomenoloških – materialnih dinamik (individualnih ali mnoštvenih) teles v odnosu do kraja in njegove utilitarnosti (prostora), pa bon a sporedu v soboto 3.12.2016 v KC Tobačna.
This year’s CoFestival – international contemporary dance festival – brings a series of top international and national contemporary dance works and events that use different approaches to the issues of collectivism and individuality and their symptoms at the permeable border between the private and the public in order to question the potentials of new social cohesions. The programme of the festival grew from the interests and ambitions of its artistic committee interested in contemporary approaches to choreographic practices and ways of communicating with the public and audience. As always, the programme of the festival is problem-oriented and a result of collective efforts and consensus.
CoFestival emerged from the final productions titled Short Cuts and made in the course of the education cycle of the Nomad Dance Academy taking place in 2008 and 2010 in Ljubljana. Because the short cuts spontaneously acquired the form of broadened international festival programme, we decided to organise Pleskavica festival in 2011; the hall and other rooms of Tabor Secondary School Student Residence hosted 36 foreign artists and experts active in the field of contemporary choreographic practices. Pleskavica 2011 initiated an original, participatory and inclusive form of festival programme and choreographic work on the margins of dramatic financial cuts in the cultural budget. In 2012, we thus had to link several festivals and international programmes from the field of contemporary dance that we created or participated in: Pleskavica (Fičobalet and NDA Slovenia), Ukrep, festival of dance perspectives (PTL with Rok Vevar, Sinja Ožbolt and Živa Brecelj), EDN network activity with European project Modul Dance (Kino Šiška with Goran Bogdanovski, Mitja Bravhar and Simon Kardum), and activities of the regional network Nomad Dance Academy (Dragana Alfirević, Dejan Srhoj, Goran Bogdanovski, Jasmina Založnik and Rok Vevar). The result was CoFestival, which underwent modest growth and changes in 2012 and 2014 and consolidated in 2015 into the only true and serious international contemporary dance festival in Slovenia. In terms of contents and funds, we can speak about a miracle of programme and production.
This year’s festival programme was drafted just before the national funding plan was published. This is when it became clear that contemporary dance in Slovenia faces the darkest year since the country declared independence. The situation, namely, borders on the public erasure of this art practice. The field of contemporary dance in Slovenia has become brutally segregated owing to the absence of professional criteria, the absence that actually decides on the right to work. This will have long-term consequences for our creative sector. This we need to be aware of. In our programme orientation and work, the CoFestival artistic team persist in the strategic strengthening of the field, and attempt to continue this practice. Our tactics may become somewhat harsher, too.
This year’s edition of CoFestival brings Collective Jumps, a mass choreography of the established German choreographer Isabelle Schad that questions the emancipatory potentials of the massive dancing body. Traditional patterns of dance collectives under the optic of corporative economic exploitation are the subject of anthropological approach of choreographers Amanda Piña and Daniel Zimmerman in Dance and Resistance from the Endangered Human Movements series. The aspects of collectivism and aesthetics are the topics of Goran Bogdanovski’s piece 2:0, which revives the dissolved ballet and football collective from 2000 that helped the choreographer stage his contemporary ballet hit 1:0 at the Ljubljana Opera, and of Alberto Quesada’s Solo on Bach and Glenn that focuses on choreographic procedurality that replaced choreographer’s instance with egalitarian use of dance scores in the recent history of dance; this brought about the de-hierarchisation of the choreographic field of dance modernism. The aspects of physical violence in the contemporary society are addressed by Violent Event, a piece of young German artists Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz, which analyses forms of contemporary spectacular physical brutality in different forms of mediatisation, while Still Standing You performed by Flemish-Portuguese duo Pieter Ampe and Guilhermo Garrida exposes the violence of male friendship in the context of heteronormativity. The performance of Slovenian artist Bara Kolenc titled Rhetoric – Private Thoughts tackles the institution of justice and legal rhetoric in relation to the measured rhetoric function allocated to an individual within the judiciary apparatus, while Only Mine Alone by Serbian dancers, performers and choreographers Igor Koruga and Ana Dubljević is a touching study of forms of contemporary psychopathology that poses a question of whether stepping out of private resolution of systemic contradictions may bring about new social consolidation.
Approximations #5 made by German-Serbian tandem Martin Sonderkamp and Darko Dragičević reveals that the social and political space or the space of emancipation cannot be understood without a fundamental understanding of the particularities of phenomenological – material dynamics of (individual or collective) bodies in relation to a location and its utilitarianism (space), while Roberta Milevoj’s solo Roberta Again, built on subtle dance expression, asks the question of whether any reconciliation and contact is possible between the natural and artificial spaces, or whether escapism is the only possible solution.
The side programme will deal with broadened views of the notion of choreographic, dance and culture work and with temporal (historical) physical and artistic traces. Historical dance contexts and communities will be addressed by exhibitions Ksenija Hribar: Between British and Slovenian Contemporary Dance Context and professional meeting Archiving Choreographic Practices in the framework of the Nomad Dance Institute programme. Different phenomena of accumulations of time in bodies will be addressed at the Extensions #1 workshop led by Martin Sonderkamp and Darko Dragičević, by Michael Maurissen’s film Body as Archive, and in the discussion with dance dramaturge Guy Cools at the presentation of his new book Imaginative Bodies. Nina Božič Yams and Dejan Srhoj, leaders of workshop Use of Choreoghraphic Tools in the Context of Organisation, will attempt to expand contemporary dance to other fields of social activities, while the presentation of Franco “Bifo” Berardi’s book Cognitarians and Semiocapital, soon to be published by Zavod Maska, will offer an opportunity to discuss the burning issue of precarious work with Katja Čičigoj.
We are therefore encountering the fifth edition of CoFestival and the ninth edition of our common work. CoFestival, international contemporary dance festival, is understood as a choreographic manifestation of active citizenship and artistic consolidation of differences that require agreements, arguments, negotiations about the ways of cohabitation, and mindfulness of others. We are building on the expanded conception of choreographic practices as a specific artistic activity and on a broad view of choreographic and dance work, which is not only related to the production of stage works, but also to the ways of productivity and above all creativity, which do not tend exclusively towards the established forms of cultural product and which are usually held outside public, although they have a decisive impact on the ways of working and thinking in dance and choreography. Process-oriented, continuous, long-term and thorough work in the field of choreographic practices and their culture, as well as in the broader field of cultural production, is extremely important to us. And such work has our particular support. We are aware of the national erosion of the cultural and choreographic contexts that affects creative processes especially because of uncertain access to financial sources and dramatic aggravations of survival modalities of artists and creators. If contemporary capitalism is largely subject to the production of subjectivities, which subsequently means the production of individualities and immunitary strategies of individual isolated entities (individuals or communities), CoFestival resists it by promoting intersubjectivity, different relationships seen as a prerequisite for the formation of (artistic, cultural) community, common thinking and ways of coexistence. Although our common work is full of negotiations, disputes, argumentations and management of differences, we understand this as a process of our common and individual growing and learning. We can see the challenges and joys it brings us. The time of our collective work is also understood in the historical context: as a process of class struggle which fostered the processes of change in cultural and artistic practices, including contemporary dance and choreographic practices, so their placement in the wider historical context is something that we want to continue. We want our audience to be aware of the fact that dance is inhabited by an extensive time of history.
We wish you a lot of pleasure while watching performances, many meaningful questions that they will raise, and we would like to see a great number of you at film screenings, discussion events, lectures and workshops, so: socialise with us and coexist with our CoFestival.
For solidarity, humanity and love for one another!
The fourth edition of CoFestival will again take place at various locations in Ljubljana. This year, the international dance festival revolves around the themes of Dance and Resistance. It also provides meaning for the Community, referring to the unstructured condition in which all members of a community share a common experience, usually through the rite of passage.
The festival will feature various projects by domestic and foreign choreographers and artists, including Goran Bogdanovski, Igor Koruga, Ana Dubljević, Roberta Milevoj, Pieter Ampe, Guilhermo Garrido, Albert Quesada, Michael Turinsky, Isabelle Schad, Amanda Pina, Daniel Zimmerman, Bara Kolenc, Dejan Srhoj, Nina Božič, Martin Sonderkamp, Darko Dragičević, Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz.
Rok Vevar’s exhibition project, Ksenija Hribar From LCDT To PTL, will also be on display during the festival.
Kino Šiška has become a member of EDN (European Dancehouse Network) – network of trust and collaboration between 35 European dancehouses from 22 countries sharing a common vision regarding the development of dance art across borders. Our main aim is to cooperate in securing a sustainable future for the dance sector and to improve relevance for diverse dance among society.
Dancehouses have facilities for dance production, research and presentation, supporting systems for professional choreographers and dancers and have a public mandate under independent artistic management. Parallel to an ongoing annual programme they organize activities for learning and participation and regularly engage in dance and similar fields both locally and internationally.
Since its foundation in 2009, EDN has been an umbrella for different cooperation projects such as modul-dance, EVDH – European Video Dance Heritage, Léim, Communicating Dance, Chin-A-moves, Kore-A-moves and Dance Dialogues Africa, some of them possible thanks to the support of European Culture Programmes. Maintaining individualities and differences and working horizontally in methods and practice, all the members collaboarte to promote the idea of a diverse Europe, secure a sustainable future for the dance sector and strengthen its relevance.