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«.