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 May 2021 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.