The Pre-CoFestival period
Fičo Ballet, as a partner of the regional contemporary dance network Nomad Dance Academy (NDA), organises the conclusion of the regional nomadic contemporary dance education programme in the form of a festival edition entitled Short Cuts in June 2008 and 2009. Participants from the Balkans and the international space, together with young local artists in the fields of stage sound, spatial/set design, and lighting, present their final works.
In September 2009, the Municipality of Ljubljana opens the renovated building of the former Kino Šiška cinema, which will be renamed the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, where, in addition to a 60% share of the contemporary music programme, a share of contemporary dance, experimental production and art exhibitions is planned as well. Since 2002, Kino Šiška has been a rehearsal space for the local contemporary dance community, and one of its main caretakers is Goran Bogdanovski with Fičo Ballet. Simon Kardum becomes the new Director of the Centre for Urban Culture, with Mitja Bravhar as his assistant for management and finance. The symbolic debt that the programme of the new cultural centre feels towards the contemporary dance community leads to an exploration of possible forms of collaboration. One of them is the entry of Goran Bogdanovski and Kino Šiška with Mitja Bravhar into the European Modul-dance project.
In June 2010, the Short Cuts programme, with the increased curatorial ambitions of Goran Bogdanovski and some other members of Nomad Dance Academy (Dragana Alfirević, Dejan Srhoj), becomes the international contemporary dance festival Pleskavica, which combines NDA’s productions of participants in the education programme with an international contemporary dance programme. In 2011, the expanded Pleskavica team (Goran Bogdanovski, Dragana Alfirević, Sandra Đorem, Gregor Kamnikar, Dejan Srhoj, Jasmina Založnik and Rok Vevar) decide to invite 36 artists from the Balkans and internationally, as well as a number of local artists, instead of just booking performances. Invited guests curate a daily artistic and discursive programme with the visitors and present its results in the evenings. The production of Pleskavica 2011 already includes the Artistic Association Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia, which was founded at the end of 2010.
COFESTIVAL 2012 (26th of May to 8th of June 2012). One of the central aspirations of CoFestival, the striving for cooperation and coexistence of differences, aesthetic as well as ideological and organisational, is realised in the form of a co-festival format, which is joined by the European project Modul-dance with its partner Kino Šiška, Pleskavica with its partners Fičo Ballet and Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia, and Ukrep, a festival of dance perspectives, with the Ljubljana Dance Theatre. CoFestival is a reaction to the changing political, economic, cultural and artistic situation that has been unfolding since 2008 and is coming to us with a lag. Although CoFestival 2012 is very eclectic in its programming, it nevertheless outlines some fundamental guidelines to which it remains true to this day.
These include the affirmation of:
Contemporary dance as a broad spectrum of aesthetics and practices.
Dance work in the broadest sense (from movement to discursive work).
The public time of contemporary dance (from historical to cutting-edge examples of works and practices).
Collective aesthetic forms and dance practices.
The singular bodies, identities, and differences of dance.
Choreographic artistic contexts and communities (at local and national, regional and international levels).
Choreography as an expanded practice.
Contemporary dance in non-theatrical spaces and different media.
Festival curating as a procedural work.
Collaboration and the coexistence of differences.
The festival has 41 events (46 even, with re-runs), which are attended by 2779 spectators; the average attendance is 68 spectators per event. The artistic board is composed of: Goran Bogdanovski, Dragana Alfirević, Sandra Đorem, Gregor Kamnikar, Sinja Ožbolt, Dejan Srhoj, Jasmina Založnik and Rok Vevar.
COFESTIVAL 2013 (17th to 21st of June and 21st to 29th of September 2013). CoFestival is divided into two segments: one in June and one in September. The central topic of the festival is the art of co-living, which in the September segment initiates Nomad Dance Institute, a series of artistic and discursive projects that is the result of a collaboration between the regional network and a number of invited artists. Both editions introduce an extensive film and dance programme, starting in September with a screening of the 3D version of the film by Wenders dedicated to Pina Bausch. In addition to national and international performances, in June there is a workshop on compositional principles by Matej Kejžar, and in September, former Ultima Vez member Eduardo Torroja works with young participants on elements of Wim Vandekeybus’s performance What the Body Doesn’t Remember (1987). In addition to the dance performances, in September we host a production of Chekhov’s The Seagull, a distinctly exploratory piece of theatre staged by Tomi Janežič with members of the Serbian National Theatre Novi Sad and drama students from the local theatre academy.
The June segment of the festival consists of 8 events with 532 spectators (67 per event) and the September segment consists of 11 events with 869 spectators (79 per event). Both segments combined are seen by 1401 spectators (74 per event). The curatorial and production team of the festival decide to focus its fundraising strategy on foreign local, regional, and national funds that support the export of artistic works and thus diversify its financial resources, as it continues to do today. The artistic board is composed of: Goran Bogdanovski, Dragana Alfirević, Jasmina Založnik, Dejan Srhoj, Rok Vevar, Sinja Ožbolt and Andreja Kopač. After the end of the festival edition, the festival of dance perspectives Ukrep withdraws from the CoFestival line-up, Sinja Ožbolt and Andreja Kopač leave the artistic board, and the European project Modul-dance is wrapped up as of 2013.
COFESTIVAL 2014 The CoFestival 2014 programme is reduced and transitory, as the completion of European projects and other funding cycles makes programming impossible. Thus, in the inter-festival year, there are two events: at the Poligon Creative Centre, Serbian artists
(Dušan Broćić, Bojan Đorđev, Siniša Ilić, Jana Jevtović, Dragana Jovović, Maja Mirković, Katarina Popović, Ljiljana Tasić) in collaboration with local artists (Jana Božič, Iva Tratnik, Simon Macuh, Ines Šimunić, Jasmina Založnik) create a participatory work Polygon in Polygon (supported by the European project Life Long Burning, where we participate as new partners), which they understand as an active, performative social space, and in Kino Šiška the festival hosts The Tomb for Boris Davidović, based on the titular short story of the famous collection by Danilo Kiš, directed by Ivica Buljan and produced by Mini Theatre. The curatorial collective (Dragana Alfirević, Goran Bogdanovski, Mitja Bravhar, Dejan Srhoj, Rok Vevar and Jasmina Založnik) consolidates for the 2015 edition, obtains the funding for the next medium-term period in the same year, and then works together in the same configuration until 2018. During this period, CoFestival is going through an intense time of financial and substantive development and gaining public trust. CoFestival receives funding of €12,000 per year from the Ministry of Culture in the 2014–2017 multiannual call for proposals. There are no attendance figures for CoFestival 2014.
COFESTIVAL 2015 (25th of November to 6th of December 2015). The 2015 edition of the festival is a turning point, as the conditions that have been created provide the curatorial team for the first time with a greater degree of curatorial autonomy, which enables them to selectively realise practically all the main guidelines of their contextual curatorial aspirations, set out at the founding of the festival. The curatorial team writes that for CoFestival 2015 they are interested in diverse artistic approaches that intervene in the field of our gaze and compel us to collectively reflect on imaginary or real choreographic and dance figures. The festival opens with Doris Uhlich’s More Than Naked, with an opening speech by Dragana Alfirević and Mitja Bravhar in the “Emperor’s new clothes.” Through a film and discursive programme, the curatorial team addresses the pressing issue of contemporary economic and political migrations that are flooding into Europe in 2015.
In the 2015 catalogue, the curatorial team writes: “By means of pervasion and juxtaposition of these various practices and events we are trying to open up a porous and resilient space that would let us use the festival event as an appeal towards understanding our own existence in a more active way, as improvisers of life. Our own existence we understand as an opposition to the capitalist mobilization of society and as a call for own intervention into the spaces of society where co-living is considered a perspective and a statement. Connecting, questioning, opening and critical (co)working is presented as a challenge to all of us.
The events that we are presenting are inscribed each in their own way into the topic of co-living, and by doing so they create a platform for new aesthetics. We use the latter to question the position of marginalized groups in our society, the position of gracious and often silent ballet dancers, we are exploring improvisation as a tool, as a procedure and as staging; we approach archiving as an artistic process in relation to archiving of artistic processes; we are rethinking the format of the festival as an immediate self-critique and potential for a different kind of collaboration; we are exploring the position of the artist as a vulnerable member of society… In all these ways we are further opening the positions that are open and opening up: the positions into which aesthetics is being constituted rather than given. We seek to open this festival as the space of meeting and the possibility of coexistence of various political stances, rather than only the infantile amazement with ‘perfect bodies’ and dance techniques.”
The festival consists of 15 events, with 703 spectators (an average of 47 per event). Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia, through the Nomad Dance Academy network, via its partnership within the European project Life Long Burning, starts to draw funds from the above-mentioned source for projects related to Nomad Dance Institute, which in the following years will strengthen the funding of the festival, and Kino Šiška becomes a member of the European Dancehouse Network, which will be more intensively involved in various festival editions in the coming years, with its own programme strands.
COFESTIVAL 2016 (25th of November to 4th of December 2016). In the catalogue of the 2016 CoFestival, dedicated to the topic of dance and resistance, the curatorial team writes: “This year’s edition of CoFestival brings Collective Jumps, a large-scale choreography of the established German choreographer Isabelle Schad that questions the emancipatory potentials of the dancing body of a large crowd. Traditional patterns of dance collectives under the optic of corporative economic exploitation are the subject of the anthropological approach of choreographers Amanda Piña and Daniel Zimmermann 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 & Glenn that focuses on choreographic procedurality that replaced the choreographer’s instance with the 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 contemporary society are addressed by Violent Event, a piece of the 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) bodily and artistic traces. Historical dance contexts and communities will be addressed by the exhibition Ksenija (Xenia) Hribar: Between British and Slovenian Contemporary Dance Context and the 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 the workshop Use of Choreographic 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 Maska Institute, will offer an opportunity to discuss the burning issue of precarious work with Katja Čičigoj.”
The festival consists of 21 events, with 1616 spectators (77 per event). Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia becomes a partner of the European project DANCE ON PASS ON DREAM ON, which will strengthen the funding of the festival in the coming years.
EDN BALKAN TOUR (22nd to 29th of April 2017). In April 2017, the expanded CoFestival curatorial team takes representatives of the European Dancehouse Network on a tour of the contemporary dance urban centres of the Balkans via Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje to Sofia. In each city, an artistic and discursive programme is organised, as well as a presentation of the local contemporary dance communities and their activities.
COFESTIVAL 2017 (12th to 24th of September 2017). The 2017 CoFestival catalogue introductory note states: “In order to allow for the differences to be heard we decided to split the programme into several thematic blocks. (1) Corpus and its insecure bodies, (2) Dance on the various sides of time, (3) Parallax of bodies, (4) Choreography as a transmission: Yvonne Rainer and Trio A (5) Situations, displacements, rearrangements. We believe this to be creative and constructive, for by exposing the choreographic, political and social issues we wish to intensively address the viewer’s task and encourage the contemplation of this process.
The incapability of a relationship, empathy and touch, as mentioned by Franco Berardi Bifo in Mark Fisher’s necrology, the incapability of feeling and understanding one’s own weight, ways in which a body moves with it, the burden that we share due to the incapability of understanding that we will not get rid of the penetration of the sinister world by closing ourselves in armour and installing antivirus software into our bodies – all of these erode the understanding in contemporary dance. We believe that the future of contemporary dance lies in a shared body: contemporary dance has to restore the possibility of the bodily relation and its presence, not representation. We understand resensitization as generating bodily (material-movement) codes, relations between bodies that evade being neutralised by the language code. We do not want everything to be available immediately, to be subdued to instant gratification of the consumer desires. We want time and relations that demand duration and gradual development. We hope you will take the time for this and join us.”
The 2017 CoFestival offers one of the most ambitious and consistent curatorial programmes to date. In the struggle for spectators, the curatorial team decides to experiment with the September date, as this is the first year without the Ex Ponto Festival, which usually took place in this period, so the festival is held in the first rainy week after the summer and during the European Basketball Championship. The team regrets its scheduling decision because the attendance is not what it had hoped for. The festival consists of 18 events, with 1686 spectators (94 per event). Goran Bogdanovski leaves the CoFestival curatorial collective after the completion of the festival edition. Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia receives multiannual funding from the City of Ljubljana through the 2016–2019 call for proposals.
COFESTIVAL 2018 (23rd to 29th of November 2018). CoFestival 2018 starts in Zagreb, where we take spectators to see the performances of the Croatian group BADco., which is, alongside Lucinda Childs, the central name of the festival, and we also dedicate a series of lectures to her Early Works. The festival ends with a conference on the BADco. collective, organised at the Aksioma Project Space in Ljubljana. The 2018 edition focuses mainly on works of historical and contemporary choreographic constructivism.
In the 2018 CoFestival introductory note, the curatorial team writes: “This year’s CoFestival will open with an excellent quartet Opus by Greek choreographer Christos Papadopoulos that offers both intellectual as well as a purely aesthetic pleasure to the spectator. We are delighted we will be able to present two evenings with seven early works by American choreographer Lucinda Childs to the local public at the same time when MOMA NY is presenting a retrospective exhibition of the legendary collective Judson Dance Theatre, where this choreographer had begun her dance career. The procedurality and choreographic constructivism that began to develop within this collective in the 1960s had transformed in the past two decades into a peculiar dance engineering of the BADco. collective, based in Zagreb, that are in special focus this year. We will be able to see their works both in Zagreb and in Ljubljana. Serbian dancer and choreographer Marko Milić will visit us for the first time since 2011 with poetic choreographic cartoon Lumi that deals with the phenomena of online dating and in tandem with Ana Dubljević and Darja Janošević, also with the performance Choreoerotikon in which dancers deal with the constructs of erotic dance bodies in popular culture and dance forms of antiquity. Renowned Lebanese set designer and visual artist Rabih Mroué, already well known among the Ljubljana public, will choreographically analyse the tactical body in wartime together with the international group Dance On Ensemble in the performance Elephant, while the excellent German choreographer and visual artist Anna Konjetzky will confront the vulnerable human body with dynamic spatial situations in the performance Chipping that reminiscence of constructions in theatrical-choreographic experiments by the German Bauhaus avant-garde. German dancer, choreographer, and pedagogue Gisella Müller is structuring the process of construction of the choreographic object at the juncture of sound and choreographic space, in collaboration with sound and radio artists Andi and Hannes Teichmann in the performance Me Again, But Not Alone. Local creators will present two premières: Mala Kline deals with the love impetus of human actions in the dance performance SONG and Dejan Srhoj presents the process of technological development of a robot that he had participated in as a choreographer in Sweden through his mechatronic choreography Nao, the Robot. We will conclude CoFestival with two programme constants: a collaboration with Mladinsko Theatre and with themes that are related to the common Yugoslav and shared post-Yugoslav history. The Serbian artists Ana Vujanović and Marta Popivoda, who both live and work in Berlin in recent years, created the performance National Reconciliation: Freedom Landscapes in which they employ choreographic elements to reveal aspects of the female antifascist movement during WWII in the area of former Yugoslavia.”
CoFestival returns to scheduling in the month of November, and the seventh edition is clearly and perceptibly stabilising attendance without any additional in-house advertising tactics. The festival consists of 19 events, with 2009 spectators (106 per event). The atmosphere is festive, the public and the festival creators are content. The curatorial collective concludes that CoFestival has gained public trust and built its audience after seven years, without sacrificing the quality and complexity of the events. The curatorial team obtains funding for the festival by applying through Kino Šiška to the multiannual call for proposals 2018–2021 of the Ministry of Culture of RS. The yearly amount granted is €30,470.
CONFERENCE ON THE NORSE RESIDENCY NETWORK (8th to 11th of April 2019). In April, the extended curatorial team of CoFestival, in collaboration with the City of Ljubljana, organises the Conference on the NORSE Residency Network at Kino Šiška. It brings together various contemporary dance organisations from the Western Balkans with representatives of municipalities to plan the development of a residency network that would partially compensate for the deficit in the institutionalisation of contemporary dance in the region. The conference also consists of an artistic programme featuring works by Anna Biczók (Precedents for a Potential Future, 2017), Mateja Bučar (Rear Window / Dancers Without Answers, 2018), Maja Delak (Just for Today, 2018), Anna Kreitmayer and Sonja Pregrad (There and Here, 2018) and David Somló (Mandala, 2017).
COFESTIVAL 2019 (21st to 27th of November 2019). The 2019 CoFestival focused on the issue of time and technology. The curatorial team writes in the catalogue introductory note that: “The future is both uncertain and ungranted.” The festival opens with a documentary about six decades of work by the American choreographer Deborah Hay and her choreography The Match, performed by the Swedish ensemble Cullberg, and closes with the dance anti-utopia Glitch by Florencia Demestri and Samuel Lefeuvre, which is also the first CoFestival international co-production with a financial contribution. Jefta van Dinther’s Dark Field Analysis is one of the highlights of the festival with its affectively electrified dystopia, and Doris Uhlich and Michael Turinsky’s duet Ravemachine, which transposes the question of technology to the culture of disability, also speaks to the public with great intensity. Darko Dragičević and Martin Sonderkamp use technological interfaces to deconstruct the subject in Tonträger, while Darko Dragičević’s Failure as Practice places the question of slippage and failure at the core of artistic creation. Past and future micropolitical themes are represented by the local Image Snatchers, Darío Barreto Damas and Aleksandar Georgiev with their duet Moonlight and James Batchelor with his solo Hyperspace. Jurij Konjar, Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik, Jaka Šimenc and Blaž Celarec present their genre-wise open work Monday at Nine. The festival closes with the documentary Cunningham (2019) by Alla Kovgan, made on the tenth anniversary of the death of the New York contemporary dance legend, which we screened in Ljubljana ahead of its official world première. The festival also hosts the General Assembly of the European Dancehouse Network.
The festival consists of 19 events, with 2688 spectators (141 per event), and is the best attended festival in a period without epidemic restrictions and attendance limits. The curatorial collective concludes that the assessment of gaining public trust and audience building, which was articulated at the last edition, is accurate. Dejan Srhoj leaves the CoFestival curatorial collective after the completion of the festival edition.
COFESTIVAL 2020 (25th of November to 1st of December and 28th to 31st of May 2021). The festival is divided into an online segment due to the declaration of the Covid epidemic, followed by a live segment in May 2021, immediately after the easing of the epidemic measures, which is relatively sparsely attended due to the stringent measures and conditions for attending cultural events. Already during the spring epidemic announcement in 2020, the curatorial team starts to address the question of how to respond to the new situation. It allocates part of its festival budget to three creative teams, made up of artists, publicists, cultural practitioners, who collaborate in the research of the selected topics and some of whom are featured in the online edition with works under the collective title Temporary Creative Platform.
The festival programme, dedicated to the practices of choreo-vocalism, entitled The Amplifiers of Voices, is curated by: Irena Z. Tomažin (guest co-curator), Dragana Alfirević, Mitja Bravhar, Rok Vevar and Jasmina Založnik. The film-discursive and concert-dance programme, which viewers can follow online in November 2020, is launched by a series of lectures, screenings and workshops (Irena Z. Tomažin, Rok Vevar, Luka T. Zagoričnik, Jule Flierl, Igor Dobričić, etc.), a film programme on Valeska Gert accompanied by a talk by Jule Flierl and Irena Z. Tomažin, and a documentary on the American dance innovator Anna Halprin together with Vala Foltyn and Rok Vevar. The festival hosts online concerts by Sainkho Namtchylak and Ivo Dimchev, as well as several online workshops. The discursive programme, with a few additional invitations to write, evolves into a thematic issue of Maska magazine in 2021, edited by Jasmina Založnik, Pia Brezavšček and Rok Bozovičar.
15 online events reach 870 spectators (58 per event) via Zoom or later on YouTube (available until the 4th of December 2020). Nomad Dance Academy Slovenia receives multiannual funding from the City of Ljubljana through the 2020–2023 call for proposals.
In May, a short segment of the 2020 CoFestival takes place, which could not be realised in 2020 due to the health situation. The programme is hampered as a number of international collectives are unable to travel due to international border crossings, air traffic is disrupted and cases of Covid are also reported. Attendance at the festival is low, as a number of the local public do not have the necessary health certificate or consider public events to be a health risk. CoFestival opens just after the official end of the closure of public cultural spaces at the end of May with Andrea Rauch Podrzavnik’s Special Edition, Jule Flierl presents her choreo-vocal solo I Intend to Sing, Sergiu Matis presents his corona-period work Unrest, and the festival closes with a series of choreo-vocal compositions by the Berlin-based Maulwerker collective. 4 performances are attended by 150 spectators (38 per performance).
COFESTIVAL 2021 (25th of November to 2nd of December 2016). Even though the 2021 CoFestival is subject to attendance restrictions, its lucky week takes place at a time when, for various reasons, Ljubljana does not have an abundance of theatre or dance events. The demand for performances is extraordinary. Before the festival, a photography exhibition opens on the Krakovo embankment by the Ljubljanica river, as CoFestival’s tenth anniversary edition is announced, and a dance criticism workshop starts a few days before the festival. The festival opens with a collective work, Reflection, by the German choreographer Isabelle Schad, for which a special revolving stage is built in Kino Šiška. Old friends of the Ljubljana audience Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion delight the local public with the legendary Both Sitting Duet and Rewriting. Anna Nowicka and Roni Chadash present two different solos, while the extremely well attended dance workshop by Bulgarian artist Yasen Vasilev produces a multiple solo, where more than twenty participants perform the same score at different paces on stage at the final presentation. A series of discursive and film programmes is organised, in which the curatorial team discusses with the audience the set topic of “movement research.”
“However, in order that ‘movement research’ would become part of the works of art and their reception, a whole range of intentional and accidental situations, circumstances and conditions had to coincide in contemporary dance, which we cannot address here, but we will tackle them with our programme this year. One of the key ones, however, was the conviction of the public and dance artists that in event-based art practices (or forms) in a space and time that the audience and artists are willing to share, something can gradually develop that did not have a final form before the event. Even if today, it seems somewhat obvious, this was not the case in the mid-twentieth century. At that time, it was exclusively jazz music that had its open form within relatively clear and variable stylistic frameworks; it was only when aleatoric modes of musical composition gained public legitimacy, which, through unusual notations, required the composer to invest a greater share of his or her own interpretation in the performance of the composition, that the available and relatively successful artistic knowledge could be incorporated in a procedural way into the field of contemporary dance and modern sculpture.
The developments that these artistic fields underwent from the mid-1950s to the end of the 1970s fundamentally changed their production and reception. From the immediate synchronisation of artistic styles and audience tastes, which either rejected or embraced the works, the interest of artists and audiences has focused on what is emerging and evolving in front of their bodies and eyes, usually according to initial agreements, commitments or concepts. A developmental or procedural time entered into the production and reception of dance, and with it a language that expressed an interest in translating the experiential layers of dance into words, expressions, terms and concepts that would provide them with an inherent rationality. A research orientation.”
In the second part of the festival, Sheena McGrandles delights the audience with her duet Figured, and one of the highlights of the festival is certainly the mesmerising performance of ION by the old CoFestival collaborator, Christos Papadopoulos. The festival closes with two outstanding local artists: Vito Weis with the solo Bad Company and Snježana Premuš with the open work Every Now Is Time, Space.
Due to the epidemic measures, the prescribed distances between seats and the maximum number of spectators allowed in each venue, the number of visitors to the festival is restricted. For the first time, CoFestival spectators are left at the door of the venues. The 14 events at the festival have a total of only 1097 spectators (78 per event). The atmosphere at the festival is exceptional, festive and upbeat.
“This ‘public contact-fullness’ of contemporary dance, which takes place between the audience and the work of dance art is, at the same time, in our conviction, in the current moment of the global world, a communal potentiality that contains an inherent political character due to its physicality. Above all because it reveals our immaterial, segregated and virtual modes of labour production with its material (physical, spatial and temporal) negative, with which our lives can no longer be so effortlessly virtually controlled, disciplined or their desires choreographed. This is why, from the very beginning of CoFestival, we have felt it is necessary to affirm a broad spectrum of dance work that is not exclusively represented by fixed and unchanging forms of stable choreographies. We are not only interested in what our individual or collective bodies are, but what they can only become; we are not only interested in identity, but above all in difference; we are not only interested in how skilfully the body can move, but whether it is capable of responding to our body by touch or contact, of taking its own time, of opening up the space of the common, and of using unpredictable ideas to find shapes or transitions of intersections that it cannot plan for itself.
Of all that is scheduled to take place at CoFestival 2021, we are most excited to be hosting compelling, fascinating, viewable and successful performances, which perhaps have in common the fact that the gaze and dance meet on stage as well as in the auditorium. What has been constitutive for movement research in the history of contemporary dance is that the gaze and dance have taken a common, inseparable place: that each dancer is also a precise spectator of her own doing, of her own experience, and that the experience of the spectator is at a crucial moment in the midst of dancing or choreographing of the aesthetic experience. This is where the story of the emancipated spectator begins in dance.” This was written in the introductory note by the festival team.
The curatorial team applies to the Ministry of Culture for the 2022–2025 multiannual call for proposals for festivals via Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, and receives funding for CoFestival in the amount of €33,250.
11th CoFestival will take place in Kino Šiška, Old Power Station and Ljubljana Puppet Theatre from 25th of November until 1st of December. CoFestival 2022 can be divided into three thematic strands. The first one deals with choreographic material through collective or subjective time (Moritz Ostruschnjak, Michiel Vandevelde, Mateja Rebolj and Magdalena Reiter, Alma Söderberg with Cullberg ensemble), the second one observes the body and life through the prism of virtual and digital landscapes (Yuske Taninaka, Aleksandar Georgiev with his team, Barbara Matijević and Giuseppe Chico), while the third transforms the contemporary moment into a poetic image that inevitably flows out into the wild (Věra Ondrašíková & Collective, Mala Kline).