CoFestival 2023, the international festival of contemporary dance



The programme of CoFestival, the international festival of contemporary dance, focuses on two curatorial concerns in 2023. The first one presents a selection of artists who have recently created outstanding, fresh, contemporary, but at the same time very diverse choreographic works in the cultural contexts of the area of the former Yugoslav federation and Austria (Igor Koruga, Viktorija Ilioska, Marko Gutić Mižimakov, Nomad Dance Academy Croatia Collective, Dejan Srhoj, Tatiana Kocmur, Hungry Sharks). Their works focus on constructions of the potential body and the ordering of the historical dance corpus, architectural brutalism and street dance, the distribution of choreography among different contemporary media, and on the social and interspecies, serial composition of choreography and dance. It should be stressed that our selection is only a fragment of what is emerging as an extremely intriguing, new and artistically fruitful contemporary dance phenomenon in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and Austria.

The second curatorial strand focuses on the (open) boundary between the dance or kinetic act and its perception, which the CoFestival curatorial team understands as a material condition of human empathy, on which our future ultimately depends. The open borders of bodies, geo-political spheres and different materialities – both human and of the ecosystem – are understood as a political condition of contemporary coexistence. “Goose bumps” is a label for a synaesthetic or kinaesthetic experience in which sensory or linguistic information is transformed into a direct material, bodily effect. The syntagm is interesting because it applies to human, bodily experiences an example that goes beyond the anthropomorphic: into nature or the animal world. It is a border as a place of open perception, fluidity without technical barriers. Our contemporary necessity. The performances of Christos Papadopoulos, Thiago Granato and Sylvain Huc, Ioanna Paraskevopoulou and Isabelle Schad, with their subtle assemblies of corporeal or tangible materialities and the contact between what can be done with them in order to open up the pores of our spectatorial skins to bodily reflection, regulate with scientific precision the conditions of our sensual and mental sensibility. It is a pulsation of substance in which nothing is certain, as bodies are formed by their evolutionary time.

Both strands are traversed by a particular metamodernist temporal capture, in which cutting-edge dance works are linked to artistic tendencies, forms, processes, formats and practices that aspired to give dance its practical and disciplinary autonomy during the period of dance modernism, but which artists in our contemporary times have taken up in fresh ways, infused with contemporary dance knowledges, innovations and embodiments. They use them precisely because of their specific (inexhausted) potentiality, which can address the contradictory sites of contemporary social, political and ecological crises in a flexible way, or connect the materials to contemporary life in a refreshing manner. These are choreographies that do not instruct the spectator on how to use them, they do not engage in advocacy of their own doing, they do not seek to make an object out of the act of theatrical reception, nor do they imagine that the forms of their works and practices are devoid of their ideological implications. They arrange the materialities without further explanation, but their links with the last century of dance cannot be denied.

At the 2023 CoFestival, we will also focus on aspects of dance archiving and historicizing with a conference programme, present some of the latest examples of contemporary dance writing, and introduce some interesting international guests. Check out our programme and follow us, because you are always most welcome at CoFestival, the international festival of contemporary dance.