Since its advent, Body/Mind Festival has been seeking new lands in the world of contemporary art. It has never accepted compromises, avoided taboos and it has kept asking the same question: what is dance nowadays in Poland and in the world. As its artistic director Edyta Kozak points out that these days the new trend in contemporary dance is, ironically, lack of trends and co-existence of various forms. Therefore, in this year?s programme each performance has been given a subtitle that defines its hybrid structure.
There are many ways in which the Festival and Body/Mind Foundation support Polish creators. This year it is a Polish investment with an international character. The first Festival premiere, featuring Polish and Swiss dancers, is Sideways Rain by a Brazilian choreographer Guilherme Botelho, known to the Polish audience as the co-creator of Alias, who lives and works in Switzerland. The performance is produced in cooperation with the Institute of Music and Dance as part of Choreographic Commissions 2016 programme. It is extremely demanding for the dancers as they are ceaselessly moving during the show:
Each of them covers 10 kilometres during one performance. It is dynamics and energy enclosed in an hour of pure choreography with a minimalist music resembling mantra. The dancers keep passing one another in their pursuit, but they never meet, which inspires the audience to reflect on the pace and haste of the modern times, says Edyta Kozak.
The stage activities seem simple. However, when we come to understand what the whole dramatic aspect of this show is all about, we see that it consists in magnificent precision and discipline, also in terms of rhythm. Thus, we begin to understand how challenging a task it is for the dancers. This form makes the performance a part of a new, more and more strongly represented trend in contemporary dance called choreographic neominimalism. (30 September – 1 October).
The second premiere is Audition V by Kaya Kołodziejczyk founded on one out of six works in a series created by Andrzej Krzanowski to the lyrics of Jacek Bieriezin, Zbigniew Dolecki and Sławomir Mrożek. The score where the mimes actions are described (as they were named in the 1970s) make one performative script for the dancers. All of those components are compiled into a performative installation, a movement opera with video and voice elements, during which anybody can come or go, as they wish. The creators make use of technological inventions of the 21st century and the effect is remarkable. The resultant show has the power of opera with some visual elements, interactive animation stimulated by sound and movement, music played with whistles, ocarinas or sirens, and even a choir commenting on the ongoing events (1-2 October 2016).
The Festival has gained a new place: Nowy Theatre, whose full name International Culture Centre suggests interest in what we generally call performative arts. This venue will be hosting the second part of the Festival, where on 5 October Martin Schick will present a perverted performance This is a gala, an ironic game discussing the problem of events such as art shows, galas and banquets.
Then there is Bataille and Dawn of New Days by Sławek Krawczyński (director) and Anna Godowska (choreographer) reaching for Georges Bataille?s philosophical output. The creators find in his idea of transgression answers to the impetuousness of modernity and undermine many assumptions of contemporary societies (work, efficiency, economics). For Krawczyński, Bataille is a sensual philosopher, who discusses some big topics and forces us to seek answers. (5 October).
Apart from Bataille, the next co-production is The Ninth by Slovenian Via Negativa featuring and choreographed by Anita Wach. The inspiration for the show is the monumental Beethoven?s symphony, EU anthem, which makes the creator ask questions about common European values. (8 October).
A Hungarian creator (known to the Polish audience owing to last year?s Decameron) Csaba Molnár in his performance with a working title The Ox also considers the theme of community, simultaneously making an attempt to develop one.A side thread in the show is going through the traumas released by fear and loneliness. The performance will premiere a few days before in Prague (6 October).
A novelty this year will be supporting events, such as performances and performative installations of Martic Schik and Martyna Miller, taking place before the show, or a media library open during the Festival in the Nowy Theatre allowing the viewers more or less knowledgeable about contemporary dance to develop their knowledge and ask about the role of an archive, also a virtual one. The media collection includes books, magazines about dance, international festival programmes, DVDs, and archival VHS cassettes from the earlier Body/Mind editions and other projects of the foundation (5-8 October, from 3 pm to 10 pm).
The finishing touch of the festival will be made 12 hours before its conclusion (starting from 8 October, 10 pm), when the organisers will give the stage to artists and the audience while choreographers and teachers will share their skills with the viewers. Everybody can join in, test some techniques, get to know various aesthetics and improvise! An all-night dance will conclude in a breakfast.
The organisers also invite to a supporting event Let them photograph you. How much time is needed to turn on the body of a dancing model? Is photography able to capture a body?s expression if the body is not moving? Does the shutter trigger movement or is it triggered by a photographers activity? The Festival audience is invited to Marta Ankiersztejn?s atelier in the Nowy Theatre, where for 4 days she will be organising experimental photo shoots with dance as the main protagonist: 15 photo shoots for the 15th anniversary of the Festival. Our website invites all of you as well!
For more information, descriptions of performances and tickets, visit:
The festival is co-financed by the capital city of Warsaw, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and supported by the EU Culture Programme.
Media sponsorship: Aktivist, Culture.pl, Didaskalia, E-teatr.pl, LAVIE, Radio Dla Ciebie, taniecPOLSKA.pl, Teatrdlawas.pl, TVP Kultura.
Partners: Open Latitudes, Eventim, Hungarian Culture Institute in Warsaw.
Co-organisers of the 15th edition of International Festival Body/Mind are the Nowy Theatre, Centre For Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle and Studio Theatre.
Tickets can be purchased on the Festival webpage (www.cialoumysl.pl) and in all Eventim outlets (e.g. Empik stores, Media Markt, Saturn). They are also available in Studio Theatre and the Nowy Theatre, and one hour before shows, they can be purchased in the Centre for Contemporary Art.