The 16th International Body/Mind Festival ? a festival of the art of dance and performance ? will take place in two instalments (summer, 11-12 July, presentations of Jérôme Bel?s Gala; autumn, 29 September-10 October). The main theme of this year?s edition is time, a concept of great difficulty despite its simplicity, as described by Edyta Kozak, artistic director of the festival, during this year?s press conference. The festival will invite visitors to discover various ways in which time functions, as well as the methods used by performers and audiences to establish their relations with time, and the ways in which these perspectives can intersect.
Edyta Kozak stressed the fact that, for many years, the festival has argued that dance cannot be obscure; such and other excuses have also been tackled by Jérôme Bel, whose Gala proves that dance is accessible to professionals and amateurs alike. This year marks Bel?s fifth visit to Poland, each at the invitation of the Body/Mind Foundation (the first visit took place back in 2001, when Bel?s oeuvre was largely unknown in Poland).
Since its beginnings, the festival has cooperated with Goethe Institut ? this year?s edition features a collaborative 24-hour conference, which will begin on 6 October at Studio teatrgaleria with a performance lecture by Alexandra Laudo, titled An intellectual history of the clock, continuing on 7 October at the new seat of Goethe Institut. The name of the conference, curated by Joanna Warsza, is Today, Tomorrow. Goethe Institut also participates in the review of film essays Dance and Time, screened on 9-10 October, curated by Thomas Thorausch of the famous Deutsches Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln.
One unique headliner during the festival will be the Nelken-Line ? Warszawa workshops, comprising a social and artistic project featuring audience participation, organised by the Pina Bausch Foundation. Extending the length of the summer holidays, the workshops will involve teaching selected choreographic excerpts from the famous piece Nelken by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, which was presented in Warsaw back in 1998 at the 5th International Meeting of Live Arts CROSSROADS. The presentation of the project will take place on 30 September at Plac Defilad.
The festival will also include presentations of pieces and projects by Ruth Childs, Rabih Mroué, Ramona Nagabczyńska, and collaborations by artists from Poland and Hungary working within the frame of the Exchange: Change project.
To learn more about the programme, read Edyta Kozak?s curatorial statement:
?Have you ever experience a particularly staggering shake-up of your sense of time? I have.
I sit in a black hole, a dark, soundproof space, in which I am to calculate the passing of 15 minutes, and press a red button afterwards. I try to focus, but my thoughts wander chaotically. I consider different methods to measure time, something to cling on to. I count to 60, but I get confused with numbers and rhythm. I try to ease by breath, I breath in and out 10 times, 3 seconds per each cycle should amount to a minute, but I fail again. I begin to yawn. I close my eyes, and although there is nothing to be seen, I try to pick up noises from the outside, but no sound is to be heard. Whether far or near, everything dies in the dark. I begin to follow what comes to my mind. Anything but the present. It is all worries, and I make slight fun of the absurd situation. I scan my memory for other tools that would help me regain composure. I crave for anything graspable, want to press the button, but it does not even seem like 5 minutes into the task. The elusiveness is petrifying, I try to contain my fear of nothingness. In vain. Silence, peace, darkness, infinity, and anything can happen. I am lost. Since I do not know what makes me fail to feel the passing minutes, I try to live them as good as I can. I begin to dance, or rather move my extremities, because the room is tight. I decelerate time through specific movement, I accelerate and hold back along with the rhythm of my breath, I change tempos, repeat?nothing is set once and for all. It is a marvellous condition. The rights of time have lost their power. Time has come to a halt, and the moment embraces everything that has been and will be.
Thanks to latest technologies, whose task is to facilitate life and shorten the lapse of time, we theoretically have much more time at our disposal than ever before. In practice, however, we all feel short of time. And when we do have it, we do not always know what to do with it.
Thus, the notion of time has been tormenting each of us. We want to measure it, determine it, conquer it, swindle it, at any expense, hoping it will bring us close to understand its mystery./ Why the presence of time at the Body/Mind Festival? It is simple?we would like to show something that cannot be seen. Something that must be experienced.
First, the memory and the past. What kind of emotions does dance from the past evoke? Are its ideas outdated or still valid? Can something as ethereal as dance be archived and reproduced? This is what a British-American dancer Ruth Childs is concerned with, among others. Childs will present a reconstruction of three solo works created in the 1960s by her aunt Lucinda Childs, a legendary postmodern dancer and founder of the Judson Dance Theater. Today, in the era of ubiquitous deconstructions, remixes, inspirations and borrowings, Childs?s project will be a unique Chance to revisit the historical originals created by an exquisite artist half a century ago.
The French choreographer/philosopher Jérôme Bel, who will develop the Warsaw version of his spectacle Gala especially for C/U Festival, will in turn examine the subject of the memory of a body and the social aspect of time in pop dance. He will also delve into the problem of the utopian quest of time and unachievable perfection, which he resolves by blurring the boundary between what we refer to as performative failure and success. No more ?I can?t dance? excuses!
Secondly, the present. Since the past is already gone, and the future is not yet here, the present narrows down to a mere point in time, a moment for dwelling in timelessness, improvising in movement, being ?here and now?. When seeking that state, the Festival will invite its audience to join it in jamming and experiencing the integrating power of dance by means of Pina Bausch?s Nelken- Line. This is a project where everyone is welcome to join and dance a part of Pina Bausch?s choreography Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter from her 1982 performance Nelken, a piece devoted to the theme of passing.
The young generation of Polish and Hungarian artists will try to address the question of timeliness. The artists will approach the concept of time in their practices, presenting pieces commissioned by the Festival.
Thirdly, the future. It brings a lot of questions with no easy answers and forces us to confront certain issues. One of them is the deepening problem of ageing society combined with a quest for longevity explored by DANCE ON ENSEMBLE ? a group of dancers aged over 40. Inspired by the sentence Here and gone!, used by the American legend of postmodern dance, Deborah Hay, their piece Water between three hands by the Lebanese director Rabih Mroué refers to the ?remnants of time? left in dancers? bodies and poses questions about irreversible passage of time, whose consequences are particularly dramatic for dancers, as well as the future and the alternatives it brings.
Further explorations of the ?hereafter? are offered by Ramona Nagabczyńska, whose premiere piece More contemplates various visions of the future, identity, and the body in the ever-changing world dominated by new technologies.
Concluding the series will be the presentation of the Catalan artist Alexandra Laudo, whose performance lecture An intellectual history of the clock explores the social construct of time and the ways in which it is measured and experienced. Laudo?s lecture will precede the 24-hour conference on performance and chronopolitics Today, Tomorrow, in which theorists, artists, curators, and journalists will sum up the festival, trying to determine what has de facto happened with time today?
Dance, theatre, art can all bring time to a halt. These are moments where boundaries blur, as if we dissolved in something, becoming part of something greater. I hope you experience with the Body/Mind Festival will abound in such moments.
See you at an opportune time!
LAST OF ALL, ONE FINAL REMARK!
The lack of time causes short-sightedness with regard to the perception of the future; thus, let us find the time to shape events instead of chasing them.
11 July 8 pm / duration 90 minutes / Nowy Teatr ? main stage / tickets PLN 50/30
12 July 20.00 / duration 90 minutes / Nowy Teatr ? main stage / tickets PLN 50/30
29 September 20.30 / duration 60 minutes / STUDIO teatrgaleria ? main stage / tickets 50/30 PLN
(Reconstruction: 3 x solo by Lucinda Childs)
29 September-6 October / STUDIO teatrgaleria ? foyer / admission free
30 September 2 pm / duration 4h / plac Defilad, in front of the Studio Theatre / admission free
30 September 8:30 pm / duration 60 minutes / STUDIO teatrgaleria ? main stage / tickets PLN 50/30
1 October 8:30 pm / duration 60 minutes / STUDIO teatrgaleria ? main stage / tickets PLN 50/30
3 October 7 pm / duration 120 minutes / Centre for Contemporary Culture – Ujazdowski Castle? Sala Laboratorium / tickets PLN 30
5 October 7 pm / duration 120 minutes / Centre for Contemporary Culture – Ujazdowski Castle? Laboratory Hall / tickets PLN 30
6 October 7 pm / duration 75 minutes / STUDIO teatrgaleria ? main stage / tickets PLN 50/30
DANCE ON ENSEMBLE / Rabih Mroué (Germany / Lebanon)
6 October 8:30 pm / duration 100 minutes / STUDIO teatrgaleria ? small stage / tickets PLN 50/30
Performance lecture ? Alexandra Laudo (Spain)
7 October 10 am ? 5 pm / Goethe-Institut / admission free
9 October 6 pm / Goethe-Institut / admission free
curator: Thomas Thorausch, Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln
10 October 6 pm / Goethe-Institut / admission free
curator: Thomas Thorausch, Deutsches Tanzarchiv Köln
More information at: http://2017.cialoumysl.pl/