In dance, “four” symbolises dynamics, change, taking risks. Dancers count their movements carefully and almost every new element is introduced on four. “On Four” is also the motto of the 7th Gdańsk Dance Festival (5?14 June 2015), which will welcome artists from four corners of the world. Presenting different concepts of communicating using the body, almost every act will be a turn in a different direction, just like counting to four.
Solo Dance Contest
For six years one of the festival’s highlights has been the Solo Dance Contest, an international contemporary dance solo competition. It started off in 2009 as a low-key event with only eight participants from Poland and Latvia. Today it is Poland’s leading competition of European reach. This year, the record of 75 dancers from 21 countries have applied to take part in the competition. Thirty performers have qualified for the final and will be competing for jury awards as well as the audience award. The jury is composed of: Snježana Abramović Milković (artistic director of the Zagreb Dance Company and president of the Croatian Dancers Association); Dr Sylwia Hefczyńska-Lewandowska (lecturer at the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Kraków, Dance Theatre Department in Bytom); Ismael Lorenzo (dancer of Cuban origin, photographer of dance); Kevin Richmond (ballet master, choreographer, teacher); Ryszard Kalinowski (choreographer of the Lublin Dance Theatre, animateur of the Lublin dance scene).
Premieres from the Gdańsk Dance Corporation
Each year an important element of the festival are premieres from dancers based in Gdańsk, Gdynia and Sopot. In 2015 we will see productions by the quartet of Wioleta Fiuk, Patryk Gacki, Michał Łabuś, Natalia Madejczyk, soloist Helena Ganjalyan, and the duo of Bożena Zezula and Krzysztof Gojtowski. Each of the pieces was developed under the watchful eye of Wojciech Mochniej, a renowned artist, recognised both in Europe and Canada, where he lives. The dancers, well-known to the local audience, will present themselves in a completely new light. The showcase will open the festival on 5 June.
The festival is also a chance to see foreign productions that have not been shown in Poland before. France’s Campagnie Propos comes to Poland for the first time with DéBaTailles, described in Tunisian “Le Renouveau” as a burlesque full of black humour, irony, and mad parody playing with traditional codes of contemporary dance. Rosita Boisseau of “Telerama Sortir” has also emphasised the piece’s entertaining quality: “a company of eight men in suits and wigs transform the stage into a boxing ring? and it turns out rather funny!”. The piece’s author is Denis Plassard, whose broad interests have allowed him to include elements of traditional dance, hip-hop and even kong-fu in a programme of about an hour.
Also the Croatian duo of Aleksandra Mišićand Ognjen Vučinić will be performing in Poland for the first time. Their joint project You is an attempt at translating the poetry of Enes Kišević into the language of movement, aided with video and recitation. The intimacy of the show has even moved the poet himself. “Seeing Aleksandra and Ognjen, I realised that dance is, in fact, the native tongue of poetry, and they have managed to put together a unique love sonnet. On one hand, You is an intimate performance of two people, while on the other it is a blend of different genres, ranging from dance, to music, to visual arts, to poetry,” he said.
There Might Be Others is an international production that has brought together dancers from the USA and Poland. Developed during Rebecca Lazier’s residency in Poznań, and supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, the piece tries to shake off the traditional approach to choreography which has every dancer moving according to a predefined plan. Here, dancers are invited to react individually and decide on their own when and how to join in the performance. Their sequences are divided into modules which can be inserted into the show at any time. This way individual talent and skill is better showcased, without compromising the power of the group as a whole. Lazier is aiming to integrate opposites into her piece: chaos and simplicity, independent and collective acts.
The reasons why artists create their productions vary. Some do it to express themselves, others want to pay tribute to an inspiring figure or phenomenon. La Bayad?re by the Sopot Dance Theatre was created for fun. Anna Jazgarska of Teatralny.pl described the project as “a piece whose choreography is distributed in equal parts among the members of the company. This does not mean that the dancers’ individualism is overshadowed. To the contrary: their deliberate uniformity at the beginning of the show is a counterpoint for the diversity that is displayed in the reminder of the piece. La Bayad?re is like a surprise cookie. Or a cookie with four surprises inside, each distinctive thanks to specific movement and costumes that change in each scene”.
In Kwartet Męski (Male Quartet) three dancers and a musician meet on a mat. Piotr Skalski, PawełKonior and Tomasz Foltyn have a very different dance background and the stylistic fusion creates a unique effect, additionally spiced up by Marcin Janus, Kraków’s composer of electronic music. Apart from appearing on stage, the dancers will also run workshop on partnering in Gdańsk.
The Polish Dance Theatre come to Gdańsk to present a strongly reflective piece. Volta attempts at presenting the metamorphosis that an individual undergoes when confronted with a group. In the words of Katarzyna Sałacińska of KulturaPoznań.pl: “The characters find themselves in situations and relations that oscillate between fear of alienation and commitment phobia. Andrzej Adamczak analyses and juxtaposes them, showing us different possibilities. This allows the audience to see everyday situations from a new perspective”.
Equally important problems are discussed in Stalking Paradise by the Lublin Dance Theatre, a collaboration of Estonia’s Külli Roosna and Norway’s Kenneth Flak. Through movement, the dancers will try to find answers to questions such as: What do we believe in? Why do we believe in what we are doing? Why is it so hard to reconcile different convictions? “Stalking Paradise is a fascinating show set in an excellently designed space reminiscent of Plato’s cave, with great lighting, sound, and, above all, an outstanding choreography fantastically performed by the whole company,” wrote in his review Andrzej Z. Kowalczyk of “Kurier Lubelski”.
The Gdańsk Dance Festival is a chance to follow the latest developments in Polish and European dance, as well as to work on your dance skills, both at a professional and amateur level. This year, amateurs are invited to join mazurka classes and have some family fun with Denis Plassard, the founder of Compagnie Propos. Experienced dancers may benefit from workshops on partnering (with Piotr Skalski, Paweł Konior, and Tomasz Foltyn), the influence of emotions on body movement (Sylwia Hefczyńska-Lewandowska), fitness and endurance (Alexandra Mišić), and Wojciech Mochniej’s Organic Dance Technique.
The Gdańsk Dance Festival is organised by Club Żak, and supported by the City of Gdańsk, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland, and Gdańska Infrastruktura Wodno-Kanalizacyjna, the festival’s patron.
5 June 2015 / Opening/ Gdańsk Dance Corporation
3 pm / Dear Sofie / Stefano Fardelli / film premiere**
6 June 2015
7 June 2015
8 June 2015
9 June 2015
10 June 2015
8 pm / FLASH+ / seniors + Solo Dance Contest participants / choreography: Stefano Fardelli / premiere**
9 pm / SOLO DANCE CONTEST / final
9.30 pm / folk dance party
7 pm / La Bayad?re ? a recipe for a fussy contemporary ballet / Sopot Dance Theatre / choreograph: Joanna Czajkowska
12 June 2015
13 June 2015
14 June 2015
Full programme: www.gdanskifestiwaltanca.pl/en/
TICKETS FOR SINGLE SHOWS: 25 zł
3 zł ? holders of KARTA TANCERZA
5 zł ? holders of KARTA DUŻEJ RODZINY
10 zł ? pupils and seniors
15 zł ? students and holders of KARTA DO KULTURY
TICKETS FOR SOLO DANCE CONTEST SHOWS: 5 zł
3 zł ? holders of KARTA TANCERZA
DAY TICKETS / 5 June, 11 June, or 14 June 2015: 35 zł
15 zł ? pupils and seniors
20 zł ? students and holders of KARTA DO KULTURY
* Please present the proof of eligibility at the box office
Ticket sales and reservations: Club Żak box offices, on weekdays from 3 to 9 pm and on weekends from 4 to 9 pm. Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +48 58 344 05 73 or +48 58 345 15 90 ? ext. 117
Please collect reserved tickets within 5 days of confirming the reservation. You may pay for reserved tickets via bank transfer, but pre-arrange first with Club Żak’s box office. The last 10 seats for a given performance are non-reservable.
Returns are not accepted. No. of tickets in each category is limited. All prices are VAT inclusive.
No. of seats limited. Seats are numbered. Check facebook.com/GdanskiFestiwalTanca for updates.
Recording and photographing with professional equipment during shows is prohibited (except for accredited photographers).
Organised by: Club Żak, 80-266 Gdańsk, ul. Grunwaldzka 195/197, tel. +48 58 3440573, www.klubzak.com.pl, email@example.com
Festival Office: firstname.lastname@example.org