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This year, the Malta Festival in Poznań (17?28 June) will feature numerous presentations of contemporary dance within the Old Brewery New Dance at Malta series and The Paradox of the Spectator idiom. Dance will also be an important element of the multimedia show Ksenofonia (Xenophony) realised on the 60th anniversary of worker protests in Poznań in June 1956. The author of the artistic concept, film director Jan Komasa, was born in and works in Poznań, and is recognised as one of the most talented artists in Polish filmmaking. Komasa collaborated on the project with choreographer Mikołaj Mikołajczyk who for many years was a soloist in the Polish Dance Theatre in Poznań and the Wielki Theatre. Music was created by Bartek Wąsik and Miłosz Pękala from Kwadrofonik band in collaboration with the Royal String Quartet. Electronics will meet percussion, pianos and a live string quartet. The visuals, dance and music will be complemented by technology introducing a sense of the horrors of invigilation.


At the press conference, Komasa emphasized the universality of dance as a communication tool. Hence, the project involves an international group of dancers representing different styles.


This year?s idiom, The Paradox of the Spectator, changes the perspective of perception of stage art. Lotte van den Berg says, ?Looking is an action. By looking, I am connecting myself with the world around me. It feels like I am touching it with my eyes?. In her view, theatre does not start with the actor, but with the spectator. With those who decide to watch. Van der Berg thinks that in order to stop, take a seat and watch, you need courage that can be compared with the courage you need to enter the stage. What is an act of looking? Where does the need to watch others come from? Who determines the status of a spectator and individual responsibility for what they are looking at? When do we look away and what captures our gaze? The word ?paradox? points to the internal conflict in the ?spectator?, not only in latest art, but also in social life. The audience will experience that during the site-specific performance The Extra People by Ant Hampton (Britain) and a series of performances Ceci n’est pas… by Dries Verhoeven.


This year Joanna Leśnierowska, curator of the Old Brewery New Dance at Malta programme, proposes to look at choreography as a space for eliminating Ranciere?s paradox of the spectator. A space in which an active, exploring, experimenting and, first of all, experiencing spectator is not subjected to others? opinions and arbitrary judgements, so that, as Ranciere warns, they can avoid being the subject of any authority, enslavement or oppression. Contemporary choreographic practice is a political gesture by itself, which is reflected by the presentations and performances in the series. The festival will feature performances created within the Solo Project Plus 2015 (Paweł Sakowicz?s TOTAL and Agnieszka Kryst?s Partytura / Score) and during the artistic residencies accompanying the Let?s Dance exhibition in 2015 (5 rzeczy albo kilka twierdzeń o choreografii / 5 Things or A Few Statements About Choreography by Marta Ziółek; HYPERDANCES by Agata Siniarska; and Nowe nieskończone solo na obuwie sportowe, czas przeszły i grupę osób / New Unfinished Solo for Sneakers, Past Tense and a Group of people by Przemek Kamiński and Mateusz Szymanówka), as well as works by artists participating in Aerowaves TOP 2016 festival (noish ~[zamęt z umiarem] / noish ~[chaos with moderation] by Marysia Zimpel, Staying Alive by Jasny L. Vinovrski, and Elvedon by Christos Papadopoulos and Leon & the Wolf).


In reference to this year?s Malta idiom, the Old Brewery will host actions without a clear division into the artists and the audience. The German duo Deufert & Plischke will present a performance titled Niemandszeit. Peter Pleyer, in collaboration with visual composer Michiel Keuper and video artist Andre Keiz, will offer an intervention-improvisation event I SEE RED. Choreographer Ben J. Riepe will provide a space for sensual perception during the Choreographic Dinner. Bush Hartshorn (Britain) will run workshops on providing and receiving feedback designed for anyone interested ? art practitioners and theorists, as well as the audience.


The Polish Dance Theatre will present a performance LAMENT. Tadeusz Różewicz in memoriam, choreographed by Ewa Wycichowska.



Old Brewery New Dance at Malta 2016 programme


For more, see festival website











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