The 5th Gdansk Dance Festival will take place on 31 May-9 June. This year the festival’s theme is “+/-”.Traditionally, the event will start with the international Solo Dance Contest featuring solo performances of contemporary dance in its broad sense (31 May-2 June). The jury includes: Ismael Ivo (Brazil/Germany) – dancer, choreographer, teacher, and long-time artistic director of the Dance Section of the Venice Biennale; Leszek Bzdyl (Poland) – prominent Polish choreographer and dancer; Tina Eriksson Fredriksson (Sweden) – curator, producer, long-time artistic director of the MADE festival, and co-author of the artistic programme of Umeå European Capital of Culture 2014; and Martin Sonderkamp (Germany) – dancer, choreographer.
The festival will open with a bang thanks to Somewhere: close,a Pia Meuthen’s choreography bringing together dance, acrobatics and dancers of the younger and older generation. The next night will feature another set of contrasts served by Polish and Austrian-based artists. We will see Democrazy by Salzburg’s ensemble cieLaroque and Helene Weinzierl. Full of humour and ambiguous physical games, the show mercilessly reveals the weak points of democracy. The evening’s second offering is the premiere of a Tri-city – Vienna coproduction titled 6 kobiet[6 Women] choreographed and directed by Filip Szatarski and performed by exquisite dancers Katarzyna Chmielewska, Kaja Kołodziejczyk and Julia Mach.
The following festival night will also be full of contrasts. From B to Bis a production by a pair of outstanding but very different dance artists – Thomas Hauert (Belgium) and Àngels Margarit (Spain). Itdeals with the matter of communication between two artists – people of different cultural and geographical origins who meet on a path connecting their hometowns of Brussels and Barcelona.
Next on the festival programme are two shows by a choreographer from a very distant end of the world’s map of dance – Mozabique’s Horacio Macuacua, whose productions constitute a critical discussion about the contemporary reality. The ensemble will perform Smile if you can!and Orobroy, stop!, a moving tale of femininity, sexual identity and an ironic record of the evolution of the human kind and the art of dance. The characteristic hybrid style of Horacio Macuacua’s choreography fits the theme of the festival by fusing flamenco, hip hop, African dance and modern dance.
The festival will undoubtedly culminate with be the duo performance of Raimund Hoghe and Takeshi Ueno– Pas de Deux. Raimund Hoghe, who celebrated 20 years of his artistic work last year, will also deliver a special lecture/performance.
The last day will be dominated by artists who perfectly fit the festival’s theme. The audience will see the duo of Anna Steller and Leon Dziemaszkiewicz in the premiere of Strefa zagrożenia [Danger Zone], as well as the super queer Freaksby the Pink Mama Theatre working under the aegis of Sławek Bendrat.
Traditionally, the festival will also give stage to young Polish dancers, winners of the residency contest Rezydencja/Premiera 2013. We will see premiere productions by Magdalena Przybysz and Kacper Lipinski, who have worked with Trajal Harrell of the USA, as well as solo performances by Katarzyna Ustowska and Anna Ochman, who have worked with Roberto Zappala of Italy.
The festival will also include dance workshops for amateurs of different ages and backgrounds, who will have a chance to practice African dance, contemporary dance technique, zumba and flying-low technique according to Davida Zambrano.
The 5th Gdansk Dance Festival is financed by the City of Gdansk, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and supported by Saur Neptun Gdańsk.