Saturday sees the launch of the 20th jubilee International Meeting of Live Arts CROSSROADS presented by the Centre for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle and curator Janusz Marek. This year the festival is going to last only a few days, until 5th November due to budget cuts beyond the director’s control.
The festival is going to showcase two outstanding New York-based artists and leaders of world-renowned dance companies: dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones (a night of choreography) and theatre director and visual artist Caden Manson (a lecture). Their work represents two important areas of contemporary art: postmodern dance and multimedia theatre combining acting, video and film techniques. On 3 November 2013 Warsaw’s Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera is going to present a night of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane’s choreography called Body Against Body and constituting a selection of the pair’s most valued works from the breakthrough beginnings of their artistic career.
American choreographers and dancers have impacted contemporary dance development internationally. Still, works of prominent representatives of American dance, mainly based in New York, are rarely presented in Poland. This includes the world-famous dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones, whose dance company is celebrating 30 years of existence. The Crossroads [Rozdroże] festival aims to introduce Polish audience to this Afro-American artist’s output. Based in NYC, the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company is one of America’s most esteemed contemporary dance groups. Original messages, energy and precision make Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane’s choreographies very special. On 3 November 2013 Warsaw’s Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera is going to present a night of Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane’s choreography calledBody Against Body andconstituting a selection of the pair’s most valued works from the breakthrough beginnings of their artistic career. Preceding the showcase, on 2 November at Ujazdowski Castle, choreographer Janet Wong, and Jone’s assistant, is going to talk about his work, illustrating the lecture with recorded examples of his choreographies.
New York is also an important centre of avant-garde theatre. Recently, two New York-based theatres combining acting and novel use of complex film and television techniques have won international acclaim. One of them is The Big Art Group, which has never performed in Poland. This year, thanks to the Crossroads festival, Polish viewers will have a chance to get to know the art of Caden Manson who is the group’s innovative director. On 4 November at Ujazdowski Castle Manson is going to talk about his work, illustrating the lecture with video material.
The festival will also feature Warsaw-based director and choreographer Rafał Urbacki. HisStypa[Wake] will be presented on 5 November at Ujazdowski Castle. Drawing inspiration from Bill T. Jones’ famous piece, the work, directed and choreographed by Urbacki, focuses on stereotypical depictions of disabled persons and gay people, prevailing in the society. It is also a tale of how the media and society react to people who do not fit into normative canons.
This year’s programme has been shortened due to circumstances beyond the festival director’s control. Because of financial reasons performances by The Big Art Group and a premiere of Wojtek Ziemilski’s piece have been called off. The Crossroads 2013 festival is organised by The Art and its Time Foundation in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art – Ujazdowski Castle.
More about Bill T. Jones’ evening Body Against Body