6 November sees the launch of the 5th Days of Dance, a festival organised by the Polish National Ballet (PBN) at Teatr Wielki in Warsaw. At a press conference on Tuesday, the PBN’s artistic director, Krzysztof Pastor and choreographer Robert Bondara underscored the relevance of Polish-Lithuanian cooperation which brought about the Lithuanian National Ballet’s productions to be presented in Warsaw, including Čiurlionischoreographed by Bondara.The collaboration was a challenge for Vilnus-based artists, who are settled in classical forms. It was also an occasion for them to open up to new methods of constructing a role and working with the director, and to redefine their approach to contemporary dance in general. The partnership’s another fruit will be the Polish ballet’s visit in Vilnus in December to perform Echa czasu [Echoes of Time]. Presidents of Poland and Lithuania are patrons of the events. In turn, the presentation of The Rite of Spring in Angelin Preljocaj’s choreography by the Kielce Dance Theatre at the Warsaw festival continues the tradition of The Rite’s renditions being shown at the Days of Dance: two years ago the festival featured Das Frühlingsopfer in Pina Bausch’s choreography.
To open the showcase, Sweden’s famous Cullberg Ballet will perform Plateau Effect. In his new performance Jefta van Dinther seeks to disorient and challenge the viewer with a layering of choreography, light, sound and set. See-sawing between the dancers and their activities on one hand, and the materials they interact with on the other, a ‘choreography of matter’ emerges. Rudimentary elements merge and unravel into startling grandeur, where the raw reality of materiality flips into a psychedelic space of exception. In the intersection between matter-of-fact and make-beliefPlateau Effectputs to tests our ability to transgress the here and now.
InPlateau Effect, the dancers resemble a community that is constantly on the move in an unsettled progression through various terrains. Communicating, transporting, constructing and inhabiting turns into choreography as they unite them in a joint effort to create more than one person can alone. Through body and voice, through sound, light and materials, this force of alliances directs and redirects towards and away from the audience. Immersed in the sonic landscape of David Kiers, with lighting design of Minna Tiikkainen and scenography by SIMKA, the performance races through a sequence of laborious productions, vibrating and unstoppable.
Jefta van Dinther(SE/NL) is a choreographer and dancer working between Stockholm and Berlin. He grew up in Sweden, after which he moved to the Netherlands and graduated from the Amsterdam School of the Arts (MTD) in 2003. Jefta makes performances, both alone and in collaboration with other artists. He is currently touring the new performance THIS IS CONCRETE (2012), made in collaboration with Thiago Granato, as well as GRIND (2011), in collaboration with lighting designer Minna Tiikkainen and sound designer Davis Kiers. His other works include The Blanket Dance (2011), made in collaboration with Frederic Gies and DD Dorvillier, Kneeding (2010), The Way Things Go (2009) and IT’S IN THE AIR (2008) in collaboration with Mette Ingvartsen. The Way Things Go is also included in the repertory of the Cullberg Ballet. Jefta has been engaged as a performer with various choreographers including Mette Ingvartsen, Xavier Le Roy, Ivana Muller, Frédéric Gies, Kristine Slettevold, Keren Levi and Leine&Roebana. Jefta teaches in choreography, sharing his methods of work and practices. He is artistic director of the MA program in Choreography together with Frédéric Gies at the University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm. In 2012 Jefta van Dinther was awarded The Birgit Cullberg Grant, and in spring 2013 he received a three year production support from The Swedish Arts Council and The City of Stockholm.
The Cullberg Balletwas founded in 1967 by Birgit Cullberg, a legend of Swedish and European ballet. For many years the company’s member was also her son, famous choreographer Mats Ek. From the very start, the ballet was distinct for outstanding dancing personalities and technical skill it displayed. The ensemble has performed across the globe, promoting Swedish culture on the way. They also reaches out to the domestic audience, presenting their contemporary dance productions during regular tours around Sweden. The Cullberg Ballet has collaborated with a range of Swedish and international choreographers, implemented projects set away from traditional theatre stages and cooperated with dance schools. Today, the company gathers 16 dancers, almost everyone of a different nationality. The Cullberg Ballet operates under the auspices of the Swedish National Theatre – Riksteatern.