Wild Card residency for Zhana Pencheva, Nefeli Oikonomou, Daria Barreto Damas & Aleksandar Georgiev

Wild Card residency for Zhana Pencheva, Nefeli Oikonomou, Daria Barreto Damas & Aleksandar Georgiev

Residency at the atelier studio – ICI-CCN de Montpellier from June 24th to July 08th, 2017

Work-in progress showing on July the 6th, 2017 – « Brown Blood »

In the frame of the Wild Card exchange program ICI-CCN de Montpellier offered a residency to its partner Station, who selected the four artists Zhana Pencheva (BG), Nefeli Oikonomou (GR/SWE), Aleksandar Georgiev (MK/BG/SWE) and Darìo Barreto Damas (SP/SWE), who used it for working on their latest project "Celebrate it!"


Description of the project:

"Celebrate it!" deals with queerness as mode for envisioning new practices for celebrating the body.

We are four artists Zhana Pencheva (BG), Nefeli Oikonomou (GR/SWE), Aleksandar Georgiev (MK/BG/SWE) and Darìo Barreto Damas (SP/SWE). We do not present ourselves as a collective but rather as different individuals that work together as a common desire. What keeps us in tune and connected to each other is the work we do, an inner drive for practicing networking without established network. Not to see deviation/difference as a problem/issue to be artistically demonstrated but rather something to be promoted/celebrated. Working on formats of co-existence and co-supporting we want to highlight what constitutes a collective that does not demand the normalization of abilities but run on the logics of versatile possibilities.

"Celebrate it!" offers new spaces of collaboration through intimacy and variation. A space for rethinking queerness and its operating areas. A space for co-existing, not merging, space for being, not unifying, space for necessities and not ideologies, space for equity and not equality, space for me and not for all of us, space for you and not for all of us, space for her and not for all of us, space for him and not for all of us, space for no more swallowing, space to salivate and so many other spaces; just to not let the ones we don't fancy take bigger space.




Darío Barreto Damas, Zhana Pencheva, Aleksandar Georgiev and Nefeli Oikonomou, “Celebrate it”, artistic

residency at ICI-CCN Montpellier.

Report “Celebrate it” residency at ICI-CCN/Montpellier 2017

« We are Aleksandar Georgiev, Nefeli Oikonomou, Zhana Pencheva and Darío Barreto Damas, initiators and developers of the choreographic work “Celebrate it”. Sebastian Lingerius have been working around us as visual and dramaturgic support.

This report relates to our artistic residency offered by Stanica/Station - service for contemporary dance through the European Program of Life Long Burning at ICI – Institute Chorégraphique International CCN Montpellier Occitanie / Pyrénées Méditerranée from 23 June to 8 July of 2017.

We worked for two weeks in CCN Montpellier studio for the development of the choreographic work “Celebrate it”, a project that deals with:

● Queerness as a mode for envisioning new practices for celebrating the body or as one fashion to predict practices to celebrate the body's versatile potentials.

● Queerness beyond any form of excess, “scenic” expression. Queerness in everyday life, in bodily forms connected to or within the “averageness” or the “everyday” body.

● Artistic and choreographic work locally contextualized: queerness and celebration around and within social marginalized group.

We divided the working time into four different areas:

1. The development of bodily practices.

2. The conceptual expansion of the work.

3. The visual communication, promotion and marketing.

4. The networking for further artistic partnerships.



We have had different meetings with Life Long Burning's representative Anne Bautz. They have hosted many performances at the Montpellier International Dance Festival and have completed the work on our presentation / performance 'Brown Blood' with 50 people in audience. It was a rich and inspiring environment for presenting work in progress as we have built up structures and ideals for the new work and we have expanded our collaboration network. We had access every day in studio, and have invited some local practitioners and received feedback from various artists who visited us in the studio, which gave important multicultural perspectives to our work.



The accommodation was perfectly located in the same building as the studios, in the center of Montpellier. In terms of facilities we had incredibly great infrastructure for artistic residency. Anne Bautz was efficiently responsive like all other colleagues of her from ICI-CCN Montpellier. We had instant access to technical person which was helpful for artistic process in its research mode. They have promoted our work and public presentation, also they have participated themselves in the presentations and feedback structures.

Darío Barreto Damas and Zhana Pencheva, “Celebrate it”, artistic residency at ICI-CCN Montpellier.

The following ones, are conditions that facilitated the connection with the local scene and the

quick creation of solid bonds with different artists and people from the neighbourhood:

● To coincide with the Montpellier†International†Dance†Festival†among other summer local festivities.

● To be present and around the colleagues from the Master Education in Choreography Exerce, establishing further communication around our work and receiving interesting commentaries and reflections in many challenging ways.

● The openness and full commitment from CCN, specially from Anne Bautz, facilitating contacts from several ICI collaborators, colleagues and artists from the scene.

This specific context and its availability†made us fall in love with the city and the institution, giving space to a safe and fruitful work environment.

This residency and artistic exchange has given us important experiences, both for our artistic project development and our cooperation network. In a practical way, we have digged into alternative body productions, building new practices and work methods that we aim to apply in the future through the educational and research approach of the project. At the same time, the scenic framing and set up of “Celebrate it” plus its public presentation gave us several visions and reactions that helped us to reflect on how this project could be presented on a stage.

Currently we are applying for coproductions for realization of the project in different contexts.

For now we have applied in Macedonia, Bulgaria and Czech Republic. In this period we will apply also in Sweden. We will inform and keep in communication with ICI-CCN Montpellier about our path, hoping to maintain and reinforce this relation we are so happy to be part of.

 With big regards,

Aleksandar, Nefeli, Zhana and Darío »

24.06.17 - 08.07.17

Montpellier (FR)

supported/organized by CCN Montpellier