Together with their associated partner Stannica for contemporary dance, Tala Dance Center and brain store project organized an exploratory project within the Kondenz Festival. This project was supported by the Nomad Dance Academy through the PSR LLB program line. The mission of the NDA network, as the main link with the LLB EU project, is to emphasize the importance of development and consolidation of the entire regional scene.
This year's edition of Kondenz Festival of contemporary dance and performance was made through a working process in various segments of the dance work and out of the need to discuss more certain topics, practices, questions and problematic points. The selection of programs was the result of our travels, meetings, discussions, confrontations and preocupations during which we have articulated possible interpretations and reflections about the local matters. The «we» are not only three curators of this edition, but all collaborators of Station, Magacin and from other places of production of dance and perofrmance that have engaged themselves in everyday work and dialogue about where and what is our local dance and performance scene.
The Festival presented 10 performances by local artists and international artists (from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Slovenia, Spain and USA. The discoursive program was very important in order to give the theoretical, political and thematic frames to the works we presented. We organized 6 lectures and presentations as well as 2 video works with relevant subjects.
We were interested in artworks that deal with politicality in some or all of these modalities at once, so that the audience of Kondenz festival can get a full insight in the specter of different artistic approaches to dance and performance as “one of the training grounds or battlegrounds of political practice” today.
With its focus on (dance) bodies that are defined by various contexts and that open (self)critical view on the common patterns of the dance practice and perception of the performing body, dealing with reconsideration of normativity in and around dance, this year's Kondenz thematized conditions and needs, wishes and possibilities in this frame. Where is the border between a body that performs and a body that does everyday ordinary actions? To what extent and how is a body shaped by the context and material conditions and, even more important, to what extent and how does a body shape the context? With such an interaction of performance and everyday life it is possible to palpate the outlined borders and to open different perspectives on their fagility, fluidity, complexity, conditionality.
Ida Daniel exposed manifold existences and complexities of the body that is observed and that observes. Normativities of the dance body and breaking the imposed linearity of movement are topics in Zrinka Užbinec’s performance. Rita Góbi introduced us into the world of metamorphosis with the music developped out of the Morse code. How the context which is defined by the capitalist ways of production and consumption, shapes the dance body and what strategies and attitudes are imposed on it in such conditons, as well as how we resist in front of them was articulated by Snježana Premuš in her work «Poiesis of self». In the site specific work «Walking Piece» the city was a scenography that imposed its rythm and conditions to those who move through it.
This Kondenz dealt with norms and their deconstruction questioning heteronormativity. Both the performance “Moonlight” and the collective “Ephemeral Confessions” addressed, with loads of humor, complex social and political questions, deconstructing gender, class and social roles. Mariana Valencia investigated and called in question the normative through an analysis of cultural patterns that had formed her as a person and artists in her performance “Yugoslavia”. The short dance film “Glance” directed by Marko Pejović pointed to the importance of inclusive work in arts and promoted creative work of the artists with dissabilities.
In order to fully understand all the subject matters already mentioned, it was necessary to analyze the structural and material conditions of contemporay art production and working rights of artists, especially women artists in the current trends of repatriarchalization of our society. This conceptual line of the festival stretched throughout all activities, but it was most explicit in the presentation of the research, publication and mobile mural painting of the cultural female workers from Rijeka “How do female artists live?” as well as in the presentation of the Serbian pavilion at the Prague Quadriennial of Performance Design and Space 2019 called “Scene Work Ahead”. The workshop of Dejan Srhoj with its evincive title “Outside working hours” dealt with the conditions in which contemporary dance is created.
Different forms of documentation and musealisation of contemporary dance and performance were topics of another segment of the festival. It consisted of lectures by the New York curator Lydia Bell, and a video interview followed by the discussion on the occasion of 35th anniversary of Mimart Theater. This segment vitally included the question of collectivity and we opened it with the examples from New York, Rijeka and Belgrade. The local example were analysed by Milica Ivić during the discussion “About potentialities of the Common and its actualisations”.
We celebrated one more jubily – 25 years of the artistic work of Dušan Murić, dancer and choreographer; he presented his no-budget imaginarium of the close future “Partisans will come, again” which in its multi-layered structre simultaneously alarmed and invited to the action from the bottom.
This was actually the main motive of the festival program’s concept that went from insights and questioning of the wide specter of normativities and normalisations to placing them in a broader context defined by working and material conditions. Behind it all, there was a wish to draw attention to the universal problems that gather all of us and that go beyond only the field of culture, but rather tackle the general working conditions that are imposed to us as non-alternative.
The Festival was visited by more than 1500 people, while the press coverege was very large and diversed.
View the complete program in the upper right column.
23.10.19 - 04.11.19