Dance to be danced, move to be followed
The 15th edition of the Antistatic Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance
Official Press Release, photos, and videos by Antistatic
Published 27 April, 2022
From 9 to 19 May on different stages in Sofia will be held the 15th edition of the Antistatic Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance and its team appeals to stand together against the static and against the war. Its program comprises of seven international and 13 Bulgarian productions, DJ parties, dance lab, and even more surprises. Tickets for all entry events are already on sale at EPAYGO, as the prices for international productions will be preferential until 30 April. The organizers have also provided a grand ticket for ten shows from the Bulgarian Dance Platform program for 50 BGN.
“Dance to be danced is a symbolic two-tiered appeal – from the artists of previous decades to those who come after, as well as from Antistatic to their audience. The performances in the festival program occupy the stage with individual artistic styles and pronounced choreographic choices. They don’t shy away from casting doubt on body stereotypes, asking questions and provoking thoughts through the contemporary language of dance.” – share the three founders of the festival: Iva Sveshtarova, Willy Prager and Stephan A. Shtereff.
Antistatic begins on 9 May at 19:00 in “Kvadrat 500” National Gallery with “Duets with Abstraction” by choreographer Julian Weber (Germany). The project started in 2021 and every time is realized in an interplay with carefully selected works of art from the collections of the place of performance. The duets we will see in Sofia will feature chosen works from the main collection of “Kvadrat 500” National Gallery. There, in collaboration with the musician Iku (Johanna Odersky), Julian Weber will “dance” with the art works “The Glass Jug“ (1933) by the artist and sculptor Ivan Nenov (1902–1997), “Window” (1969) by the painter Nayden Petkov (1918–1989) as well as “Caprice” (1982) by the sculptor Lin Emery (1926 – 2021).
On 10 May at 19:30, the program leads us to Hall 1 of Toplocentrala, where the choreographer Zufit Simon (Germany) will present their “Strange Foreign Bodies”. The choreography is inspired by the French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy’s treaty “58 Indices on the Body”, resembling a philosophical list of concepts and short, sometimes contradictory, notes on the human body. On the stage, three bodies with distinctive physiques will enter an exploration of body movement in an attempt to prove that the body should always be thought of in relation to other bodies. After the performance, there will be a dialogue with the team, moderated by the philosopher Boyan Manchev.
From 11 to 14 May will be held the 3rd Antistatic Bulgarian Dance Platform. The format grants an opportunity for a dense meeting with a large portion of the most distinguished names of the contemporary Bulgarian dance scene and will feature the works of choreographers: Filip Milanov, Stephanie Handjiiska, Kosta Karakashyan, Zhana Pencheva, Dario Barreto Damas, Alexandar Georgiev – Ace, Petya Stoykova, Jivko Jeliazkov, Christian Bakalov, Yasen Vassilev, Galina Borisova, Iva Sveshtarova, Willy Prager, Ina Gerginova, Stanislav Genadiev, and Marion Darova. Coming in specially to see the Platform will be curators of art spaces and festivals, critics, and cultural managers from Europe and around the world.
On 15 May at 15:00 in “Kvadrat 500” National Gallery, we will see the result of the two-week choreography lab “Moving in Squares” by Julian Weber and Bulgarian artists, part of the long-standing educational platform “Without Distance”. There, Violeta Vitanova will interact with “Landscape with a Fetish” by Dinko Stoev, Stanislav Genadiev with “Public Square” by Petar Dochev, Zornitza Stoyanova with “Portrait in Red” by Desislava Mincheva, Galina Borisova with “Female Figure Composition” by Nikolay Abrashev, and Voin de Voin with “Man with Newspaper” by Renato Guttuso.
At 19:30 the same day, in Hall 1 of Toplocentrala, visiting will be Michiel Vandevelde (Belgium) with their “Goldberg Variations”. The performance is inspired not only by the famous music of Bach but also by Steve Paxton’s solo, which has turned iconic for the history of Western dance. Vandevelde’s interpretation asks the questions of how open, democratic, and accessible is dance today, what bodies we prefer looking at on the stage, and what bodies we rather not, all while the music is played live on an accordion. The polyphony that emanates from the multiple variations of Bach’s music reflects the many different layers of the performance. Immediately following it, the theatre critic Angelina Georgieva will lead a conversation with the artists in which all audience members are invited to join.
On 16 May at 19:30 in Toplocentrala, it will be time to measure “How Many cm3 is My Body Allowed to Occupy?” with the choreographer Sonja Pregrad (Croatia). They structure the performance as a catalogue of characteristic traits, borrowed from their earlier works, that objectify the female body. The performance brings forth the emotion of touching bodies, objects, and space, exaggerated “as in play” by the images of three drag queens. The conversation with the team afterward will be led by Voin de Voin.
On 17 May, again in Toplocentrala, a team of “Healers“ will arrive, at the helm of choreographer Jasna L. Vinovrški (Germany/Croatia). They are on a mission to identify and solve all problems, unresolved cases, emotional overloads, and energy stagnations that may have accumulated in the space of the performance. The choreography combines fiction with historical-documentary elements and is dipped in subtle humor. The performance adapts to the space where it is shown, taking into account its past and current use, as many of today’s theatre spaces have served a different function earlier. After the end of “Healers“, there will be a conversation with the audience, led by the theatre critic Elana Angelova.
On 18 May at 19:30 in Derida Stage there will be Viktorija Ilioska (North Macedonia/Germany) with the performance "Figure it out!". It is created as a confrontation between the political and individual identity and unfolds as a series of 100 questions, which the choreographer and performer poses to herself. There, among the questions “Viktorija, what would East and West mean if you were a dog?”, “Viktorija, what will happen in the future?”, “Viktorija, how long do you brush your teeth?” the boundaries between questioner and questioned, between the stage and real life, blur. The show literally also asks the audience. After its end, the conversation continues with the moderation of theatre critic Denitsa Ezekieva.
The festival program ends on 19 May at 19:30 in Toplocentrala with “Thinging” by the choreographer, performer, and improvisational master Jan Rozman (Slovenia). The performance is an intuitive reaction to the world of objects that surrounds us, which is why on the stage he confronts all kinds of objects around and the feelings and ideas they bring forth. In this way he transforms the hall into a space for contact with organic and inorganic matter, in an ecosystem, in which objects interact with each other, revealing their different sides. The evening continues with the performative DJ party of Violeta Kachakova and Mirko Popov (North Macedonia) in Toplocentrala Bar.
Antistatic International Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance 2022 is organized by Brain Store Project Foundation, Informburo Association and Nomad Dance Academy Bulgaria Association, with the financial support of the National Culture Fund, Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, Sofia Municipality – Cultural Events Calendar, NATIONALE PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) Dance Coproduction Fund, financed by the Federal governmental commissar for culture and media, Perform Europe as part of the East is Best Project, and in partnership with Regional Center for Contemporary Arts “Toplocentrala”, “Kvadrat 500” National Gallery, Derida Stage, Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art and Regional Cultural Institute Krasno Selo.
The Bulgarian Dance Platform is realized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture.
The (NON)ALIGNED MOVEMENTS Project Strengthening contemporary dance in Western Balkans / NAM is realized with the financial support of the European Union and the “Culture” Programme of Sofia Municipality.
The “Without Distance” Platform, in collaboration with the Moving in Squares Project, is realized with the support of Goethe-Institut Bulgaria and the Life Long Burning Network – for a sustainable ecosystem of contemporary dance in Europe, co-financed by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Media partners of the festival are: bTV Radio, Dir.bg § Impressio.bg, Vij! Sofia Magazine for art and culture, Atrakcia.bg web platform, Jasmin.bg web portal, Uspelite.bg, , Portal for culture, arts and society “Culture”, website for culture Въпреки.com, Lovetheater.bg platform for theater, Kafene.bg, Licatanagrada.bg web platform, web platform Mika Magazine, Cultural Center to Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Open Bulgaria, Sofia in your pocket city guide, Madame Bulgaria web magazine.