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On the Road_echoes_Interview with Mirna Žagar (HR/CAN) by Márta Ladjánszki

» this article was printed in Hungarian and edited version was published in Táncművészet magazine 2020 summer «
Interview with Mirna Žagar (HR/CAN) 
– was made by Márta Ladjánszki, translated by Zsolt Varga –

As representative of L1 Association I got an invitation from Dance In Vancouver (a dance platform and biennial in Canada) to visit their current event at the end of 2019. I didn’t know what a deep exploration will come. Not just a new continent but especially its West Coast is rich in great creators and I could get to know their unique way of work.
The main organizer of the event was The Dance Centre (Vancouver, Kanada). I got in discussion with the executive director of it, Mirna Žagar who happened to be also very active in her country of origin, Croatia’s dance life as well. I got to know exciting parallels and contrasts.

– When did you move to Vancouver and since when are you the executive director of The Dance Centre?
– I moved to Vancouver initially to  join my husband after the war in Croatia in 1995 and then slowly got involved with the dance scene initially as volunteer then applied for the job of Director and started in 1998.

– Did I understand right that you are a founder of it?
– I am not the founder of The Dance Centre, the organization has been there since 1976, i am however with The Dance Centre on the project of building the building and involved in all major aspects from design to fundraising from the beginning. When I came to the organization the ideas was already there, some money about 25% was in place, however they had lost the land and the project had to start all over again, or to return the funds and give up. So the decision was made to start all over....we had to find the land which had to be in the City of Vancouver (as a condition of a grant the organization was promised), we had to convince the funders we can still do it, we were not allowed to purchase the land or any property (as a condition of other grants pending), so the challenge was multifold. We got lucky (with some passionate supporters backing) to receive the land and building of Scotiabank as a donation (Hence the name of the building)... it took a blitz period of time to get pledges in and seal the deal so we broke ground in 1999 and opened doors in 2001. By 2007 we retired all the mortgage we had and today run a fully operational building that is debt free and has contingency to sustain major repairs. In a short period  of time we had found the land, we raised over $11milion dollars for a building which at the time (with previous investments into past architectural drawings and lost prior project) amounted to a total cost of 12.5MilCAD$.

– What percentage is the for profit support to run the building and the programs? What other income helps you to have the total budget?
– Our joint budget is just over 2million dollars (combination of building and programs). In the case of the building operations 100% is generated from rentals in the case of the programming side 30% is from public sector, 31% from fundraising from mostly individual donors and the balance comes from earned revenue (combination of member services, ticket sales, workshops and building management fee).

– Since when do you organize Dance In Vancouver – did you start this platform?
– I indeed did start the program even before joining the Dance Centre, I was visiting at the time Vancouver and was a member of the Artistic Advisory Council of the Rencontres Choregraphiques Seine Saint-Denis in Paris, and there were at the time national platforms and in larger countries there would at times be two to address the geographic scope. So I proposed that there be a Vancouver platform in addition to an existing Montreal platform. When the Rencontres transformed into its current format we continued as Dance in Vancouver. so this was its 12th edition (biennial)>

– From where did you get the support last year to host international guests? Am I right, it was the first time in the history of DIV?
– The support for the first time came for the regional funder BC Arts Council and the relatively new fund supporting international presence of BC artists. This indeed was the first time we were given any official support to undertake and support attendance of international presenters. Until this time we had to find our own funds (fundraising) and were very limited in how many people we could invite. Thanks to this new funds we were able to bring in a larger rnumber of international's presenters and dance professional and this has significantly contributed to making the event more visible.

– Do you think you can keep this support to bring over international guests in the future as well?
– We hope that the government will recognize that this program is worthwhile and that they will continue to secure funds and grow these as BC funding of the arts has traditionally suffered for a very long time, we in the arts welcome that it seems to turn more to support the developments within the sector and its ability to connect to the world. There is lots of talent and potential !

– How long have you been running the program of Zagreb Dance Centre?
– In initiated the idea of a centre for dance in Zagreb (along with a network across Croatia) and advocated for this throughout the 1980's *as a result of this we now see also the Mediteranneian Centre for Dance in Istria. And out of this rose the idea of the Centre in Zagreb. It was a long a winding battle often misunderstood by both the political spheres and the community. Due to the war the development was stalled, and that was one of the reasons that after the war and the slow reaction of the City to go back to the project all was stalled. However, The organization I founded in early 1990, Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance initiated the vision for a centre for dance already in early 1990's, the idea picked up as the organization continued to lobby and I believe partially because of my success of building a centre in Vancouver there was a bit of trust that this is viable. There were many misunderstandings of what it means to have an independent organization not for profit manage a venue that physically belonged to the city but on behalf of an art form. I volunteered my help and advise and brought in many colleagues from across Europe to advise with architects *some suggestions were kept others were dictated by funds and structural realities. The Centre was opened in 2009 and our organization run it very successfully for just over 7 years when we were effectively evicted. Our organization provided 50% of funding to operate and run programs we engaged with numerous EU projects and dance houses and exchange of residences and developed an audience. The same model I believe still continues, however fully funded by the City through a municipal theatre that took over, it hasn't from what I hear developed further and no more investments have been made into maintaining the structure or support. The eviction cost the Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance quite a bit as the staff lost jobs, and also funding continues to erode, in part I believe in an effort to obliviate the efforts and impacts this organization has had on the development of the dance scene in Croatia, something that is unfortunately a symptom of how current cultural policies (or the lack of) and individuals behind current developments due to the lack of understanding of how and what it means to have a vibrant not for profit, non-government sector means and how vitally important this sector is in conjunction with the public sphere which cannot always fulfil the needs of a dynamic and ever evolving spheres in society. In Croatia today, unfortunately, most of the cultural activity undertaken by the independent sector is being vilified, funding is being denied and it is becoming extremely difficult to operate. Young people are discouraged to engage with such structures as they in general feel demoralized with perspectives moving forward and not only in the domain of the cultural sphere which is likely suffering the most in the current political and economic climate in Croatia.
The Dance Centre in Zagreb is now run by a municipal theatre. We are not engaged unless renting the space.

– What is the difference and common things between the two centres?
– The difference was in the climate and context that both centres operated at the time. Canada is a democracy and with a very well founded principle in which the work of not for profits is seen as a vital contribution, administration of any type of business is relatively simple and all is very transparent. In Croatia as in many of the CEE countries unfortunately the value of the not for profit sector if highly ignored, administration of any type of business of overly complicated and the conditions of doing business in Croatia is highly nontransparent with so many barriers and slow processes. Comparing the two centres is not easy, though some overlap of vision and potential certainly existed and primarily in the notion of connecting to the world, being open to ideas and supportive of the art form as an imperative. In Croatia, based on positive experiences in Canada, I tried to implement the notion that the pubic and private sector could partner in the achievements of a greater good. The model we carried (not without risk!) in Croatia proved that it was possible (and no, it was not at all easy) to generate 50% of required funds to operate and program and develop. Had we been given a bit more encouragement it would have been possible to do better. However at the same time this model only proved how the civic venues, theatres were badly managed, and how much all with the cultural sphere depended on the public sector even if they said they were independent. The model in place I now see was not something that either side of the dance sector understood or was willing to support (each for their own reasons). However, comparisons are almost impossible as the context is so very different. At the time we run the centre we supported annually through our EU projects and collaborations over 20 croatian artists to engage internationally, over 50 were supported to use the centre for free annually, we produced/ presented  over 200 shows annually. There was no debt to society, the city. I now see that the eviction was not only politically motivated and a result of ignorance and lack of understanding of how this type of spaces operate function, Zagreb also saw several other larger, more visible similar ventures disappear such as the Zagreb Film Festival as most recent… the result of developers greed as both of these entities sit on prime development land and likely there are plans underway to either appoint politically likeminded persons to manage it, and then in time to give over and repurpose – only time will tell. It is still a very painful memory and experience for me personally, but more so a testament to how a community can bring down its own potential for lack of understanding and the will to engage in communicate until it is too late. When the centre was working well everyone seemed happy, the moment the model was jeopardized it was fascinating to see that hardly anyone of the many artists we had supported stood up for the organization that made all of this possible, and most likely as several of my colleagues told me out of fear of retaliation, and many others hoped that they would be appointed to run the space. The takeover was carefully orchestrated and in our desire to do good and prove we can we failed to acknowledge the reality unfolding. Sadly. It is now behind me and I hope that I can continue to engage and assist the developments in Croatia through other avenues. 

– Since when do you organize the indigenous focus during DIV (or maybe all year long)?
– From the first days of the work and programming of The Dance Centre we have been very open and supportive of the work of indigenous dance artists. So initially the program was inclusive as well but the indigenous dance community was not as developed as it is today and with more resources now so productions are increasing and are more and more diverse and interesting. We had initiated a program called the Aboriginal DanceLab of which Raven Spriti was one of the more active participants and went on to carry this program. Over time it all evolved quite organically to have special the focus some 3 editions ago, and it grew each year. The core intent is to show not only the specifics of the art forms, preoccupation and put more focus on this evolving and dynamic dance community, but also to provide space for the general public  and also our international and national visitors to appreciate and learn more about the burning issues regarding the history, the efforts for reconciliation underway and the need and desire to grow a stronger and also vibrant dance community in our case, but in general a stronger society and engage through arts in cross cultural dialogues.

– Is it something special you initiated or in general Kanada is paying attention with special care on this?
– The Dance Centre takes great pride that we have been actively promoting, supporting and engaging in this development since the very opening of Scotiabank Dance Centre and the start of our more extensive programming efforts since 2001. It is perhaps since 2010 that Canada has been investing into this particular cultural sphere more funds and of recent with efforts around reconciliation that are permeating and in a way mandates as well across the arts and culture sphere, that we also see the dialogues being more focused and occurring at so many different levels and not only in culture. The work has really only began, the injustices done will never be able to be undone, but we can all do our very best to ensure that the mistakes and injustices of the past are not repeated in the future. Arts and Culture have a critical role to play on this journey, dance of course as part of this.

– Who did write the "land acknowledgement" text which we heard each night?
– There is a specific wording that is proposed through the public sector in consultation with the nations of the territories. However, I personally in expressing this acknowledgement personalize the the messages as a reflection of what our role as citizens and as arts professionals is in general in society and what the words today mean for our future.

– How successful was it for you the platform and how can you measure it?
– The measuring of success can be through both quantitative and quantitative. We survey for level of satisfaction and to inform where we can improve both participating visitors and also artists. And so far the response is overwhelmingly positive! There are also recommendations for improvements that we will consider carefully as some are tied to logistics we may not have, others are things we may not have considered so as ideas it is great.
On the numbers side, the investment is huge and the return on this investment can only be measured in time. We know already that as a result of DIV in general, over the years visibility and awareness for BC and Vancouver dance has increased nationally and we see it through increased tours, cultural exchanges.
This edition of DIV success is measured somewhat more quickly as several groups and artist were "picked up" by attending presenters and tours are being extended, there is dynamic talk about cultural exchanges artist to artist and of course we are most excited that as a result of this event The Dance Centre has been invited to organize a Vancouver Day during Tanzmesse 2020. We are still learning how to follow up on these impacts as they resonate for so much longer after the event that sometimes we all forget that something might have been triggered here, and then materialized several years later somewhere there! 
(February 2020)


On the Road_echoes_Contemporary Dance in Canada and in Israel by Márta Ladjánszki

»»» this article is in Hungarian, the printed and edited version was published in Táncművészet magazine 2020 «««
Kék bálna és hummusz – azaz kortárs tánc Kanadában és Izraelben
– Ladjánszki Márta beszámolója – 

26 éve az alkotói munkában és 19 éve az L1 Egyesület művészeti vezetőjeként figyelem a kortárs tánc hazai és nemzetközi fejlődését. Az L1 táncművek 2011-es megszűnése óta egyre több lehetőségem adódott az egyesület képviselőjeként nemzetközi eseményekre utazni, és a helyi platformok válogatta produkciók mellett olyan alkotókkal találkozni és a munkájukat megnézni, akiket adott esetben az esemény nem képviselt. Rengeteg előadás (rendezvénytől és szervező országtól függően akár teljes napi elfoglaltságot jelentve) rajzolja ki azt a képet, amit ilyen formában az ún. kortárs táncból érzékelni tudok. Egyre többször teszem fel a kérdést magamnak, mi az adott országra jellemző megjelenés és megfogalmazás, s ki hogyan definiálja saját magát, identitását a kortárs/modern táncon belül.

2019. novemberében és decemberében két országba, ezen belül három olyan eseményre volt lehetőségem ellátogatni, ami első látásra akár teljesen különbözőnek volna mondható. Ahogyan gondolkodtam a látottakról és hallottakról, mégis megegyeztek egy nagyon fontos dologban, miszerint az identitásépítés alapvető adottsága, hogy sokszínű a kulturális háttér.

A Dance In Vancouver (DIV) eseményre először volt lehetőségem eljutni. Köszönhetően annak a kitartó munkának, amit Mirna Žagar a The Dance Centre ügyvezető igazgatója és munkatársai végeztek, most először kaptak British Columbia (BC) művészeti tanácsától támogatást arra, hogy a nemzetközi vendégek nagyobb számú megjelenését tudják biztosítani (szállás- és utazási költség hozzájárulásával).

photo: L1 Association

Mirna Ž. munkájára már nagyon kíváncsi voltam, hiszen rengeteg eseményen találkozhattunk, és a kapcsolatokat okosan építő vezetőnek ismertem meg. Sokáig a Zagreb Dance Centre vezetőjeként a horvát táncélet bemutatásáért is felelt. Mirna Ž. 1995-ben költözött Horvátországból Vancouver-be, és 1998 óta, 22 éve ügyvezető igazgatóként vezeti a The Dance Centre-t, a modern és kortárs tánc kiemelt helyszínét Vancouver-ben.
Team of DiV – photo: The Dance Centre
A kanadai platform – számomra váratlanul – új arcát mutatta meg a kanadai identitásnak. Számtalan program adott lehetőséget betekintést nyerni az aktuális munkákba, mégis a legmarkánsabban az ún. indigeDIV (“indigenous artists” a Dance In Vancouver keretében) esemény hívta fel a figyelmet arra, hogy milyen körültekintően kell eljárnunk, amikor a „mi” helyünkről, a „mi” földünkről, a „mi” kultúránkról beszélünk.
A kanadai identitás (a táncban is) különböző identitások összessége. Mindenki különböző helyről érkezett, mégis a gyökereinek felkutatásával és felmutatásával megtalálja a maga identitását, és ebből rajzolódik ki a kanadai identitástudat is.
A fesztivált végigkísérte az ún. Land Aknowledgement (a területekért való köszönetnyilvánítás), aminek a szövegét minden ea. előtt elmondták:
„A xwməθkwəy’əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) és Səl’ílwəta?/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) népek ősi, át nem engedett területén tartózkodunk. Megtiszteltetés és kiváltság, hogy vendégeik lehetünk. Hálásak vagyunk ezért.” (1)

Mindez a nemzetközi vendégek figyelmét is markánsan ráirányította az őslakosok leszármazottainak jelenlétére és hagyományörző művészetére.
Sierra Tasi Baker és Troy Emery Twigg meggyőző lecture előadásokat tartottak, s ezzel a jelenre is kitérő történeti áttekintést adtak az őslakosok helyzetéről.
A fő vagy off programból kiemelkedő volt számomra:
Amber Funk Barton szólóelőadása a vizualitásával győzött meg, ráadásul a záró eseményen az énektudását is megismerhettük.
Joshua Beamish előadása a modern balettet képviselte.
Ziyian Kwan szóló előadása a rituálét vegyítette önéletrajzi elemekkel.
Az All Bodies Dance Project előadása az érzékenyítő alkotások közé tartozott.
A Farouche Collective három fiatal táncosnő alkotta együttműködés.
A platform számomra legkiemelkedőbb munkája a Justine A. Chambers rendezte „Choreography Walk” volt, amit Vancouver belvárosában sétálva élhettünk át. Az utcákon,  tereken, bevásárló központon áthaladók többsége akár az előadók közé is tartozhatott volna. Izgalmas sétát hoztak létre, amivel a figyelmünket állandóan megnyitották valami új érzékelésére. 

photo: L1 Association
Alkotóként mindig is érdekelt, hogy a független alkotóművészek más országokban hogyan találják meg a helyüket (stúdiót, előadóteret, alkotótársakat stb.). Így a platform keretein kívül találkoztam Vanessa Goodman/Action at Distance és Olivia J. Shaffer alkotókkal (mindketten magasan képzett táncosok, akik élő zenei együttműködéssel dolgoznak); betekinthettem a Left of Main művészi csoportosulás és stúdióhely munkájába, akik önerőből a közösség erősítése miatt különféle eseményeket rendeznek a stúdiójukban. A csoportosulás nagyon hasonlított – talán ezért is örültem megismerni őket – az L1 Egyesület és az egykori L1táncművek működésére. A performansz világából  pedig találkozhattam Chen Sherlok Kínából érkező queer művésszel, valamint Brigitte Potter-Mael multimédia művésszel is.
photo: L1 Association
Az inspiráló ízelítő után remélem, lesz alkalmam akár szakmai együttműködésben is dolgozni a Vancouver-i művészekkel, akik mindegyike önmagát és az identitását több nemzet megjelölésével fogalmazta meg.

2019. decemberében egy országon belül két helyszínre (Jeruzsálem és Tel Aviv) és két fesztiválra: Jerusalem International Dance Week és International Exposure (IE) látogathattam el már nem először.
Jeruzsálemben szinte minden megmozdulás konfrontálódik az aktuális politikai helyzettel, egyfajta provokációja annak, hogy újragondolják a nemzeti identitást. A platform kurátorai markánsan olyan darabokat válogatnak a programba, amik az esetek többségében kísérletezők, munkabemutatók és/vagy független művészeti alkotások.
photo: L1 Association
A Machol Shalem Dance House (MASH) 2012-ben nyitotta meg fesztiválját a nemzetközi vendégeknek, ezzel évről évre egy meghatározó eseménnyé nőtte ki magát. Néhány éve egy nemzetközi versenyprogrammal kezdődik a rendezvény, amelynek zsűrijében többször, így 2019-ben is volt szerencsém részt venni. 
Jury – photo: Helmut Jochheim
A versenyben az első díjat a Hong Kong-i Tan-ki Wong és Sze-Yeung Li Justyne páros nyerte el, valamint nagy figyelmet kapott Lukas Karvelis litván szólista, akinek ezt a munkáját a Balti Táncplatform alkalmával teljes hosszában is volt szerencsém már látni.
Ezután a program izraeli és Jeruzsálemben bemutatott előadásokat vonultatott fel, hogy további előadáslehetőséghez segítsék őket, akár a nemzetközi táncporondon is. A kezdetekben kb. 10 nemzetközi vendég csoportja (számunkra maradandó emlék és kulturális háttértanulmány volt) mára kb. 80 fősre duzzadt, ami az esemény helyszínének és a kiválasztott előadások műfajának még épp megfelel.
photo: L1 Association
Várakozással tölt el, hogy a MASH új helyszínt avatott Rav Chen néven a Talpiot negyedben. Bár még teljes átalakításra vár, de remélhetőleg a következő platform egy teljesen felújított kulturális központban kerül megrendezésre. Azt is fontos megemlíteni, hogy a jelenlegi (egykor volt bevásárló központ) a ’90-es éveket idéző, lelakott hangulata szinte minden nemzetközi vendégnek tetszett.
photo: L1 Association
A programból néhány alkotót már évek óta követünk, figyeljük, hogy miképpen fejlődik a pályája, így a kivételes tánctudással és -képességekkel rendelkező Avidan Ben Giat-tal öröm volt újra találkozni. Gilad Yerushalmy munkája számunkra új volt, de nagyon meggyőző. Nina Traub szürreális víziója az emberiség által okozott környezeti katasztrófákra reagált.
photo: Vojtěch Brtnický

Hosszabb múltra tekint vissza, s mint ilyen egyfajta hegemóniát hozott létre a Tel Aviv-i platform, amit a kezdetek óta a Suzanne Dellal Center (egy Trafó méretű színházterem és különböző stúdiókból álló komplexum) 1995 óta rendez meg. Az ún. International Exposure (IE) egy néhány napos, reggeltől estig tartó esemény, benne rengeteg előadás, stúdióprezentáció. Az utóbbi években kibővült beszélgetésekkel és informális találkozási lehetőségekkel is.
photo: L1 Association
Úgy tapasztaltam, hogy ezen esemény olyan alkotókat és előadásokat válogat be a programjába, akiket már ismer a nemzetközi táncszakma is; a fiatalok és/vagy az újítóbb szellemben létrehozott előadások egyfajta előválogatáson vesznek részt, az ún. „Curtain Up” program több lépcsős eseményeiből rövid előadásokat válogathat be a zsűri.
photo: L1 Association
Vizuális és hanghatásaival különleges volt Guy Gutman és Tami Lebovitz ‘O.S.L.O.’ c. darabja, továbbá számomra emlékezetes előadás volt még Mor Shani ‘Loveism / the problem of our being together’ c. alkotása (amiről utólag kiderült, hogy több szereposztásban is játszák, mi a férfi-nő duett formát láthattuk); Sharon Zuckerman Weiser ‘Adam & id’ előadása különleges humorával volt meggyőző; valamint öröm volt látni Olivia Court Mesa és Yochai Ginton ‘I carry, you hold’ című duettjét. Mindketten meghatározó alakjai az izraeli táncos szcénának, és együtt is több projektben dolgoztak már. Ez volt az első közös alkotásuk, ami azért is izgalmas, mert az életben is egy párt alkotnak. A darab mindent felvonultatott, amit egy őszinte és tiszta, mozdulatokba rejtett megszólalástól várhatunk. A rövidebb darabok közül hatalmas sikert aratott Guy Shomroni & Yaniv Abraham ‘It Will End in Tears’ című quartettje.

Az Izraeli Külügyminisztérium mindkét fesztivált oly módon támogatta, hogy nemzetközi vendégeket tudtak elszállásolni. Sajnos idén az évek alatt kialakított jó beosztás ellenére a két esemény keresztül húzta egymás programját azzal, hogy felcserélték a sorrendet (előbb az IE kezdődött el), s ráadásul két nap is teljesen átfedte egymást. Ezzel mindkét eseménynek logisztikai nehézségeket okoztak, de legfőképpen azokat a nemzetközi vendégeket hozták zavarba, akik mindkét platformot szerették volna végignézni. Ők nehéz választás elé kerültek, valamelyik programról le kellett mondaniuk, ami egy ilyen rendezvény esetében meglehetősen nagy hibának számít.
Kíváncsian várom, lesz-e az IE-nak megújulása, hiszen 30 év után Yair Vardi befejezte a Suzanne Dellal Centre vezetését. Az új vezető talán frissíti, újragondolja a nemzeti platform fogalmát és megvalósulását.

Számomra úgy tűnik, hogy a kanadai és az izraeli táncművészeti élet különböző, de főleg sokszínű identitásból épül fel. Mindkét ország esetében a világ számos pontjáról érkeztek a lakosok, így a művészek is, akik olykor nagyon eltérő kulturális háttérrel rendelkeznek.
A mai világban tanító jellegű is lehet a gondolat, hogy bár máshonnan jövünk, még lehet közös a célunk.
photo: L1 Association


On the Road_echoes_20 years of Latvian Cultural Academy Contemporary Dance Program in Riga by Márta Ladjánszki

»»» this article is in Hungarian, the printed and cut version was published in Táncművészet magazine 2019 «««
20 éves a Lett Kortárstánc-képzés Rigában
– Ladjánszki Márta beszámolója –

2019. októberében ünnepelte a Lett Kulturális Akadémia – Kortárstánc programja a 20. évét annak, hogy a klasszikus balett és a néptánc oktatása mellett megindult az előbb modern tánc, majd kortárstánc program. A kezdetek óta jelen volt Olga Žitluhina (táncos és alkotóművész, táncpedagógus), aki októberben egy ünnepi eseménysorozattal emlékezett meg az elmúlt 20 évről.

Nem először járok Rigában, a lett fővárosban. Legnagyobb örömömre két alkalommal tanárként is meghívást kaptam az akadémia kortárstánc programjába, és két különböző osztállyal találkozhattam. Beleláthattam abba a munkába, amit Olga Žitluhina és csapata immár húsz éve végez.

1999-ben, amikor Olga már saját együttessel dolgozott és állandó táncpedagógusi munkát folytatott, egyetlen táncosa sem rendelkezett művészdiplomával. Az akkori professzionális táncos képzésnek a zeneakadémia adott otthont, és – a magyar rendszerhez hasonlóan – a néptánc és a klasszikus balett tagozatok voltak csak jelen. Így azok, akik modern tánccal szerettek volna foglalkozni, általában külföldre utaztak a tudásért, vagy mint Olgáék, kisebb csoportokban kísérleteztek. Olga kitartó és ötletekkel teli pedagógusként épp egy olyan időben indíthatta el a képzést, amikor az akadémián erre is nyitottság mutatkozott. A mára már BA diplomát adó kortárstánc program egy 3 éves képzési rendszer. Nincsenek párhuzamos osztályok, vagyis egy csoport megy végig a három éven, majd ha végeztek, indul az új osztály. Ezzel nagy mértékben az adott, kiválasztott diákokra figyelnek; s a három évente kialakuló csoport dinamikájához is tudják igazítani a programokat.
A kezdetekben természetesen moderntáncos képzésre vállalkoztak (ami az első négy generációnak még négy éves képzést biztosított), de Olga sokat utazva a világban és a mai napig nagy érdeklődéssel ismerkedve akár új stílusokkal is, később kortárstáncos képzésre keresztelte a programot. Elmondása szerint jelenleg az első évben történik az úgymond monderntácos alapozás, és a második, majd harmadik évben a komponálás, egyéb technikák megismerése, önálló alkotói munkák teszik ki a gyakorlati képzést.
Eddig 5 generáció végezte el a BA programot, s jelenleg a 6. generáció a második évét tölti a képzésben.

2017. áprilisában kompozíciós workshop-ot tarthattam az akkori 5. generációs csoport 21 hallgatójának. Nagyon izgalmas személyiségek jelentek meg, és az intenzív kurzusmunkában különleges érettséggel vettek részt a hallgatók.
2018-ban néhány diplomamunkát is láthattam, amikor nyár elején az L1 Egyesület művészeti vezetőjeként a Lett Tánc Platformra látogattam el. Az ún. Lett Tánc Platform a “Laiks dejot” (Time to Dance) nemzetközi fesztivál részeként került megrendezésre. Általában az a kezdeményezés, hogy így összegyűjtötték a lett munkákat és beékelték egy nemzetközi fesztiválba, nagyon inspiráló volt, bár a lett munkák közül teljes mértékben csak kevés nyerte el a tetszésemet. Azt azonban öröm volt látni, ahogyan a tanítványok nagy lendülettel vettek részt az alkotási folyamatokban. Az L1 Egyesület még ebben az évben három végzett táncost hívott meg ösztöndíjasként az L1danceFest-re, ahol amellett, hogy a teljes programban részt vehettek, minden előadást megnézhettek és a kurzusokra járhattak, bemutatkozási lehetőséget is kaptak a friss munkáikkal. Jana Jacuka “Faux Pas” és Alise Madara Bokaldere “The translation of my eyes” című darabjai kiválóan megállták a helyüket az L1danceFest 2018 nemzetközi programjában.
Ezt követően, még ugyanebben az évben ősszel ismét visszatérhettem, és óraadóként immár a 6. generációs csoport első szemeszterében dolgozhattam együtt a hallgatókkal. Érzékelhetően nagyon más energiájú és összetételű csoport volt, mint a korábbiak, de beszélgetve Olgával, ez egyáltalán nem meglepő. Tavaly 26 hallgatóval indult el a program, de természetes az időközbeni lemorzsolódás is, így a végzősök kb. tizenöten lesznek majd.

fotó: Ladjánszki Márta / L1 Egyesület
2019 őszén a jubilálás és a visszaemlékezés miatt érkeztem Rigába, mert egyértelműen ünneplésre ad okot, hogy intézményes formában mára 83 végzett hallgatója van a képzésnek, akik közül amióta diplomát szereztek talán csak hárman hagytak fel a táncos pályával. A többiek vagy külföldön (USA, Mexikó, Franciaország, Argentína, Horvátország, az Egyesület Királyság, Kína, Norvégia és Oroszország) vagy „otthon maradva”, Lettországban találták meg a folytatás lehetőségét. Általában szabadúszó művészként, tanárként, koreográfusként különféle tánciskolák vagy az amatőr együttesek életében dolgoznak, de olyan is akad (Olga elmondása szerint kb. 15–20 egykori diák), akik a prózai színházakban alkalmazott koreográfusként vannak jelen. Olga szerint ez a lehetőség magát a prózai darabokat is megváltoztatta, hiszen másképpen használják a színészek mozgáslehetőségeit is. Persze a legjobb az lenne, ha kisebb-nagyobb együttesként dolgozhatnának tovább a kortárs előadóművészet területén, valamint ha lennének tánc-producerek, akik az alkotók, alkotócsoportok munkáját segíteni tudnák. Egyelőre azonban ezek nem biztosítottak a lett kulturális rendszerben.

Az idei, jubileumi események fő gerincét egyrészt az ún. “” szabadtéri táncelőadás, másrészt egy portréképsorozat adta. A “” akció-performanszban az egykori diákok – sőt alkalmanként a tanárok is – flash mob szerű táncfűzérekkel vettek részt és vonultak át a belvároson, összekötve az akadémia egyik helyszínét (Zirgu pasts) azzal a kiállítótérrel, ahol a programok nagy része is történt. Különleges élmény volt a “Rīgas mākslas telpa” kiállítóterébe megálmodott portréképsorozat, amit egy felkért kortárs képzőművész installált a térbe. A program leírása szerint a kiállítás a korábbi táncos generációk végzett táncművészeinek portréképeiből akart egy válogatást nyújtani, és a két nap alatt a látogatók egy-egy koreográfussal is találkozhattak a helyszínen.
Emellett nyitott táncórákba (mesterkurzus) lehetett csatlakozni, amiket felkért külföldi táncművészek – a Longlife Dance Practice: Project 45+ keretében – tartottak, így: Benno Warham, Virpi Juntti, Fiona Milwaukee, Martin Veide és René Noumik. Nem volt meglepő, hogy egy-egy alkalommal még Olga, a tagozatvezető (akár nálunk Dr Lőrinc Katalin a Magyar Táncművészeti Egyetem kurzusain) is beállt az órákra elcsípni egy-egy trükkösebb kombinációt vagy egyszerűen csak ráhangolódni a diákjaira. Az eseményeket Agate Bankava (4. generációs végzett hallgató, színházi produkciókban sikeres alkalmazott koreográfus) “Rauts” című egykori vizsgadarabja zárta, amiben hallgatótársai (visszatérve közös munkájukhoz) ünnepi hangulatot becsempészve a térspecifikus munkába, ismét együtt táncoltak. Az eseményt mi más zárhatta volna, mint egy önfeledt szelfizésben, „öreg diákok” összetalálkozásában és közös táncmulatságban töltött buli.

Amennyire a külvilág felé kitágított terű eseménynek voltam szemtanúja, annyira bensőséges megemlékezés is volt ez a néhány nap. Egy őszinte ünneplése a rigai kortárstánc program 20 évének, barátainak és követőinek. Megújulásban és friss energiákban gazdag eredményeket kívánunk a továbbiakhoz.

fotók a magazinban: Julia Žitluhina


echoes_L1danceFest 2019_by Lilach Orenstein (IL)

Residency at L1danceFest 2019 – Feedback
– What was your experience concerning your stay in Budapest. How did it help or not your research/residency?
– Budapest’s great views are a source of ever ending inspiration. Seeing the natural scenery and unique stunning views motivates you as an artist to create breathtaking experiences and moments such as what the city landscape has to offer.
In addition, from my interactions, the local artists: Varga Zsolt, Kovács István, Kovács Emese and Jójárt Barbara, are some of the best I have ever encountered. The open-mindedness and perspective gave me a lot of thought material and enriched my creative process. Being able to hear their views about the topics I am researching was enlightening and refreshing. As I am researching a subject which is common worldwide, the society’s projection of sexuality on the female body, being able to collaborate with local Budapest artists, gave me the opportunity to see how they interact and react with the utmost respect and thoughtfulness I could ever imagine to this delicate subject. They have been one of the most progressive groups I worked with.

photo: Roland Szabo

– Do you have any feedback on the location you could work; partners in work (movers, thinkers, any other participants, me); process of communication with us organizers and/or what did you miss if there was anything?
– When I think back about the residency time, I still recall the sweet memory of coming into the working space. The person at the front desk would greet me welcome with a smile, as he handed in the key, being followed by a question of how I am doing from the associates in the office. Those little precious moments, especially during a creative process, are critical and influential on any artist. The positive attitude given by the staff propagates through their action and enable you to start the day in the best way possible.
I believe in synergy and that collaborative art has an emergent property to it, such that the sum is equal to more than the individual parts. That is why collaborators are such an essential part of my research. The life experiences of the performers set a high level of discussion which affects the process of development of the creation. One particular example I remember is while explaining my ideas to my performers, Emese and Barbara were thrilled and questioned me more into how the current discussion topic came to be, what’s it’s background and history. The genuine interest in how the work materiel came to be, helped me further tune the materials to the performers as their honesty enabled me to adjust it to them.

photo: Márta Ladjánszki

This residency, I was engaging in a particularly complicated project. In fact, it is the most difficult one I have attempted so far. The ability of L1 Association, and Ladjánszki Márta, in particular, to make feel so smooth and fun were phenomenal and exceeded any expectations I had. First her guidance throughout the research process, helping me to figure the best way to choose collaborators from  a distance, going over the open call and materials I submitted, publishing and marketing to the community, helping with finding funds to mitigate the costs of stay and materials, taking care of airport pickup and guiding me through the city, making sure I have everything I needed and personal warmth and attention any artist needs in order to be able to focus on their work are only to name a few of the way she assisted the artists, including me.
Before I moved to NYC I worked in Machol Shalem Dance House in Israel and from time to time I would produce dance events and go to festivals abroad.
I can say that I have never experienced the care and availability I received in this residency anywhere else.
– Do you have any recommendation for us how to work next time in such a case?
– I wish all the artists to have such pleasant support and stay as I had. I hope the L1 association will keep the high level of care they are projecting.
I would especially recommend to keep the thinking partner role for any creative process and residencies that come in.
Working alongside Ladjánszki Márta as my thinking partner helped me to question my core values and explore new ways of looking. I felt that she created a safe place for creativity which allowed me to visit places in myself that I didn’t have the courage and the strength to expose and Now I do!

photo: Roland Szabo
– What about the presentation of yours, (official and unofficial)
– The discussion after the performances are an excellent tool to provide a pathway to understanding about the participants’ experience. The feedback such conversation provides is valuable, as an artist, to test your hypothesis and update and polish the necessary unrefined parts of the performance.
I believe that having the moderator's questions in advanced could be even more valuable. In my case, I was not able to give the full time and focus to think and dive deep into them in the short time we had, and in addition, it takes longer to articulate your thoughts in a language that is not native to you. Being able to have major topics or opening questions to the discussion could both set the minds of all participants to an even more beneficial discussion and give an opportunity to better engage others with your own ideas and thoughts in a simple, clear way.
– Do you have any thoughts about L1danceFest as officially this was also kind of part of your residency?
– To take part in the diverse international festival exposed me to a variety of art-making styles and opened my horizons to different kinds of esthetics. It served as a great platform for meeting people from the world. The experience of being exposed to others’ art throughout the festival pushes your creativity to imagine which ways your own art can grow. It drives you forward to complete and expand on your regular material sources and enables you to open discussion with fellow artists which helps articulate and refine your thoughts, movements and message.
Lilach Orenstein (IL, 2019)


On the Road_echoes_DanzaEñe 2018 by Simona Máthé Kiss

Simona Máthé Kiss (L1-member) was representing L1 Association by visiting DanzaEñe 2018 held at Centro Párraga in Murcia (Spain) between  22-24 November 2018

The SGAE Foundation launched the second edition of DanzaEñe between 22 and 24 November 2018. The festival is an initiative that aims to internationalize contemporary Spanish dance every year, presenting works to the public and organise meetings between the artists and the director or programmers of international dance festivals. The focus was pretty much on the fact that DanzaEñe is not simply a showcase, but a platform designed for professional meet-ups and exchange. Moreover the festival highlighted the importance of support for contemporary dance, as rates show the financial crisis in the field.

This year the DanzaEñe was organised in a very friendly environment at the Centro Párraga, a center of contemporary culture in the Region of Murcia. The center is a nice, welcoming place deliberately open for experimental art and research projects. The festival featured Spanish choreographers and contemporary dancers, who brought their work with a maximum length of 55 minutes. The first edition prescribed that pieces were between 30 and 45 minutes, this year the only indication was that the works should not be longer than 55 minutes. My personal experience was that some choreographers struggled to fill in the maximum capacity of the time frame, resulting in a sensible effort throughout the piece. Most of the pieces were 50 minutes long, but the artistic value has nothing to do with time. The other thing which was quite strange to me was music. Most of the pieces used music as a central drive for their works, defining the basic rhythm and palpation of the dance. There were 3 or 4 works with live music bands as well.

My favourite pieces were Poliana Lima’s Hueco (Hollow) and Jesús Rubio’s Ahora que no somos demasiado viejos todavía (Now that we’re still not too old). Poliana Lima’s piece was a real gem, inviting us to be present in the work, experience a voyage of identity through movement and live music. Jesús presented in a single act of dance his current situation in life. His work is about Madrid, the people he is surrounded by, their hopes and expectations. I also enjoyed very much El Manisero’s work where I could experience a completely different state of mind. The title of the piece was Black Noise, a work talking about the task that objects and bodies carry out by connecting and resulting in different meaning. These works were very good examples of high professional skills combining with an open-minded, experimental way of creating.

All in all the DanzaEñe was a very good experience, a perfect channel for meeting and sharing ideas. SGAE Foundation is devoted to support contemporary dance and artists and is also eager to have feedbacks and improve every year. The organisation did all the best for the international visitors and for the dancers as well. Most of the performances had engaged a lot of people, I almost saw full houses for all the shows, which is a very good accomplishment in a smaller city with appx. 440 000 population. In my opinion the region of Murcia has shown a very good example of commitment to artistic diversity and the combination of a devoted organiser and such a lovely host can only result with authentic and real human and artistic interactions.

[II Muestra de danza española contemporánea para programadores internacionales
Held at Centro Párraga in Murcia (Spain) between  22-24 November 2018
Hosted by: Centro Párraga
Supported by: Región de Murcia, ica (Instituto de las industrias culturales y de las artes), Centro Párraga, Región Murcia Comunidad de futuro]


On the Road_echoes_IFMC 2018 by Kristóf Farkas

 Kristóf Farkas (L1-member) was visiting the 31st International Festival of Modern Choreography (IFMC) took place 20 – 25th November, Vitebsk in Belarus.

 Though the weather in the town of Vitebsk, just like in my hotel room was a bit chilly when I arrived, the more than friendly welcoming and moreover familiar sensation of the whole festival wrapped me in a heartwarming feeling all along, just like my fluffy extra blanket did. The main event of the 31st IFMC is the Competition of Modern Choreography, which I joined as a member of the Expert Council who together with the International Jury awarded the Prize Panfilov to the »Choreographer of the Festival«.

    In two days we saw 39 performances of 30 teams and on the third 12 of them again as part of the final. The projects beside the Belarus ones came from Armenia, China, Cuba, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, which means that you could really have the chance to get a comprehensive view of this broader dance scene, where representative meets peculiar, independently of borders, of course. It was really interesting to see the divergence between two sets of views and the growing distance from the aloof tradition of classical and/or modern ballet education to the current trends of modern and/or contemporary »dance«, a convers(at)ion in progress between various and versatile.
    In my oppinion the quality of dance does not equal the quality of choreography, but the quality of choreography equals the quality of »dance«. The existance and importance of the so-called Russian tradition was quite obvious when I was watching most of the performances, and in cases where exquisite technique met ideas trying to think out of the so-labelled box was a unique opportunity to see the potency, which I could really miss sometimes from other performances, where concept(ualism) would deserve more practice. The phenomenon is unquestionable, just like the characteristic of the final selection which cultivates both »branches« in order to give opportunity to an awaited, possible reunion.
    After the announciation of participants, but before the final selection, during an open session held by the Expert Council, each of us had a shorter or longer time to give a summarization of our impressions at/on the festival. From my part I tried to give some statements and intend some kind of brief proposal of what am I looking for, what do I favour attention to when I see a performance, according to its chosen criterions: complexity it is. Etymology divides choreography into two parts: khoreia – dancing in unison – and graphy – denoting. In my oppinion, pure dance only exists in its own singularity: extension of a denotation (whatever it means and does) only through the body. But the choreographer is also a stage-manager when dance is put on boards, because of the usage of stage design (light, costume, music, setting etc.). One can not simply ignore to cooperate, if stage is used as a context for dance, which has to be in unison with these other elements.

    That is to say not only dance is, which has denotations, supported by (let’s call them) layers, but every layer (including dance) has its own and that’s why choreography postulates and results in complexity. The most evident giveaway (an other layer), most of the time is the description, given/written by the creators themselves. Usually I don’t read these »guides«, but in a contest like IFMC is, I find them more than useful, because with their help you can add some guiding lines, concerning conception and realization. In this case, besides storytelling ones you could also find abstract and hot topics, but my main point of view all the while regardless of any »clear message« was to seek to complexity. For me it means that the choreographer is not only capable to take care of dance and/or aesthetics, but susceptible to choreograph those extending layers too, through and/or with which the body can dance, because in effect »dance« is, what is important. During the open session I didn’t have time to analyse any choreography, but it surprised me that after how many people asked for our oppinion. All in all, for me it’s obvious, that each performance I saw is a potent one and the only suggestion I could give now for all is to not just think outside of the box, but touch its sides, push them away and go further to see it on the whole, when you stop to look back.

    After I saw the 39 performances of the second round, I found the program more than colorful: an artistic spectrum I kenned. A festival for which is that important to present companies and projects from smaller venues dedicating attention to and introduce us (and themselves, the other performers) an even younger generation, is more than a noble gesture. It means cultivating and taking care of culture back and forth. Thanks to that, the opportunity to observe the dance scene like this in a broader context, is a remarkable thing. Mr Yury Sumaneev, general and generous director of Belwest, the greatest sponsor of the festival defined the community of IFMC as a family and I totally agree with him. He is right, not just because of close relations and long past featuring it, but of they welcome every new attendee, just like me, as a part of it, for which I can only say thanks. I hope to see you in 2020.


echoes_L1danceFest 2018_by Ina Gerginova (BG)

For the first time in our 17 years of history with L1danceFest we share the thoughts of a scholarship holder who we invited to be part of the L1danceFest-family for 2018 :-)
Let us introduce you Ina Gerginova from Sofia (BG)…

»»» ««« 

    Summer vacation has just ended and after a few extremely busy working days, I almost couldn’t realize that I’m already on my way to Hungary. I was invited as a scholarship holder by Márta Ladjánszki and Zsolt Varga from L1 association to the seventeenth edition of L1danceFest. The Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Budapest agreed to host me, my travel expenses were covered by “Mobility” programme of the Bulgarian National fund “Culture”. So, it was happening… And I was very grateful and curious of  what awaits me. 

photo: Roland Szabo

    My journey started like series of images. Few hours at the airport. Flight delay. Bus 100E. Smiling Noemi from L1 Association, who walked me to the place, where I was going to stay. The people from the Bulgarian cultural institute – so kind and welcoming. My room, with the sensation of the energies of all the artists, who were here before me. The beautiful streets of Budapest. A warm hug from Marta in a cozy art space, where I was listening Tomas and Katarina speaking about light from a different, deeper and spiritual perspective (during their introduction lecture for the lighting design workshop). Particles, which were appearing one after the other in front of my eyes, creating the painting of a new experience.

The performances

I’ve attended all the events in the programme of L1danceFest, but here I will share my thoughts about those of them, which touched me the most and – for different reasons, stayed in my heart or in my mind.

Rising, Shira Eviatar (IL) 

photo: Roland Szabo
This Israeli duet intrigued me with its message, connected to the importance of the cultural and folkloric heritage, of the traditions. I found the performance political, honest and strong in its movement language, supported by the voices of the artists and the traditional rhythms they’ve chosen. At the same time the sensation wasn’t dramatic, it was leading the spectator to the question of “celebration of the roots”.
After the performance Shira Eviatar said: “Not only grief and sadness has to be taken as serious feelings. Happiness is a very serious thing. You have to know how to be high and how to be low. It is a value to be happy!”
For me this last sentence is the essence of her creation. 

Body’s Slim 3 Exhibition
Curated by Zsolt KOROKNAI DLA (H)

Exhibited artists:
 Réka Harsányi & Dóra Ida Szűcs (H),
 Helén Sára Horváth (H),
 Zsolt Koroknai DLA & Márta Ladjánszki (H)
, Réka Szűcs (H),
 Ziggurat Project (H)
Emese KOVÁCS & Ziggurat Project (H) Little Magic Box of Harmony (work-in-progress presentation),
 Lior LAZAROF & Chen Nadler (IL) ABC and the Study of Stars, 
Anikó KISS & Emilia JAGICA (SRB) Awakening
A very intensive showcase evening, which left me with a lot of thoughts and feelings about feminine energy.
My strongest memory from the exhibition in Mamu gallery are the paintings in which I saw the conception and the childbirth, the fusion of men and women as one creature. I was also touched by the image of the performer with a dress, pressed to the floor with a circle of rocks. It made me think about Earth, nature and their feminine power, which probably had nothing to do with the idea of the piece, but – inside me, it stayed as a metaphor of what I saw.
Somehow I found this theme in the performances I watched later this evening: the powerful image of the ocean of plastic cups, representing human’s insatiability in Gyula Berger’s “Letszomj”; the slightly ironic (from my point of view) question of what we, people, value and how we tend to exaggerate things which are may be not so important (“Ebredes”), the theme of artificial intelligence (Little box of Harmony) and the physical repetitions (ABC and the study of stars), which I linked with the habits and patterns in our daily life.
In general this evening made me think a lot about human nature, what do we create and destroy… 

Márta LADJÁNSZKI & Zsolt VARGA (H) LetMeC – clothes-free artists and audience!

photo: NaVKE
LetMeC is a socially engaged interactive provocation. Even only the fact that both the audience and the performers are naked makes it different and gives material for cogitation. I experienced the way Marta Ladjanszki was inviting the members of the audience to participate in the performance and the way she interacted with them as very brave and at the same time natural acts on stage. I was reminded once again about the beauty of human’s body and about its ambivalence in a sense of equality and diversity. For me LetMeC contains an implicit call for tolerance and acceptance, it encourages the freedom of being who you are… 

István KOVÁCS (H) Between Two Worlds – next chapter of the “30 Years in Performance Art”-series

photo: Roland Szabo
I found Istvan Kovacs’s visual ideas (both in his solo performance Between Two Worlds – next chapter of the “30 Years in Performance Art”-series and in the L1 Association’s performance SHOEGAZE) exceptionally inspiring. They are fine, aesthetically beautiful metaphors, which “speak for themselves”, providing a strong and meaningful impact. And by the fact that these props are made from and represent the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water), in my inner world I read them as socially and ecologically engaged “speaking matters”.

Studio presentations

Francesca FOSCARINI (IT) Animale
Gil KERER & Korina FRAIMAN (IL) Nice to Beat You
Alise Madara BOKALDERE (LV) The Translation of My Eyes (Manu acu tulkojums)

photo: Roland Szabo
I admired the artistic presence and the quality of movement of  Romain Guion (Animale, Francesca Foscarini (IT)), Korina Fraiman and Gil Kerer (Nice to Beat You (IL)). This type of artists can absorb you, enchant you, entice you to follow them on unimaginable journeys between the inner worlds of their characters and your own one. Watching them was a source of inspiration for me and a bright example along my professional path as an artist. 

photo: Roland Szabo
I was also impressed by the technique of the performers in “The translation of my eyes”. Although it felt a bit too long for me, I was surprised to hear the Bulgarian folkloric song “Yana turchin lagala” in the performance, which – in an emotional way, made my experience of it more personal and intimate.  

photo: Roland Szabo
These three works provoked common feelings inside of me. They were completely different, but somehow all of them left me the sensation of loneliness. In a beautiful and gentle way they led me into thinking about what is the difference between being lonely by yourself and being lonely with the others. They led me to some silence, to the vague expectation of the word, which comes after a three dots…

Talking through V4+ open discussions

After each of the performances during the festival there were discussions with the artists – additional possibility to dive deeper in the artworks, to formulate questions and to find answers, to experience a better quality of communication.
I enjoyed the Talking through V4+ discussions and I think it would be enriching if they become a regular festival practice.


Lighting design WORKSHOP led by 
Tomáš MORÁVEK (CZ) & Katarina ĎURICOVÁ (SK)
photo: Roland Szabo
I had never worked with lights before, so this workshop opened the door to a new world to me. Although most of the participants had no experience in lighting design, the leaders of the workshop were explaining the basics in such a methodical and clear way, that we could easily understand and follow them. The workshop was very well constructed. There was a theoretical part about the different types of lights, their function and examples of angles and combinations between them in the context of theatre lighting design. Then each of the participants could practically try to work with the lights and at the end we had a task, which in a surprisingly “light” way led us to spontaneously create our own short lighting design, to write it down and try to lead it by ourselves. I was amazed and very inspired by the approach of Tomas and Katarina. This encounter gave new direction to one of my projects and I hope it was just the beginning of a beautiful creative cooperation.

Contemporary dance classes led by Romain GUION (FR)
photo: Roland Szabo
What I liked the most in Romain Guion’s classes was the smooth and at the same time dynamic approach in teaching technique. It drags you into the active physicality of the movement without any tension and makes you exhale – literally and metaphorically, the unnecessary excessive thinking which often disturbs the process of dancing, when learning something new.

Shira EVIATAR (IL) Celebration Body – looking into forms of celebration – dance  workshop

photo: Roland Szabo
Shira Eviatar’s workshop gave me useful improvisational tools and ideas, which can be adapted for different creative processes, socially engaged projects, art therapy and movement research.

lorgennale – a home festival
Curated by Jean-Lorin STERIAN (RO)

    I have experience in sight-specific creation, but this event was my first encounter with such an approach. The idea of performing in actual apartments and houses of people made me feel truly excited. It was one of those strange moments of personal discovery when you ask yourself: “How haven’t I thought of this before?!” The atmosphere of an “alive” inhabited space can give a specific boost of energy to a performance, because of the “historical layers” it contains. The border of the stage edge doesn’t exist in such circumstances. The members of the audience are close to the performers and they’re also not anonymous between one another like in the theatre hall. This domestic atmosphere immediately starts to form a micro society in the space, which also changes the manner of perception of the performance. This event made me eager to research, cooperate and even create similar projects in the future. 

photo: Roland Szabo

A feeling of togetherness…

    There are few things, which created the complete atmosphere of the event and made L1danceFest such a special experience for me…

The city
Home of the festival – the magical Budapest swallowed me in its fairy streets and while walking from one location to another, I was charmed by the majestic architecture, the cathedrals and palaces, the monuments and the tiny metro stations, lined with tiles and wooden paneling. The city, guided by the noble Danube river…

The evenings
     Every evening was introducing to us, the guests of the festival, a different art space. Each one was special in its own way, but my favorite remains BAKELIT, based in the building of an old factory with a diversity of halls, stages and studios. An alternative art space, which is a dream come true for many contemporary artists, including myself. 
    In these welcoming places, during the evenings, in between performances, presentations and exhibitions, was the perfect time for socializing. With a glass of wine the informal conversations were starting spontaneously and even easier they were becoming a base for building new partnerships and friendships. This is how I met and felt very connected to Ofra Idel and Shira Eviatar. I found common artistic interests with Tomas Moravek, Katarina Duricova and Jean-Lorin Sterian and we even started to plan future projects together. I had the chance to speak with many other artists, to share thoughts, opinions, inspirations. I had a sense of community.
    The evenings were also enriching by giving me the opportunity to spend time alone, by myself, to digest the impressions, the information, the whole new experience.
    The last evening was like a farewell gift. The home festival ended in the house of Ishtvan Kovacs, in a village close to Budapest, where we were sitting around the fireplace together, baking bacon and vegetables on a stick, enjoying more and more conversations. It was a romantic closure of the festival.

And of course, the main and most important reason for L1danceFest to be what it is…

Márta and Zsolt
    The places they’ve chosen, the artists they have invited, the way they do things, how they communicate… In general, the persons, who Marta and Zsolt are is what makes the festival so special. An event on a high professional level, which at the same time makes you feel at home. This atmosphere is due to Marta and Zsolt’s personal connection and communication with each of their guests. I’m certain that they truly care about the development of the artists they work with, because I can feel it. For me, as a young freelance artist, their support means a lot, it gives me strength, courage and new directions. I’m grateful for each opportunity to meet and work with them. I hope there is a lot more to come!

In conclusion I would like to say that L1danceFest is definitely an experience to remember!

Ina Gerginova
/freelance dancer, actress, choreographer, art therapist/
*My attendance to L1danceFest was possible, because of the generous support of L1 Association, Bulgarian Cultural Institute (Budapest) and Mobility programme of National fund “Culture”, Bulgaria