CriticalDance Forum

27th June, 2005: Shlomi Bitton/Silesian Dance Th/Phil ind
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:08 pm ]
Post subject:  27th June, 2005: Shlomi Bitton/Silesian Dance Th/Phil ind

First full day of classes, seminars and performances.

Performances 27.06

Shlomi Bitton
"Just Air (No Hands)", "One-Self"

Silesian Dance Theatre
"Fainted dress"

Philadelphia independence

In Krakow: Compagnie Drift

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Festival Diary, Day 1 - Stuart Sweeney, Lecturer and Forum Administrator

After some preliminaries on Sunday, the festival kicked off in balmy weather with the first classes starting at 0830 - rather them than me! Many of the faculty here have been several times, but there is no sense of a clique, but rather one of welcome and "How can we help." In addition the festival staff and volunteers are perpetually cheerful under pressure (well, so far anyway). And with the wide range of activities, there's plenty to feel pressured about.


I'd been warned that Bytom itself was not on the tourist map, but I find that there is much architecture from the Art Nouveaux/Jugendstil period, one of my favourites. Near my hotel is a large school in this style, which makes a bold statement in space, just as the best dance does.

My day has been spent on administration: meeting the delightful, young team who will run the Festival Newspaper and seeing how we can work together. Also saying a few words to the Dance Writing Workshop participants about the Feedback Forum, before my full seminar on "Dance Writing for the Internet" on Thursday, 30th June and setting up this dedicated forum. Gentle reader, I even missed this evening's performances on your behalf. But hopefully others will plug the gap.

Chatting to some of the US teachers and choreographers, it was great to hear that CriticalDance was known to them. Hopefully we'll soon be a household name in Poland, as well. Today I came face to face with a large, Polish billboard ad featuring David Beckham, who I believe is a footballer. Is there no escape?

Author:  Basia from Sopot, Poland [ Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:01 am ]
Post subject: 

27 June 2005, Silesian Dance Theatre, Main Stage

Shlomi Bitton

I enjoyed this triple bill, the first programme in the Festival on the main stage. The first work, was a solo, “EHAD or One-Self”, danced and choreographed by Shlomi Bitton and he performed with a bomb as a prop and I have to say that I didn’t get the point. Nevertheless, I really appreciated the piece as his wonderful sense of rhythm shone through, despite the accompanying complex, electronic score. He managed to achieve floating movements, despite wearing an awkward bag and I also enjoyed the wide use of body parts, not just torso, legs and arm, but his face, eyes, palms and fingers as well.

I have seen Sylwia Hefczyńska-Lewandowska’s work before and I admire her choreography. Nevertheless I had some problems with the scenography of her trio, “The Fainted Dress”, particularly a scene where many of the swings used in the production fell down and I didn’t understand why. In compensation, there was a lot of dynamic dance, with falling and unexpected, sharp movements contrasted with delicate moments in the duets. The central idea was of a couple interrupted by a second man and the subsequent quarrels and reconciliations. Sylwia herself danced the role of the woman in trousers, and a red dress, which she desperately tried to remove. Eventually, her partner takes it off, to be replaced by a pyramid-shaped garment. I particularly enjoyed the dancing of Sebastian Zajkowski – I know he is great physically and in his mental approach, but in “The Fainted Dress” he had some words to speak and showed that he is a good actor as well.

Shlomi Bitton’s second piece of the evening, “Just Air (No Hands)” was a duo with Lilli Ladin. It used the bold move of the two dancers repeatedly kissing and it’s not often you see such intimate moments on-stage. The slow movements of the early stages gave way to faster passages with disco lighting and an aura of insecurity. In a touching final scene, Shlomi lies on the stage, exhausted and extremely weak; his partner touches his arm as if to help him recover and the lights go out. After a day of classes, I was very tired, but “Just Air” held my attention, nevertheless.

Author:  Bytom Admin [ Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:49 pm ]
Post subject:  27 June 2005, Main Stage, "The Fainted Dress"


Sylwia Hefczyńska-Lewandowska for a few years has been bound up with the Silesian Dance Theatre. Monday’s spectacle revealed how strong this connection is. “The Fainted Dress” is a choreographic debut of the artist, but I found there a lot of elements which I have known from Jacek Łumiński’s performences. Similar gloom – dancers appering in the feeble light from the dark nooks of the stage. Show of acrobatic skills and the package of pictures dispersed through the scene, visually nice, but without deeper content or suggesting it only. And that’s a pity.

“The Fainted Dress”, as can be easily guessed, is a story about a complicated emotional relationship in a triangle of a woman and two men. It can be expected that the spectacle is about penetrating relationships among people – in the first scene dancers wrestle with a rope which links them but at the same time captures them – because characters, who are the most intereseted in the relationship, stay passive. Neither man is provoked by the woman, lying half-naked, although both of them have been trying to engage with her. There’s no deeper reaction between them, although we know that someone has to win such a fight. Instead, they seem uninterested while showing some evolutions over her like if they were jumping over the fire. Lack of relationships among characters, lack of contact among dancers, distance and indifference, while the whole thing was to show the relationships. We are telling the story, but we stay beside – the dancers seem to suggest, especially the one sitting on a swing, who remains there without moving.

The title of the work refers obviously to the woman (Sylwia Hefczyńska-Lewandowska) put between men. She loves one of them, but she agrees for another’s domination. Independant at the beginning (she gets rid of the rope), finally she puts on a costume forced upon her by the partner. A black, stiff dress with a corset restraining her body replaces a delicate, etherial red tunic, which, placed on a hanger, will remind its owner to a might-have-been lover. Life is not a fairytale, but the spectacle finishes this way. However it’s a double-dealing tale. The female character put in the frames of the black dress, sweeten her life with candies. She also feeds them to her partner. Colourful wrappers whirling around the dancer like sequins. Her underwear is made of these sequins. There are as many sweets hidden under her dress, as much bitterness is seen on the surface.

“The Fainted Dress” finished the same way it started. The creaky swing was joined by others. It was sad, melancholic and meanwhile iritating. Why “a calf” obtrusivly evoking Gombrowicz (a famous Polish writer who used “a calf” as a keyword) had to be put among words spread by the dancers, which, as I suppose, were to signal the internail and external life of characters? And a dancer situated in the background absurdly showered with sand was moving in a way: “I dance as you play”.
I like to watch Sylwia Hefczyńska on stage. Delicate, ethereal, escaping gravity, she meanders like a ribbon around her partners – dreamlike as the air. In the best scenes, similar in style to Martha Graham, she fights with the red tunic. What I missed in the work was the cohesion, motivation for some activities of the actors and tension which could electrify the audience. Especially because what we saw on the stage was happenning among people and talking about people’s passions.

author: Aneta Głowacka
translation: Magdalena Pietraś

„The Fainted Dress", choreogr. Sylwia Hefczyńska – Lewandowska, Silesian Dance Theatre

Author:  Bytom Admin [ Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  27 czerwca 2005, Scena Główna, "Omdla&#322


Sylwia Hefczyńska – Lewandowska od kilku lat związana jest ze Śląskim Teatrem Tańca, a jak to bliski związek udowodnił poniedziałkowy spektakl. „Omdlała sukienka” jest choreograficznym debiutem artystki, chociaż znalazłam w nim wiele elementów, które gościły już na bytomskiej scenie w spektaklach Jacka Łumińskiego. Podobny, nieco mroczny nastrój, wyłaniający się w słabym świetle z zakamarków sceny tancerze, popis akrobatycznych wręcz umiejętności i zestaw rozpierzchniętych po scenie, wizualnie ładnych obrazów, które w sumie nie niosą ze sobą głębszych treści lub tylko ledwie je sygnalizują. A szkoda.

„Omdlała sukienka”, jak można przypuszczać, to historia skomplikowanych emocjonalnie relacji w trójkącie, którego wierzchołki tworzą kobieta i dwaj mężczyźni. Można tylko przypuszczać, że w spektaklu chodzi o penetrowanie związków międzyludzkich – w pierwszej scenie tancerze mocują się z łączącą ich, ale i zniewalającą taśmą - bowiem najbardziej zainteresowani tymi relacjami bohaterowie, pozostają na siebie obojętni. Żadnego z mężczyzn nie sprowokuje do działania leżąca, półnaga kobieta, chociaż obaj walczą o jej względy. Nie wejdą ze sobą w jakąkolwiek głębszą interakcję, chociaż wiadomo, że w tej walce ktoś musi zwyciężyć. W zamian za to dość obojętnie wykonają nad tancerką kilka ewolucji, jakby skakali nad ogniskiem. Brak więzi między postaciami, brak kontaktu między tancerzami, dystans i obcość, a przecież o pokazanie relacji między ludźmi chodziło. Opowiadamy wspólnie jakąś historię, ale jesteśmy obok - zdają się przez cały czas sugerować tancerze. Chyba najlepiej oddaje to postać tancerza umieszczonego na huśtawce w głębni sceny, który w lekkim odrętwieniu tkwi tam przez pół przedstawienia.

Tytuł spektaklu odnosi się, oczywiście, do zawieszonej między mężczyznami kobiety (Sylwia Hefczyńska – Lewandowska). Jednego kocha, drugiemu się poddaje. Początkowo niezależna, wyplątuje się ze zniewalającej taśmy, ostatecznie zakłada narzucony przez partnera kostium. Czarna, sztywna sukienka z zamykającym ciało gorsetem zastępuje delikatną, zwiewną czerwoną tunikę. Ta, martwo rozwieszona na wieszaku, stale będzie przypominać niedoszłemu kochankowi o swej właścicielce. Życie to nie bajka, chociaż spektakl kończy się bajkowo. Bajka to jednakże przewrotna. Osadzona w ramy czarnej sukni bohaterka, osładza sobie życie cukierkami. Nimi będzie również karmić uległego, chociaż ustalającego reguły gry partnera. Kolorowe złotka wirują wokół tancerki jak cekiny. Z takich cekinów będzie uszyta jej spodnia garderoba. Tyle słodyczy pod sukienką, ile goryczy na wierzchu.

Spektakl skończył się tak, jak się zaczął. Tyle, że do skrzypiącej smutno huśtawki dołączyły inne. Było smutno i melancholijnie, a w międzyczasie irytująco. Dlaczego wśród kilku wyrzuconych przez tancerzy słów, które jak mniemam, sygnalizowały życie wewnętrzne i zewnętrzne postaci, musiała znaleźć się łydka, w natrętny sposób przywołująca Gombrowicza. A ulokowany w głębi sceny i posypywany piaskiem tancerz, bez wyraźnego związku z całością poruszał się w myśl zasady: zatańczę ci tak, jak mi zagrasz. Lubię patrzeć na Sylwię Hefczyńską jak porusza się na scenie. Delikatna, zwiewana, wymykająca się prawom ciążenia, plastycznie niczym wstążka układa się wokół partnerujących jej tancerzy. Zjawiskowa jak powietrze. Sceny, w których niczym Martha Graham mocowała się z materią czerwonej tuniki, należą do jednych z najlepszych. Zabrakło mi w tym spektaklu jednakże spójności, dostatecznej motywacji dla niektórych działań tancerzy i napięcia, które przeskakując między postaciami, zelektryzowało by publiczność. Wszak to, co widzieliśmy na scenie, między ludźmi się rozgrywało i o ludzkich namiętnościach mówiło.

Aneta Głowacka

„Omdlała sukienka”, choreogr. Sylwia Hefczyńska – Lewandowska, wyst. Sylwia Hefczyńska – Lewandowska, Śląski Teatr Tańca.

Author:  Guest [ Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

Shlomi Bitton, "Just Air (No Hands)", "One-Self" - First Impressions

Paulina from Katowice: I enjoyed it a lot - their expressions and technique. Shlomi Bitton is a very good actor.

Agnieska from Silesia: It’s like real life. How lucky that the first performance was so good.

Jerzy from Sosnowiec: When I look at this performance it connected with politics and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. However, it’s a pity that the artists didn’t extend this to a universal interpretation of danger. Further, the bomb is a familiar prop we have seen before.

Author:  Jerzy Fila [ Tue Jul 12, 2005 12:02 pm ]
Post subject: 


author: Jerzy Fila, clinical psychologist
translation: Magdalena Pietraś

A performance about a few perspectives and freely treated chronology, biology, physiology and aesthetics. The history of biological metamorphosis of a woman’s body and relating these variable states to different behaviors and social roles.
The piece is about giving life, passing and finally walking away after fulfilling the task.
Something difficult to describe with words but ideal for this type of artistic scene. An interesting way of showing attracting a man, competing for a woman, at last maturing and the appearance of a physical love fruit. In the foreground a woman shows her festive dance, attracts a pair of men, chooses the partner and as a result she becomes a mother. In the background a new human life waits to be born. There is a rope with a round seat dangling from the ceiling. A man has crouched on it. It resembles an umbilical cord, placenta and fetus.

Another interesting thing is the illustration of the woman’s subjectivity. An ordinary dress becomes a symbol - it is carefully placed on a hanger and the woman is treated as an object, literally hung like a prop on a massive, stationary dress. Like her dress, the woman is put into the wardrobe.

She changes from the lover into the feeder. The performance can be also treated more slightly, without looking under the dress.

author: Jerzy Fila, clinical psychologist
translation: Magdalena Pietraś

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