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 Post subject: Introduction to Bytom Festival 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:20 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia

DANCE CONFERENCE, BYTOM POLAND: 28th June - 11th July 2009

XVI Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival

Can it really be that time already? Well, as I'm here in Poland with a Festival folder and a sheaf of meal vouchers, I guess it must be.

In a few hours, the Captain of the Starship "Bytom Dance Festiaval" will be ordering "warp factor 10" and one of the largest dance events in Europe will be going where no festival has gone before.

In conjunction with the Festival newspaper, CriticalDance will again be running a feedback forum, describing some:

- 30 performances
- 30 classes
- 80 hours of seminars on the themes of dance history and dance writing
- an arts management conference
- outreach programmes for children, disability groups and seniors

and much more. Strewth!

For current information on the festival:

Watch this space for more information

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:52 am 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia


MAIN STAGE – Silesian Dance Theatre, 27 Zeromskiego Street, Bytom

7 pm 28 th June 2009 Sunday
Silesian Dance Theatre (Poland) “Panopticon or/and a Parable of the Poppy”

7 pm 29 th June 2009 Monday
Cholmondeleys & Featherstonehaughs (UK) “Dancing on your grave”

7 pm 30 th 2009 Tuesday – world premiere
Idan Cohen (Israel) “Swan lake”

7 pm 1 st July 2009 Wednesday
Compagnie Drift (Switzerland) “Au bleu cochon”
video excerpts

7 pm 2 nd July 2009 Thursday
Mancopy (Denmark)“Iconic / ironic”
video excerpts
video excerpts

7 pm 3 rd July 2009 Friday
Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (Israel) “Ekodoom”
video excerpts

4 th July 2009 Saturday
Panel discussion – 5.30 pm. foyer –
with critics, choreographers and spectators on Festival events going on the first week.
Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (Israel) “Ekodoom”
video excerpts

7 pm 5 th July 2009 Sunday
Silesian Dance Theatre (Poland) – chor: Mihai Michalcea (Rumunia) “My song, best shoes, the cake, first flight,my friends, the passport, and the work I do…” – premiere

7 pm 6 th July 2009 Monday
Marija Scekic (Croatia) “Human Error”
Sapphire Creations Dance Company (India) Positive lives
video excerpts

7 pm 7 th July 2009 Tuesday
Reveriano Camil Tanz Theater Trier (Germany/Mexico) “Equilibrium, a man’s journey”
Jean – Guillaume Weis (Luxemburg) “Fill it up”

7 pm 8 th July 2009 Wednesday
Cie. Pal Frenak (Hungary) “Intime”
video excerpts

9 th July 2009 Thursday
Panel discussion – 5.30 pm. foyer –
with critics, choreographers and spectators on Festival events going on the second week.
7 pm – Yossi Berg & Oded Graf (Israel) “4 Men, Alice, Bach and the Deer “
video excerpts
Ferenc Feher (Hungary) “Orpheus marathon”

7 pm 10 th July 2009 Friday
Lublin Dance Theatre (Poland) “NN. Tribute to Vaclav Nijinsky”
Henrik Kaalund (Denmark / Germany) “DreaMe”

7 pm 11 th July 2009 Saturday
Art Stations Foundation / Stary BRowar Nowy Taniec / chor: Nigel Charnock (UK) “Happy”

SZOMBIERKI POWER PLANT – 27 Kosynierów Street, Bytom – Szombierki

9 pm 28 th June 2009 Sunday
Witness Relocation (USA) “Vicious Dogs”
video excerpts
video excerpts

9 pm 29 th June 2009 Monday
Green Chair (USA) “Dances for the Naked Eye”

9.30 pm 30 th June 2009 Tuesday
Diego Gil (Argentina / Holland) “About Falling”

9.00 pm 1 st July 2009 Wednesday
Chorea Tomasz Rodowicz (Poland) “Śpiewy Eurypidesa”

9.00 pm 2 nd July 2009 Thursday
Alexandra Beller (USA) “What comes after happy & egg”
video excerpts

9.30 pm 3 rd 2009 Friday
Witness Relocation (USA) “Vicious Dogs”
video excerpts
video excerpts

9.30 pm 4 th July 2009 Saturday
Young choreografers night:
Sylvia Camarda (Luxemburg) Swan dies o fan overdose
Anka Majcher (Poland) Song on 3 and 4 and
Hannah Ma (Germany) Watch out – the world is not behind you

9.30 pm 6 th July 2009 Monday
Phil Williams (UK) “Flux”

5.00 pm – 7 th July 2009 Tuesday
The Studio of Physical Theatre at the Silesian Dance Theatre (Poland)

9.00 pm 8 th July 2009 Wednesday
Integrated Dance Theatre (Poland)

9.30 pm 9 th July 2009 Thursday
Eliza Hołubowska (Poland) “Mijanie”
Iwona Olszowska (Poland) “Kilka piosenek o miłości”

PWST stage – Piłsudskiego 24 a, Bytom

2 pm 4 th July 2009 Saturday
Werner Bechter & Georg Blaschke (Austria) “Elsewhere” – work in progress


5 pm – 8 July 2009 Wednesday
Rafał Urbacki (Poland) “Zrównywanie” – outdoor performance

The performance schedule might be a subject of change.

11 th July 2009 Saturday 6.30 pm
Closing of 16 th Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival – Jazz Club Fantom, 27 Zeromskiego Street, Bytom

Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
As always, Stuart, thanks for keeping us up-to-date on the happenings in Poland.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19616
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A wonderfully funny piece from one of the Festival newspaper team from 2005. This year's Editor told me: "Nothing has changed!"

Festival Diary, Day 7: Bridget Critique of the Festival Newspaper team

Time: 7.00 a.m.
Stress units: 30
Tiredness units: 50
Cigerettes: 0

It seems I’m sleeping, but it’s not true. I can hear people coming in and out from the room. I know, it’s my fault, sleeping under the table is not a good strategy. Well, there’s no free space anywhere else. The whole floor is divided into several sleeping bags. I can hear because I have lost an ear plug from my left ear. Probably it has stuck to my hair and I will have to pull it out. But I’ll do it later. Why do I use earplugs? Parties in Fantom [The bar at the Silesian Dance Theatre]last till 4.00 a.m. Our flatmates get up at 7.00 a.m. Seven minus four leaves three hours sleep

Time: 7.15 a.m.
Stress units: 40
Tiredness units: 40
Cigerettes: still 0!

I need to pee. I have to get up. I’m groggy, but I manage to stagger out of bed and I’m on my way. And soon I am coming back – the toilet is occupied by those leaving at 7.30. I will have to go outside. In pyjamas? I put on my clothes.

Time: 7.30 a.m.
Finally the silence I’ve been dreaming about. I return to my sleeping bag. A drop of sleep in a whole sea of needs. I want to drink it right now.

Time: 10.00 a.m.
Stress units: 50
Tiredness units: 30
Cigarettes: 1

Cleaning teeth, fast make up, coffee made of three teaspoons per cup, first cigarette – this one kills fastest. To settle my shaking hands. There’s no electricity in the flat, same as every morning. With wet hair I am running for my theory classes. Luckily the others don’t look better than I do. Where did they sleep? While passing us, people stare in a strange way. Knowing that we look like zombies we turn our identity badges upside down, not to let them read our names.

Time: 11.30 a.m.
Stress units: 80
Tiredness units: 60
Cigarettes: 20

With my head crazy with pain I am checking my e-mails in the office. Maybe somebody decided to write a review of yesterday’s performance. The computer has broken down. Black screen has devoured everything that was done last day and night. Who will help me? The Chief Editor is neurotic, so don’t go close. A guy with a minimum of computer knowledge is trying to repair it. Swearing, he is taking something from one place and putting it to another. I am smoking the next portion of cigarettes. I feel sick. Eating? There’s no time.

Time: midday

Deadline for texts for the today’s issue of the newspaper. We won’t be ready with the translations. Stuart has fallen asleep in a chair. To wake him up, to motivate. A lovely man. I didn’t know that they play hymn in Bytom too. I am moving my toe in its rhythm– well I am at dance conference, aren’t I?

Time: 14.00 p.m.
Stress units: 100
Tiredness units: 95
Cigarettes: 43

The Internet isn’t working. We cannot send our texts for layout. Shattered nerves. To relax I am building on a desk an installation made of plastic mugs, yesterday’s issue of the newspaper and the wrap of the chief editor. The last cigarette. A glass of water. My mind is elsewhere. I rest in the sunlight streaming through the window.

Time: 15.00 p.m.
Stress units: 20 above permissible standard
Tiredness units: 10 above norm
Cigarettes: 50

I’ve had enough. I’m going to eat. Ingredients of our meals still the same. I have a mouth like a hog and my hands are shaking. There are no napkins. At the moment a disappointed reader is scolding me for a negative review. With my dirty nose I look like a cross between a zombie and a clown – a real authority. My appetite is gone. The crisis is coming. A remark: people take words too personally, they become offended like children. Our discussion is not a dialogue. The critic doesn’t play a constructive function. What are we here for?

Time: 16.00 p.m.
Stress units: 10 above norm
Tiredness units: it stays at the same level
Cigarettes: 52

To catch someone and give him a questionnaire. He may not agree to fill it out. The target recognized, mission completed, the only question that remains is whether he will give it back completed or not? An interview with 0ne of the Korean dancers. It’s crazy. I am making notes, but my handwriting is unreadable. A dictaphone is out of the question – it records only Polish words. How does it happen? Ghosts from the office are specialists of rummaging for technical equipment. But not only that – they have half eaten the editor’s pen.

Time: 17.00 p.m.

I am running for yoga. I don’t know where studio C is. I'm guessing. Then I am standing on a mat surrounded by athletic dancers’ bodies. My own, flaccid from sitting at desk is recalcitrant. I am falling asleep during the meditation. I am thinking and stress is coming back. Fast back to the office. The computers are alive again, so let’s get back to work. I feel sticky, so I refresh myself with coffee.

Time: 18.30 p.m.
Stress units: 25 above norm
Tiredness units: 30 above norm
Cigarettes: 62

We are making copies of our newspaper. For a while, the Xerox machine is out of order. I have stopped reacting to such things. Coffee before the performance. Maybe I won’t fall asleep in the middle. Watch and remember, think and interpret. There is no pleasure from watching a performance if you are to be its critic. L

Time: 21.00 p.m.

After the performance. We are collecting opinions from the audience. The proportion between those who are polite to me and those who are not is 1:1. Sometimes you may be invited for coffee instead of getting an opinion.
Most of the reactions: very nice, super, I liked it much. Are we afraid of negative opinions? Asking questions is fascinating me more and more as a social phenomenon.

Time: 22.00 p.m.
Stress units: around 100
Tiredness units: 150, which mean half too much
Cigarettes: after summing up 70

To the computer, divide up the work, schedule tasks. Who will give me a massage? No hands in the air, they are all touching keyboard. Hand-fetishists are typing, typing, typing. As Nosowska was singing: “coffee, cigarettes, coffee and me”. Temptation to get drunk, inspiration is not coming. Stormy discussions about what we saw. Those who don’t have a duty to write, are deserting in the direction of sleeping bags or a dancing parquet..

Time: midnight
Stress units: 0
Tiredness units: faaaaar too much
Cigarettes: as above

The highest point of creative passion and of computers’ destruction – it takes 35 min. to open the Onet website. I can hear the voice of somebody writing in a different room. At this hour we are all talking to ourselves. Dilemmas, banal during the day are growing bigger and bigger. Narcotic need of sweets!

Time: 2.00 a.m.

Night marathon across Bytom in search of a night shop with a wide range of chocolates. On the way “scary” views. Coffee, coffee, coffecoffecoffee... Pudding instead of brain. Night creatures are flying in the office. We are running away.

Time: 4.00 a.m.
Stress units: minus 20
Tiredness units: very close to the limit of what you can stand
Cigarettes: third pack

The computer screen has become black – the mouse has covered it up with a black curtain. When you touch it, the mouse articulates strange sounds. God, what is going on there? The mouse “is dancing” with a hard disc.
A small attack of panic, uncontrolled laughter. We manage to wake up a colleague, who is trying to calm the mouse.

Time: 6.00 a.m.

It’s bright. Bodies scarcely alive make their way to their coffins. They are carrying mysterious suitcases hiding laptops. Glassy eyes don’t see the door, which result in bruises. Sleepy stuffiness in the flat. Hairs in the sink. A stranger is lying in my place with my clothes under her head. I wonder if she has used my toothbrush. A cigarette, my only friend, is with me all the time. I manage not to kill the stranger. I am sleeping in the hall .

Your Bridget Critique

translation: Magdalena Pietras

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:34 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:30 pm
Posts: 54
The Sixteenth Commandment – Dance!

“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.”

This quote by Havelock Ellis, a British physician and social reformer from the end of the 19th century, opens the sixteenth consecutive edition of the festival newspaper.

At the end of June, when the Silesian Dance Theatre is slowly filling with remarkable personalities with varied backgrounds, it is worth thinking back to last year’s 15th International Modern Dance Conference and Performance Festival; we are all praying for a repeat of the last year’s huge organisational success, which resulted in the theatre being honored with the Golden Mask, received on 30 March 2009, during the ceremonial gala at The Entertainment Theatre (Teatr Rozrywki) in Chorzów.

This two-week event (from 29 June to 12 July, 2008) abounded in many intriguing projects, ranging from: dance workshops conducted by world-famous choreographers; outreach activities with disability and other groups; the international seminar of dance historians and critics combined with workshops on dance writing; classes targeted at future cultural managers; and not least, awe-inspiring shows.

The aforementioned Critics’ Seminar marks the continuation of a programme launched during the 3rd International Modern Dance Conference. Among the lecturers one could find last year were : Jacek Łumiński, Stuart Sweeney, Hilke Diemer, Idan Cohen, Dariusz Górski
and Kazuko Yamazaki. The workshops they hosted encouraged the contemplation of dance, discussions concerning techniques and thorough study of the theory of the art form, as well as significantly enhancing the way we perceive the art of dance.

An important element of the conference, the therapy through movement workshops, influenced the participants in a motivating and stimulating way, creating a public space in which the disabled could exist - in a number of cases it was the realisation of long-held dreams. With their choreography, they have shown that this form of movement belongs in the repertoire, of this art form, alongside every other performance presented during the conference. The Dance Theatre, working with this group, called The Direction, offered the opportunity for full cooperation which definitely did not go to waste.

The organisation of one series of dance-movement workshops was intended as a gesture of respect towards the elderly, a group stereotypically associated with passivity and a domestic matters. The classes conducted by Katarzyna Rybok drew a multitude of participants, mainly recruited from courses run by the University of the Third Age in Bytom. They proved that the autumn of one’s life does not have to mean stagnation and poor activity.

The organisers of the 15th Conference did not neglect the youngest members of society, resulting in the creation of the Little Modern Dance Conference. During dance workshops led by an international group of professional dancers including Korina Kordova, Magdalena Górnicka and Noibis Licea, 27 children between the age of seven and twelve familiarised themselves with improvisation, modern dance and Cuban Modern Dance.

The performances given each evening by the international companies, presenting their creations to Silesian audiences, were the crowning moments of days filled with hard graft in the workshops. One of the most memorable shows featured Eiko&Koma in “Mourning”, featuring a style loosely based on the Japanese technique of butoh. Another outstanding presentation was the hilarious and intriguing “Amour et Delices” by Compagnie Drift from Switzerland. Apart from the shows presented at the Dance Theatre, the conference also offered many performances elsewhere, for instance at the marketplace in Bytom. One of these was the amazing happening, “Air and Breath I”, prepared by Y-Space from Hong Kong. On the alternative stage organised in the Szombierki CHP Plant, “Elektrokosmos” was presented, at that time the most recent production of the Studio of the Physical Theatre, working under the auspices of the Silesian Dance Theatre.

According to some philosophers, dancing can change a wasteland into a garden full of greenery. Therefore, let's all do our best to ensure that this year’s conference, even more than last year's, instills in us a passion for dance theatre.

Magdalena Mikrut
trans. Nina Augustynowicz

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:36 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:30 pm
Posts: 54
From Rags to… The Dance Centre!

After two nominations for the Golden Mask, The Silesian Dance Theatre has added to its award collection third prize in the “Event” category for the 15th Annual International Contemporary Dance Conference and Performance Festival, presented during the Cities and Regions Promotion Festival.

Recognition was given for the consistency in strengthening Bytom’s image as an important dance centre, with due credit going to Jacek Łumiński, the director and founder of the Silesian Dance Theatre. In addition, it is common knowledge that his efforts led to the establishing of the only university faculty in Poland offering an MA degree in Dance Theatre Arts.

However, the prize collection of The Silesian Dance Theatre is not the only indicator of the quality of its work. Appreciation of the efforts put into dance promotion, is evident in the interest shown by the municipal government of Bytom, gradually becoming more favorable towards the development of the art of dance. The subsequent editions of the Conference may prove vital in this point.

Each and every Conference participant, obviously together with the citizens of Bytom, is aware of the obstacles this centuries-old city must overcome, such as the devastated monuments or the coal mines left to go to ruin and scaring away potential investors. One of them is the historic Rozbark coal mine, including an impressive preserved building called cechownia (a traditional meeting room for the miners before they went underground). This unique structure is the one Jacek Łumiński wanted to adapt as a branch of the State Higher School of Theatrical Education in Bytom. At first it seemed that the project had failed. However, the premises were taken over by the municipal government and it turns out that the previous plans were not forgotten. What is more, it seems that even high ranking civil servants got the bug for dance!

The mayor, Piotr Koj, envisages this building as a Dance Centre! According to his vision, not only the Silesian Dance Theatre, but also the ballet school and the dance theatre faculty of the State Higher School of Theatrical Education would be based there. The areas adapted from the mines are perfectly located near the centre of the city but, at the same time, not far from the entrance route to Bytom. Nevertheless, the scheme itself, not to mention its realisation, will take several years to prepare, which means one might have to wait until the 30th edition of the Conference, for it to become reality. Still, we can do it!

The value of the estate which has 85,420 square meters is estimated at 7,184 thousand zlotys net. It is not, therefore, surprising that a British company, Mayfield, is interested in the site, and signed an agreement for the development two years ago in November. This company intends to create the area’s character as downtown and erect many new structures, mainly housing estates, but also buildings designed for service, trade, recreational and cultural use. Moreover, it plans to develop the sport structures which once belonged to the mine. Furthermore, the company is concerned with creating a special space for the Silesian Dance Theatre. The total investment is said to soak up millions of dollars and last many years, but for the art of dance, it's all worth it.

Ewa Zielińska

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:07 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:20 am
Posts: 10

Serdecznie zapraszamy na oficjalnego bloga Konferencji, gdzie na bieżąco relacjonujemy życie festiwalowe. Można tu znaleźć recenzje, wywiady i liczne zdjęcia ze spektakli i innych wydarzeń.

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