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  IFMC 2010 report
ifmc 156


IFMC’2010 – the 23rd International Festival of Modern Choreography took place in Vitebsk in 24-28 November 2010. We could have offered you to look through the electronic version of the pamphlet and that’s it, but here we are having bad luck. There is no English translation of the pamphlet, there is no the list of laureates and prize-winners of the international festival, there are no photo materials right after the festival. That is why here is the traditional report.


Festivals are like people, they may be different. They range from the Brazilian samba gay to black-and-white art house movie, from glamorous fashionable show to folklore of hyperborean. But if anyone of the authorities would set the goal to make a list of not casual but natural festivals, then the International Festival of Modern Choreography in Vitebsk would be in the top ten. “Soviet avant-garde”, modern painting and music was born in Vitebsk and today our town is a place of modern avant-garde of scenic art.  


The following participants took part in the competition:

Dance theatre of Elvira Pervova, Samara, Russia
b “Parallels” modern dance studio, Vitebsk, Belarus
b Contemporary dance and performance group “Voices”, Kishinev, Moldova
b “Theatre-studio of contemporary choreography”, Moscow
b Lodz’s Felix Parnell Ballet School, Lodz, Poland
b Contemporary dance group “TAD”, Grodno, Belarus
b Dance-company “Fight Club” of State Theater “Evgeny Panfilov’s Ballet”, Perm, Russia
b Dance theatre Igen Slovenia, Tselzhe
b «O.Z. Modern dance company», Riga, Latvia
b Dance Theatre «Black O!Range», Kiev, Ukraine
b The project of Belorussian State University of arts and culture, Minsk
b The Union of young choreographers “Guild”, St. Petersburg, Russia
b The theatre of modern choreography of Diana Yurchenko, Vitebsk, Belarus
b Juliette Figero, , Berlin, Germany
b “Karakuli” dance theatre, Minsk, Belarus
b Kaunas choreography school, Kaunas, Lithuania
b «Jazz Dance Studio PAL», Neegatha, Japan
b Fine Fave dance Theatre, Tallinn, Estonia
b Loreta Judkaite, Vilnius, Lithuania
b Basel Dance Company, Basel, Switzerland
b Modern choreography theatre “D.O.Z.S.K.I.”, Minsk, Belarus
b Dance company of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Beijing, the soloists Chen Yalan and Li Zhi

The following participants took part in the guest program:

b Theatre of modern choreography “Kiev Modern- Ballet”
b State Theatre  “Evgeny Panfilov’s Ballet”, Perm, Russia

Pedagogues and the Program of Master classes:

b Kenneth Flak, Norway. Class Subject – «Contemporary dance and acrobatics technics»
b Renee Nommik and Tiina Ollesk, Estonia. Class Subject - «Body-logic system and work with the partner», «Body-logic system in dance technics»
b Sergey Golovnja and Alexander Soshnikova, Moldova. Cass Subject - "Partnering"

The members of the Jury:

b The People’s artist of the USSR and Byelorussia, the academician of Petrovsky Academy of Science and Art, the professor of the Academy of Music of Belarus, the choreographer and director of the National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus, the Chairman of the international jury of the festival - Valentin Yelizariev, Belarus

b The choreographer, Laureate of International Contests, Professor, Doctor, Honorary Chairman  of  International Dance Council CID – UNESCO in Paris, dean of the department of stage direction in Berlin University of Drama and Dance “Ernst Bush”  - Dithmar Seifferd, Germany

b The Professor of the Beijing Choreographic Institute, choreographer , dance theorist, Vice-Chairman of the International Jury - Xiao Sukhua, China

b The choreographer, the Laureate of the International Contests, the owner of the Russian National Theatrical Award ”Golden Mask”, creative director  of “Eccentric-ballet” Sverdlovsk State Theatre of Musical Comedy - Sergey Smirnov, Russia

b The choreographer, the Laureate of the International Contests, creative director of Theatre of a Modern choreography “Kiev Modern – ballet” - Radu Poklitaru, Ukraine

b Ex-prima of European ballet theatres, director of ballet academy in Basel – Galina Gladkova - Hoffmann, Switzerland.

b The dancer, choreographer, the Laureate of the International Contests, creative director of «FINE FIVE DANCE THEATRE» - Renee Nommik, Estonia.

The Experts of the International Competition:

b The ballet critic, musical expert, critic and analyst of musical theatre,  a member of the council of experts and jury for the Russian National Award “Golden Mask”, art-director of the festival “The Fringe”, the Chairman of the council of experts - Larisa Barykina, Russia

b The choreographer, the Laureate of the International Contests, a Candidate of Philological Sciences, Professor, Head of the sub-faculty of choreography of the Belarusian State University of Culture - Svetlana Gutkovskaya, Belarus

b The Candidate of Art History, an Associate Professor of Belarusian State academy of Arts - Tatiana Ratobylskaya, Germany

b The ballet critic, lecturer of History of Dance for the Vilnius Music Academy - Vita Mozuraite, Lithuania

b Vice-President of the Association of the Promotion of Cultural Education and Art “Artbale” - Bozhena Yakubchak, Poland

b The ballet critic, lecturer of the sub-faculty of choreography at Tallinn Univercity - Haley Einasto, Estonia.


b Photo: “Classics of modern choreography. Devoted To the great reformers”
Part I – Pina Bausch, Mats Ek, John Neumeier.
The author is Vladimir Lupovskoy, Moscow

b Painting: "Rhythms of  the sun"
The author is Alyona Mokhnach, Vitebsk

b Photo: “If the wings were not given”
The author is Anna Moyseyuk, Vitebsk

The general partner of the festival is the enterprise “Belvest”.
The partners of the festival - “Mobile TeleSystems, LLC”, Vitebsk branch of “Belinvestbank”, the enterprise “PrintCompany”, Vitebsk.

The impressions

November 24, 2010. The opening ceremony of the festival.
- Ballet-phantasmagoria set to music by P.I. Tchaikovsky “Nutcracker”. The official release says that it is the largest-scaled project of the theatre of modern choreography “Kiev Modern-Ballet”. It is true. The decorations and the costumes for the performance are so scenic and ingenious that they may be regarded as separate works of art. The libretto and choreography are far from the canons. There are a lot of unexpected and unpredictable in the performance. That’s weird, why Radu Poklitaru is considered to be the master of scandal in the ballet world? We can easily talk about the creative experiment here, all the more it was a success. Not only the “Nutcracker” but all the repertoire of the theatre the dancers perform with the supreme devotion, I would say, with self-forgetful inspiration.

November 25, 2010.
In the day-time the International Competition started in the concert Hall “Vitebsk”. In the evening the participants gathered in the National Academic Drama Theatre n.a.Yakub Kolas for the guest performance.
The 1st part - Solo-performance “SOLO CON PIANO” performed by Gianfranco Celestino. Thanks to Internet, it is not difficult to get acquainted with the amazing metamorphosis of the creative way of Gianfranco. Even the names of the music and dance higher educational establishments inspire respect. This synthesis is the special thrill of his staging. The thing that music and dance are historically closely connected is self-evident. The music often  supplements the dance, the dance rarely has a success without music. “SOLO CON PIANO” is a story about the physical relationship between the instrument and the dancer. It is a very interesting dialogue.
The 2nd part - First night of dance- performance “Over the Edge is Edge” staged by Sergey Smirnov, performed by the State Theatre  “Evgeny Panfilov’s Ballet”. The aesthetics of Smirnov’s premiere is recognized from the very first moments and plastic decisions. The author is true to his credo – to the philosophical thinking in the dance, to the theatre which does not stun or impose. The staging is a kind of a new volume in the library of the works of the choreographer. The State Theatre “Evgeny Panfilov’s Ballet” does not also need presentation.

November 26, 2010.
The second day of the International Competition. The evening concert took place in the concert hall “Vitebsk”.
The 1st part – the performance “Casting-off” the Laureate of Russian National Theatrical  Award “Golden Mask” 2008/2009 in two nominations: “The best performance in the contemporary dance” and “The best work of the light designer in the music theatre”. The idea, the choreography and the staging is made by the Laureate of Evgeny Panfilov’s Award IFMC’2006 - Larisa Alexandrova. The ballet master and director is Natalia Maslennikova.
This performance was a success and in the first turn thanks to the talented choreographer and to the professional skills of the dancers. There is everything in the performance which should be – the clear idea of the director, the original direction, new artistic technique, performing skills and what is really important, the spectator. The staging is in Vitebsk not for the first time. Now it has the artistic completeness and is one of the most deserving one in the repertoire of the dancers.     
The 2nd part – the performance “Rain” performed by “Kiev Modern-Ballet”. It is a beautiful, light, humorous and sad staging with the spectacular ending. Per its concept it is a compilation of choreographic novels “regarding the philosophy about people’s lives joined against their own free will in the same space and time”. As it is the author’s theater we can get some impression about the author - Radu Poklitaru.

November 27, 2010.
The action took place in the concert hall “Vitebsk”. There took part the finalists of the International Competition after which the members of the International Jury and Experts made the decision which was known on the following day.

November 28, 2010.
The action took place in the concert hall “Vitebsk”. The gala concert started with the performance of the guests of the festival from Rome - «SPELLBOUND DANCE COMPANY». The Italians danced the ballet “DOWNSHIFTING”. This term is well-known in Western Europe but still obscure for the Eastern Europe. It means the voluntary simplification of the way of life. It happens when a person makes a deliberate choice like changing the job for an easier one, rejecting the success and the exhausting rhythm of life which is usually connected with it and prefers it to family and spiritual development. The choreographer MAURO ASTOLFI created almost the ideal play with this topic. The dancers were magnificent! It is extremely rare when we can really witness such a perfect technics of contemporary dance. By the way, Sophia Barbiero, one of the dancers of the company, became the prototype for creating the advertising poster of the festival.


One of the disadvantages of the competition is the impossibility of showing all the performances to the audience. In other case, the festival will be lasting for about 2 weeks. As a result, sometimes the audience does not see the performances which are worthy of seeing from the emotional point of view. However the Jury of the competition cannot be reproached as their main goal is to find new and most talented performers under all the aspects of choreography. In these circumstances we made an experiment and included the numbers that did not win any prizes in the concert. Among them are humorous miniature «Hmmm» by Basel Dance Company performed to the music of Vivaldi, the fragments of the ballet “Game for Adults” by the Dance theatre of Elvira Pervova and the play “What girls are dreaming about” performed by Dmitris Gaityukevichs. The artistic skills of Dmitris are beyond praise.

The young dancers from “Fine Five dance Theatre” brought three plays. All the works are worthy of the name of the theatre. They are thoughtful, true, filled with feelings and a plot. At the concert the dancers performed the fragment of the miniature Slow Run and Rush”.

«Jazz Dance Studio PAL» from Japanese Neegatha presented the miniature «Shiri» (the thread from which kimono is weaved) – a touching story about the Japanese women from Meidzi epoch, about the country where the idea of patriarchy still exists.
Minsk dance theatre “Karakuli” performed the miniature “The Level has been Completed”. The main idea of the play is that sometimes when you win you lose.

Modern choreography theatre “D.O.Z.SK.I.” showed the miniature Nothing in Common” which was the brightest dance experiment of the festival. The choreographer Dmitry Zalessky offered the audience to look at one and the same image from the point of view of a citizen from Europe and our country. Cold European modern choreography aimed at self-actualization and from the other side is our spectator for whom, by author’s opinion, the final result is important. Taking into account that in the second part of the play a famous song about the two geese sounded, the plan was achieved.

The soloists of the Dance company of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Chen Yalan and Li Tsi danced the miniature “Comprehension”. From the authors: “Every person strives to understand the essence of life, phenomenon and other moments of objective reality. But before understanding it’s necessary to comprehend”. The old Chinese music, original choreography and wonderful performance wan the audience and the members of the Jury.

 In the awarding ceremony the following groups took part:

Tiina Ollesk/ Fine Five dance Theatre was awarded with the special prize “For the strong qualifications” for the miniature “Slow Run and Rush”.

Ekaterina Kvyatkovskaya/ the soloist of the project of Belorussian State University of arts and culture was awarded with the special prize “for the performing skills” for the miniature “The Outlines of Inevitability”.

Dmitry Zalessky/“D.O.Z.S.K.I.” was awarded with the prize n.a. Evgeny Panfilov as the best choreographer of the International Competition of the IFMC’2010 for the one-act ballet “Low frequency” and for the choreographic miniature “Nothing in Common”.

Vladimir Krachevsky, the Senior Deputy of the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, presented the main prizes of the festival.

The first prize in the nomination “Choreographic miniature” was given to the work “Nothing In Common” performed by the modern choreography theatre “D.O.Z.SK.I.”, Minsk, Belarus, the choreographer - Dmitry Zalessky.

The second prize in the nomination “Choreographic miniature” was given to the work «Shiri» performed by «Jazz Dance Studio PAL», Neegatha, Japan, the choreographer – Mitsue Vakabayashi.

The second prize in the nomination “Choreographic miniature” was given to the work “The Level has been Completed” performed by the dance theatre “Karakuli”, Minsk, Belarus, choreographer – Olga Lobovkina.

The first prize in the nomination “One-act Ballet” was given to the work “Circle Through”, the choreographer and performer - Kulli Roosna, Talinn, Estonia.

Grand Prix of the competition was presented to Chen Yalan and Li Tsi for the miniature “Comprehension”, choreographers – Liu Li, Li King, Chang Kiang.

P.S. The International Festival of the Modern Choreography in Vitebsk thanks its admirers for the twenty third time. Dear participants, the management of the festival is aware of the disappointing blunders in the process of organization of the IFMC’2010 and will do their best to avoid them in future.

Good luck to all!

Edward Chernivchan
Photo – Ivan Astashonok, Vladimir Lupovsky

210026, The Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk, Frunze Park, 1
The International Festival of Modern Choreography
Director: Marina Romanovskaya
Phone (+375-212) 37-49-02, 37-73-96, 37-02-49
Fax: (+375-212) 37-49-02