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  IFMC 2011 report
poster of IFMC’2011c

Note: For the full IFMC’2011 report please check the Russian version of this site.

On the poster of  IFMC’2011 (the author - Ivan Astashenok) is Maria Tikhonova - the soloist of the theater “Evgeny Panfilov’s Ballet”. Looking at this photo, you can only guess about her dance, which is about to emerge from the static posture the dancer. You can also to act as a choreographer and become a creator and the only spectator of your own speculative choreographic work. And of course you can visit the real concerts of the 24-th International Festival of Modern Choreography in Vitebsk and see it firsthand.

The 16th of November
The concert hall “Vitebsk”, opening of the festival at 7 p.m.

What does the number 24 carry? The first thing that leaps to our mind is twenty-four hours, where the day and night, dawn and dusk take place. Two halves can be in harmony or at odds with each other, carry gladness or sadness. That is why the first part of the concert was devoted to duets to show the audience how breathtaking, diversified and wonderful a duet-dance can be.
During the whole history of the Belarusian ballet none of the duets has been rewarded so many times as our guests. Yulia Dyatko and Konstantin Kuznetsov came out on top at many festivals and competitions, performed with The Norwegian National Ballet, The Houston Ballet, The Russian Chamber Ballet “Moscow”, The National Opera of the Ukraine, were also on tour in the great number of countries. They are fantastic at virtuosic classical dance and at the same time is the only couple in Belarus, which has its own modern dance repertory. The masters of stage, the Honoured Artists of the Republic of Belarus, the soloists of The National Academic Bolshoi Theater of Opera and Ballet of the Republic of Belarus, they performed «Kontutti-instrumenti» of Radu Poklitaru at the opening of the festival.
Due to successful co-operation of IFMC with Lodzi province, the audience of the festival had the opportunity to see the moving duet of mother and daughter from “Eyes of the soul” Ballet by Anna Glaz and Dariya Maevskaya, the soloists of Felix Parnel School of Ballet.
Admirers of the Festival in Vitebsk are familiar with The Theater of Modern Choreography “D.O.Z.SK.I” of Minsk, which has already performed almost on every capital ground with solos. In October the theater participated in the international festival «Stars of World Ballet» in the Ukraine and danced side by side with Nikolay Ziskaridze and Ilza Liepa, also with the soloists of The Bolshoi Theater, The National Ballet of the Netherlands, The Royal Ballet of Sweden and The National Opera of Paris. At the opening of IFMC’2010 "D.O.Z.SK.I" performed a dance-experiment «Nothing common», for what they have received the 1st prize in the category «Choreographic miniature». The performers were Fillip Mazurov and Andrey Dmitriev.
When the festival is already 24 years old, it seems like it has ever been existing. And this also can be said concerning Eugeny Panfilov’s Ballet. The theater gently keeps up the creativity of Panfilov, revives his performances. Maria Tihonova and Alexey Rastorguev, the soloists of Evgeniy Panfilov’s Ballet of Perm performed a fragment from “Dialogues” Ballet, the choreography of which is the laureate of national and international contests and awards, including The National Theater Prize «Golden Mask» and The Governmental Peter Volkov Prize of Russian Federation.
At the end of the first part the audience enjoyed a very original young duet “Entomo”, striking, bold, courageous, demonstrating surprisingly mature outlook on the world. There were two insect beings with appearing primitive goals in life on the stage, but surprising associations with humans oozed unexpectedly through the creative dance, and not offensive, but philosophical thoughts about purport and assignment of people. Alvaro Esteban and Elias Aguirre, the Spanish dancers, really worked a miracle and became a genuine discovery of the festival.
At the second part of the performance we could watch The Modern Ballet of Kiev. If Radu Poklitaru, the mankind would never have found out, and our offsprings would not have kept the wisdom of the 21th century that “The Truth is in Beer”. Certainly, doctoral dissertation will appear soon on the nature of that idea and also critics, which will charge the choreographer in lobbying the interests of Ukrainian brewers. But we – contemporaries – could simply enjoy the one-act ballet «In Pivo Veritas», ironic, spectacular, with Irish tunes and music of the Renaissance.

The 17th of November,
The concert hall “Vitebsk”, «RUBBERBANDance Group»

There is one thing that should be mentioned one more time. IFMC has not always been the festival in such a form as we used to see it recently. It has its roots in break-dance. If someone 25 years ago has tried to allege that hip-hop will grow into full-fledged artistic language, into independent stage form of art, I would doubt it a lot. But never say never.
«Gravity of center» is unique performance from every quarter. It has no puzzling tricks, but this dance surprisingly retained the main essence – spirit of reforms, initial social protest and the energy of hip-hop. Moreover, Viktor Kvidjad, the author, uses partnering in his choreography and there are also elements of a classic dance in this virtuosic, picturesque, fair and good performance. All these in the aggregate create an inimitable author’s style.
Dancers from different parts of the world participated in the festival in Vitebsk, but when see them on the stage you understand that you are not alone, that they have the same problems as you, trying to fulfill themselves and find their place in life. The world requires mutual relations reconsidered. People should live in a different way.

The 18th of November,
The concert hall “Vitebsk”

The main event of the day was the presentation of the Belarusian participants of the contest. But first the audience acquainted with the Competition Commission:
b The choreographer, the Laureate of the International Contests, creative director of Theatre of a Modern choreography “Kiev Modern – ballet”, the Chairman of the Competition Commission - Radu Poklitaru, Ukraine;

b The art critic, columnist of the magazine "ballet", newspaper "line" - Ekaterina Vasenina, 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 soloist of the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus, the honoured artist of Republic Belarus - Julia Dyatko;

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

b The art critic, correspondent of the magazine "Mastatstva" - Svetlana Ulanovskaya, Belarus.

The Group of Modern Choreography “TAD” of Grodno lucked to perform first. They introduced new one-act ballet “Unedited Humanity” by Dmitry Karakulov set to Michael Gordon music. There were much fantasy and expression, many dancing moves and motions. Unfortunately, it turned out unfinished. Probably if the author has concentrated on his work and devoted it one or two months more, the ballet would look differently, I mean polished. But the idea of it was perfect.
The Plastic Theater “Barmaglot” of Minsk participated at the festival for the first time. Contest time limit didn’t allow the group to present the full version of the performance “Assembly point”, and that is why the theater performed the fragments of it pending two competitive days. It is to be said that “Barmaglot” advocates original theater aesthetics, which differs cardinally from other competitors. The action is figurative and interesting at least and directed to amateurs of associative creativity in the first time.
Diana Yurchenko Modern Choreography Theater of Vitebsk introduced “Apple Tee” set to the music of the group of the same name. At the end of it you can not choose who you should thank – the musicians of one of the best Belarusian groups or the authors and performers of this choreographic miniature. You will not mistake if cheer both.
Performance “Loneliness” by The Ensemble “Alesya” of Mogilev made the audience glad. The group grew up in quality of choreography and you could feel responsibility and scrupulosity in it.
Vlad Tereschenko Project from Grodno is an original continuation of “TAD”. No wonder! It would be strange if one of the most professional teams of the country has not given birth to different creative experiments of the participants. At the festival the project performed “Liber-tango” set to Piazzolla music. According to the author, exactly this melody became a discovery and inspired him to create a little story, but full of love and experiences.
The Theater of Modern Choreography “D.O.Z.SK.I” danced “About Ballet” set to Sergei Prokof’ev music. Astonishingly, but during a four-minute performance Dmitri Zalesskiy was able to say things, without pompousness, affected drama, but briefly, truthfully and subtly, which, for instance, writers try to express through works of many years and hundreds of pages.
At the second part of the concert the audience saw “Capitulation”. It should be reminded that the première of it took place ten years ago on the same stage. The idea, choreography, organization and set design of this belong to Eugeniy Panfilov. This ballet performance is popular up till now what is unusual for modern choreography. According to the author, the idea of “Capitulation” striked him at the day of Collapse of the World Trade Center in New York. Moreover, Panfilov didn’t know anything about this until he had come to the theater on a scheduled rehearsal in the afternoon. The performance longed to be staged, excited the “father”, pushed him to look for new decisions, made to forget about existing problems. And also an epigraph for it was chosen by the author himself: “It is a drama of mental crisis, which appears in more and more ominous forms. The only reality is a permanent feeling of catastrophe”. Probably 10 years ago during the life of Panfilov, the performance was different, but thanks to the troupe of the theater and choreographer Natalia Maslennikova, it impresses as before and does not leave the audience indifferent.

The 19th of November,
Yakub Kolos National Academic Drama Theater, 4 p.m.

Afternoons the continuation of Belarusian contest of modern choreography took place. The theater "Barmaglot" presented "Algorithm of consciousness", one more fragment from "Assembly point". Polina Mahova, the soloist of The School of Modern Choreography "Parallels" of Vitebsk, danced "The first steps under floodlights". Young age of the dancer can be misleading only for inexperienced audience. The admirers of the festival in Vitebsk know that Polina has a great experience in performances and she is a laureate of a great number of international contests and festivals. And exactly the years of dancing helped her to give the audience all these emotions and euphoria from the dance. Alexander Fillipov and Alla Pogodskaya, the soloists of the department of choreography of Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts, soulfully performed a choreographic miniature "Let us recollect". Vitebsk Theater-studio of Modern Choreography introduced one-act ballet "Translation" about the problems, which can appear during the search of common language. The contest was finished with the miniature "By Default" of "Parallels". Everybody knows the story about Romeo and Juliet. And everybody knows that there is no place for such feelings in the modern progmatic world, but the lyrical, moving dance about the first moments of the birth of love tells us the opposite. The second part of the concert was devoted to Iliya Romanov Project. According to Russian key specialists in the sphere of modern dance, the debut of young choreographers from Russia Olga and Iliya Romanov with a fine performance "Footprints on the sand" is one of the most outstanding events of 2011. Last year in May the performance won the Ural regional theater award "Bravo" in the category "Musical Theatre". In Vitebsk the duo arrived from St. Petersburg, where had settled a few months ago. IFMC is thankful to the performers for the pleasure and to the center of modern dance "Kannon Dance" for assistance in organizing of the presentation.

The 19th of November,
The concert hall “Vitebsk”, 7 p.m.

How was it? Traditionnaly. Belarusian participants of the contest came on the scene, then Vita Mozurayte and Radu Poklitaru shared their impressions of the competition and released his results:

b nomination "Postkriptum" (content category and the number of winners was determined on the basis of the tender committee of the competition) - "Purity of style" - project of Vlad Tereschenko, Grodno. "Liber-tango" miniature.

b nomination "Postkriptum" -  "Expression and sincerity" - choreographic ensemble "Alesya", Mogilev. "Solitude" miniature.

b nomination for "Performance art" (technical and artistic level of the troupe) - theatre of modern choreography "D.O.Z.SK.I.", Minsk.

b nomination for "Artistry" (vivid embodiment of scenic image) - the ensemble of the Department of choreography of the Belarusian State University of culture and arts (Alexander Filippov i Alla Pogodskaya).

b nomination "Choreographer" (stage incarnation, the compositional solution, original choreography and creative thinking in the author's work submitted to the contest) - Diana Yurchenko, Sergey Tolkach, Marina Kushnerova. One-act ballet "Translation".

b nomination "best production" (idea, concept art,mastery of choreographer and performers) - "About ballet", theatre of modern choreography "D.O.Z.SK.I.", the choreographer - Dmitriy Zalesskii.

The following concert program consisted of listed above works and performances of the guests. The Theater “Evgeniy Panfilov’s Ballet” danced two earlier unknown for us miniatures. “Past and forgotten” set to Oginskiy music is a little bit sad reflection of beauty and sublimity of passed time, of former nobility of feelings and morals. And the second one is the story about relationships, a part from “Dialogues” Ballet. David Kucharski, the soloist of Felix Parnel School of Ballet made a frank confession in “I do not like Mondays”. After the intermission it was the turn of a “little première”. Evgeniy Panfilov Ballet introduced “Melancholy”, a scene from choreographic suite “Dotted Line” set to Sergey Kurechin music. The full-scale première took place in Perm on the eve of the festival literally. As far as the theater was not sure that the performance will be ready by the beginning of IFMC’2011, the decision was made to present the fragment of it. Finally, towards the end of the festival The Modern Ballet of Kiev performed “Bolero” by Radu Poklitaru. For sure, everything he does, he does it with a smile on his face. But this smile has a lot of meanings and nuances. It can be lively, sad, calm, pensive, surprised, distrustful, sincere, skeptical and so on and so forth. And this time the smile of the choreographer was sometimes doomed and self-critical, but, nevertheless, the smile. Here is thus ended 24th International Festival of modern choreography in Vitebsk. Management of the Festival once again thanks to the founders of this Festival – Ministry of culture of the Republic of Belarus and Vitebsk Regional Executive Committee, to address words of gratitude to the general partner - “Belwest” company and partner of the Festival – Belinvestbank, to thank the audience for their attention and applause.
Kindest regards,

Edward Chernivchan
Photo – Ivan Astashenok, Dmitriy Abletsov

P.S. For more information about the festival you can see the booklet IFMC'2011

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