Note: For the full IFMC’2012 report please check the Russian version of this site.
The 25th festival of modern choreography, IFMC, took place from November 21 till 25. These dates refer only to Vitebsk and the participants of the festival participated also in other cities of the country. The Gala concert of the IFMC took place on November 28 at National Academic Big theatre of opera and ballet.
So what was IFMC’2013 like? It started with “Dancing community” by Perm State Theatre “Evgeny Panfilov Ballet”. Apart from the main cast like Sergey Rainik, Alexei Rastorguev, Maria Tikhonova, Elena Kondakova, Alexei Kolbin, Vladimir Galkin and the choreographer Natalia Maslennikova, there were some new members. The “old” cast was cheered and gifted with roses. Then among the participants were «Fine Five Dance Theatre», «TAD», Chelyabinsk contemporary dance theatre, «Eccentric ballet» of Sergey Smirnov, «Provincial dances».
Among the critics of the board of experts were the professionals who are with us for already 20 years. They also became the symbols and mascots of the festival:
- Honored Artist of the Republic of Belarus, professor, the head of choreography department of the Belorussian Academy of music – Julia Churko.
- Honored Artist of Russia, professor, Candidate of philosophical sciences, vice president of Russian association of choreographers, chief editor of the magazine “Ballet” – Valeria Uralskaya.
- Ballet critic, music expert, art director of the festival “On the edge”, the chairman of the board of exerts – Larisa Barykina.
- Ballet critic, the teacher of the dance history at Vilnius music academy – Vita Mozuraite.
- Choreographer, laureate of the international competitions, Candidate of the philological sciences, professor, head of the choreography department at Belarussian State University of culture and art – Svetlana Gutkovskaya.
- The critic of contemporary dance, the teacher at choreography department at Talinn University – Heily Einasto.
As 25 years ago the main intrigue of the festival was the competition. In the opening greeting the following participants took part:
- contemporary dance studio of Antonina Krasnova, Moscow
- contemporary dance company “Eternal movement” of Kemerovo state university of culture and art
- creative studio of Sona Ovsepyan, Moscow
- dance company “nOga”, Omsk
- Oleg Stepanov, Ekaterinburg
- “Aqueduct” dance company, St. Peterburg
- “ExceptWords” movement studio, Moscow
- «FORma'T» project, Chelyabinsk
- experimental dance theatre of Arina Panfilova, Perm
- Alexei Bus’ko, Sergey Kon, Anastasia Kharchenko project, Kiev
- «Totem dance group», Kiev
- Sergey Kon project, Kiev
- «Arts printing house», Vilnuis
- Maria Goral’chik – the soloist of the National ballet school n.a. Felix Parnell, Lodz
- «Basel Dance Company», Basel
- Choreography dance company of Belorussian state university of culture and art
- «Skvo’s dance company», Minsk
- contemporary dance studio «Parallels», Vitebsk
- theatre-studio of modern choreography of Diana Yurchenko, Vitebsk
- «Karakuli» dance theatre, Minsk
- “Alesya”choreography dance company, Mogilyov
- Laura Kvelstein, Talinn
- «Gao Shan Dance Company», Germany
- «Cie Shen Company», Germany
- «Dance Creation Award», Tokyo
The members of the jury:
- Vladimir Vasiliev (Russia) - People’s Artist of the USSR and Russia, choreographer, pedagogue, the chairman of the jury
- Ludmila Kudryavtseva (Belarus) – People’s Artist of Belarus, the principal soloist of the National academic big theatre of opera and ballet of the Repblic of Belarus
- Heide-Marie Hertel (Germany) - Art critic, director of German Institute of dance cinematography in Bremen
- Alice Dor Cohen (Israel) – choreographer, pedagogue
- Adrian Brown (Ireland) – choreographer, pedagogue, the chairman the professional dancers company of Ireland
- Wendy Perron (USA) – choreographer, pedagogue, ballet critic, chief editor of “Dance Magazine»
- Radu Poklitaru (Ukraine) – choreographer, art director of “Kiev Modern Ballet” contemporary dance theatre
The big surprise of the opening concert was the “Street Jazz” ballet, Moscow. The thing is that the founder and the director of the ballet – Sergey Mandrik – is the only participant of the very first festival who hasn’t changed the profession. Igor Artomonov and Ludmila Kudryavtseva, the principal soloists of the National theatre of the opera and ballet, performed the part from “Romeo and Juliette” ballet. Dmitry Kurakulov and Olga Lobovkina performed “Cumparsita” by the music of A. Piazzolla in the way as it was originally danced in TAD. Excentric Ballet of Sergey Smirnov presented the fragment from the new play “Time-signal”. “Kiev Modern Ballet” presented comic miniature “1+1+1”, state theater of contemporary choreography «D.O.Z.SK.I.» contemplated about the human relationship in “Low frequency”. The duo from Germany «HeadFeedHands» presented mini-play [How to be] Almost There in which they demonstrated the combination of acrobatic skills and contemporary dance to tell about the loneliness. The first part of the concert ended with the fragment from the ballet “8 Russian songs”. It’s difficult to count how many times the scene of Vitebsk concert hall have seen this ballet, but nevertheless, each time it gives new impression and emotions. After the intermission Vitebsk audience enjoyed the performance of “Provincial dances”. Last time they performed here in 1999 so it was really pleasant to see them again. «Sepia» is an amazing play, it may be associated with touching something that does not really belong to you.
The second day of the festival we enjoyed the performance of Chelyabinsk contemporary dance theatre “Interruptions”. This play was staged by Olga Pona on the music of modern composers. The main impression – it was the dance of the theatre of the XXIst century. The audience enjoyed the theme, content and the performance.
An hour after the finishing of the event at Philharmonic Hall, the centre of interest of the IFMC moved to the hall of Yakub Kolas Theatre. The first to perform was «Fine Five Dance Theatre» with the play «Mandala» - a complicated meditative play full of sacred symbols. If you think about time and you are interested how the Universe is created and you are eager to change not only the world but yourself then you will definitely like this play.
The guests from France, the dance company «La Vouivre» performed the play «Oups». The duo Berenger Fournier and Samuel Facioli have been showing this play all over the world for more than 10 years already and it has been a great success among the audience. Such a play could be born only in France. They managed to tell about the gender relationship in such an amusing and funny manner. It was really talented.
In the first part “Jo Stromgren Kompani» showed the famous play called “Dance tribute to the art of football”. The author indicated that neither he nor the dancers expected such a success of the play. Moreover, some years ago the group decided even to give up this idea for some reasons. Nevertheless the play was reverted due to the numerous demands of the audience. So Vitebsk was lucky to see this play, too. During the play when on the plot one of the “football players” was rolling on the stage with a painful face holding to his so called hurt leg and demanding penalty, one of the spectators cried out: “Stop pretending! Go out and play”
In the second part of the concert Excentric ballet danced “Little stories told to a friend”. In the press-release it is said: “’Little stories’ is a nostalgic play about something that you might not be able to return. The dancers from Smirnov ballet win with their sincerity which you can hardly meet in today’s life”. And I agree with this for 100%.
On this day there were two concerts on the International competition finale (please check the results below). In one of the concerts “Evgeny Panfilov ballet” took part with Alexei Rastorguev’s performance «Destino». The soft and lyric choreography tells about the house, all the things in which keep the love, feelings and the dates of life and death of its owners.
During the gala-concert the results of the competition were made. The special prize from the board of experts “For the plastic individuality” was given to Oleg Stepanov, the soloist of the “Provincial dances” for the miniature «NoBodY». The prize “For the harmony in dance” the board of experts presented to the international German project «Cie Shen Company» for the miniature «Countless In Reversing Gear». The third prize-winner became «Arts printing house», Vilnius. The special prize “For the subject matter of the dance” was given for the one-act ballet «Feel-link». In their dance the performers took the technique of the underground as a basis and created a rich and emotional dance. According to the international jury and the board of experts the winner of the special Evgeny Panfilov prize became the choreographer Konstantin Keikhel for the miniatures “The distance” and “The way of Charon”. Both Konstantin and the dance company “Aqueduct” from St. Petersburg celebrated their success twice at the festival. The choreographic miniature “The distance” became also the winner of the second prize of the competition. One more prize in the nomination “choreographic miniature” belongs to “Totem dance group” from Kiev for the performance “Emptiness” (staged by Christina Shishkaryova). I feel obliged to mention that the members of the jury decided to present only one prize in the nomination “one-act ballet”, so the prize fund was reassigned among the choreographic miniatures. Thus, there were 4 winners in the nomination “choreographic miniature”. The other two winners were “Sergey Kon project” with the miniature “The ballad about a friend” and “Anastasia Kharchenko project” with the miniature “It’s Paganini about us”. I think I should reveal some facts here. Sergey Kon and Anastasia Kharchenko are the soloists of the “Kiev modern ballet” which is, without any doubt, a great success of both the theater and Radu Poklitaru – the choreographer and the leader. The winner of the first prize nomination became modern choreography group “the eternal movement” from Kemerovo State University of art and culture, the miniature “Wheel of Life” (choreographer – Denis Chernyshev).
The only diploma and the first prize in the nomination “one-act ballet” was presented to “Dance Creation Award” from Japan for the ballet “The world of microscopic”. The artistic director Chiyuki Nishihara was very touched by this success.
And finally the Grand Prix of the festival 2012. Let’s again come back to “Kiev modern ballet” as Alaxei Bus’ko is also the soloist of the theatre and his miniature “The album” became the winner which again proves the success of Radu Poclitaru. It’s difficult to say if Poklitaru took part in creating these performances, you may address this question to him.
The National dance company from Wales performed in Belarus for the first time. The repertory of this company has the staging of almost all the modern choreographers but we asked them to perform the play “Dream” (the music by Ravel and Williams Grace), choreography – Christopher Bruce. The two main inspirational themes for the choreographer were the Olympic Games 2012 in London and Queen Anniversary. The ballet is full of funny references to the past and present, it is full of good humor and you just get pleasure from watching it. The author thinks that the athletes and the dances share much in common but the main thing that make them move forward is the dream for which not only them but every human being should work hard. Apart from this, it seems to me the work also reveals one more dream – the need for affection. It is about the love to the world and to other people, to the honest competition despite all the cruel things that happen in the world. It seems in the ballet the motto of the French revolution can be defined: liberty, equality and fraternity. Maybe it’s just a dream, but it’s definitely a good one!
Some more important information:
The founding shareholders of the 25th International Festival of Modern Choreography:
- Vitebsk regional and city executive committee
- The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus
- The National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus
- Public institution “Concert Hall “Vitebsk””
The sponsor of the festival is BelWest company. The official partner of the festival – MobileTeleSystems. The sponsor of the festival – “Belinvestbank”.
You can as well find more information in the poster and booklet of the festival. We would like to thank our sponsors, partners and spectators for their support.
Executive Director of the IFMC
Foto by Igor Gusakov, Anna Mojsejuk, Dmitry Abletsov, Ivan Astashonok, Vladimir Lupovsky, Roy Campbell-Moore