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  IFMC 2015 report

Note: For the full IFMC’2015 report please check the Russian version of this site.

XXVIII International Festival of Modern Choreography in Vitebsk took place in November 19 – 22, 2015. Thanks to the organizers of the IFMC - Vitebsk City and Regional Executive Committees, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Belarus and National Academic Bolshoi Theater of opera and ballet, also thanks to our sponsor Belvest we were able to realize the declared program.

During these days Vitebsk applauded all the three companies of Evgeny Panfilov Ballet – the regular dancers, “Ballet of the Fat” and dance-company “Fight club”. The participation of all the 3 companies was dedicated to 60th anniversary of Evgeny Panfilov. In the opening day we watched The River, The women. 1945 and ballet-farce Valses for hazy minded. The IFMC ended with Hoochi-Koochi, staging by Alexei Rastorguev. Apart from this, Rastorguev ended his workThe bargain specially for the festival. There was the first night of the one-man show with the soloist Maria TikhonovaThe woman who lay in bed for a year, the staging by Sona Ovsepyan. At the end of the festival the audience watched the show Genesis of Konstantin Keikhel.

The performance of the Swedish company was very interesting to watch (IDIOTS of Björn Säfsten). However, the staging has nothing to do with Dostoevski. Not claiming to have the right version, I will share my impressions. Two people on the pink coverage (a dim view of life) are trying to understand the world literally, answer the questions: “What is it and why”. The questions are not actual and raise certain thoughts about IQ of the partners in the performance. What is interesting is that the choreographer is not interested in the dance itself. More and more representatives of European contemporary dance tend towards the nature of movement in general. In my opinion “The Idiots” is the example of such philosophical approach. Anyway, the result is exceptionally interesting.

The performance of Mexican company “MovingBorders” was absolutely different. Very bright, warm and funny but at the same time lyric staging “Nosotros” conquered the audience with its sincerity. It’s difficult to say if Mexica became closer to Belorussians after the IFMC, but there is more affection now. Among all the past world events it became a little easier when you see that there is still a place for such eternal values as bromance.

One of the public concerts of the final also appeared to be very eventful. The duets from Italy, Spain, USA and Russia took part in it. The soloists of the young company “Spellbound Contemporary ballet” Serena Zakkanini and Naomi Segazzi performed with the first night show “Bi-furcated ego”. It is pleasant that the outstanding choreographer Mauro Astolphy created the performance specially for IFMC’2015. Vitebsk can confirm that the ballet not only has the brilliant regular dancers. Alvaro Esteban and Laura Aris were dancing Any morning. Two experienced talented dancers told the dramatic story of parting the lovers. Bravo! The Americans Nora Blackoll and Chris Safir also showed in their performance the crises of relationship that went over from mutual adoration to violence and psychological punishment (“Both bitter and sweet taste from one source). Maria Tikhonova and Alexei Rastorguev presented the effective and incredibly artistic performance The Bargain.

On November 20 in Yakub Kolas Theater we witnessed again the performance Spring the sacred by “Moscow Ballet”. The performance was staged by Régis Obadia about 10 years ago and after all these years it is still one of the most popular performances of the company.

The main event of IFMC’2015 was the Belorussian competition. It is evident that the national talent foundry of contemporary dance for today is the university of art and culture. Analyzing each performance we can talk about some disadvantages of performing, lack of practice etc, but the professional approach to the staging is without any doubt. The biggest problem - not only of the representatives of the university but the competition in general – is the timing. The members of the jury often complained about the too long duration of the performances.
The participants of the Belorussian contest of IFMC’2015:

  • Dmitriy Bezzubenko project, choreography department of Belorussian State University of Culture and Art
  • Marina Kushnerova project “Self Handwriting”, Vitebsk
  • Valentina Isakova project “X-periments”, Gomel State Art Highschool
  • Pavel Strelchenko project, choreography department of Belorussian State University of Culture and Art
  • Dance company “NITI”, Vitebsk
  • Sabina Munasypova project, choreography department of Belorussian State University of Culture and Art
  • Sergey Poyarkov and Igor Nichiporuka project, Minsk
  • Sergey Klimenkov project, Minsk
  • Contemporary dance group “REROLL”, Minsk
  • Nikolay Mikhailov project “M.Y.D.C.”, choreography department of Belorussian State University of Culture and Art
  • Dance company “Nachalo”, Grodno
  • Kirill Baltrukov project “SynoNimy”, Belorussian State Youth theater
  • “Macro Dance Theatre”, Minsk
  • Choreographic company “Alyesya”, Mogilev
  •  Dance theatre “Altana”, Minsk
  • Ekaterina Kvyatkovskaya project, Minsk
  • Ksenia Kosova, the center of contemporary choreography “Smart Dance”, Minsk
  • Theatre-studio of modern choreography of Diana Yurchenko, Vitebsk

The results of the Belorussian contest:
Special prize “Contemplation” for the performanceTo hear oneself. Music: Ludovico Einaudi. Choreography: Tatiana Voronova, Marina Kushnerova project “Self Handwriting”, Vitebsk. The performance gives spectator the opportunity to be on his own at least for some minutes in the never-ending flow of everyday troubles and problems. It is a plaintive meditative performance.

Special prize for “Subject matter of the dance” for the performance Secondlook. Music: the group “Pafnutiy’s Dreams”. Choreography: Pavel Strelchenko, Pavel Strelchenko project, choreography department of Belorussian State University of Culture and Art. The performance returns to the origin, living, traditions in connection to life circles. There is a balance between contemporary and folk dance.

Special Panfilov prize went to the best choreographer – Anna Sachivko for the performanceLonely together. Music: “Beautumn” project, dance company “NITI”, Vitebsk. It is clear, considerable dramatic story about the eternal theme – he and she. It was truthful, professional and humane.

The third prize went for the performance “Gravity”. Music: the sounds of space. Choreography: Anna Korzik, dance theatre “Altana”, Minsk. It is a very interesting performance. After the performance you have the feeling that Anna Korzik “mastered” the sounds of the outer space. I am sure that the audience that go in for meditating practice had a good impressions after the performance.

The second prize went for the performanceFour seasons, music of modern composers. Choreography: Diana Yurchenko, theatre-studio of modern choreography of Diana Yurchenko, Vitebsk. It is a mature work of both Diana Yurchenko and soloists of the theatre Marina Kushnerova and Sergey Tolkach. It is a very successful synthesis of theatrical expressive means, acting and dancing.

The first prize of the festival went to the performanceAlone with the hope. Music: Evgeny Martynov. Choreography: Sabina Munasypova, Sabina Munasypova project, choreography department of Belorussian State University of Culture and Art. It is a unique combination of the conception and performance. I cannot recall if there were precedents when a dancer was able to tell his story on the back of auteur text (in this case it was the text of the famous song “Ballad about the mother” of Evgeny Martynov). It was risky, but it seemed that the song possessed her and gifted her the most important thing – the inspiration.

Unfortunately, the performance Grain (Sergey Poyarkov and Igor Chipovsky project, Minsk) was left behind the scenes. Why the most conceptual performance of the contest was not appreciated? Why the specialists did not point out the avant-garde thinking? Unfortunately, the time is to blame – the work leaves the feeling of audience’ tiredness. It is understood that the comprehension and the exploration of one’s individuality does not imply haste and fuss, but the choreographer should take into consideration the aspects of viewer perception. It is a rare thing in modern dance (and not only contemporary) when one can see a 20 minutes’ soloist part. In this case the dancer should have many characteristics: outstanding plastique, years of performing experience and also personal charm, energetics, wattage. But the idea, atmosphere, the language of the staging are seamless and combine perfectly.

You can find the detailed and overall analysis of the contest works of  IFMC’2015 by Tatiana Kotovich –IFMC-2015: movement, time, rhythm and projection of choreographic search.

The Jury of the contest.
Yury Troyan – Honoured Artist of Belarus, choreographer, art director of the National Academic Big Theater of opera and Ballet of the Republic of Belarus.
Radu Poklitaru - choreographer, art director of “Kiev Modern Ballet” contemporary dance theatre

Members of the jury:
Tatiana Ratobylskaya – Ph.D. in Art History, journalist, theater and contemporary dance researcher.
Anders Orn – project manager of the performing Art of Swedish Institute.

Konstantin Keikhel – choreographer, award winner of international contests, modern dance teacher of modern Dance Academy of Boris Eifman

Board of experts:
Svetlana Gutkovskaya – choreographer, prize winners of international contests, professor, head of sub-department at Belorassian State University of Art and Culture 
Ingrida Gerbyutavichite (Lithuania) – art expert, dance critic of Lithuanian dance information center
Tatiana Kotovich – PH. Art History, professor, Head of art department in Vitebsk State University.

The sponsor of the festival is BelWest company. The official partners of the festival – “Belinvestbank” and “Belagroprombank”.

The poster and booklet of the IFMC’2015

Photo by Dmitry Abletsov, Igor Gusakov, Alexey Karasev, Anna Mojsejuk. There were used official photos of such performances as “Sacred Spring” and “Idiots” provided by the participants of the festival.

The executive Director, anchorman of the festival Eduard Chernivchan.

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