IFMCart_sessiomenestrelmain
 
 
back archives
" IFMC'2003"

 

The XVIth Festival took place in Vitebsk on 26 – 30 November 2003. The International Competition constituted the main part of the event. In one way or another, the schedule of the Festival was tightly linked to rehearsals and performances of the competitioners. The scheme of the event remained unchanged. The closed round of the Competition was held in Cultural –Business Center and in the main hall of the Jakub Kolas Dramma Theatre, where the Jury, critics, journalists and the participants moved to in the afternoons. As usually there was not enough time for rehearsals. But thanks to the team of the Simon Davydenko, Chief Lights Engineer of the festival, no serious failures occurred and no official claims were laid to the administration of the Festival. As for scenery for the performances, with the exception of the choreographic group of Moscow Chamber Ballet, no extra efforts were applied.

The opening turned really spectacular show. 26 companies-participants greeted the audience in a choreographic way – with mini pieces form their performances. The spectators were not against an independent concert – acquaintance and were ready to grant the performers with the spectator’s sympathy prizes not waiting for the Jury’s final decision. Then there was a storm of applauses for the Founders of the Festival, the members of the International Jury and invited critics. The opening was intentionally built of the performances of such companies, which could hardly be regarded as the representatives of the modern choreography. From the other side, two antipodes – break dance and clasical ballet, demonstrated the essence of the dance as the mean of plastic influence.

The first performed «MovesPerMinute» Dance Company from Sweden with the dance play «4». For the leader of the company and for the other members, «break-dance» and «hip-hop» during 15 years became a stable life position. It was very peculiar to make the following observations about this company. Andreas – a citizen of well-developed postindustrial society, the representative of subculture (please do not confuse with subproducts), which is not in the center of attention of mass media, is referring to the primordial world. Look, «hip-hop» is based on 4 main pillars: break, graffiti, rap and DJs. Four sides of the world. Four elements. Four seasons. At the end – a very specific formular 4 x 4. The third work of the «MovesPerMinute» company addresses the issue of the nature’s micro and macro levels, the desire to dissolve inside of the wind and fire, to experience their might and mind. And all this is reached with the help of «break-dance». The performance practically used all types of the dance: «breaking» – gymnastic achievement, «robot» – the exact copy of automatic movements, «electric» – convulsiveness of electric charges, «king tat» – a specific symbolic by the means of hands, «locking» and etc. The work is undoubtedly associative, but well and artistically thought original video row doesn’t let us to lose the thread of the author’s thoughts. The company from Sweden for sure won the sympathy of the audience and participants, even of those, who were quite suspicious about «break-dance».

On the opposite pole of the dance world was the company of the Belarussian State Musical Theatre, very brisk representative of the classical ballet. But first, let me tell you two stories. The first one started ten years ago when the leading Masters of the Musical Theatre Julia Dyatko and Konstantin Kuznetsov presented for the IFMC competition the work of one young choreographer. The miniature didn’t manage to make to the second round. After the results of the first round were announced, the author appeared in the Jury’s room and directed himself to the Head of the Jury Mr. Elizaryev and, openly, and in rather harsh form accused the Festival in choreographic discrimination and profanation. It is difficult to say what it cost the Head to stand all this onset and in a very soft and polite manner to convince the choreographer in the opposite. But it was very notable incident.

The second story. A choreographer, whose ballet was in the Competition programme, didn’t show up in Vitebsk. He was busy with staging «Romeo and Juliet» in Moscow. This man was the young choreographer from the first story. The name of this outstanding choreographer is Radu Poklitaru. The greeting of the master was recorded and showed with the help of video projector. In this video presentation Radu recalled this 10 years old story and said that he regarded Vitebsk Festival as a moment of a great significanse to his creative activity. Nobody expected these words to be said. Festival is grateful for such candour. Then there was one-act ballet «In Pivo Veritas». The work is based on Irish folk music and dance of the Renaissance. According to the words of the author, the ballet is not aspire to some deep philosophical «veritas» and is not lost in the deepness of the implication. This is a pure dance about life, love and, as it is not strange for a classical ballet, is about beer (pivo). All these combined provided spectators with «light – alcoholic» pleasure.

November 27 was the Russian Ural region day. But geographical factor is the only unifying force for all the performances, which were showed that day. Each ballet had its own autor’s style and hand.

Sergey Smirnov remained a black horse for the Vitebsk Festival until the day of his performance. With the works of his company the Direction of the Festival was acquainted only through video recordings. After Smirnov’s performance «Voice» became a Laureate of the National Theatrical Award of Russia «Golden Mask’2002», it became obvious – we need to meet. A voice of a human body or a voice via plastic of a body? To be or not to be – alone or together, is it more comfortable? How to be heard? How and what to hear? These eternal questions were highlighted in the performance. The work was really appreciated by the audience.

The creative activity of Olga Pona, choreographer, artistic manager of the Chelyabinsk Modern Dance Theatre, is full of social aspects. The distinctive feature of the artist is the absence of fake patriotism. There are no speculations about the mysterious side of the Russian soul. The performances are experiencing past and present, looking into the future. But they do not «point out the right way» – there is no messianic ambitions in the works. This year Vitebsk was lucky to see the performance «Anticipation», the Laureate of the «Golden Mask’2003» Award. The precursor to the performance were the words of John Steinbeck, «In Russia they always thought about the future. About the next year’s crop, about comforts, which would be in 10 years, about the clothes, which would be made soon. If there exists a nation capable to extract energy from hopes, it is undoubtedly Russians».

The Theatre of Evgeny Panfilov was anticipated in Vitebsk again. The concert program «You’ll recollect me and all my world not once...» which was made up from choreographic miniatures of the Master, was accepted by the spectators with delight. Some miniatures look quite naive nowadays, but still evolve very light emotions. It is impossible to determine the secret of success. Nothing extraordinary from the point of choreography, idea, staging is taking place. Simply «Tender Night» is really tender, «Without You» – is without you, «Farewell» – is farewell. «Chinese Knick – Knack», performed by Sergey Raynik, as before is a big and small tragedy at the same time. «Buffoon», danced by Alexey Kolbin – is a standard of a jester. It is impossible not to be thankful to the Theatre and its former soloist, today teacher – coach, Nataliya Maslenyikova – for preserving the works. Natalya received the special prize of the Festival. It is also impossible not to be grateful for Sergey Raynik – soloist and now the artistic manager of the Theatre – not only for very remarkable expression and vividness of images in Panfilov’s miniatures, but also on another occasion. The Theatre continues to live. Being an author’s project in the past, today it will be different for sure. Besides creative heritage, the theatre will acquire the experience of news works. «Black Quadrant» – the first independent big performance by Sergey Raynik wasn’t noticed during the Competition. The International Jury and the invited critics came to common opinion that the performance didn't really suit the expected context of the Competition. At the same time the audience valued the stylish manner and mastery of performance.

It is always difficult to describe the results of the Competition. Everybody has got it’s own partiality. It is to be understood that every member of the Jury has got its own subjective opinion. This year Grand Prix’2003 was not awarded to any company. It is noteworthy that this variant of design was approved as an official Grand Prix of the Festival. The original was designed and made by Vitebsk artist Sergey Baburo. It happened so that Chinese dancers didn’t take the Highest Prize of the Festival to China this time. Nevertheless it happened to hear such phrases as «We have come to Vitebsk for the last time». But why? Why there is nothing to be ashamed of in not receiving Sent Denis Award? And why «Golden Mask» is hold every year? And what to do if you are not invited to stage your choreography on ADF?

In the nomination «one-act ballet» there were four Laureate diplomas. Two second prizes of the Competition went to the «Fine 5» Dance Theatre from Tallinn, Estonia for the performance «Two Trains». And to the Company «Okoyem» from Ekatherinburg, Russia for the ballet «Yellow Pages». «Two Trains» - professionally staged by two experienced and talented artists – Tiina Ollesk and Rene Nommik. The creative potential of two, dedicated to the dance, art masters, allows them to feel free in realisation of any ideas. Smart and neat minimalism of «trains» concentrates attention, charms by gleams of mirrors, ideas and people who are looking for each other. If to talk about some specific aesthetics of the modern Estonian dance, «Fine 5» is the best possible example. «Yellow Pages» is very figuratively choreographic. Through the husk of days and years, which tightly chokes up «pores» of life, by some miracle break through telephone calls from the past recollections. And, according to the author’s – Alexander Gurvich, idea, only separate, yellow pages of recollections appeared to be real fragments of the past.

Two first prizes in the nomination «one-act ballet» were granted to Beata Ovcharek and Janush Skubachkovski from «TOC» theatre from Krakow, Poland and «Eccentric Ballet» of Sergey Smirnov from Yekaterinburg, Russia. The idea of the Polish performance «So Plain», is not so plain at all. The performance tells us about two lonely people, who are terribly tired from their loneliness. A woman in front of the chancel of idyllic dreams and a man, who lost his last hope. The Chance, which life presents them with, helps them find the sense of life. He and she are tired... tired of themselves. A meeting of speculative anticipation and necessity in real self-sacrifice in love, leads to some intricate relationship. The positive idea of the performance calls us to love not something ephemeral but a life microcosm of the second half. And this idea is presented very convincingly and touchingly.

The «freshmen» of the Festival - the artists from choreographic company «Eccentric Ballet» of Sergey Smirnov from Yekaterinburg looked in Vitebsk as concentrated, reserved self-supplying system. The holders of «Golden Mask'2003» Theatrical Award didn't ask, showed no interest, accurately visited rehearsals and performed. Now the time has come to share the ideas regarding the performance «Exit». You should not flatter yourself on the matter of abstract human society, which exists in the performance. There are enough analogies to us. In two steps from the dancers, there is a way out from the hopeless situation. Invisible line, a door, which attracts and lures, promises changes. Everybody is just ready to cross this line, but realize that something is to be sacrificed. They do understand that probably there is no heaven, but at the same time they have no other exit. The heroes are tearing their shirts, trembling from fear, on bending knees are reaching out their arms towards the door... But still no, suppose what if it is worse there. Finally resoluteness fades away and all ends with stupid dancing’s and excuses. Though it seemed that nothing could be worse. Everybody is looking for exit. The second part of the performance is symbolic. Bright orange, which accidentally survived among the darkness of disillusionments and is the only source of hope to understand what is happening, was simply eaten and thrown away.

In the nomination «choreographic miniature» the prizes were awarded to «Dongfang» Dance Company, Xanchzhoy, People's Republic of China and to the duet of Kristin Schmidt and Peggy Ziehr from Berlin, Germany. For the first time in the history of the Festival the Chinese dancers presented the performance on a social topic. The technic of dance is as usually perfect, high level choreography, but everybody expected from the Chinese something different. In the previous years, miniatures were mostly philosophical, not materialistic. The miniature - Laureate «F» was completely clear. There was nothing new, except for the technical moments, in the performance of the Chinese choreographer Xin Na.
It is high time to congratulate German choreographer Tim Plegg with deserved success, which he could share with his high-level dancers Kristin Schmidt and Peggy Ziehr. There were different opinions on the context of the performance «Home Included». Here is one of them. The character of the miniature, one in two faces, while bathing is plunging into memories. Joyful soap bubbles and imagination calls back her childish ingenuousness and playfulness. Some time later the conflict arises between returned back to life childhood and the adult «Ego». The principles and disposition of the sides are incompatible. The childhood is defeated by its own pragmatic and compromise future. The memories are hiding back to the past, to the bath.

As it was mentioned before, the special prize «Teacher – coach» was awarded to the balletmeister of the «Ballet of Evgeny Pànfilov» Theatre Natalya Maslennikova. Among other special prizes there were: the Jury's special prize «For Artistry» - given to the Workshop of Elena Konnova. The miniature «...He will come with the snowfall» is noticed for its brilliant sense of humor and artistry of the dancers. The award «Debut» was given to «Scream» Dance Group from Samara, Russia. The ballet of Elvira Pervova «Strange People» was whole and comprehensive. Not only the Jury, but the spectators also appraised the dynamics and specific lively narration. Officially recognized Belarusian success became one act ballet «In the Face of the Sky» by Inna Aslamova, Gomel. Her group of modern choreography «Quadro» once again presented author's very correct direction towards meditations. It is important to add that the performance doesn't have any narrative conflict with Bach's music.

The Critics Award was given to the Company of Modern Dance of the Russian Chamber Ballet «Moscow». Awarding the Prize, the Head of the Critics Section Larisa Barykina mentioned among other factors undoubted professionalism of the dancers and creative efforts of such choreographers as Elena Bogdanovich, Lika Shevchenko, Natalia Fiksel, Roman Kislukhin. She also paid attention to the co-operation of the company with famous European choreographers, who recognise the craftsmanship of the group. This year the ballet danced the premier performance «The Rite of Spring» by Regis Obadia on music by Igor Stravinsky. So, the opinion of the Jury and the critics coincided. «The Rite of Spring» really could be regarded as one of the best large scale performance which was ever presented on Vitebsk stage. The special «Evgeny Panfilov memorial Award», which was established one year ago by common agreement of the Jury, the critics and the Direction of the Festival, this year it was awarded to the choreographer of «Eccentric Ballet» Company Sergey Smirnov. The main difference of the Panfilov's memorial Award from other prizes of the Festival is that it is awarded not to the performance as a whole but to a choreographer only. The smallest participant of the Competition - four years old Polina Makhova, was given the special prize by the chief editor of «Ballet» magazine Valeria Uralskaya. For the part of Alice in a miniature "Fairy Tale for Adults" by Vitebsk Choreographic Studio «Parallels», Polina was awarded with Teddy Bear toy and a year subscription for a children variant of the «Ballet» magazine.
Concerning to what was left behind the Competition and public concerts, the participants of the Festival know about this much more than we do. According to many eye-witnesses, the meeting of Director of School - studio «Cannon Dance» Vadim Kasparov from St. Petersburg, Russia, with people who are interested in the art management and PR policy of a dance company, was successful. Kasparov was sharing his priceless knowledge, gained during the years of his personal experience in the conditions of post-Soviet realities. The participants were sincerely thankful for concrete, gratuitous assistance.

The chief editor of «Dance Magazine» Wendy Perron, NY, the USA took an active part in the works of the critics section. During our e-mail correspondence we got to know very peculiar fact. It happened that Wendy's grand-grand-mother came from Vitebsk, she immigrated to the USA at the beginning of the last century. The whole day on the eve of the Festival, Wendy Perron had an excursion around the city. She acquainted with the history of Vitebsk and its landmarks. During the rest of the Festival the American guest presented Vitebsk dancers with master-classes and video-tutorials, presented the participants and the press with modern tendencies in the contemporary American dance. About Wendy's personal impressions from the Festival, we'll get to know from her essay in the nearest future. Her coming to Vitebsk became possible thanks to the «Dance Theater Workshop».

In conclusion I would like to thank all those who took part in the IFMC 2003, and also to those who are not going to come to Vitebsk anymore. Let's hope that the organization and participation in the Festival will not take too much efforts. Let the creativity and recognition remain with it.

The above report «Notes from the backstage» is written by Edward Chernivchan, an executive director of the festival and pluralistically a presenter of the festival events. I declare that it's not to be considered as review. The point of view of journalists, critics and art experts is available in «IFMC'2003 Reviews».

Photos IFMC'2004 by Igor Gusakov.

  "Winners IFMC'2003"

According to the International Jury decision the Grand Prix was not granted Special prizes of the competition

SPECIAL PRIZE OF THE INTERNATIONAL JURY “BEST TEACHER”
NATALIYA MASLENNIKOVA
STATE THEATRE «EVGENY PANFILOV BALLET», PERM, RUSSIA

BY SECTION OF CRITICS
ONE-ACT BALLET «THE RITE OF SPRING»
CHOREOGRAPHY: REGIS OBADIA
CHAMBER BALLET «ÌOSCOW», ÌOSCOW, RUSSIA

SPECIAL PRIZE “FOR THE ARTISTRY”
MINIATURE « …HE'LL COME WHEN SNOW GOES»
CHOREOGRAPHY: ÅLENA KONNOVA
ELENA KONNOVA STUDIO, ÌOSCOW, RUSSIA

SPECIAL PRIZE “DEBUTE”
ONE-ACT BALLET «STRANGE PEOPLE...»
CHOREOGRAPHY: ELVIRA PERVOVA
«SCREAM» DANCE GROUP, SAMARA, RUSSIA

SPECIAL PRIZE OF THE INTERNATIONAL JURY
ONE-ACT BALLET « IN FRONT OF THE FACE OF THE SKY»
CHOREOGRAPHY: INNA ASLAMOVA
«QUADRO» CONTEMPORARY DANCE GROUP, GOMEL, BELARUS

EVGENY PANFILOV’S MEMORIAL PRIZE
CHOREOGRAPHER SERGEI SMIRNOV
«ECCENTRIC-BALLET» CHOREOGRAPHIC COMPANY, EKATIRENBURG, RUSSIA

THE LAUREATES OF THE FESTVAL ONE-ACT BALLET

LAUREATES OF THE FIRST PRIZE
«SO PLAIN»
CHOREOGRAPHY: BEATA OWCZAREK, JANUSZ SKUBACZKOWSKI
THEATRE OF OPEN CREATION «TOC», KRACOW, POLAND
«EXIT»
CHOREOGRAPHY: SERGEI SMIRNOV
CHOREOGRAPHIC COMPANY «ECCENTRIC-BALLET», EKATIRENBURG, RUSSIA

LAUREATES OF THE SECOND PRIZE
«TWO TRAINS»
CHOREOGRAPHY: TIINA OLLESK, RENE NOMMIK
FINE 5 DANCE THEATRE, TALLINN, ESTONIA
«YELLOW PAGES»
CHOREOGRAPHY: ALEXANDR GURVICH
«ÎKOYOM», ÅKATIRENBURG, RUSSIA_________________________

CHOREOGRAPHIC MINIATURE

LAUREATE OF THE FIRST PRIZE
MINIATURE «F»
CHOREOGRAPHY: XIN NA
THE CHINESE ENSEMBLE OF DANCE & SONG «DONGFANG», PEOPLE REPUBLIC OF CHINATHE

LAUREATE OF THE SECOND PRIZE
MINIATURE «HOMELAND INCLUDED»
CHOREOGRAPHY: TIM PLEGGE
KRISTIN SCHMIDT & PEGGY ZIEHR, BERLIN, GERMANY

 

 

   
 

THE IFMC DIRECTORATE ADDRESS
210026, The Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk, Frunze Park
Culture & Business Center
The International Festival of Modern Choreography
Director: Marina Romanovskaya
Tel./fax: +375- 212 - 37 49 02
E-mail: artmark@mm.by

 

 

 

  up