The XXth International Festival of Modern Choreography took place in Vitebsk in November 21- 25, 2007. However it might not have taken place due to a number of reasons, one of which is another structural reforming. During the last two years the participants as well as the audience gathered in Culture&Business Center “ Vitebsk ”, but from now on this place is called Concert Hall “Vitebsk”, which in its turn is a cultural subdivision and is literally called State Institution “Cultural Center “Vitebsk””. As it always happens, all the crucial things come along in the most inappropriate moment and cause lots of questions without clear answers. It took long for the reveries to fade away and only a month before the festival began the smoke dissappeared and at last we could see where the ship was drifted. This is the reason why we could not answer clearly to all the calls and letters regarding the upcoming event. On behalf of IFMC management I offer an apology for the intrigue silence.
The annniversary festival was different from all the previous ones. It did not include competition.One more innovation is a new nomination – “IFMC Golden Fund”. The laureates ofthis nomination are neither presented with free tickets for the public transport in Vitebsk, nor they are presented with financial resources as a compensation for their work. The reward is the memorable diploma in recognition to the joint traversed path, for the 10 years of friendship, and in the first place for the talant pointed in the festival diplomas of other years for the contribution in the history of modern choreography. The owners of the first 5 diplomas were: Nickolay Ogryzkov’s contemporary dance school (Moscow), Fine 5 dance theatre (Tallinn), “Evgeny Panfilov’s ballet” theater (Perm), Peking academy of dance, “TAD” contemporary dance group, Grodno. The diplomas were presented by Valentin Yelizariev, the People’s artist of the USSR and Byelorussia, the Chairman of the international jury of the festival from 1993.
The opening concert was called “1987-2007”. The theme of the concert is evident. The performances reflected the contents of the festival during the twenty years of its history, including the times when there was not even a track of a contemporary dance. The programm of the concert is as follows:
“Vivaldiana” - BGU arts and culture choreography sub-faculty ensemble. The Choreographer: Neta Pulvermacher.
“Buffoon” - “Evgeny Panfilov’s ballet” theater, Perm.The Choreographer: Evgeny Panfilov.
«Street Jazz», Sergey Mandrik, Moscow
Nickolay Ogryzkov’s contemporary dance school, Moscow
“Steps of the city” “Evgeny Panfilov’s ballet” theater, Perm. The Choreographer: Sergey Smirnov.
The fragment of the performance “Closeness” - contemporary dance and performance group «Voices», Kishinyov.
“A girl and a factory” - “TAD” contemporary dance group, Grodno. The Choreographer: Dmitri Kurakulov.
The fragment of the performance “Three women” – dance theatre «ZAVIROVANNE», Warsaw
The fragment of the performance “BirthDay” - modern choreography theatre "D.O.S.Z.K.I.", Minsk
“Wanderers” - Fine 5 Dance Theatre , Tallinn.
“Cumparsita”- “TAD” contemporary dance group, Grodno. The Choreographer: Dmitri Kurakulov.
The fragment of the performance “The Message” - Vytis Jankauskas Dance Company, Vilnius
“The story like a cloud” – the solo dancer of Peking academy of dance Sun Yue.
The fragment of the ballet “The thing, I didn’t tell to anyone”, “Evgeny Panfilov’s ballet” theater, Perm. The Choreographer: Itsic Galili.
On the second festival day the audience saw four performances. “The Message” is one of the latest works of Vytis Jankauskas Dance Company. Vytis Jankauskas is a choreographer, a dancer and the festival knows him for a long time. We can recall his male triptych “The three from Vilnius”, in the basis of which was brake-dance. It seemed the power of the style determined the face of the dance once and for all, but Jankauskas became one of the first who led brake-dance to the new level of the artistic perception. Today Vytis Jankauskas showed himself from a different side. On the stage you may see modern dance performed by professional dancers. It is a very sensible work. The dance is laid-back and leisurely without the striking combinations, but it is light and full of thoughts about the outward things, about the messages in thoughts, answers which not always meet the expectations.
The dance theatre “Circulation” is represented by solo dancers from the Bolshoitheatre and modern dance performers. It resides in the building of an Old powder storehouse in the very heart of Warsaw, in Staro Miasto. The attractive stage effect arose out of the different dance schools and trends combination. On the eve of the festival one of the dances hurt the leg, that is why we saw the performance “Three women” instead of billed “Nothing but the blue”. The performance is a kind of choreographic adaptation to the film by Robert Altman “Three women”. It is a psychological research of the three lonely women’s destinies, whose lives are connected to one and the same man.
Kiev art ballet “SoulB” was created in 2004 by a man who remembers Vitebsk of the middle eighties very well, by Konstantin Tomilchenko. At that time he was a dancer of Artur Kolmakov’s contemporary dance school from Dnepropetrovsk, a very bright and original troup. Together with a dancer Natalia Krotova they showed the performance “Open” on an eternal theme of relationship between a man and a woman. According to the applause, the audience was imbued with the plot and emotions of the heroes.
“24 hours” is the second staging of Tommie Kitie for the theatre «Fine 5». Kitie is one of the most remarkable and admired Finnish choreographers, who created his own unique dance language for the thirty years of his career. The Estonian dancers performed professionally as only they could do. As a result it became one of the most remarkable works at the festival.
who became the head of the theatre in the age of 26 and opened a new page in the history of ballet. The international recognition of the Belorussian ballet is highly connected with his work. There is much to say about this man, and much to learn from him. There is sense to listen to him. Before the festival he celebrated his sixtieth birthday and the 3rd day of the festival belonged to Valentin Yelizariev, the People’s artist of the USSR and Byelorussia, the Chairman of the international jury of the festival from 1993. After the formal and informal compliments the National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus performed the ballet “The Nutcracker” by Chaikovski, staging by Yelizariev.
The concert was dedicated to a man
. Thefollowing groups took part in the concert:
was dedicated to Belorussian modern choreography. Of course, it is impossible to see all in one concert, but it is enough to get a general impression. In a few words, modern choreography in Belarus is still devotee’s prerogative. The Russian achieve the success, but again, all the remarkable projects were created by the efforts of concrete people who gained the support of public organizations. There is no full-scale developing program of contemporary dance in Belarus so far and it’s hard to say when it becomes the Olympic kind of art. But things are definitely moving and the concert was a real proof to that. The concert stood out for diverse trends and themes, by the artistic and performing level. But the mail thing is that the contemporary dance exists in Belarus and the prospects open only for those who come in and in our case, for those who dance
BGU arts and culture choreography sub-faculty ensemble. The artistic director: Svetlana Gutkovskaya.
“Parallels” modern dance studio, Vitebsk. The artistic director and the choreographer: Anastasia Makhova.
Honoured Amateur Group “Zorka”, Vitebsk. The artistic director: Natalia Chernuk.
The choreographer and the performer Olga Labovkina, Novopolotsk.
Diana Yurchenko's choreographic studio, Vitebsk. The artistic director and the choreographer: Diana Yurchenko.
modern choreography theatre “D.O.Z.S.K.I.” The choreographers: Olga Skvortsova and Dmitri Zalesski.
The guest of the concert, The choreographer and the dancer Denis Boroditski, Moscow.
The dance company of Grodno choreography school “Dialogues”.
“TAD” contemporary dance group, Grodno. The artistic director and the choreographer: Dmitri Kurakulov.
The guest of the concert, the solo dancer of Peking academy of dance Sun Yue.
The theme of the XXth festival closing concertwas “The IFMC and Evgeny Panfilov’s ballet”. Everything that connects the festival with his theatre starts with the words “what if... ”. What if he had not been? What if he would have been just another choreographer and not the man of a special mould? And what we’d have done if he had not come and helped that time?..But he was. The Choreographer, the Master. The friend. Our festival, Vitebsk and its audience were lucky to communicate with Evgeny Panfilov. Time brings new experience and ideas, the world changes, but luckily, Evgeny Panfilov’s ballet was still with us. The programm of the evening was as follows:
The combined Russian and Holland project, the choreographer: Itsic Galili. Project’s author: Oleg Levenkov. The performance “The thing, I didn’t tell to anyone”- Itsic Galili (Israel- Holland), performed by “Evgeny Panfilov’s ballet” theater.
the guest-performance - the choreographer and the dancer Denis Boroditsky (Moscow) – Improvisation.
Choreographic miniature “A step together”, the staging is by the solo dancer of the theatre – Alexei Rastorguev. The performers: Maria Tokhonova, Elena Leontieva.
“Stud” – the fragment of the ballet “Male’s rhapsody”. The Choreographer: Evgeny Panfilov.
Choreographic miniature “TheDiaspora of the dancing”. The Choreographer: Evgeny Panfilov.
One-act choreographic fantasy “The cage for parrots”. The Choreographer: Evgeny Panfilov. The solo dancers: Alexei Rastorguev. Alexei Kolbin.
During all the days of the XXth festival the organizations’ and official partners’ banners were on the stage. They are: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, the National Academic Bolshoi Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus, Vitebsk regional and city executive committee and state institution “Cultural Center “Vitebsk””. The general partner of the XXth festival is “Mobile TeleSystems, LLC”. The official partner of the festival is “Vitebskoblgas” company.
From the bottom of our hearts we would like to thank everyone who made a valuable contribution to the 20th festival history. Some day in one of the pamphlets we will point out all the sponsors and patrons.That will be a huge list worthy of respect and recognition.
What else interesting was going on during the festival? There was a press-conference with the Laureates of the IFMC International and National competition of different years with the participation of Olga Skvortsova and Dmitry Zalessky, Rene Nommik, Nikolai Ogryskov and Sergey Mandrik. There was a photo exhibition “Photo-Choreo-Graphy”, the author is Ivan Astashonok, Vitebsk photographer. There was a presentation of the book “George Balanchin” of the author and the director of the festival “Dyagilev season’s” Oleg Levenkov, Perm. There were practical and theoretical master-classes of Larisa Barykina (Yekaterinburg) and Vita Mozuraite (Vilnius), and traditionally the party of the participants of the annivesary XXth IFMC of 2007.