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  IFMC 2001

IFMC'2001 took place since November 28 through December 2. Some of initially announced guest-performers couldn't join the festival for different reasons. Despite all the problems the festival was accomplished successfully and the names of new IFMC International Competition prizewinners were made public during the Awarding Ceremony on Dec2. All of them took part in the Gala-performance.

Among the most significant festival events were two evening performances by Dancing People Company (USA) and Perm State theatre "Evgeny Panfilov's Ballet" (Russia). A light lyrical duet "Leaving" and an ironic "The "in" crowd", choreographed by Robin Stiehm, a DPC artistic director made very good impression both on the audience and on dance critics. Also Dancing People taught a series of master-classes for the participants of the International Competition. The IFMC Directorate as well as DPC dancers expressed their complete satisfaction with one another; thus first American participation in Vitebsk festival can be estimated as a success and hopefully to be continued.

Participation of Dancing People Company has been made possible in part through support from The Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions, a public-private partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Department of State, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and The Rockefeller Foundation, with additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and administered by Arts International.

As for Panfilov's Ballet, this theatre is tied with IFMC by long-standing warm friendship. Vitebsk audience really adores Evgeny Panfilov and all performances of the troupe are always fully sold out. This year IFMC saw "Capitulation". As it often happened before, different people equally delighted with this energetic, stylish work had absolutely controversial interpretation of author's idea. Performed by "Ballet of the fat" spectacle "Women. The year 1945" the audience met with "standing applause" and even with tears. All dancers were really fat, but namely in such order: first they were dancers and then fat women. It was not at all a trick. Dedicated to bitter fate of Russian women whose husbands and beloved had died somewhere in war, the ballet was touching, even a bit naive, and professionally balanced at the same time.

Naturally, organizers of the International Competition wholeheartedly wished good luck to Belarusian companies. Unfortunately, neither of them was accepted by Jury to the Final Round. It was not that they were so weak, just the foreigners proved to be much stronger. However, many encouraging words were said about their creative and professional growth during the research seminars.

"Fine 5 dance theatre" from Estonia is very well known to Vitebsk festival. Rene Nommic and Tiina Ollesk are Laureates of several previous competitions. They presented a new work named "Sandwater". Involving video-projection, their profound and sophisticated choreography made spectators think hard while watching a wonderful story about love, life and death, which was danced simultaneously on the stage and on the narrow border between ground and sea waves.

Judging by Competition'2001, video becomes more and more popular among contemporary dance companies. Lithuanian "Aura Dance Company" used an abstract video-background during their "Extremum mobile", intelligent and graceful as most choreographies by Birute Letucaite.

"And the damage done" - debut of Austrian choreographer Helene Weinzierl in Vitebsk Competition. Excellent solo about eternal struggle of a man with himself for himself, perfectly performed by Robert Tirpa'k.

One-act ballet "www-faces-ru" by Cheliabinsk-based choreographer Olga Pona was distinctly Russian, about Russia and most likely understandable for people of Russian culture. Nevertheless, the Jury members from USA, France, Poland, and China noticed this talented work and Cheliabinsk contemporary dance Theatre was among the winners of the Competition.

Lublin Dance Theatre headed by Hanna Strzemiecka won an IFMC Special Prize. Their "Optical tract" - extremely dynamic, expressive and masterly performed miniature, one of the works most favored by journalists and experienced theater-goers.

One of the Competition's Regulations says: to be awarded with Grand Prix the work should be created within latest two years. Many in IFMC'2001 shared an opinion that only this prevented "The rogue tool" by Paul Norton from becoming the first among Competition winners. Anyway, Chamber Ballet Moscow is an excellent theatre and this work was a real delight. Another miniature presented by the same company "Na vet.ru", choreographed by Angelica Shevchenko, got a Special Prize, established by critics.

Chinese contemporary dance is relatively young but within latest years many prestigious awards throughout the world have been won by representatives of Chinese school. What made a miniature "Go to bank with dream" a Grand Prix Awardee of IFMC'2001 International Competition, outstanding choreography by Zhang Ji Gang or performing mastery of a dancer Chu Hi remains a matter of disputes. Anyway, their "dream" came true and the IFMC Grand Prix left for China again.

Thanks to support of Swedish Institute, two lectures on Swedish contemporary dance were held during the Festival. One of them was presented by a dance theorist Bodil Persson, another - by Elisabet Karlsson and Anna-Karina Larsson, two choreographers and dancers who call themselves "Nordic Dumplings". Their performance took place in foyer of Culture & Business Center. Numerous spectators were standing around and watching them groping their way with meter-long fingernails. It's unknown what people thought of but most faces were surprised and thoughtful.

During the IFMC'2001 many other events such as a photo-exhibition by Vladimir Lupovskoy, video shows, discussions and news conferences were held. The IFMC Directorate expresses gratitude to all participants and of course to the Festival supporters.

IFMC’2001 Awards
HONORABLE DIPLOMA ESTABLISHED BY SESSION OF CRITICS
ONE-ACT BALLET "NA VET.RU"
CHOREOGRAPHY: ANGELICA SHEVCHENKO
RUSSIAN CHAMBER BALLET MOSCOW - CONTEMPORARY DANCE GROUP, RUSSIA
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SPECIAL AWARD
ONE-ACT BALLET "THE ROGUE TOOL"
CHOREOGRAPHY: PAUL NORTON
RUSSIAN CHAMBER BALLET MOSCOW - CONTEMPORARY DANCE GROUP, RUSSIA
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SPECIAL AWARD
MINIATURE "OPTICAL TRACT"
CHOREOGRAPHY: HANNA STRZEMIECKA
LUBLIN DANCE THEATRE, POLAND
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IFMC'2001 LAUREATESONE-ACT BALLET "WWW. FACES. RU"
CHOREOGRAPHY: OLGA PONA
THELIABINSK CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATRE, RUSSIA
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ONE-ACT BALLET "SANDWATER"
CHOREOGRAPHY: RENE NOMMIK AND TIINA OLLESK
FINE 5 DANCE THEATRE, ESTONIA
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ONE-ACT BALLET "EXTREMUM MOBILE"
CHOREOGRAPHY: BIRUTE LETUKAITE
AURA DANCE THEATRE, LITHUANIA
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ONE-ACT BALLET "… AND THE DAMAGE DONE"
CHOREOGRAPHY: HELENE WEINZIERL
LAROQUE DANCE COMPANY, AUSTRIA
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GRAND PRIXMINIATURE "GO TO BANK WITH DREAM"
CHOREOGRAPHY: ZHANG JI GANG
SOLOIST QIU HUI, THE CHINESE ARMY SINGING AND DANCING ENSEMBLE, PEOPLE REPUBLIC OF CHINA

 
The international juri
XIAO SUKHUA- professor of the Beijing Choreographic Institute, choreographer and dance theorist, the Executive Secretary of the Society of ballet statesmen of China, Member of the International Jury of ballet competitions in Beijing, Moscow, Varna (China)
EVGENY PANFILOV - choreographer, dancer, artistic director of the Perm State Theatre "Evgeny Panfilov's ballet", Laureate of the All-Union ballet Competition, Laureate of International ballet competitions, Laureate of the National Theatre Award "Golden Masque" (Russia)
ROBIN LEE STIEHM - choreographer, teacher, founder and artistic director of the contemporary dance group "Dancing People Company" (USA)
YURI TROYAN - People Artist of Belarus, head of the ballet troupe of the National Academic Bolshoy Theater of ballet of the Republic of Belarus (Belarus)
ROBERT SEYFRIED - choreographer, co-founder of the Grenoble dance group "Emile Dubois" (France)
 
 
 
THE LIST OF PARTICIPANTS OF IFMC'2001 RESEARCH SEMINARS


LARISA BARYKINA - musical and ballet critic, author of TV-shows on ballet art, chief of musical and literary department of Yekaerinburg Opera & Ballet Theatre, a member of the council of experts for the Russian National Prize "Zolotaya Maska" (Yekaterinburg, Russia)
JULIA TSHURKO - doctor of art history, professor, head of the sub-faculty of choreography of the Belarusian Academy of Music, Honoured Stateswoman of Arts of the Republic of Belarus (Minsk, Belarus)
AUDRONIS IMBRASAS - Director of the Lithuanian Dance Information Centre, (Vilnius, Lithuania)
MIKAEL SCHULTZ - Head of Dance & Theatre department of the Swedish Institute (Stockholm, Sweden)
LARISA VENEDICTOVA - "World of Arts" magazine, editor-in chief (Kiev, Ukraine)

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