The Slovenia Times

Fresh and diverse, Slovenian contemporary dance showcased


The diversity of Slovenian contemporary dance production over the past two years will be showcased at Gibanica, the biennial festival of contemporary dance art, in Ljubljana from 22 to 25 February.

Eight productions will be in the running for awards at the 11th iteration of the festival, which will also feature a fringe programme and more than 20 guests from 17 countries.

The international judging panel that selected productions for the competition programme was faced with a tough choice having to make a selection out of 49 "diverse and high-quality" entries.

"We decided to present works that explore the body, space, time and materials and offer advanced perspectives on dance art," judge Maja Kalafatić said. They selected performances "that look forward" and offer a "fresh take" on the art form.

The productions tackle issues such as the future of dance, choreographic tools, technology and the body, watching the shows from different perspectives, narration and the relationship between the body and art.

The judges selected seven productions, while Things Thing entered the competition programme automatically after its choreographer Jan Rozman won the 2021 Gibanica jury award for Thinging.

Venus: between Captivity and Flight by Mala Kline contemplates the relationship between the image, the body and dreams. Brina - a kinaesthetic monument by Leja Jurišič, Bara Kolenc, Peter Kutin, Patrik Lechner and Mathias Lenz pays tribute to a dancer, member of the Partisan resistance during WWII. Things Thing by Julia Keren Turbahn and Jan Rozman discusses ecology and the use of plastic using colourful objects.

This year the festival introduces a fringe programme of six events, including an immersive dance performance and workshops for children. Its aim is to help the broader Slovenian dance community adopt Gibanica as a celebration of Slovenian dance.

The festival is also known for its discussions. This year a round table will discuss development strategies in modern dance and the creators of the featured productions will speak about their creative processes.

The festival will close with an awards ceremony. The Ksenija Hribar Award for lifetime achievement will go to dancer, choreographer and art director Iztok Kovač.

During the festival a meeting kicking off the Balkan Dance Platform will be held at Cankarjev Dom from 22 to 25 February aiming to bring together dance platforms and dancers in the region.


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