Balkan Dance Reality Show

U ‘Balkan Dance Reality Show’-­‐u tri izvođačice/autorice i jedan izvođač/autor iz Bugarske, Hrvatske i Njemačke razmatraju koncept Balkana.

On postaje njihova oblast igre: poprimajući oblike misteriozne atmosfere, egzotičnog, izmišljenog mjesta, neobične priče nastanjene šarolikim likovima, ili reality show-a čiji su tvorci i sudionici jedni te isti. Uz zvukove ‘Posvećenja proljeća’ Igora Stravinskog (koje je, u koreografiji Vaslava Nijinskog 1913. postalo točka preokreta u razvoju suvremenog plesa) te koristeći originalni tekst američkog reality TV show-­‐a ‘Work of Art: The Next Great Artist’ prilazimo pitanjima o suštini umjetnosti: Što je umjetničko djelo danas? Kako nastaje, kako se vrednuje, koji stav sami umjetnici imaju prema njemu? I konačno, da li je sve show?


Autori/izvođači/producenti: Rose Beermann, Willy Prager, Sonja Pregrad, Iva Sveshtarova
Dramaturška suradnja: Angelina Georgieva
Glazba: Emilian Gatsov – Elbi
Izvedbe tekstualnog/zvučnog materijala: Stephan Stereff, Galina Borisova, Angelina Georgieva, Ani Vasova, Emilian Gatsov – Elbi
Titlovanje teksta: Drago Car
Grafički dizajn: Georgi Florov
Kostimografija: Tsvetalina Atanasova
Snimatelji: Boriana Pandova i Neven Petrović
Fotografija: Neven Petrović i Boriana Pandova
Asistentica produkcije: Nina Križan
Organizacijska podrška: Marina Petković Liker


Produkcija umjetničkih organizacija Četveroruka i Brain Store Project uz financijsku podršku Ministarstava kulture Bugarske i republike Hrvatske te Grada Zagreba.
Ko-­producenti: Stanica – servis za savremeni ples, Nomad dance academy, Life Long Burning (uz podršku programa Culture Europske Unije) te rezidencijalnog programa ÉTAPE DANSE -­‐ fabrik Potsdam u suradnji s CDC Uzès Danse, Théâtre de Nîmes i Bureau du Théâtre et de la Danse/Institut français Deutschland.
S ljubaznom podrškom Goethe-­‐Instituta Bugarska, Derida Dance Centre, Sofia i Zagrebačkog plesnog centra.



”Balkan, što je to zapravo? … Živimo u kvazi-­‐globalnoj verziji kasnog kapitalizma u kojoj ne samo da se slave konkurencija i nadmetanje, već sama realnost može postati skriptirana, kao efikasno sredstvo komuniciranja društvenih vrijednosti. A stvarna realnost, gdje ona ostaje?”

Mirka Döring, Theater der Zeit

”The artistic biography [of the four artists] brings them together at a concrete geographical place presented as a fictional, generally adopted model. The artistic approach of the performers is distinguished by amusing lightness and reduced movements in contrast to the explosive music of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” and fixation on symbolic creatures. All this is put together with the context of a reality show as a TV format and as a congenial art-to-show of the visible reality designed for broad audiences in a global world. (…) The reality gives us the feeling that all is submitted to a change and it is time for us to watch another kind of a show. This Other, that is shown to us when the parameters of time, movement and space get dispersed into their constituents. (…) A kind of dance movement with a step backward and forward which slowly and lightly brings us closer to the opportunity to reconsider notions, discourses, power positions and western standards.”

Jana Pavlova for – online platform for performing arts criticism.


An interview with Iva Sveshtarova, Rose Beerman, Sonja Pregrad and Willy Prager

In the beginning when you started working on “Balkan Dance Reality Show”, your interest was focused on the history of contemporary dance in Balkan countries. Gradually, it shifted to the very notion of the Balkans as a territory and as a fictional construct. What caused that shift in focus?

I.S.: After 1989 dance in the Balkan region changed very much. I was initially interested in exploring and gaining a better understanding of the direction of those changes and in how I relate to them, how they influenced me. Thus in the beginning I wanted to look more carefully at what happened in the field of dance over the past more than 20 years in Bulgaria. But I could not stop comparing the development of contemporary dance here with other parts of Europe. I arrived at the point where they did not provoke in me artistic interest strong enough. We grew more and more interested in the stereotypes which the Balkan region makes for itself

and in which it perceives itself and for me it is very difficult to accept them. Thus we started to think how we could work with those clichés and stereotypes from different points of view.

S. P.: We faced the problem of how we start talking about what contemporary dance is on the Balkans. And what the Balkans mean for every one of us. They presented themselves as a territory without a clear border, they do not have a political, cultural and any other identity of their own, but are one quite vague, empty concept, and at the same time it is very “delicious” and exotic. As a rule over the past 20 years there were numerous discussions going on about what the Balkans are and how art in the region relates to the Western canon, what part thereof matters for us and how we, as artists working in both Eastern and Western Europe, are related to it. But eventually we realized that we are more interested in the present, in how the concept of the Balkans is reconsidered today and mostly in how we can use it as a means to pose questions.

Tell me more about the process of collecting and building-up of the material you work with in the performance.

W.P.: It has passed through many different stages. After we abandoned the interest in the historical development of contemporary dance in the region we looked into what contemporary dance means today. It is something like an “artistic party” you can use to express and assert that what you are doing is dance. Who knows today what “dance” is? This opens up the opportunity to pose and work with much more problems while, of course, preserving the interest in physicality. In the end, we focused on working with two types of materials. The first one is towards building something like a fabricated landscape of the Balkans. And the second one came from our interest in the TV reality show format and here we draw on existing TV programmes for texts and situations.

What is the relation between contemporary dance and reality show?

S. P.: Reality show is a format manufactured by the culture of late capitalism that we live in. It is both a metaphor and a very efficient weapon for setting up a new order of values in society, for aestheticization of reality, for creation of different modes of attention, etc. It is as if we are all inside it on a global scale. And maybe this is the reason why we had the need of problematize it by talking through it.

A main element of the reality show is competition. What is the competition in which contemporary dance functions today?

R. B.: Art, including contemporary dance, is among the most competitive domains of society. In that field you must fight for everything, be in constant fight for attention and funding. For me it is very interesting to place the material that we literally borrowed from an existing reality show in the context of contemporary dance and to see if and how it intercepts and overlaps and what that tells us about dance today. Maybe they resemble each other much more than we’d like to admit.

An excerpt of an interview by Angelina Georgieva for the online magazine Portal Culture: