In May I participated in the contemporary dance and circus festival Move Fest in Kosice, Slovakia, a young festival that reached its second edition. The festival is extremely dynamic with multiple events meant to promote contemporary dance in the local community.
This year’s theme was “Superpowers”, not the physical or paranormal ones, but those superpowers that, although invisible, can transform the world. Superpowers like the courage to be different from the others, to get out of the comfort zone, to express your own vision, attitudes, feelings. Among the guests were artists from Spain, Italy, France, Slovakia, Romania and Finland.
It was a great honor to count myself among the artists who contributed to this lively and fresh event. I was present at the festival with one of my dance installation, Dance Box.
Dance Box is a wooden box with a dancer. Viewers are invited to enter the box and have a small duet with the dancer inside. The installation is a paradox: we usually enter into “boxes” and intimate spaces to hide. We enter the Dance Box to see each other. To see ourselves mirrored in the other, in a moment of maximum fragility, without barriers and with a space too small to allow our big masks to enter.
Dance Box is also a performance, but not a classic one in which the viewer sits comfortably in his “box” and waits to be served a performance which they can then applaud at the end. In the Dance Box, the spectator becomes a performer. He can’t sit still. He must think, be present and (re) act. Dance Box is an experience. Once you have the experience of dancing inside the box, you start to experience differently the dance within you.
Inside the box, the visitors of the installation had the chance to discover their superpowers, to overcome their fears, to try new things, to discover themselves in everyday-life contexts.
For me, every time I perform in this installation it feels as if time and space are melting in the present moment, in a continuous transformation. It was wonderful to interact with extremely different people, children and adults, artists and spectators. Each interaction meant a new story, written through beating hearts and twinkle in the eye. But most of all I liked the way everyone transformed between the moment they entered the box and the moment they came out. It was as if, for a moment in time, they were discovering their superpowers.
The festival was also a good opportunity to make my work within the I Dance You project known because, on the first day, a conference was organized in which each artist presented their activity. It was an important cultural and professional exchange in which artists from different parts of Europe met and were able to exchange ideas and experiences.
Because the presence in the festival and the construction of the installation involved some costs that were difficult to cover entirely by a young festival in its second edition, I had to seek financial support from Romania. I received an invitation letter from Move Fest in Slovakia which I sent further to Alumni SRL, a local company in the glass industry.
I chose them because they were the ones who supported me in the creation of the performance Blooming Almonds, a show that won the title “Best Performance of the Year” at the 2018 Culture Gala Awards in Brasov. Having a sincere relationship with the manager of the company, Cristina Arad, who is passionate about art and culture in general, I managed to convince her that my presence at the festival would be a plus for the cultural promotion of our city.
I am pleased and encouraged by the generosity of Alumni SRL which supports independent artists and understands that a society devoid of cultural life will never be complete and healthy.
Anamaria Guguian, the founder of the I Dance You project, supports people in self-knowledge processes through dance and therapeutic movement. Within the programs she proposes, she creates spaces of authentic, emotional and profound expression. Currently, she is coordinating a local community of ever-expanding dancers that aims to promote dance as a way of self-knowledge and (re) connection, a path open to everyone regardless of age, gender, culture or ability. She is a personal development counselor, performer and facilitator of creative movement workshops for children.