Celebration

Andreja Rauch,Sašo Podgoršek,Iztok Kovač

Kako ustvariti slovesno otvoritev na novo ustanovljene skupine? Z odpiranjem treh različnih prespektiv in dimenzij akta praznovanja – intimne, javne in sakralne – s povabilom treh En-Knapovih dolgoletnih sodelavcev: režiserja Saše Podgorška, koreografinje in plesalke Andreje Rauch ter ustanovitelja Iztoka Kovača.


Premiere: 27/09/2007
Old Power Plant, Ljubljana, Slovenia

“Celebration” isn’t a performance; it is an event, the sort that rarely happens nowadays. The birth of a new international dance group happened on 27.-29. of September 2007. We celebrated the birthday, event and the act itself. We celebrated together: choreographers and dancers, creators and viewers. We celebrated dance.

Marcel Duchamp, one of the central figures of artistic modernism, in his text “Creative Act” (Houston, Texas, April 1957) writes: “After all, the creative act is never done by the artist himself; the receiver/viewer transfers the act forward to the outer world, when he understands and interprets his inner content and adds to that his contribution to the creative act.”

Duchamp’s words were heard in “Celebration” as they offered a starting point for a fascinating series of researches about transmutations and translations of all kinds. It is because of that, that the event could easily be called Translations: mumbling and whispering into words, from one language to another, and forward to movements, movements into music and music back to body. “Celebration”, translation.

Thematically the authors play with triplicity; the intimate (family) – the public (state) – the sacred (religion). As religion sneaks into the intimate, and state destroys family, in the same way the central triple structure moves and transforms back into itself and changes from scene to scene. Kovač stays loyal to complexity of the structure, Rauch to her dance poetics and Podgoršek to his aesthetics of moving figures. All of them together have created a complex poetic image that goes before its time.

Every celebration is an event that authorizes the past and opens the door to the future. In the context of Slovene contemporary dance, the door to the future is being opened from the very beginning. With “Celebration”, EKG opens that door for good – and leaves it wide open.

Public acknowledgements
At each of the three opening evenings public acknowledgements were presented to those who have been cooperating for many years with EN-KNAP Productions.

27/09/2007
Head of departement of culture, City of Ljubljana, mrs. Jerneja Batič granted public acknowledgement to mr. Mitja Rotovnik for many years` successful coproduction cooperation with EN-KNAP.

Director General of Cankarjev Dom Mitja Rotovnik has been cooperating with En-Knap Dance Company from its establishment on, and the Linhart Hall has become, we could say a “stage of origin” of Iztok Kovač`s performances in the past fifteen years. During all this time of cooperation between Cankarjev Dom and EN-KNAP, some of the professionals from both sides have left and the new ones came, but their reciprocal relationship has remained on a high and creative level. This level of relationship is not self-evident; it is a consequence of a certain inclination to the artistic programme and ambitions of En-Knap Dance Company, and therefore we would like to thank Mitja Rotovnik and all his colleagues with this modest gesture. We would like to use this special occasion to publicly express our thanks for the support we have been receiving. We are also looking forward to our future fertile cooperation.

28/09/2007
Film publicist mr. Stojan Pelko granted public acknowledgement to mr. Sašo Podgoršek for many years` successful artistic colaboration with EN-KNAP.

Film director Sašo Podgoršek became contaminated with En-Knap already in 1995, when he was filming a documentary for the first Exodos festival. Many years of highly productive cooperation have followed and resulted in three dance movies, six video clips, co-creations of stage performances and occasional events. In Vertigo Bird he has been floating over the Trbovlje chimney at 360 meters above the ground. In Dom Svobode he was defying the laws of gravity. When filming What you gonna do when you get out of here? he went down the depths of a coalmine. Already for twelve years he has been taking the En-Knap’s dance space to the socio-economically deprived area of Trbovlje and each time he managed to create an erotic, binding connection between the two of them. He installed a dance movie genre in Slovenia and he passionately presented it to the world. We would like to use this solemn occasion to publicly express our gratitude for his precious contribution and we wish to cooperate also in future.

29/09/2007
Multimedia artist mr. Janez Janša granted public acknowledgement to mr. John Ashford for many years` of co-production and for personal support of EN-KNAP, as well as of Slovene contemporary dance.

John Ashford, manager of the theatre in London’s The Place and a great promoter of contemporary dance in Great Britain, has been supporting En-Knap from its beginning. He has made possible for En-Knap’s performances to be presented in front of the British audience, but also in front of various foreign producers who have brought En-Knap’s name into the world. He had a very important role in Slovenia for the first time at the end of 90’s when he co-created the very beginnings of contemporary dance institutionalization. Consequently that initiative changed at that time from one year to three years subsidizing of the selected NGOs. With his openness and generosity he made an important contribution to a creation of a wider context of contemporary dance in Slovenia. That’s why we would like to express to John Ashford our gratitude for support and friendship which we have been receiving from him all these years. The Die Is Cast Iztok Kovač has introduced his visions and new EN-KNAP programme to the public

"Slovene contemporary dance does not want to lag behind the development on European and world performing arts practices, and we believe that it therefore requires necessary and radical structural changes. The top quality is what should be emphasized, promoted and supported. That should be the basis for the recognisability at home, its enhancement around the world and its long-term protection in public.

In September 2006, EN-KNAP Productions issued a pilot programme and participated in invitation to public tender from the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia and City council of Ljubljana which would provide financing for three years. The programme is based on a finding that regarding the disorganised situation at home, the maintenance of the reputation abroad and the preparation of the ground for future generations, Slovene contemporary dance urgently needs a public institution for contemporary dance of national and world importance, a permanent professional dance group and an ensemble of young dancers.
The central public institution for contemporary dance should be Slovenian as well as international, which means that it would welcome the most interesting and distinguished contemporary dance artists from Slovenia and from abroad. The central institution would provide Slovenian contemporary dance with the basis for professionalism and at the same time it would set up the criteria that would guarantee a more creative way of thinking of the artists and producers. We would provide a quality management and use the past experiences in order to expand international network and systematically present Slovenian contemporary dance at home and abroad. We would focus on the establishment of quality education programmes. The aim and the task of the programme initiators is to extend the frameworks of private supply and to develop a model of dynamic production by cooperation with the competent governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations already in the current three-year period and to have a long-term public protection of the programme.

This year, EN-KNAP Productions reached a decision to establish a permanent professional dance company EnKnapGroup, or EKG. We are also planning to establish an ensemble of younger dancers in a near future. The company would initially have only five dancers. Gradualy more dancers would be recruited, until the ideal number of twelve members is reached. Its members would be familiarized with various approaches of Slovenian and foreign choreographers and theatre directors. Newly acquired knowledge would then be combined and it would upgrade the company’s own recognisability on the stage. The final goal is not one performance or a set of performances, but a synergy of our own expression and reception and articulation of expressions of the most visible European approaches towards contemporary dance.

The ensemble of younger dancers would initially comprise five scholarship-holders from eighteen to twenty-two years of age. We would focus on secondary school graduates from the Artistic High Scholl for contemporary dance in Ljubljana. They are since the school year 1999/2000 participating in a programme of a high quality, coordinated by Maja Delak but after the educational process they do not have a real possibility to continue with their development in Slovenia. We would enable them to attend dance classes on daily bases and study the repertoire of the company. In addition, dance workshops and seminars by Slovenian and foreign experts would be organized, which is of crucial importance for the development of young dancers.

The idea about institutionalisation of contemporary dance in Slovenia has been for the first time presented by EN-KNAP to the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Education and Sport already in 1998. It has been supported by numerous opinions and statements from the established experts from the international dance network, such as John Ashford (The Place Theatre, London), Nele Hertling (Hebbel Theatre, Berlin), Naomi Block Fortis (Batsheva Dance Company, Tel Aviv), Oonagh Duckworth (Centre Pompidou, Paris), Gil Mendo (Portuguese Ministry of Culture), Guy Cools (Vooruit, Gent), and others. The idea was put into practice with above mentioned high-school education programme for contemporary dance; however, more solid bases for its implementation were set only this year by making institutionalisation of contemporary dance a goal and a priority within the National Cultural Programme 2008-2011.

The programme’s initiators are pointing out that by the establishment of a central institute for contemporary dance with a permanent professional dance company and an ensemble of younger dancers, the long-lasting efforts of current and past generations of contemporary dance in Slovenia towards the profesionalisation and general afirmation of dance would be rewarded."

Credits


concept and choreography
Iztok Kovač
Sašo Podgoršek
Andreja Rauch

created and performed by EnKnapGroup:
Luke Dunne
Katja Legin
Tomáš Nepšinský
Ana Štefanec
Ilkem Ulugün

copyright music
Drago Ivanuša

set design and light
Pepi Sekulich

costume design
Anja Prešeren

used music
Vili Fajdiga

used text
Marcel Duchamp

projections
Aka, Luka Umek

special guests
Upokojenski ženski pevski zbor Trbovlje

choirmaster
Nanda Guček

technical manager
Zoran Grabarac

light design
Zoran Grabarac
Danilo Pečar

sound engineer
Matej Ocepek

set design assistant
Sanja Vatič

costume design
Darja Vatovec
Sara Kozan

graphic design
Novi Kolektivizem

program writers
Stojan Pelko
Rok Vevar
Iztok Kovač

director of photography
Matjaž Škrinjar
Borut Kranjc
Martin Podrzavnik
Tomaž Gregorič
Mojca Pišek
Miha Fras

proofreading
Ksenija Mavrinac production:
EN-KNAP

artistic director
Iztok Kovač

executive producer
Tina Dobnik

media sponsor
Najdi.si

media partner
TAM-TAM

partner
Bunker, Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana

sponsors
Sijaj Hrastnik d.o.o.
Radgonske gorice d.d.
Prigo d.o.o.
Občina Trbovlje

catering
Gostilna Martin

thanks to: Stojan Pelko, Silvo Kačar, Miran Mohar, Darko Pokorn, Aleš Štrovs, Ervin Markošek, Ivan Novak, Barbara Cvitkovič, Jernej Brodnik, Jure Logar, Gregor Kita, Simona and Franc Dobnik, Rok Vevar, Tomaž Gerdina, Jana Wilcoxen, Petra Nartnik, Ana Rici, kavarna SEM with financial support from the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana - Department for Culture