Iztok Kovač recipient of Župančič Award

The award for creative work in the last two year period (2010-2012) will also be given to the choreographer, dancer and pedagogue Iztok Kovač, director of EN-KNAP Productions and Španski Borci Cultural Center, and founder and artistic director of EnKnapGroup permanent dance ensemble, which is currently finishing shooting its latest dance film in Trbovlje. Kovač was given the award for his artistic direction of EnKnapGroup, for his didactic dance performance Beware Dance!, and for his choreographies in Tripple Bill and Requiem.

The permanent dance company EnKnapGroup founded in 2007 by Iztok Kovač, and based in Španski Borci since 2009, has worked with internationally acclaimed choreographers and directors of explicitly diverse aesthetic proveniences, and thus developed into an A-class international ensemble. In the past two years, the ensemble toured expensively, and had nearly 70 guest appearances with its performances both internationally and in Slovenia. In May EnKnapGroup already started working on the new dance production choreographed by Iztok Kovač, which will premiere in October 2012 in Španski Borci. The ensemble is currently also working on a new dance film in EN-KNAP production, directed by Sašo Podgoršek.

The didactic dance performance Beware Dance! intended for primary and secondary schools pupils presents contemporary dance to young audiences in an informative, yet fresh and humorous way, thus filling the void in the area of didactic tools for presenting contemporary art in school curricula. The performance had outstanding audience numbers for this type of production: since its premiere in May 2010 it was seen by over 5500 people on 22 reprises.

Tripple Bill, for which Kovač created the choreography Child in Time, and which also featured the works of Arco Renz and Omar Rajeh, premiered in March 2011 in German National Theatre in Oldenburg. Kovač’s choreography in Requiem by Hannoh Levin, directed by Matjaž Zupančič for Mestno Gledališče Ljubljansko, premiered in November 2011, and was described as »extremely well deliberated and with a suggestive movement structure« by the director of MGL, Barbara Heing Samobor.

This year’s Zupančič Award for creative work in the past two years was also given to sculptor and visual artist Tobias Putrih, and composer, clarinet player and university professor Uroš Rojko. For lifetime achievement, the Župančič Award will be given to theatre and film actress in Slovensko Mladinsko Olga Kacjan. The award ceremony will take place on 12 June in Lutkovno Gledališče Ljubljana.

This year’s award committee included Milček Komelj, Andrej Blatnik, Matevž Čelik, Jurij Meden, Tomaž Toporišič, Gregor Pompe and Vojko Vidmar.

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