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Guest artists from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America present 11 shows, 4 world premieres from May 13 till June 5

One Dance Week festival kicks off in Plovdiv

World renowned contemporary dancers and choreographers will take part in the 14-th edition

Photo: Facebook/onedanceweek

Few cultural events of the 21st century have survived the scary and turbulent recent years and have outlived – so far – political, economic and social changes to continue their existence and traditions. Among them is the biggest international contemporary dance festival One Dance Week.

Its very first edition in Sofia dates back to 2008. Since then the festival has “migrated” to the beautiful town of Plovdiv. The 14th One Dance Week festival starts on May 13 and will continue until June 5.

Focus of the forum? – There is no such. Every performance show is just as groundbreaking as the others on the program, its founder and director Asen Asenov states. There will be eleven performances from Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, and five of the productions are co-produced by the festival.

"This is our contribution - to present Bulgaria as a proud and worthy partner, to show the relevance of Bulgarian artists on the European cultural scene," Asen Asenov told BNR.

 "Last year One Dance Week was invited to be one of the founding members of the Big Pulse Dance Alliance (BPDA). BPDA is a network of 12 European dance festivals/institutions brought together by their common aim of developing and strengthening the contemporary dance sector with the financial support of the European Commission framework program Creative Europe.

Founding members are some of the biggest dance festivals from across Western Europe. One Dance Week is the only festival from the Balkans and one of three from Central and Eastern Europe, along with the Czech Republic and Lithuania, to be part of this prestigious organization."

One Dance Week having joined the BPDA is an extra stimulus for the organizers to upgrade on their previous high achievements. This is why this year there are so many co-productions and 4 world premieres in the program, the first of which is on May 14.

„Свързан“

"One of the premieres is "Wired" by young Bulgarian choreographer Deyan Georgiev.For the first time the festival is producing local artists and this is a strategic decision.We intend to do so in the future.

The next performance produced by One Dance Week festival is Marion Darova’s "Freefall". Darova is a very distinguished Bulgarian contemporary dance choreographer.

„Свободно падане“

We have another world premiere - "Vagabundus" by Idio Chichava from Mozambique."Vagabundus" is co-produced by One Dance Week and Kinani Festival, Maputo. For the opening night on May 14 we are expecting many colleagues from Europe, as Chichava is one of the most outstanding artists in Africa at the moment.

„Вагабонт“

 And the last premiere is from Italy - it is the production Un Discreto Protagonista (Hidden Hero) by Damiano Bigi," says Asenov.

„Скрит герой“

In 2005 the Italian dancer/choreographer Damiano Bigi joined the troupe of the legendary Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal, where he continues to work as a guest artist. He also starred in Wim Wenders' 2011 film "Pina".

The focus of this year’s festival is Portugal. In the words of Asen Asenov, it is one of the most interesting countries in terms of contemporary dance development. There are three Portuguese performances in the program, and the most intriguing one was chosen to close the festival on June 5. It is Bisonte by Portuguese choreographer Marco da Silva Ferreira, known for integrating hip-hop and street dance into his projects.

Asen Asenov also draws our attention to the European premiere of the Brazilian Balé da cidade de São Paulo on 22 and 23 May.

"Balé da cidade de São Paulo is one of the biggest dance companies from Brazil, the dance company of the city of São Paulo itself. It will present its performance "Isso dá um Baile!" ("This is a dance") inspired by a new style of Passinho born in the ghettos of Rio de Janeiro," says Asenov.

Balé da Cidade de São Paulo

Passinho, which literally means "small step", is now part of Brazil's cultural identity. It was included in the program of the official opening of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The spectacular show "Dragons" by South Korean star Eun-Me Ahn will be presented on June 3. In 2018, she was the first and only Asian artist to be invited as Associate Artist of the prestigious Théâtre de la Ville - Paris (France).

„Дракони“

This year the dance festival in Plovdiv gives all Ukrainian citizens, located on the territory of Bulgaria, free access to the performances of its program. "In times like these, when people are separated from their families, it is not enough just to give them clothes and shelter. We also want to give them spiritual food, which will be a fresh breeze in their daily lives," - explains the decision taken by Asen Asenov.

Author: Vesela Krasteva (based on an interview by Svetlana Tarashoeva, BNR-Hristo Botev)

Editor: Elena Karkalanova

English version: Elizabeth Radkova

Photos: Facebook/onedanceweek


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