This year’s edition includes a wide palette of titles, including the first dance performance for children in the history of the festival, and A25 Cultural Foundation’s team has the pleasure to take care for its communication again.
From May 9 to May 19, the 16th edition of the International Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance “Antistatic” will take place on the stages of RCCA “Toplocentrala” and “Derida” Stage. Reaching its adolescence with annual editions and over 180 showcased performances from around the world, the festival has distinguished itself as the leading platform for an exciting encounter with the best and most thought and heart provoking from the contemporary experimental dance scene.
As the tradition goes, the three creators of “Antistatic” – the artists Iva Sveshtarova, Willy Prager and Stephan A. Shtereff – choose a motto for each edition, and then protect and develop it in the artistic program of the festival. In 2023, the selection of performances proudly stands behind the principle “my body, my dance”, which becomes a six-point body manifesto embodied in the work of the ten invited performers and artistic collectives from Romania, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine, USA, Canada, Slovenia, and Austria.
The 16th edition of “Antistatic” starts on May 9 at 19:30 at “Toplocentrala” with the performance “Extinction room (Hopeless)” by Sergiu Matis (Romania/Germany), where the authentic recordings of endangered and disappearing birds collected for several decades by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and the Xeno-canto Foundation (the Netherlands), intertwine with scientific and mythical stories and exciting dance to show the encounter between man and nature in a new light.
On May 10, at the same hour and place, it is time for the second meeting of the Bulgarian audience with the work of choreographer Tomi Paasonen (Finland/Germany), who has already been a guest at the festival back in 2021. This time he returns to “Antistatic” with the performance “Attitude”, in which he combines the strict vocabulary of classical ballet with the impulses of modern dance, placing three experienced male dancers on pointe shoes. The result is an experimental ballet performance filled with technical skills and virtuosity.
On May 12 at 19:30 on Derida Stage, the audience is invited to the electrifying body “concert” “Breathtaking”, in which the composer and performer Tian Rotteveel (the Netherlands/Germany) transforms himself into a musical instrument and unfolds the sound in the hall in an unimaginable manner. Compositions from the Late Renaissance period are also played, against a background of gestures and movements through which the artist makes his way between the dilemmas of meaningful and useless, music and dance, pleasure and failure, private and public.
The following evening, May 13, the program continues with the 18+ performance of Anna Nowicka (Poland/Germany) “This is the real thing“. The choreographer and performer turns her skin into a horizon, embodies different emotions in her body, creates situations through it, demonstrates intentions and tells stories. And she subtly immerses the spectators into questions about the idea of the body, how we perceive it and whether we can consciously change it.
On May 14, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on the terrace of “Toplocentrala” “Antistatic” invites everyone aged 7-12 years to the first dance performance for children in the history of the festival – “Klasse Kinder!”. It was specially created by the German collective LIGNA, which the Bulgarian public has already met at the productions “Secret Radio”, “Rapture and Rage”, and the “Nonument” series. Each participant receives headphones on site. Through them, a radio play is turned on, in which a story and movement instructions are combined, so that the children gradually take over the place in which they are.
On the same evening the free screening of the film “Monochrome” will take place, as well as the meeting with the multidisciplinary artist Anton Ovchinnikov (Ukraine), whose audio-poem “War” was played before the beginning of the performances in the festival program in 2022 in solidarity with the victims of the war against Ukraine. “I feel like all I have left of all that is ‘mine’ is my body.” Sometimes strong, but more often weak and vulnerable. Let the body show what your heart feels,” says the author in the tape, filmed in April last year, while he had to stay in forced isolation 50 km away from the attacked city of Kyiv.
On May 15 at 19:30 at “Derida” Stage, Bully Fae Collins (USA) immerses the audience in his “Songs of the Dopamine Carousel”. Being constantly floored by information, the hero of this musical performance experiences his fears, caught in the endless carousel of ups and downs, caused by the flow of online content. Solo collages of cultural satire and personal narratives come to life on stage, depicting the chaotic nature of the political situation.
On May 16 at 19:30 in “Toplocentrala” it’s time to follow the performance, a segment of which is also used in the vision of the 16th edition of the festival and is suitable for an audience of 18+ – “BLOT – Body Line of Thought” by Simona Deaconescu (Romania) and Vanessa Goodman (Canada). Even if at first glance it seems that it is dedicated to the body, the truth is that its focus is each of us as a microbial imprint and even as a system of mutually interacting bacteria, both strong and fragile. Conceived as a hybrid spectacle, conference and choreographic show, the performance carries us through smell, reproduction, physical exercise, immunity, and lands us in a new dimension of what we might call “identity”.
On May 17, the famous artistic collective Via Negativa (Slovenia) is visiting Bulgaria again with its stage gallop “The Ninth“, which runs through Beethoven’s legendary “Symphony No. 9 in D minor” and is once again for an audience aged 18+. The performance goes through the entire work of the German composer, which has established itself as a “masterpiece of Western civilization”, “gigantic and complex”, “sublime”. And in the middle of this “exceptional example of the human spirit”, stand the artists – naked and suspicious, without a single drop of triumph on their faces, simply looking for a connection between themselves and the Animal.
The artistic program of “Antistatic” ends on May 19 at 19:30 with the solo “Being Moved” by Simon Mayer (Austria). The performer turns his breathing into movement, and his movement into breathing. Footsteps mingle with heartbeats to answer essential questions about spontaneity and self-expression. It all begins quietly in a darkened circular stage space and reaches the energy, pulse, and ecstasy of a club scene.
Tickets for all performances are already on sale online at a special price of 15 BGN until April 20, 20 BGN until May 8 and 25 BGN during the festival. Tickets for “Klasse, Kinder!” cost 10 BGN in advance and 12 BGN on the day of the performance. The screening of the film “Monochrome” and the meeting with the artist is free.
More details about the Antistatic program can be found at antistaticfestival.org, as well as on Instagram (@antistaticfest), Facebook (@antistatic.international.festival), and the festival’s YouTube channel.
The international program of the Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance “Antistatic” 2023 is organized by “Brain Store Project” Foundation and “Nomad Dance Academy Bulgaria” Association, with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, the National Culture Fund under the “Program for recovery and development of private cultural organizations”, Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, Sofia Municipality – Calendar of cultural events, and the Polish Institute in Sofia, and in partnership with RCCA “Toplocentrala”, “Derida” Stage and “Etud” Gallery.
The educational platform “Without Distance” 2023 is part of the project “Life Long Burning – Future Lost and Found (LLB 3)” and is implemented with the financial support of the “Creative Europe” Program of the European Union, the “Culture” Program of the Sofia Municipality, the National Culture Fund under the “Program for recovery and development of private cultural organizations”, in partnership with Goethe-Institut Bulgaria.
Media partners of the 16th edition of “Antistatic” are:Impressio.bg /dir.bg, bTV Radio, Artportal.news, Виж!, Jasmin.bg, Портал Култура, Културен център към СУ „Св. Климент Охридски”, Kafene.bg, Madamsko.com, АртАкция, Uspelite.bg, Лицата на града,Въпреки.com, МИКА, Open Bulgaria