Unity in Diversity – a weekend in the Sphere of Movement

Unity in Diversity - a weekend in the Sphere of Movement

Sphere of Movement, an initiative aimed at presenting performances and integrating the environment associated with the broadly understood dance theater, is carried out in three centers. Although the registration for the Toruń edition of the festival is about to end, we still remember the March meeting in Nowa Sól.


This year, the festival was held under the banner of Tribute to Impro, which was to emphasize the dance traditions of the organizers and the movement center in Zielona Góra. The entire event is curatorial and is aimed at artists who deal with dance, both professionally and non-professional, but also professionally.


In our eyes, Sfera Ruchu is primarily a common space - artists, critics, curators and viewers, of course. It's a space for experiment, exploration, reflection, feeling and giving at the same time. This is where the creator eventually becomes the spectator as well, and vice versa. Finally, it is a space for dialogue - discussion, exchange of knowledge and visions of what movement is. This multilayered nature of the festival was clearly reflected in its repertoire - from amateur groups, through formations, duets, and ending with artists looking for soloists with many years of experience and stage experience. It is difficult to put it into one coherent whole, because there seems to be no clear criterion for selecting the presentation. One thing is certain - Sphere Ruchu is a place open to new and different. From among these new and different proposals, we have selected a few that we want to mention a little more about.


At the beginning, the hosts - on stage we could see artists from the Dance Theater Studio in Zielona Góra in two scenes, and in both cases they cannot be denied the high level of dance technique and sharpness of artistic expression. The dancers presented Marek Zadłużny's choreographies: Stamina and 9.81. The experience of the crisis became the leading axis of the former. The state that accompanies man in extreme conditions was reflected both in the movement of the dancers, lighting effects, and geometric visualizations that were constantly disintegrating and formed from scratch. This effect was achieved through mini-vibrations, jerks and falls of bodies. The movement is decisive, but at the same time limited by something. It all put the viewer in a mood of anxiety, inevitably impending fission,which, after the chaos phase, finally ended with the formation of a new structure. In the case of Stamina, one can speak of a group pulse, a coupling within a group that reacted to the actions of the individual with a strong tension and, as a result, displacement of the current state. It was the breakthroughs and transitions from one state to another that were the most interesting.


The second proposal of the Studio concerned the compatibility of thoughts and judgments as well as thoughts and attitudes. What if these elements contradict each other? What if the hands become an intermediary of sincere thoughts? The tension that our mind creates, trying to get rid of unpleasant emotions, radiates on our actions. Due to this social dissonance, the dancers started stigmatizing their bodies, drawing insults on them in an eye-catching act of hate speech. This "uncensored marker", sometimes naively understood as freedom of speech, here has become primarily a tool of discrimination and isolation of dancers. One of the dancers was completely helpless as a result of these behaviors. Naked and defenseless against the hate surrounding him, he eloquently ended the show in 9.81.


It's time for Olsztyn and Over ground. The Pryzmat Group (consisting of Paulina Spiel, Marta Jakimi-cha, Łukasz Szleszyński, Monika Parafiniuk and Katarzyna Rutkowska), led by Katarzyna Grabińska, welcomed us with a real interpretation of dying. Over ground is a story where the scariest scene hits in the first second. Shaving the head, although a completely human activity, brought to mind the most inhuman reflexes in the history of our civilization. Plus a glass of red wine, a lethal mixture that leaves a bloody mark on the dancers' lips. What really happens when one foot is on the other side? On the stage in Nowa Sól, the soul fought to the last moment, even though the sentence was passed with the first hair falling. All that's left is a flesh, a bare body filled with a remnant of the spirit,who plays his last spectacle in inept dance. The dancers from Olsztyn touched on the subject of dying on many levels: socio-political, ideological, emotional and purely practical, forcing us to reflect on the complexity and diversity of these elements. In addition, they did it at a high choreographic and dance level. Great duets, solos and group arrangements - thoughtful drawing and a clear composition of bodies. The whole thing ends with a toast, ot viva la vita.solos and group arrangements - thoughtful drawing and clear body composition. The whole thing ends with a toast, ot viva la vita.solos and group arrangements - thoughtful drawing and clear body composition. The whole thing ends with a toast, ot viva la vita.


The presentations prepared by young artists were definitely an important element of the festival. A significant part of them clearly shows that the young generation of dancers has a lot to say and, most importantly, has an idea that is consistently implemented. The performance of the Znak Theater Dance Studio deserves special attention. Pracownia is an artistic initiative, the founder and artistic director of which is Natalia Murawska. Since 2016, the team operating in Gdańsk is also co-created by Anna Zglenicka, Magdalena Kowala, Joanna Woźna. This young, interesting collective made themselves known in Nowa Sól thanks to the performance HER (T) Z. For less than an hour, the dancers take viewers on a journey into the world about the aesthetics of a communist party richly drenched in… milk. In the performance, the body, its movement, breathing, but also the text and the prop play almost equally important roles.HER (T) Z is a comprehensively thought-out and prepared performance that draws the viewer in from the first minute, not letting go until the very end. The carousel of comedy and tragedy does not leave the audience indifferent, and the words of the song performed by Natalia Murawska When I was a little girl ... ring in our heads for a few more days. It is by far the best presented text among all the performances we had a chance to see in Nowa Sól. Energetic, organic choreographic compositions interspersed with dramatized scenes create a full-scale performance, whose great strength is the great depiction of the mood and specific climate created on stage by the dancers. The aesthetics and vision of dance theater presented by the artists of Pracownia Znak, not only appeals to our personal preferences, but also showsthat it is definitely worth paying attention to young independent artists who are more and more boldly coming out of the shadow of well-known and respected theatrical names.


Another presentation worth paying attention to was the solo work of Eliza Kindziuk SEE ME, which had its premiere during this year's Sphere of Movement. The moving and technically well-prepared solo took up a topic close to many women, in particular, but not only to dancers - the acceptance of one's own body. Based on personal experiences, Kindziuk interprets the topic of eating disorders, which, according to the artist, are one of the major problems of the 21st century. The audience, led by a dance through the heroine's emotional states, observes the attempts to fight the disease and its effects - the destruction of the body and mind. The whole thing is preserved in a well-prepared and well-thought-out choreographic structure, coherent and consistent, encapsulated in quite classic structures of contemporary dance production.The artist's personal commitment and the intelligently developed solo composition move us with maturity. And although the whole thing may seem a bit conservative in form, it is definitely one of our favorites.


Summing up our reflections on the Nowy Sola Sphere of Movement, it is impossible not to conclude that such a broad formula is an interesting and necessary challenge. And the organizers should be thanked for taking this. Although in our personal opinion, it would be worth breaking up all the presentations for a longer period of time. The two days we spent in Nowa Sól were so intense that we ran out of time to breathe and reflect. Presentations of performances, workshops and discussion panels are attractions served by the organizers, and since each of them was interesting to us, we could not refuse to participate in any of the festival's elements. It is understandable that achieving perfect compromises is difficult and in the face of limited time, it is difficult to give up any important aspect of the idea of ​​the event.We can certainly say that there is no shortage of similar initiatives - uniting the broadly understood dance community. The weekend in Nowa Sól reminded us of how extensive the issue of dance theater is and how it has been shaped differently over the years on the artistic map of Poland. The Sphere of Movement is an initiative launched in 2010. Time shows that the festival is doing well, and the idea of ​​clashing different fronts in an environment: age, experience, professionalization, techniques and aesthetics is important and necessary. The open formula poses certain risks, tempts to excessively impressions and requires a certain discipline from the viewer, but no one has ever said that art, especially the theatrical one, will be an easy challenge for artists and audiences. Meanwhile, we are waiting impatiently for emotions,which the organizers will serve us during the next edition of Sfera soon, in Toruń.


Joanna Brodniak, Katarzyna Zioło

May 28, 2019