Pia Brezavšček completed her studies in philosophy and is currently finishing the study of art history at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. For the last few years, she has been mainly engaged in dance and theatre (as well as other forms of art) reviews and theory. She is the author of reviews and programmes at Radio Študent and her works have been published in the Večer daily newspaper and the journals Maska and Dialogi, the Tribuna student newspaper, ŽND and elsewhere. Recently, she was the co-author of the lecture performance “Choreographic Calculation”, which (un)successfully participated in the Performance Studies International conference.
Dancer and choreographer Mateja Bučar completed ballet school in 1974, in 1978–79 studied classical and contemporary ballet techniques at the Centre de Danse International Rosella Hightower in Cannes (France) and took up the study of biology at the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana.
She was a member of the Ljubljana ballet ensemble at SNG Opera and Ballet, where she – from the completion of her studies to the end of her career there – danced in more than 50 ballet performances. She was a soloist in Cinderella, Rosalinda, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker as well in the ballets of Milko Šparemblek, Pino and Pia Mlakar, Youri Vámos, Ksenija Hribar and many others. In 1986, Bučar joined Dance Theatre Ljubljana, which had been founded two years earlier by Ksenija Hribar. She danced in Hribar’s performances Alpine Daydreaming (1986), Nostalgia (1987), Odysseus (1988) and Komemoracija – Dried Tears (1996). During the period 1986–1992, she participated in projects directed by such choreographers as Arthur Rosenfeld (Rotterdam), Donna Uchizono and John Jaspers (New York) and Fatou Traore (Brussels).
In the early 1990s, Bučar started to create her contemporary dance oeuvre, one that often flirts with contemporary visual arts. Her extensive, consistent and complex work, which represents one of the most important choreographic bodies of work of the last two decades, is characterised by the reflection of virtual, schematic, conceptual or material spaces in a constant dialogue with movement and dance.
After an apprenticeships in tax and economic professions, Klaus Ludwig turned his hobby into a profession when he began his studies at P.A.R.T.S., a dance school in Brussels. Shortly thereafter, he took over the administration of dance companies and worked in the accountancy office Art Consult before joining the production department at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels in 2004. In 2007, he went to the Arab festival Meeting Points 5 and organized the tanznacht 08 in Berlin. At the end of 2008, he founded, with three other colleagues, the alternative management office Caravan Production.
Since January 2013, he has been working as the financial director of the STUK Arts Center in Leuven..
Moving Cake (Gibanica) 2013 – A Revolt of Details
In Slovenia, contemporary dance has long maintained an interesting tension of involuntary balance. But such a state is not something self-evident; indeed, its preservation requires constant effort and a number of researches that give charge and impetus to the entire dance production as well as to its audience.
In the selection process, we were drawn to those works that, through an in-depth, precise and simultaneously uncompromising dealing with movement and its range, generate their strength anew. Quite a few submitted works stood out in this or an enigmatically similar respect and these performances form the core of this year’s programme. Their authors are both experienced choreographers as well as artists of the younger generations – a fact that is particularly delightful. It was obvious to us that the production brings, or at least promises, something fundamental – an individual charge of well-thought-out choreography practices, experiments and risks.
Rather than works primarily addressing the representation and search for symbolic meanings and communication, we decided to focus on the works distinguished by their original immanent dealing with movement – with a form, materiality itself that opens up meanings. In several cases, these works are conceived only as researches uncompromisingly committed to their tasks to produce intensities, meanings, senses and nonsenses and thereby fascinate. This has absolutely nothing to do with a new search for dance essentialism or autonomy. Any expression is legitimate. Nonetheless, this compilation of particularities strikes us as some sort of an impulse that not only responds to the current issues with a direct criticism but also persists in a force that doesn’t yield until it transforms bodies, thoughts… – until it transforms something unknown into the known, something invisible into the visible, until it changes something unchangeable. It is undoubtedly a signal of a new radical empiricism and intensified materialism in art that believes in the experience of the body and the true power of relationships – something that is nowadays probably of significant social relevance.
The selected additional programme comprises the performances that don’t fall within such a “curator-oriented” main programme without reservation but nonetheless demonstrate, each in their own way, particular accomplishments that in our opinion should be included in the festival programme. They either present the basis of the balance discussed above or open up completely new directions and notions that can – in our belief – make an exceptional contribution to Slovenian dance. Due to this year’s significantly reduced programme, each choreographer can only participate with one performance. This is the only additional criterion we felt worth considering in order to leave both the physical and symbolic space in Slovenian contemporary dance as open, common and connected as possible, which is more important today than ever before.
Moving Cake is an event that ina condensed period of three days collects strengths, invigorates the scene and gives it further momentum. It is a time when we unite energies toward a common goal and for all the future battles to come, which will be anything but few.
Mateja Bučar, Pia Brezavšček, Klaus Ludwig