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Gibanica 2021

Ljubljana, 15–18 September 2021

Rampant climate change, pandemics, economic and natural disasters, together with ongoing wars, growing precarization and pertinent uncertainty, are clear indicators of the rise of necropolitical appetites that are driving out the multifaceted nature of life and humanity. From its very beginnings, contemporary dance has strived for the multifacetedness of life and humanity by trying to understand the complex human structure and interrelationships. Furthermore, contemporary dance practices have been proving for more than a century that that the core value of dance is also an experiential one. While choreographers and dancers use innovative approaches to challenge and soften our material, cognitive and emotional perceptions of the world, the authorities are taking advantage of precisely this flexibility of the body to manage it as easily as possible. It is not surprising, therefore, that the (in)directness of contemporary dance art and work with the body, although occasionally abused, has been most recognised in times of crisis, in uncertain and critical moments such as the current one.

After decades of gradual immobilization, it reached a new climax of immunization and depression. That is why it’s so important to indulge in, open up to, and follow dance artists, and to recognise their work as a possible tool to sensitize our individual and common body, revive our entire sensory apparatus, imagination, cognitive audacity, and emancipation in the fight against instrumentalised authoritarian appetites.

For this very reason, the Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia (DSP) will make even greater efforts to unite the professional and general public as a productive community in the fight against instrumentalisation, and strive to provide the necessary conditions for the professionalisation of this artistic genre. As the organizer of Gibanica, Biennial of Slovenian Contemporary Dance Art, we will try to establish the conditions for a constructive dialogue between the profession and the general public. We will encourage dialogue in a rich accompanying programme, which will include, among other things, the presentation of various European platforms, offering the possibility to reflect on the possible futures of Gibanica. This year’s selectors, Zala Dobovšek, Bettina Masuch and Benjamin Perchet, tried to capture the “range of movements, topics and emotions” and to “encourage reflection on the times we live in”. In their own words, they “scrutinised [the selected performances] wide shot and close-up, through the lens of diversity, considering culture, gender, age, and style”.

We want this Gibanica to contribute to the most constitutive production of our mutual relations and to connect us as directly as possible.


Members of the DSPS Management Board