About Festival

It all started more than 20 years ago. We  just darted out back then, and today, carried away by our own momentum, we are still moving forward. Each edition of the festival is nonetheless a moment of reflection, a still image. Dance is usually associated with an image or a visual form. It is sometimes attributed to music, but it is this very leap, pirouette, or positioning of the bodies on stage that affect us the most. A tense body or a sequence of pas quickly following one another brings to our minds a whole series of connotations, stories and emotions. However, it is the image and not them that we store in our memory.

Where are we running like that? Maybe someone chasing? or run away? Where are we heading to? his year’s festival poster pictures a dancer/runner captured in the present but trying to propel himself forward. He is rushing from the past into the future, but where exactly is he heading?

Nowadays, it is difficult to capture just one moment or a single event. The world has dispersed, everything is woven from contradictions, and we are inside and outside at the same time. As much as we wish to fulfill our desires, we need to distance ourselves from them, too. We are progressing towards a paradox: we act and yet we do not solve anything. We are lost and we allow ourselves to be ignorant.

We initiated the Ciało/Umysł Festival in the mid-1990s, but when you are starting something, you have no idea how it will develop. Today we are pleased with the path we took - we present the latest trends but we do not forget about the classics of the contemporary dance or the history we witnessed but also helped to create. “Conceptual”, “interdisciplinary”, “socially engaged”, “hybrid” – these are the notions which we introduced to the dance in Poland. In this whole diversity, however, we keep on coming back to the question about the essence of dance and its influence on the society. Stories told more than 20 years ago were similar to today’s social attitudes: political and social changes, insurgencies of forms, expression of liberation and freedom of speech. After so many years we have changed, and so has our audience. The artists, however, are consistent and they keep on demanding more. They are stable and steady like a big ship which, once a course is set, does not change it that easily. They remind us about the sources, push against our minds, protest against indifference, move towards change… in us, since nothing is given forever. This is the highest aim, also for the art.

The festival keeps on releasing adrenaline in us, it nurtures our ambition and affirms our faith in the power of dance and performance. We also hope it will release emotions among our viewers – maybe out of curiosity, or intellectual effort, or simply because of sheer experiencing. The Ciało/Umsł 2016 is a miniature presentation of all that is going on in different fields of dance today – that is why it is just as exciting as it was 20 years ago. The action goes on, we look at it closely, find the understanding and lose it a moment later. We strive to discover a new dimension in the worn-out belief in the healing power of the theatre; retrieve the lost spontaneity, revive the need for breaching the rules, find comfort in the technique of bread sharing. We try not to get lost in the complexity of motifs, humbly accept the hypnotic race of birth and death cycle, address the masterpiece of the European culture – Beethoven’s majestic Symphony No. 9, and finally define ourselves and act…

We breathe a sigh of relief. We invite you to theatre to capture as many long-lasting frames and images as possible.

Edyta Kozak - Artistic Director