Tbilisi comes alive at contemporary dance festival

Dancers perform in choreographer Nelia Pinheiro's staging 'Terra Cha (Flatland)'. Photo from Telmo Rocha.
Agenda.ge, 10 Jun 2016 - 13:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Contemporary dancers from five countries are coming to Tbilisi to take part in this year’s South Caucasus Contemporary Dance and Experimental Art Festival.

Starting this Sunday in Georgia’s capital, dance troupes from Portugal, Israel, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia will bring together their innovative choreographers and performers for the three-day festival that aims to contribute to development of contemporary dance and experimental art.

The occasion will open on June 12 with a 65-minute performance of choreographer Nelia Pinheiro's 2015 piece Terra Cha (Flatland), involving Pinheiro and five other dancers of the Evora Contemporary Dance Company.

Georgian choreographer Irakli Shengelia (R) rehearses for his piece 'Zigzag Plus'. Photo from the South Caucasus Contemporary Dance and Experimental Art Festival/Facebook.

The Evora Contemporary Dance Company will perform on the Marjanishvili Theatre stage and be accompanied by music from celebrated Icelandic contemporary composer Olafur Arnalds.

The event’s preview said it would seek to present a contemporary fusion of music by Arnalds and performance of Cante Alentejano, a polyphonic song from the Portuguese region Alentejo, recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Day two of the festival will see Israeli choreographer Noa Wertheim's staging of an Italian-Israeli co-production titled Vertigo 20 at Rustaveli Theatre in central Tbilisi.

In the 2015 production, 11 dancers (who also co-created the piece) will showcase their "unique body language accentuated by wit and hinted sadness" to deliver a "spectacular staging of rituals".

See a preview of the production 'Vertigo 20' by Vertigo Dance Company below:

On Tuesday, June 14 - the final day of the festival – three shorter productions by Azerbaijani, Armenian and Georgian choreographers will present their latest choreography in contemporary stage performances.

Akif Karimli and Sabina Hajiyeva from Azerbaijan will present their piece The Last with a group of dancers, while Armenian creators Rima Pipoyan, Toma Aydinyan, Karen Khachatryan and Ara Asaturyan will ask five dancers to bring their 40-minute production Hours of Vision to life.

Georgian choreographer Irakli Shengelia's 2016 work Zigzag Plus will conclude the evening's program - and the 2016 festival – by casting Giorgi Aleksidze Tbilisi Contemporary Ballet company soloist Natia Bunturi with Antalya State Opera and Ballet Theatre soloist Burak Ozbek in the performance.

Established in 2012 and organised by the Swiss Cooperation Office in South Caucasus and non-governmental organisation Platform for Changes, this year's South Caucasus Contemporary Dance and Experimental Art Festival is also supported by the Embassy of Israel in Georgia, Centre for Studies in Portuguese Language and Culture, and Goethe Institute Georgia, among other organisations.

This year’s event is held under the umbrella of the Check in Georgia cultural project.

Launched by the Georgian Government earlier this year, Check in Georgia involves dozens of festivals, concerts and cultural events across the country.

The full program of the festival can be viewed here.

See the promotional video for the South Caucasus Contemporary Dance and Experimental Art Festival below: