Despite what the world is suffering this year, two of Europe’s most prestigious international summer dance festivals commit to go forward with drastically truncated, yet vital and imaginative programs. Berlin’s Tanz im August, under the artistic direction of Virve Sutinen, and the Venice Biennale’s Festival Danza under Marie Chouinard’s curatorial leadership will open in late August and mid-October respectively. Each artistic director spoke with me via Skype and Zoom recently about the hardships and angst of redesigning their festivals during this brutal pandemic. This month, we feature Tanz im August and how they pivoted from cancellation to a ten-day online festival with some physically distanced public performances, all free, and most available on YouTube as well.
Arkadi Zaides‘ “NECROPOLIS.” Photograph by Institut des Croisements
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading
One would think that a dance inspired by the events of the January 6 insurrection—yes, a dance!—would not be the ideal stuff of theater, but the eight members of Laurie Sefton Creates (formerly Clairobscur Dance Company), succeeded in giving life to Sefton’s premiere “Herd. Person?”, while the dance, itself, was occasionally problematic.Continue Reading