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dance balkan / nordic region 2004/05
nov 5 th –14 th 2004 // autumn 2005

HWE – Hardcore Workshop Exchange – dance balkan / nordic region 2004/05 is a project initiated by NordScen – Nordic Center for Performing Arts. The project is a part of an extensive project for cultural exchange between the Western Balkan and the Nordic Countries initiated by The Nordic Council of Ministers – the Ministers for Culture.

HWE is a collaboration project between partners and dance artists of the Western Balkans – Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro and the Nordic region – Finland, Norway, Sweden.

HWE creates meeting places for artists from both regions in common workshops, artistic research and presentations reaching out to wide audiences across regional and national boarders.

HWE is a joint effort to discover each other, to overcome potential prejudices, to learn, to watch, to question, to enjoy, to move onwards.

HWE brings together two regions in the North-South perspective, joining expertises in the field of contemporary dance and creating new bonds where they do not exist before.

HWE involves 3 countries in each region that are equal partners in the process: Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia in the Balkans and Norway, Sweden and Finland in the Nordic region. Each country is represented by an organisation that acts as a partner and takes the responsibilty to choose participating artists, guide the process, as well as function as hosting organisation.

HWE unites experienced partners in the field of performing arts, each with its strong base in the local art-community. HWE partners have chosen young, outstanding and ambitious artists which represent the current contemporary dance scene and have considerable experience with workshop activities.

Nordic partners are: BIT Teatergarasjen in Bergen, Norway; Dansstationen in Malmö, Sweden, Kiasma Theater in Helsinki, Finland.

Balkan partners are: PAC Multimedia in Skopje, Macedonia; CDU in Zagreb, Croatia; Dom Omladine Beograda in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro.

HWE is structured as artistic workshops, workshop presentations and guest performances, divided in two phases. The 1st phase will take place in November 2004 with Nordic artists arriving in Balkan capitals. In the 2nd phase Balkan artists will travel to their Nordic hosts in autumn 2005.

HWE is financially supported by The Nordic Council of Ministers, The Swedish Institute and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

HWE in Balkans, November 5 th –14 th 2004

The first phase will take place in the Balkan cities: Skopje, Zagreb and Belgrade in November 5 th –14 th 2004. The selected Nordic choreographers each with their small company (4-5 dancers) will travel to their respective cities and meet with their Balkan colleagues for an intensive 1 week long artistic workshop. Six workshops will simultaneously take place in three different cities in the Balkan region. The following connections will be created Skopje-Malmö, Zagreb-Oslo/Bergen, Belgrade-Helsinki.

November 5 th - 11 th
During the workshop period the artists switch their companies (e.g Norwegian choreographer will work with Croatian dancers and vice versa) exposing each other to new influences and new working methods. Although, never met before, the partcipants guided by local partners have gathered knowledge about each other. Now their artistic concepts will be examined and developed in a real work process. At the end the participants will produce studio work to show to the audiences in the respective cities.

November 11 th
Results from the 2 workshops in each city will be presented to a local audience.

November 12 th-14 th
At the very end all the participants will meet in Belgrade for the final weekend of all 6 different performances and 6 different workshop presentations, along with an evaluation of the project.

The schedule:

November 5 th - 11 th artistic workshops in Skopje, Zagreb, Belgrade

November 11 th workshops presentations in Skopje, Zagreb, Belgrade

November 12 th - 14 th final weekend in Belgrade with performances

Introductions of participants

Nordic participants and partners:

1. Bergen

BIT Teatregarasjen

BIT produces, co-produces and presents international and Norwegian contemporary art - theatre and dance, with specific emphasize on projects that encourage international co-production and co-operations between different fields of art. Established in 1983 as a theatre festival, today BIT is the main producer and co-producer of international contemporary theatre and dance in Norway. BIT co-operates with theatres and producers in several European countries and has a rich experience in running festivals and launching new artistic collaboration events.

Henriette Pedersen with dancers  

Henriette Pedersen is educated at the National School of Ballet in Olso(1997-2000).

As a choregrapher Pedersen has consciously researched the impact of the performance space on the creative process. Her performances “Inappropriate access”, “Loose flesh”, “Perfect passion”, “Blind attraction“, "Classic Heaven" are all set in untraditional stage rooms where room acts as an equal artistic partner. Her performances succeed in giving the audience an unusual physical perception, leading people all the way in to the imaginary world of the choreographer.

Her work has received reactions like: “This is only theatre, it is only theatre, but then why did she look me straight into the eyes!?”, “I fell madly in love”, “I walked around crying for a while before I understood that it wasn’t true”.

Pedersen's production "Wah wah he wants it!" is her first performance created for traditional stage.

Guest performance: Wah wah he wants it!

A gross dance performance performed by three female dancers and a jazz singer. These four women show us their extremely odd world where everyone tries to hide their odd sides from one another and the audience. Something

they totally fail in.

Dancers: Sissel M. Bjørkli, Marianne Skjeldal, Moa Beskow

Singer: Carin Granath

Composer: Lars Petter Hagen

Choreographer: Henriette Pedersen

Costume Designer: Maria Bohlin

Scenographer: Dagny Drage Kleiva

2. Malmo


Is the main stage for contemporary dance in Malmo. Dansstationen presents Swedish, Nordic dance artists, as well as international co-productions on regular basis and also organizes several major events of dance in the region. Dansstationen organized the first Nordic Dance Meeting together with Dansscenen in Copenhagen, and recently it was the co-organizer of The Swedish dance Biennale 2004.

Lisa Torun with Lisa Torun dance company

Lisa Torun is a choreographer, dancer and singer, and artistic director of Lisa Torun Dance Company. Trained in ballet and contemporary but also studied as an opera singer, violinist and pianist. She has been based in London for 12 years producing a catalogue of innovative work across disciplines, with a particular focus on the involvement of music and design.

Currently choreographer in residence at Dansstationen im Malmo, Sweden.Since 2003 she has been directing SummerLAB at Malmo, a creative laboratory for cross-disciplinary collaborations and artistic exchange.

Guest perfromance: Synchrona

Synchrona is a full evening piece for four dancers / musicians, exploring the force field between dance, music, song and video.

Choreography and composition: Lisa Torun

Dancers/musicians: Jerry Pedersen, Kristian Gottliebsen, Kenneth Flak, Lisa Torun.

Sound and : Dawson

Premiere: March 26, 2004 Palladium i Malmö.

3. Helsinki


Kiasma is a centre of contemporary art in Helsinki, which also accommodates a theatre. The Kiasma Theatre expands the museum's programme in the direction of performing arts. The programme includes drama, dance, performance, music, multimedia, film and video art. The theatre's artistic profile contains interdisciplinary and experimental performances. In addition to the theatre's own productions and visitors from Finland and abroad, the programme includes re-constructions of key-works of Finnish avant-garde.

Antopio DiMaestre with Flow-Mo urban dance group

Antopio DiMaestre is choreographer and dancer of Flow-Mo urban dance group. Finnish-Japanese Antopio started dancing in 1991 and has made his own urban dance theatre solo pieces called "Daylight", "Hyppy", "Kind of me" and a collaborational piece with poet, samplerist and graffiti artist called "Listen to your environment". He is praised for his amazing dance technique while his approach to dance remains emotional and soulful, portraying beauty more than simply showing acrobatics.   Flow-Mo is one of the leading urban dance groups in the Nordic countries, exploring new forms of street dance in theatre and festival performances. The group combines raw b-boying, funk style stance, video, funk music and excellent feelings. Flow-Mo has created several full length theatre pieces: "How deep the rabbit hole goes" 2001, "Shadow Dwellers" 2002, "3D" 2003, "Motion as identity, footwork as artform" 2004   Guest performance: Motion as identity, footwork as artform  

In the new work Flow-Mo wants to reform street dance as an art by taking dance back to its roots, to such important elements as "Finesse, Foundation, Freestyle, Footwork, Flow, Flavor, Originality, Rawness, Characteristics and Communication..."

Balcan participants an partners:

1. Zagreb

Centre for Drama Art (CDU)

CDU has grown out of the necessity to break through the monotony and artificial tempo of the Croatian performing arts scene. CDU strives to open up new possibilities for the breakthrough of serious performative thought and action into those areas that do not expect their surfacing. CDU runs several initiatives on a regular basis: Frakcija, performing arts magazine, Akcija - perfroming arts publishing program, Akcija/Frakcija - presentation and international exchange program, as well as educational program Imaginary Academy.

EkS-scena and Željka Sančanin

EkS-scena (Experimental Free Scene) is an independent association for research and education in dance and performing arts. It was established in 2001 by a group of freelance dance artists. During its 4 years of existance it has become an open platform for Croatian freelance dance and performing artists, facilitating educational development and artistic work and helping to create a new scene of artists working across genres.

Željka Sančanin (apart from being a student of Comparative Literature and History of Art) is a choreographer working in cooperation with EkS-scena platform. She is collaborating with Saša Božić (dramaturg / theatre director) and Andrej Vučenović (video artist), together they are the artistic trio k.o. At the first the basic concept of their work has been confrontation of different cultural and ideological patterns that members brought by themselves.That kind of work has created performances which extremly treated the concept of "artist" in politicaly violent time and space ( performances: «49 years», «Kafka gegen Pound», «La primavera» ). In the next period ( choreography: »The Mistery of Orgasm», «Places Where...» «(Hard To ) Dig It )» the work of the group moved more towards dance and choreographical research; the political bodies of performers have been transformed in “ thinking” bodies and theatre has been changed into dance. The prelast production, solo choreography / video instalation «Private in Vitro» confirms the groups constant interest for visual qualities of performing material and also develops previous choreographical elements which in «Private in Vitro» created new aspects of performativity headed towards the spectator and his process of visual perception and reproduction of performing image.

The group is currently working with a few invited artists on its last production based on the text Lover’s Discourse by Roland Barthes. Planned as a multimedia happening, the project investigates modes of artistic creation and collective work within performing media in the context of Barthes' text.

2. Skopje

PAC Multimedia

PAC Multimedia is an independent organisation in Skopje, active in the field of culture, education and social affairs in Macedonia, as well as in the Balcan region and wider. PAC Multimedia acts as a creative base, developing new standards in the cultural living and raising the level of consciousness through education, informing, promotion and production.

During its existance PAC Multimedia has successfully organised more than 100 workshops, sumer schools, open public debates, festivals, concerts, short film presentations, exchange programmes where more than 20.000 participants from Macedonia and from the region took part.  

3. Belgrade

Belgrade Youth Cultural Centre

The Belgrade Youth Cultural Centre is an institution with almost 40 years' tradition in participating in defining the Belgrade cultural through program presentation, its own productions and the information and consulting services offered to the public scenery. It is supported by the City Council's Department for Culture. Maintaining openness to all the new approaches in artistic creation and cultural activities as well as awareness of the young audience's needs has made BYCC a unique information and multimedia cultural centre in Belgrade.