The dancers are overwhelmed by disaster, but they don’t go down without a fight. Instead, they radically embrace every option and opportunity to influence their ending. Powerful and explosive, vulnerable and bounded, they draw us into their struggle, mortal fear, resignation and solidarity. During this bittersweet performance – alongside the inevitable crack of human lives – hope and comradeship emerge.

Liat Waysbort saw Ohad Naharin’s ‘The Sinking of the Titanic’ as a teenager, and was deeply moved by the oppressive power of the work. The production was inspired by the unshakeable orchestra that played on while the iconic ship went down. The impact of the strong images, set against Gavin Bryars’ all-embracing soundtrack evoked a whole array of emotions.

www.bittersweetdance.com

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A reflection on my experiences at Spring Forward Festival 2017

‘It don’t matter if you’re black or white’ was the ideological soundtrack of my youth. Somewhere along the line, while imitating Michael Jackson moves, we somehow forgot that what he was singing about was an ideal and not yet a reality. I, and many others, grew up with the illusion that we don’t see skin colour, and that it really doesn’t matter if you’re black or white. But it does matter and, by ignoring that, we are at risk over overlooking systematic iniquities in our society. As Anousha Nzume’s writes in her recently-published and very accessible book Hallo witte mensen (Hello white people), ‘if you claim you don’t see colour, you will also not see power structures created on the base of colour.’[1] In order to unravel power structures we have to talk about skin colour, including within the dance field. So here we go.

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Classical Beauty by LOCATION X / Taneli Törmä Photo: Jan Vesala

I was one of the lucky ten that were selected for the Springback Academy at Spring Forward Festival 2017. From 28th till 30th of April we saw 20 performances plus a film at the festival in Aarhus, Denmark. We ate, drank, discussed and danced together. Each one of us wrote three reviews and in doing, were mentored by professional dance critics. Below I’ve included my reviews, but you can find the work of my badass colleagues here.

Classical Beauty
by LOCATION X / Taneli Törmä  / April 28

A burly, beardy man stands centre stage, surrounded by a circle of light. He starts running in place, showing us the muscle tension in his bare legs while sweat seeps through his neat, lilac shirt. During the action his blissful smile reveals exaltation; he’s aiming for something to fulfil his longing.

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True Colors / Backbone Connects
‘Look at me. Admire and envy me. In True Colors, choreographer Alida Dors goes in search of the real person behind our online identities. Nothing is what it seems. Her characteristic, innovative hip-hop vocabulary, stripped of show and bravado, unpicks the stories behind social media images. We see what normally is hidden.’

video
trailer
making of

Premiere: 28th of January 2017, Theater Bellevue Amsterdam

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AUSUFERN
AUSUFERN is the name of a brand new interdisciplinary series of events run by Uferstudios in Berlin and means exactly that: to go beyond one’s own limitations and beyond usual sites of artistic production presenting and initiating art projects that reach into the public realm. These events particularly look to create a dialogue within the neighbourhood and seek to understand the realities of the neighborhood of Wedding, Berlin. Choreography is not only understood as staging, but also as social practice- a multiple and contradictory mobilisation of individual bodies which in turn brings about “communities in development”.

Entrance for the performance is free. In 2017, AUSUFERN takes place from 1-4 June, 1-4 July, 1-4 August, 1-4 September and 1-4 October.

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 Photo: Vincent Wijlhuizen

As independent dance dramaturge, text writer and project developer, I´ve worked for different cultural organisations and with several choreographers. I offer an open and generous dialogue and am a constructive force in the working process.

more info

The diptych Please me Please of Bitter Sweet Dance is going to be shown on traveling festival De Parade in Amsterdam as well as in Utrecht.

Dates:
Utrecht: 3 – 6 August
Amterdam: 12 – 15 August

More info on: www.deparade.nl 

 

See here the trailer of Please me Please – the Solo. Wanna see the Duet at well? Go and check it here: Please me Please – The Duet / Liat Waysbort

 

 

Credits
choreography: Liat Waysbort
dancers: Ivan Ugrin, Amy Gale and Angela Linssen
dramaturgy: Annette van Zwoll
producer: BitterSweet Dance
co-producer: Dansmakers Amsterdam
production manager: Jannita Jáuregui

Although shown through the lens of male intimacy, the feeling Vassiliou and the performers tries to channel is something that is beyond sexuality or gender: the beatitude of total absorption in another being.’
Rachel Donnelly / blog Dublin Dance Festival

Alexis Vassiliou – a series of three
In 2013, choreographer Alexis Vassiliou started his research on the connection between physical sensations and the emotional en relational consequences of that. In every performance he took one clear physical action, turned that upside down and inside out, and used it to evoke a range of associations and emotions, for the performers as well as for spectators. The diffused intimacy and playfulness that arose between the male performers became tangible for the audience.

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photo: Marquis Palmer

On October 4, 2015, the second part of the duet Please me Please will premiere during the Dutch Dance Festival.

Liat Waysbort investigates our need to please with two older dancers, Amy Gale and Angela Linssen. In Please me Please – The Duet, two bodies full of history are confronted with the standards which the ‘older person’ is supposed to meet. The production questions our definition of beauty – precisely, explosively and tenderly – with the objective of stretching that definition. ‘Liat Waysbort previously had an impact with the strong and very individual Please me Please – The Solo, danced by the young Ivan Ugrin. In contrast to his youth, Waysbort now goes on an adventure with two self-assured women who each, in their own way, embody an aspect of the history of Dutch dance. That makes one curious.

choreography: Liat Waysbort
dance: Amy Gale, Angela Linssen
dramaturgy: Annette van Zwoll
producer: Bitter Sweet Dance
co producer: Dansmakers Amsterdam
production: Jannita Jáuregui
light and technique: Mark Thewessen