Erich Fromm wrote that living is more than just a biological need and function, more than a process of struggle and maturation. With his critical theory, he stressed that life is an art in itself. Every person wants to find the meaning of their existence and understand life in a broader context.
Negotiating one’s own being, existence, has been a philosophical paradigm since the beginning of time. Present times, full of restrictions and other measures, present a great challenge in the context of living. The art of living and coexistence is an important topic within these conditions, as it raises many questions.
Are we open enough to take a stand and realise the harmony of being with others and within ourselves? Do we know how to coexist? And can we?
How to understand and interpret the body within the art of dance in the context of coexistence? From what perspective the contemporary dance creators study the social, cultural, and political constructions of the coexisting body that are presented at this year's Platform of Contemporary Dance with the selected concepts?
The art of coexistence is reflected in the way we interact, in the knowledge and ability to live side by side in all our diversity and to preserve our personality. Such coexistence means constant growth and new challenges, which are supposed to enrich, not burden.
Stemming from the living and moving body in relation to the existence, contemporary dance art reflects the question on the essence and not so much on the artist's need for survival. For the essence is farther from all the existing, and yet it is closer to man than any existing with the question of the origin or cause of beings. The body as a living space is a space that, in its entirety, allows for immeasurable dimensions. Among other things, it offers us the experience of the art of living and coexisting of both dancing and imaginary bodies.
The dance performances in this year’s programme focus on relationships. Those relationships that are the foundation of existing, not just in art. The relationship with oneself, the father-son relationship that holds a mirror to the audience, the subtlety of sound and body that harmonizes improvisational spaces, the spaces of the moment. Constantly changing is that which is indestructible. Like a stone that can be a visual-sound synergy, holds a power, and is much more than just a matter. Although the weight of the stone may symbolize the weight of life, the shedding of burdens with the introduction of irony and humour is shattering of the one-layered understanding that always leads the viewer to a lighter state or to falling in love. Both are useful. And it is beautiful when we share this with each other, live. Experientially. Therefore dance, dance your life.
The satisfaction of the individual and society always stems from satisfied needs. As Dominique Loreau says, to know how to choose well is one of the most creative gifts we have been able to receive. The experience of satisfaction and a living body is the physical experience of an embodied subject, which, in addition to living, creates the coexistence of different and diverse artistic approaches of this year's festival.
The Platform of contemporary dance arose in 2007 from the need of the dance scene aiming for professionalisation, networking, and connections on the local, national, and international level. This year's edition is the fifteenth in a row. So far, it has offered presentations by 211 authors, 383 performers, and 190 public events, dance performances, professional discussions and conferences, art laboratories, and displays of numerous art projects. Therefore, it is time to celebrate. Cheers! To art! To the Platform!
Mojca Kasjak, artistic director and programme manager