Playfulness as a Metaphor for Being and Creativity
Since the Covid-19 pandemic has gone global and the world has been rocked by multiple crises, it seems as if we are all prisoners of this collective body. Perhaps the time is coming when many things will have to be changed, transformed... Perhaps the social meaning of our collective body will have to be renewed.
"This body is in danger. It is wounded", Ana Vujanović states in her article The Collective Body of the Pandemic: From Whole to (Not) All. Vujanović points out that we live in a world of temporary complications with disruptions. At the same time, new nodes are seemingly forming, perhaps even new connections.
When we start to think about what it is that binds people together, our minds go back to the time when a human, as a social being, was exploring the world by playing from a very young age. Play is a free, spontaneous, creative and exploratory activity that takes place without any external necessity and is born out of a child's inner need.
This year's 16th Platform of Contemporary Dance will explore the dimension of the playful as a metaphor for being, for existence, for the disjunction between rules and free expression. We will focus on how different performance practices enfold each other, complement each other, communicate and possibly suggest innovation. We are interested in how creative playfulness enters into art and vice versa.
Play as a subtle creative act or as the creative lightness of the creative process that dissolves gravity. How do we use playfulness to create tools that allow for mature and sophisticated dance expressions? Or at least open up new fields of exploration and new dimensions of artistic practices, encounters, and connections?
In the confrontation with playfulness in art, it is a pleasant surprise to play with materials, themes, and with the interplay of different artistic fields. Does the artist come from a need to be liked or does he simply come from himself because he feels the need for this kind of expression? How playful can contemporary dance be in its own process? How does the body express play in art?
Artistic freedom is playful exploration. To surrender to the playfulness of the possible is to have an authentic experience of the work of art, where we can put aside our cognitive and moral concerns. In this way, the experience of an artwork can make us think about ourselves and confront the truth about ourselves.
In the playful experience of art, we seemingly forget our cognitive and moral concerns and let ourselves go. We play with images, shapes, feelings, words, colours or notes. We surrender to playfulness and seemingly lose ourselves in it.
To stimulate the transformation of the everyday into unforgettable moments of distant oblivion, of reverie and wonder, of magical playfulness...
Mojca Kasjak, Artistic and Programme Director