The programme of the 12th International Festival of Contemporary Dance of the Biennale di Venezia will bring to the stage, in the spaces of the Arsenale and Campo Sant'Agnese in Venice the artists whom I believe today represent the essence of dance as nourishment for the mind and the intellect rather than as a pure aesthetic object.
The two leitmotifs of this second edition are: “breathing as subversion and strategy” and “choreographic creation and interpretation: two indivisible opposites that mutually nourish one another”.
The choreographers we have invited create their works without using a previously codified language: their language develops as the creative process unfurls, generating new relationships with the space in which the dancers move, leading the spectators to discover unfamiliar places and new mental and emotional landscapes.
One example among many is Meg Stuart, who has been awarded the Golden Lion: as an artist she has developed a new language and a new method with each creation, exploring physical and emotional states, new contexts and new territories through improvisation and the collaboration with artists working in different disciplines.
This year's edition of Biennale Danza presents several artists who work with live music, such as choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas from Cape Verde, the winner of the Silver Lion award, who in her Bacchae/Prelude to a Purge brings dancers and musicians together on the stage to perform the same choreography, highlighting the powerful bond that exists between dance and music. A bond that will be heightened in other works such as: Some Hope for the Bastards by Frédérick Gravel and FLA.CO.MEN by Israel Galvàn.
The Festival will feature five world premieres: Quite Now by Irina Baldini, the young Italian choreographer who participated in last year's Biennale College, Sacre du Printemps by Xavier Le Roy in a new version for three dancers, Animale by Francesca Foscarini, Solos et Duos (working title, a revisited retrospective) by Marie Chouinard, and the new creation by Daina Ashbee for the dancers of the Biennale College 2018.
The Festival will be enhanced by meetings with the choreographers, and film and documentary screenings.
Biennale College – Danza will continue to open to young choreographers and dancers and will present the same programme developed during last year's edition.
The young dancers, selected through an international call, will number 15 (including 8 Italians).
Throughout the three months of their learning experience, they will study the contemporary repertory with the teachers, and during the 12th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, will perform Marie Chouinard's 24 Préludes de Chopin and a New Creation by Daina Ashbee.
The three young choreographers selected in the call will work for a period of 6/7 weeks during which they will develop new creations to be performed by seven professional dancers selected for this purpose. At the end of the programme there will be a public performance as part of the Biennale Danza 2018.
Both the College experiences, for the dancers and the choreographers, will open the doors of their workspace to the public for three days, before the beginning of the Festival.