The signs would seem to be there that 2021 will be the year we surface from the health emergency, and it would be great not to have to focus our opening words on a theme which has left a grim legacy, which will return to our minds for many years to come.
All directors, from the starting point of the International Architecture Exhibition (conceived in the pre-Covid era) to the Theatre, Dance and Music Festivals and the International Art Exhibition to be held in 2022, have shone their spotlight on the themes of togetherness, physicality, the body and its transformations.
Wayne McGregor is devoting the first Festival of his four-year tenure to the FIRST SENSE, touch, physical contact, an inevitable consequence of our recent experiences. More than any other discipline, the basis of dance is contact between bodies which move together to generate universal narratives, transmitting feelings packed with stories, traditions, imagination and poetry.
Dance is a true victory over distancing and it restores people, whose gestures are no longer truncated to us, with bodies and not solely eyes meeting. The other live arts have been able to continue to speak with words. But words are fundamentally absent in the language of dance, which is expressed via contact and collective movement as well as intimate pas de deux dialogue.
Since our very first conversations prior to the pandemic, Wayne McGregor told of a world made up of curiosity and experimentation and, above all, of the need to connect up with other groups and disciplines. In this way he has significantly boosted La Biennale’s plan to intensify the dialogue between the arts, build shared spaces and break down the barriers between one discipline and another.
All this will be present in a Festival which will also make the question posed by the Biennale Architettura 2021, How will we live together?, its own. Its curiosity about the work of others, researching together with the female and male dancers of the College in the materials of the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC) will enrich a sense of community which La Biennale has always tried to foster. Wayne McGregor grasped the importance of the College’s task right away and has been working intensively with its tutors and young men and women destined to be “future art creators, tomorrow’s visionaries”. What I see in the work of La Biennale’s directors is great energy, an increasingly powerful need to surround themselves with curious, future-oriented artists. And all this (as we have heard many times) is taking more concrete form today, casting off the slogans to become everyday work.
The greatest success to you Wayne.
Congratulations and welcome to La Biennale history to Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement Germaine Acogny and Silver Lion Oona Doherty.
Thanks to Ministero della Cultura and Veneto Region,
the local institutions that support La Biennale in various ways,
the City of Venice, the Soprintendenza Archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio per il Comune di Venezia e Laguna
and the Italian Navy.
Thanks to Bottega Veneta, Main Sponsor of the Biennale Danza 2021
and to Rai Cultura, Media Partner of La Biennale di Venezia