May, 10-15. Modern dance, the art of improvisation and performance interact with literature.
We are interested in finding the understanding of different mentalities, traditions and cultures via dancing and words.
We believe this to be a topical issue in Russia today, as our society shows increasing intolerance towards people who share different cultural traditions. Today Russia faces a strong deficit of tolerance, more and more often we encounter the expressions of hatred and cruelty, murders of people of different skin color, of different language or religion. By creating our festival in Petersburg we aspire to create the atmosphere of mutual ethical understanding that is vital in Russia at the moment. However, the artistic projects presented at the “Word and body” festival differ from entertaining and popular dances. The core of this difference lies in the festival's basis in literature and philosophy.
The main aim of the festival is to show how literature (both poetry and prose) interacts with movement (dance), and how dance bridges the gap between the heritages of literature in different countries. Our festival's task is not to give answers but to ask questions: ethical, aesthetic and conceptual.
The festival's organizer is the theater called "Forest house", which belongs to "А-Я" society from Saint-Petersburg. The project supervisor is Olga Sorokina. The project manager is Elena Dergachyova. The project administrator is Roman Khabirov. Vakhtangova Russian ballet Academy students assit with the project as volunteers.
For the last 6 years the “Forest house” theater directed by Olga Sorokina has successfully realized several international projects which were supported with grants: in 2000: Contact Improvisation International workshop (master classes, creative laboratory and performances at the “Osobnyak” youth theater on the Fontanka river) and the grant of the “Open society” Institute; in 2001: EXTEMPORE Performance and Improvisation festival, the grants of Goethe Institute and Swedish institute; also in 2001: an international symposium, called F”ight for existence” (the aspect of gender in modern art of performance and improvisation), the “Open society” Institute grant; in 2005 and 2006: “Word and body” international festival of innovative dance forms, related to literature and supported by the Northern Culture Fund grants.