XIX international dance festival OPEN LOOK program is announced

For its 19th edition the largest contemporary dance festival in Russia OPEN LOOK has prepared a program full of premieres, discoveries and creative provocations. Nowadays contemporary dance cannot surprise anyone with its variety of genres and artistic forms, that become its integral part, - from butoh dance to verbatim, from video-art to installations. Yet, OPEN LOOK festival this year will impress even  worldly-wise audience with the exclusive selection of its participants.


From June 29 to July 9 St.Petersburg will become the centre of European contemporary dance, breaking the stereotypes and widening the boundaries of our perception of dance year after year, OPEN LOOK festival becomes the mediator of the new trends. The topics of the masculinity, belief and religion in dance, the false Messiah and the life of a mentally sick poetic genius, the relationship between fathers and sons. The scale of the topics under discussion expands the concept of the festival itself.


OPEN LOOK-2017 program includes performances by dance companies from France, Hungary, Switzerland, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Israel. Renowned French choreographer Josef Nadj in collaboration with one of the brightest figures of avant-garde music Joëlle Léandre will present world premier ‘PENZUM, the performance about the love drama of a famous Hungarian poet Jozsef Attila and his psychological disease.


Festival headliners are the Belgian company Ulitma Vez will continue to surprise the audience on July 8 and 9 at the theatre-festival ‘Baltiysky Dom’. ‘Mockumentary of a contemporary savior’  is a pseudo-documentary performance telling us the story by a celebrated choreographer Wim Vandekeybus about the possible way of the development of our society in the near future. Genre ‘mockumentary’ has been adopted from the cinematography, Wim Vandekeybus through the medium of seven characters, presents an incisive portrait of a messiah as an imaginary figure. Utopia and dystopia at a single glance. Nothing is what it seems in this futuristic reality.


A separate bonus for the cinema-lovers is going to be Kinodance program with Wim Vandekeybus, presenting dance film ‘Here After’ (2007), documentary film ‘WIM’ (2016) and feature film ‘Galloping Mind’ (2015). The spectators will have a chance to talk to the director and choreographer after the screenings.


‘Year after year we are presenting the most interesting, controversial and ambiguous performances in contemporary dance’ – says Vadim Kasparov, the founder and the director of the festival. ‘OPEN LOOK puts our city into the line of the cities holding the greatest contemporary dance and theatre festivals. The exclusive program of premiere performances is the unique selling point of this festival, every year selecting the program that the city can be proud of and that confirms that St.Petetsburg is not only the city of classics, but also the modern one.’


On June 30 Tero Saarinen Dance Company, one of the leading contemporary dance companies in Finland, will present their production ‘Morphed’, where seven male dancers of different ages and backgrounds will meet at one stage. Here the festival again develops the topic ‘Men in dance’, that became an anticipated one during the last festival editions.


On July 1 Kaori Ito, Japanese dancer based in Switzerland, will present her work ‘I dance because I do not trust words’, where her father takes part in – who is not a professional dancer, but a famous sculptor. The performances talks about the timeless issues in the relationships of fathers and sons (daughters in this very case). On the same day company Neopost Foofwa (Switzerland) will present humorous ‘Condanced Histories’ – an interesting one-man show about the history of development of contemporary dance. We cannot by mention the exclusive make-up approach in the collaboration of Israeli choreographer Sharon Vazanna and artist Tomer Sapir.


On July 2 and 3 Hungarian contemporary dance will be presented by Szeged Contemporary Dance Company with the premiere show in Russia - ‘Absurdia’. Hungarian contemporary dance is not a usual guest of the Russian dance events, which makes it an honor to welcome it at our festival.


On July 9, the festival final day, Company ‘Ballet Moskva’ will present one more premier of this year to St.Petersburg audience – ‘All the paths lead to the north’, the performance-laureate of the national theater prize "Golden Mask" this season.


From July 1 to July 9 Dance House ‘Kannon Dance’ will open its studios for the workshops by European teachers from all the leading dance companies in the world – Dana Raz, Uri Ivgi, Johan Greben, Dor Mamalia, Edward Truitt, Anna Ozerskaya, Tamir Eting, Tomas Danielis, Thomas Noone, Arika Yamada, Jim De Block, Fernando Troya, Robert Moses, Russell Adamson will teach classes in different contemporary dance techniques from gaga to jazz. All the dance community from all over Russia gather together at these classes – from Vladivostok to Krasnodar. Apart from this nearly all the teachers will present their solo performances within the festival program under the headline SOLO SOUL evenings.


OPEN LOOK will for the first time this year head its participants to Moscow and will present its program for a few days at Meyerhold Theatre Centre (Moscow, Novoslobodskaya str., 23), presenting the Swiss-program together with the Swiss fund Pro Helvetia Russia. The exchange program of the two capitals will start a unique project in St.Petersburg – promenade performance DanceWalk by Foofwa d’Immobilite (Switzerland) and dancers from education program SOTA (Moscow).

National dance and theatre program RUSSIAN LOOK will continue the festival on July 7-9, presenting the best of the Russian dance works in this season. Physical and visual theatre, contemporary dance and experiment, full evening shows and cite-specific performances.


Among the special projects of OPEN LOOK this year we can point out the lectures on the dance issues by a number of speakers and the laboratory for the young art critics ‘Open Your Eyes’ with Vita Khlopova (Moscow), as well as the co-produced education program with school Masters (St.Petersburg).


The traditional festival program PHOTO LOOK will take place from June 29 to July 9 supported by the French institute in Russia. The photo exhibition by Vladimir Lupovskoy ‘DIFFERENT TRAINS. French contemporary dance in Russia» within the project ’25 years to the French contemporary dance in Russia’. 


The detailed Program and information about ticket purchase is published in "Under the Auspices"