Bazaar Festival opens with Romanian choreographer Sergiu Matis and his invitation to return to the roots of our existence. He has also invited Czech artists to collaborate.
The eighth edition of Bazaar Festival begins on 24 March at PONEC with Sergiu Matis. The renowned Romanian choreographer, long based in Berlin, dives into storytelling, myth and our own origins in a performative dream made up of movement, dance and sound recordings of extinct bird species. This collaboration between three foreign artists and young Czech artists and youth is such a unique event that it will be staged twice during the festival: once as part of the opening event and again on Friday evening.
Bazaar Festival has long reflected on contemporary social issues in a global context. In recent years, the festival has primarily focussed on issues concerning the state of our planet and the climate crisis. However, the events of recent days have given this year’s theme of “Migration” an entirely new dimension and the original subtitle, “Birds, poppies and plankton,” has naturally evolved into “Defying the threats.”
“We’re opening the festival with a dance and theatre event that is much sought after in Europe, about the state of our birdlife and the landscape of lost birdsong, with three excellent dancers and performers from Berlin, including the Sergiu Matis, the personable creator of the production. Sergiu also asked us to arrange a collaboration with Czech seniors, art academy students and local secondary school pupils, who would perform with them on stage. I feel in my bones that a happening is emerging, a kind of international Passion of Nature in English and Czech, where we can gather together to warm our souls, bodies and minds at a time of such far-reaching threat. In order to convey this experience to more spectators, we have decided to present this performance twice during the festival,” explains Ewan McLaren, festival artistic director.
Extinction Room (Hopeless) has appeared at many renowned European festivals, where it has been warmly received and had many positive responses. Previous festival appearances include ImPulsTanz (Vienna), Tanznacht Berlin, eXplore Dance Festival (Romania) and many others.
In a soundscape composed of bird calls, shrieks and songs, created in collaboration with composer AGF (aka Antye Greie), three performers (and their guests) tell stories of extinct bird species. Scientific stories of extinction intertwine with myth, bringing folk songs and dances to life. The emotional burden, the associated sorrow, is mediated by the dancers, who guide the spectators through these traumatic experiences of loss: both that experienced, and that still to come. At such a moment, the encounter with others becomes a means of sharing all the feelings and emotions that the experience evokes.
The topic is particularly difficult at this time, but perhaps more important than ever. Still, like always, Bazaar remains a place of noisy debate and dialogue. Bazaar is a place of exchanges, not purchases. Bazaar is an uncontrolled marketplace of thoughts, ideas, colours and smells from the most diverse corners of Europe. A true encounter.