WHAT IS CONTEMPORARY DANCE. THEATRICAL DIMENSIONS OF CONTEMPORARY DANCE IN BULGARIA BETWEEN 1989 AND 2010 BY ANI VASEVA
graphic design: Georgi Sharov
proof-reader: Maria Stoilova
16/60/90, paperback with dust jacket, 536 pages.
Metheor, Sofia, 2017
What is dance? What is classical dance? What is modern dance? What is contemporary dance? This question sequence looks increasingly hard. Like if in the first part the answers are clear and the closer we get to the end, the more disputable the definitions become. This is not true though.
Generations of choreographers and theoreticians have undertaken the inspiring but hard task of revealing the complexity, hiding behind any of those questions. Thanks to them today we can (re)discover that the possibilities are almost endless. In the light of this complexity the book proposes its own theses on the problematics of contemporary dance and its context. The work explores the reasons that give us the opportunity to rethink the dance theory and practice not as standing on stabile basis, but as using a fragile, flexible dynamic structure of processes, principles, cravings, discoveries and pleasures as a lever.
The first part of the book is dedicated on the different approaches to the paradoxical behavior of the concept “contemporary dance” in the context of the relations between the concepts “modern” and “contemporary” art, in parallel with phenomena like “postmodern dance” and in dialogue with the theses of researchers as Ramsay Burt, Peggy Phellan, Andre Lepecky, Boyan Manchev.
The second part of the book is focused on the symptomatic and specific case of the “theatre life” of contemporary dance in Bulgaria from 1989 to 2010.
The edition includes systematic information about the Bulgarian choreographers from that period, about the media and critical reception both of “contemporary dance” in general and of specific phenomena. In the appendices one can find interviews and conversations with the artists, chronological list of their works and detailed description of many performances.