The BODYWORD is a festival that integrates such different fields of art as literature and dance. In this festival we present performing arts where the spoken word is not the main tool of expression. This includes modern dance, contemporary dance, physical theatre, movement theatre and improvisation.
The history of Saint-Petersburg is strongly connected with the history of Russian literature. And Russian literature has taken a big and important place in world writing. Much of the immortal ballet heritage is inspired by literature — we consider the «Don Quixote» and «Sleeping Beauty» or «The Afternoon of the Faun» by Vaclav Nijinsky, created from a motive of eclogue by the French poet Stefan Mallarme.
Moscow dance critic Olga Gerdt wrote: “For a long time dance in Russia was a sort of gala show, that, like other art forms, was expected to be the property of the people, that means it was meant to please everybody. These strict guidelines caused artists to avoid the risk of developing their own new work. Instead they followed and imitated the example of previous masters. But for any progress in art it is essential not only to reproduce the achievements of the past but also to welcome research and experiment in order to innovate and to express new ideas, even if they are still far from being perfect, in need of further improvement, even ‘anti-theatrical’ and emancipating themselves from accepted stereotypes. On one hand contemporary dance in Russia is young, wild, innovative, curious and open to other cultures and mentalities. On the other hand it had to develop differently to distinguish itself from contemporary dance in Europe or America. Therefore there is a strong curiosity in Europe and America about how people dance in Russia, not only concerning their technical skills, but more about their specific view and perception.”
We expect that the performances and workshops of our festival will bring new inspiration to the arts of Saint-Petersburg and also to guest artists who come to participate from other countries. We also expect new contacts and new collaborative projects will be born which will enrich the cultural lives of people in Russia and in other countries.
The BODYWORD Festival is for specialists as well a general audience and anyone who is interested in contemporary performing arts.