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Istanbul to host next Jardin d'Europe Festival

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 12/20/2009 12:00:00 AM |

The Prix Jardin d'Europe, a contest organized by dance institutions from 10 European countries, came to an end last week. The project's Turkish partner, the Bimeras Cultural Foundation, is also the organizer of the iDANS International Festival of Contemporary Dance and Performance

The Prix Jardin d’Europe, the European prize for the most remarkable young choreographers of contemporary dance, will be held in Istanbul in 2010.

The event is organized in collaboration with renowned dance institutions from 10 European countries under the auspices of the European Union’s Culture Program.

The Jardin d’Europe project encompasses a wide range of activities dedicated to the establishment of infrastructure for the professionalization of emerging contemporary dance artists, choreographers, dance administrators and dance writers. First awarded in 2008 at the ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival, Europe’s biggest dance festival, the Prix Jardin d’Europe is given annually by different cooperating festivals.

The announcement that Jardin d’Europe’s 2010 edition would be held in Istanbul was met with enthusiastic applause by the participants of this year’s ceremony in Brussels. The project’s Turkish partner is Istanbul-based Bimeras Cultural Foundation, the organizer of the iDANS International Festival of Contemporary Dance and Performance.

Bimeras Foundation President Aydın Silier, who will organize the October 2010 event in Istanbul for iDANS, said Europe’s enthusiastic interest in Istanbul puts a great responsibility on their shoulders.

Sheamus Cassidy, program manager for the EU Culture Program, said during the ceremony that he was very pleased to see Turkey as an active partner in European projects.

[HH] The Prix Jardin d’Europe

This year’s Prix Jardin d’Europe was submitted at the end of the Working Title Festival, held earlier in December in collaboration with the project partner and renowned Belgian dance company Ultima Vez.

A total of 24 choreographies by emerging artists from 15 countries were exhibited during the festival. For the jury of international dance critics, the main criteria were singularity, willingness to take risks and the artists’ drive.

French choreographer Claire Croizé won first prize for her “The Farewell,” which was constructed around Gustav Mahler’s last compositions, including the “Song of the Earth” and the “Third Movement of the Ninth Symphony.” Croizé impressed by balancing her own graceful and fragile work with the symphonic grandeur of Mahler.

Second prize was given to three separate artists, Varinia Canto Vila, a Chilean-born artist living in Belgium, for her “During Beginning Ending,” which explored “mid-way” situations as the most truthful moments to see intentions, projects and desires; Romanian artist Florin Flueras for his “A Brave Search for the Ultimate Reality,” in which he humorously suggested and doubted at the same time the transformative power of art; and Lilia Mestre, a Portuguese artist living in Belgium, for her “The Live-in-Room,” which explored a radically different medium by making a choreography out of simply sound and space.

All prizes consist of production or residency support to help these emerging choreographers continue their work.

[HH] Breaking down boundaries between visual, performing arts

The Bimeras Cultural Foundation encompasses a wide range of contemporary arts and aims to break down the boundaries between visual and performing arts.

In 2009, an Istanbul audience had the pleasure of enjoying two editions of iDANS, including performances in May organized around the concept of “Time” and those on October’s theme of “Laughing and Crying.”

The October 2010 edition will explore the concept of “Cosmopolitanism.” The young artists selected from numerous European countries for the Prix Jardin d’Europe will also be asked to tie in their work with this theme.

The festival will also include a number of side activities such as workshops, street events, symposiums and projects in various schools that will aim to foster creativity in the classroom.

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