The Artistic Director about the idea of 22. C/U

Sep 05, 2023 · 3 min read
The world is becoming increasingly standardized. Large-scale performances and events promote established patterns and uphold the status quo, leading to diminished sensitivity and attentiveness to the small and quiet things. It's easy to harbor high hopes for a better tomorrow, but today those hopes are bursting like bubbles as heroes continue to fall. They lose their strength and swiftly fade into oblivion.
Concepts such as care, balance, and well-being have, in recent years and particularly after the pandemic, been appropriated by mainstream discourse, often becoming part of exploitative practices and thus drawing skeptical commentary. However, we want to embrace naïveté, and we are overjoyed that the festival performances give us back such values as care, intuition, emotional intelligence, love, compassion, sensitivity, empathy, respect, mindfulness, and coexistence.
For this year's edition, we have invited artists who, instead of lamenting the degraded status of the world, take you on a journey into their sometimes hidden, quieter, ambiguous, and slowly emerging new world. In this world, there is no inseparable connection between courage and fear, and there is no drama of conflict, so often portrayed in theatre. Instead, there is space for reality and acceptance, a mindful engagement with cultural structures, and liberation from their constraints. There's also a focus on seeking protection in community and within ourselves.
Today's dance is sincere, and the choreographers showcased at C/U do not shy away from expressing their opinions, often becoming the protagonists of their own narratives. The proposed perspective isn't fixated on the artists themselves but is rather an invitation to observe and inquire how we can cultivate a deeper culture of listening and augment our mindfulness to ourselves and each other through dance. It is about finding a universally human character, founded on personal experience.
We are also witnessing a generational shift in dance. We ponder how to reconcile these two worlds and how to forge a new reality. On one hand, artists draw from history, but they are no longer bound by outdated formulas. They delve into science and literature to unearth the potential of the present. Some engage in a radical act of self-creation, while others explore the erotic power of community from a renewed, enriched perspective.
The supporting events of 22 C/U pose questions about the framework of care in its broadest sense. What is there for us to do? We are initiating a conversation on the mental health of individuals in dance, we will establish new standards of work culture in dance, and we will invite you to reflect on your personal concept and experience of care, meditation, and healing.
On one hand, dance forms a small community, but on the other, the body it represents is omnipresent. The body is straightforward and evident. We see it. Let's see how much we can create from the “self”. How to generate a new architectural map and restructure limitations, steering stereotypes towards symmetry, harmony, and a new rhythm.
"Embracing," this year's theme, may appear to be subtle gestures, but their true significance takes form in the experience of dance.  Embracing is a metamorphosis, a steady journey, but also a process. It implies a relationship; it transcends a simple physical action. It is a reciprocal motion, an invitation to extend an opening gesture towards oneself and others. Any embrace needs to be tamed because it is a potent gesture, yet also elusive.  Embracing demands time, attention, dedication, preparedness, and bravery. It begins physically, with a movement of the arms or knees, but on a deeper level, it begins with a choice, a stirring of the heart, and from there, who knows what may unfold... 
Edyta Kozak
Artistic Director 

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