First (and second) impressions:


First of all I have to emphasize how inspiring and intensive 2 weeks I spent in Brussels. Inspiration came mainly from the amazing international critical group – and intensity from the daily schedule of performances. Thanks for Eline and Annyck we could truly concentrate on our work, they organized everything around us. That was also very good that we had shared apartments with local artists making possible to share our experience. (But, maybe next year accommodation – its quality: with proper bathroom, no gas-smell… - should be more carefully chosen.) As a vegetarian I loved the dinner in Beurs, but sometimes would had been nice to eat a proper warm food for lunch, too. We really missed it. All together I would say there was no real “critical point” on the field of logistic. At VTI we had a welcoming atmosphere, and so pity that finally (busy, busy time!!!!) I couldn’t have the chance to check the promising video-archive of the organization.


About the workshop itself:


We had two experienced leaders: Anna Tilroe (first week) and Peter T’Jonck (second week). According to Anna’s 10 commands on art criticism we started the analysis of each participants (from Slovenia, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom) pre-sent texts - approximating the goal  (a good critique) from different directions. Probably none of us got in his life as many of feedback on his work as during those days. Than we continued with a discussion of a new articles that based on Varinia Canto Villa’s choreography (During beginning ending), and an interview. I liked the way how Anna really focused on a writer. She encouraged us to find our own voices but without forgetting the “10 commands”. Though upon these experiencing argumentations I truly feel the differences in criticism between “East” (stronger personal voice, more direct language) and “West”(very emphatic and understanding), I appreciate her stable statements. She was full of energy all the time.


Peter supposed to follow different method. “Forget theory” – he said in introduction. The exercise he recommended to us demanded a strict notion of the observer. We had to describe the performances we had seen from moment to moment. We realized how different pieces we had seen. Than we had to choose between two performances (Big girls do big things and How to spell a piece) to write a descriptive critic about. Just as with Anna, later we discussed these texts. It is pity that his questions – “what is art?”, “what is this festival about?” – was not answered because we went far away from this topic talking only about responsibility of the critic but never about the responsibility of the artists. Pity, because somehow that is the question what critic asks from time to time. Peter’s workshop was not concentrated enough, not focused enough on us, and he did not make any effort on the last day after jury’s decision to sit down with us and explain about the issue.

I think in the future would be useful to start the workshop-section with shared information about the dance-life of the participating countries, about tendencies because without it that is more than obvious that we will be on totally different “platform” what is dance, what is art nowadays, what is the real roll of a critic.


So, as a “critic” – but let’s say someone who loves dance and write about it – I put into my pocket a very serious and important point: be even more respectful and better observer than before but in the same time – visiting all the performances of Working Title Festival – I also realized that to be a critic should be a moral action (taken seriously), critic has to work as a true mirror of artists and art itself (though I strongly avoid pathos…).


Working Title Festival:


It was interesting to see young artists on their present level – though not all of them where so “young”. On the field of “alternative” dance- and theater we had seen very different qualities but a very slight segment of the total picture. That would be simple impossible to definite was the criteria of the selection and to give a statement this festival is about “what”.( – But about the festival I will write a more detailed article…) My very strong impression is that now kind of conceptualism is the “mainstream” on this level, and – though finally the first prize was given for a real dance-piece, and a second prize to a dancer and a skillful actor – the tendency is: that “philosophy, theory, brain” is highly appreciated. (Actually, this festival was not just a “dance-festival”.)


The website, working together on a critical network:


For me the structure of the website is totally confusing. It is a nice idea to share all the information about our present projects but the site should be somehow much clearer. For me that also a question how this network could work financially. (first edition law in our country, copyright, honor…) But I feel that it is necessary to keep together the group of these young critics, writers, otherwise we are just turning around and around in our same circle in our country without having a real view what is happening on the other side of the globe both in critic and performing art.

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