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Upon recommendation by the co-organiser 4Culture, Cullberg Ballet invited Carmen Cotofana (RO) dancer/choreographer, Mihaely Dancs (RO) dancer/choreographer, and dramaturg Rui Catalao (PT) for a three weeks residency at Cullberg Ballet’s location in the production house of Riksteatern
(Swedish National Touring Theatre).
Following their arrival in Stockholn, the three artists were invited to a sold-out Cullberg Ballet performance at the Stadsteater of nearby city Uppsala.

During the residency, Cullberg Ballet offered lodging in central apartment hotel, individual local transportation cards, a large studio, morning classes with the company, fitness facilities, technical support, and artistic advice in a creative environment. Cullberg Ballet also covered the travel costs, per diem and the
artists received an individual fee.

For the work in progress presentation of “First Steps” at the end of the residency period, Cullberg Ballet offered a stage with full lighting equipment. Respecting to Riksteatern’s staff, and attended by company dancers, technicians, and the artists wish for a small audience, the presentation was advertised internally
members of Cullberg Ballet’s administration as well.

“First Steps”, premièred on October 9, 2009 in Bucharest within the frame of eXplore dance festival organized by 4Culture, to an audience of 150. The three Romanian artists could benefit enormously from the broad range of offered facilities and infrastructure, provided by Cullberg Ballet. The residency resulted
in a stimulating exchange of artistic points of view and a refreshing input in the regular activity of the company.

*****
feedback report Carmen Cotofana
 
The first week of the residency at Cullberg Ballet, was a period of adaptation. We met the company staff team which welcomed us very warmly. They’ve show us the space facilities, offering us all the necessary support.
We appreciated the invitation to the Cullberg Ballet performance and to Jonathan Burrows’s performance.
 
In the working period we had at our disposal a dance studio that we used 6 days a week, aprox.6 hours/day. In the last week we could use a stage-studio, were we continued working till the end of the residency, when we had a final public presentation of the work in process material.
 
We received encouraging feedbacks that gave us confidence to continue the process proposal research.  
All the logistics (accommodation, travel, fees, program etc.) were very well organized and answered to our artistic needs.
 
The collaboration with the other artists involved in the project was excellent. The residency period offered us the possibility to discover the material which later on was used in the performance, and also offered us the opportunity to be in contact with a new artistic space/environment, in which we had access to all the necessary conditions and support in the creative process.
 
The time and space we had at our disposal gave us the chance to materialize our ideas, to concentrate on the work, having the freedom to test different approaches of the performance concept.

*****
feedback report Mihaela Dancs
 
During the residency in Stockholm, we worked from12.00-20.00, every day excepting Sundays. First week we have been invited to Uppsala for a Cullberg performance. Also in the first week we saw 3 duets by Jonathan Burrows& Matteo Fargion in Weld (Stockholm). We had a meeting in the middle of the residency to establish details concerning our final presentation.
 
In the end of the residency we had an open rehearsal. Being in an early stage of the work we didn't want and we didn't have to show some results to a big audience. The ones that witnessed it, organizers and some of Cullberg's dancers were curious, open and encouraging.
 
We had great accommodation; the transport Bucharest - Stockholm was fastest and shortest. In Stockholm we received subway tickets for the whole period, so it was very easy for us.
We organized our program according to our need, will and interest. We had the working space available for the whole day, and also some facilities: sauna, fitness, internet, morning classes.
 
The work in our team was very interesting, dense and dynamic. We are different people with different backgrounds, different approaches of the work, ready to get involved, absorb, share, and communicate.
 
The generous residency that Cullberg Ballet offered us, it was a good starting point for our artistic process in developing a new dance production. We didn't feel any pressure to present a product in the end of the residency, and this gave us space to dive deep into a certain area of research, that kind of imposed naturally, being influenced by the new context in which we found ourselves, totally different from the one we live or usually work in.
We left Stockholm with fresh luggage, the outcome of the work itself (material that we developed in the next stage of the work), but also of the contact with a new context.
 
Everything that happened in Stockholm was very useful for our piece - the time spent in the working space, the rehearsals, the meetings etc.
The 3 duets of Jonathan Burrows & Matteo Fargion opened my eyes and raised my curiosity towards different approaches of work and performing.
Discovering the city through walking, it was so precious for refreshing my system.
 
*****
feedback report Rui Catalao
 
During the Stockholm residency, generously offered by Cullberg Ballet, we worked between 6-8 hours/day in the studio, 6 days a week. During the week before the presentation we changed for a theater (still in Riksteatern, in the same building of the studio).
Although Riksteatern is a big institution and structure (i counted ten studios and 6 theaters), and we were invited to profit from some of the facilities available to the Cullberg Ballet company, we had a quite and comfortable staying. Anna Grip, the Cullberg company director, together with her team, they were always very graceful and they made the best to let us feel at ease in such a big institution.
We were invited for a Cullberg presentation in Uppsala, the day after we arrived, and I am especially grateful for warning us about a Jonathan Burrows/Matteo Fargion three-piece presentation, in a short venue (Weld, in Stockholm).
 
For our presentation, we were given absolute freedom concerning technical requirements and the way of presentation. In such an early stage of the work, we opted for a less-is-the-best, but that was our decision, since we always had a technician available to provide us with whatever we needed or wanted to change. The same happened with the promotion of the presentation: we preferred not to have an audience, but just a small group of people.
 
The logistics were absolute perfection: we were in an apart-hotel, in the middle of Stockholm; we were given a ticket that would let us travel all over the city and around; there was a "cantina" inside the Riksteatern... Stockholm is an expensive city, but we could also cook, might it be in Riksteatern or in the apart-hotel.
 
Regarding the collaboration with the other artists, this was my forth collaboration with Mihaela and my second with Carmen. That means that I know them and they know me. Stockholm was like a check-up on how much we can push the limits of each others in the working process.
 
For me it was a way of establishing the material concerning the original idea, and also a method of systematic work. I proposed a certain discipline of daily work, and in the end we were confronted with the results.
From previous experiences, I know that is very important to create a reference of work, so that the individual creativity of the performers fights back and also finds its own way. This is not a peaceful process, but in a long turn, so I hope, it will pay off, not only concerning the peace, but also the professional input of each one of us.
 
 

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