Oriente Occidente

Augusth 30th - September 10th

What is it in the DNA of the Oriente Occidente Festival that has kept it on the world scene of contemporary and international dance for thirtyseven years?
Undoubtedly there is the relationship between two distant worlds that are constantly getting closer in this global era, while maintaining their very own diverse sense of tradition and their own particular concept of time. The impressive relaunching by the Chinese premier Xi Jinping of the Silk Road, prefigured by Marco Polo, certainly bears witness to this.
But there is more: the eclecticism of the Festival which, right from its very beginnings, burrowed deeply into the crevices of contemporary society to
reveal the multicultural nature of artistic language and choreogaphy, from the most abstract to the most theatrical, while still keeping firmly in mind the
principle that meaningful ideas can be expressed through the body.
Research into the new has always been at the forefront, too, as the Festival has looked ahead, convinced that the way forward is in recognizing and encouraging the talent of future artists. In a city like Rovereto, with its strong cultural identity, and now home to Mart a museum of modern and contemporary art of international renown, the relationship with other creative arts is yet another added value.
And last but not least, our undying conviction that dance is for everyone; in the heartfelt cry of encouragement of Pina Bausch,“ Let’s dance, let’s dance, or else we’re lost “
And thirty six editions later, Oriente Occidente’s DNA has not mutated, its values not changed, though content and shows are subject to constant
innovation. So once again, the festival is back in Rovereto, Trentino from August 30 to September 10 for the 2017 edition.

To begin with, the Festival is particularly interested in the theme of inclusivity and thanks to a European funded scheme, with partners from the UK, Sweden, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland and Italy, represented by Rovereto, a whole series of special dance training programmes has been launched. For over a year now the Festival has been involved in the creation of innovative training courses and the organisation of performances for disabled and nondisabled dancers. So, in this 2017 edition, Candoco Dance Company could not fail to be present. A pioneering dance company and world leader for its vision of professional inclusivity, Candoco has for many years challenged perceptions of ability by presenting all manner of high quality dance from a vast repertoire. An emblematic choice is the restaging of Trisha Brown’s Set and Reset this year, (the year of her death), a post-modern masterpiece that Candoco performs adhering to the same set of instructions that Brown gave to her company in 1983. The second work in the double bill is a première performance, newly created for them by the Israeli choreographer Yasmeen Godder. Michela Lucenti’s creation Bad Lambs for Balletto Civile (coproduced with the Festival) also centres on the idea of inclusivity. The work is a journey in the present, in the words of the choreographer “to unite different bodies to find the necessary harmony”.
The relationship between dance and the visual arts makes an appearance in two projects this year: the French artists Héla Fattoumi and Éric Lamoureux have taken Hans Arp’s Entité ailée as an inspiration for their piece Oscyl Variations to redefine the relationship with otherness – seven biomorphic sculptures enter into a dialogue with seven flesh and blood dancers. Pietro Marullo, an eclectic builder of visions, has created a performance where a fluctuating “soft sculpture” tells the story of shipwrecks. Set in the futuristic space of the Mart museum’s courtyard designed by architect Mario Botta, Wreck, co-produced with the Festival, will celebrate its world première here. The museum is also the venue for Salvo Lombardo’s itinerant and interactive “library”, where visitors are involved in the collection of signs, gestures, words and sounds.
And from the East, two performances: Beyond Time, another national première at the Festival, sees the perfect synthesis of sound and movement when the celebrated company U-Theatre meets the rhythm of the great drums of Taiwan. The Tibetan choreographer Sang Jijia, who works in China, has fused the dance styles of East and West in Pa/ Ethos performed by the most Italian of companies Spellbound Contemporary Ballet.
At the heart of the Festival some great names from the world of dance appear with their meaningful creations. Angelin Preljocaj’s latest production
La Fresque is a performance inspired by a Chinese tale, so the eastern tie is once strengthened.
Abou Lagraa is back at the Festival with his world première Wonderful one – a celebration of “the wonders within each and every human being”.
Catherine Berbessou in Tu, el cielo y tu, a national première, reveals the network of loving feelings that underlie everyday life in a contemporary
revisitation of Argentinian tango. VeRo by Brazilian artist Deborah Colker, an european première, celebrates the beauty and energy of acrobatic choreography while the great dancing myth Lutz Förster performs the passionate tale of his career with and around Pina Bausch in Dance Stories.
In contrast to the great names of the dance world present this year at the Festival, there are some special events born of the CID Cantieri, Oriente Occidente’s creative spin-off, and the productive support given to certain artists who are now “associates” of the Festival. Promising young talents like Tommaso Monza with the Nutcraker Suite, Francesca Penzo with Vanitas, Manolo Perazzi with Crossover, Pietro Marullo with Wreck, Collettivo Piratejenny with Cheerleaders, Irene Russolillo with The Speech and Wave and Salvo Lombardo with Present Continuous are all ready to present their creations to the public.
To entice those who have never once set foot in a theatre to watch a contemporary dance performance, Oriente Occidente is going out on the streets this time, to take “dancing” possession of Rovereto’s most attractive urban spaces. Angelin Preljocaj’s best choreographies will be here in a never-before seen outdoor version with the contemporary circus / contact improvisation of the French group (Rêve)2 and vertical dance (but on points) of the Catalan group Delrevés.
Something totally new this year in the huge and significant outdoor space provided by the Manifattura Tabacchi of Rovereto (the old tobacco factory) is a show-cum-talk held by the scientific speaker Mario Tozzi with an exciting technomultimedia backing, dedicated to the mega reconversion project of Rovereto’s disused tobacco factory, in collaboration with Trentino Sviluppo, in the spirit of a green economy and sustainable innovations.
And lastly, organised together with Montura Editing, a whole range of workshops, performances and talks covering topics inspired by the contents and ethos of the Festival.

Paolo Baldessari

Artistic directors
Lanfranco Cis and Paolo Manfrini