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THIS IS NOT A LOVE SONG | Choreography Ivgi & Greben | premiere 28th June 2014

Choreography: Ivgi & Greben,
Choreographers assistant: Anna Piotrowska,
Dancers: Alena Lezhava, Sonia Zini, Elisa Teodori, Katarzyna Ustowska, Łukasz Przytarski, Jin Hwan Seok, Oleg Stepanov, Aleksei Torgunakov,
Costumes: Ivgi & Greben,
Music: Ari Rosenzweig, Arvo Pärt,
Duration: 65 minutes (without any intermition)

„This Is Not a Love Song” was created for the Provincial Dances Theatre in Yekaterinburg, Russia as part of the big project called INTRADANCE. „This Is Not a Love Song” was received with great enthusiasm by the audience and presse during the Intradance Festival in 2010. On 15 April 2011 Ivgi&Greben received the Golden Mask Award in Moscow in the category Best Choreographer in Ballet/ Contemporary Dance for „This Is Not a Love Song”. This piece was created for the Provincial Dances Theatre in Yekaterinburg for the Intradance Festival 2010 in Moscow. The Golden Mask Award is the most prestigious theatre award in Russia.

Before starting our creation we hardly knew anything about Russia, the life and about its contemporary dance. Of course we knew about history but we could only try to imagine how it is to live in an ex-communistic country. The new generation raised by a generation who were born and had grown up under a strong communistic regime. Our thoughs of imagination and soon after meeting and talking with the company became the bases of „This Is Not a Love Song”.

„This Is Not a Love Song” moves through 3 sections which are being explained best by strong keywords. These words, as a result of a big story in our creative minds were the stones we started to build our piece on:
Fear, Stress, Trauma, Obsession and Paranoia Liberation
Individuality and Intimacy 
Although Russia was our 1st inspiration, „This Is Not a Love Song” is not about Russia. It was just our starting point for a journey of situations and emotions which are very universal and which each one of us can identify with.

INTRADANCE – a large-scale project in the area of contemporary dance. In May 2009, as the result of a competition 7 European choreographers and 7 Russian dance companies  had been chosen to collaborate and create a contemporary dance production. More than 101 choreographers from 18 EU countries and 33 Russian dance companies from 11 Russian cities took part in the competition. In May, 2010 in Moscow all the 7 co-productions came together in the Intradance Festival.

INTRADANCE was organised within the framework of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) by the Centre Culturel Français, the German Goethe-Institut, the British Council, the Portuguese Instituto Camoĕs and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.

From 1990 - 1997 Uri Ivgi danced with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel; from 1985 - 1995 Johan Greben danced with the Dutch National Ballet. Hereafter they both started individually a successful career as choreographer. In 1998 Ivgi won the award as Upcoming Choregraphic Talent from the Ministry of Culture in Israel. Greben received the Encouragement Award Choreography from the Amsterdam Foundations of the Arts 1989 for his first choreography. They also won different awards during several choreography competitions.

Their first collaboration took place in 2003 with a new version of Carmen by invitation of the Szeged Contemporary Ballet from Hungary. Carmen was received with great succes on several international festivals.

Since 2003 Ivgi&Greben created new works for Ballett am Rhein, DE; Dansgroep Amsterdam and Introdans, NL; It dansa, ES; Modern Dance Turkey; National Theatre Ballet, CZ; Provincial Dances Theatre, RU; Scottish Dance Theatre, GB; Skânes Dansteater and Norrdans, SE; Scapino Ballet, NL and Tanzkompanie Theater St. Gallen, CH.

In 2011, Ivgi&Greben won The Golden Mask Award in Moscow in the category Best Choreographer-Ballet/Contemporary Dance. They received this most important Theatre Prize in Russia for This Is Not a Love Song, which they created for the Provincial Dances Theater in Yekaterinburg, Russia. The work of Ivgi&Greben is often described as passionate, theatrical and very physical. The images they create, make a lasting impression.

Ivgi&Greben present their ideas and thoughts through an imaginative body vocabulary combined with poetic images which build and break, and touch and confront. They consider their work to be a mirror for their audience as well as themselves and so invite the audience to search for a personal reflection of reality. Using themes such as oppression, tension between individuals and groups, longing for freedom and love, and sexuality and acceptance, Ivgi &Greben create a visual world blending movement, music, light and costumes into an esthetic of their own. By breaking boundaries and using intense physicality, their choreography achieves a tapestry representing control, power, strength and endurance interwoven with moments of softness, intimacy and tenderness.

“(...) Noises can be heard in the loudspeakers and all of a sudden the atmosphere changes radically. A sensation of anxiety. There is tension in the air. (...) Fast pace, the music increases, which augments the anxiety. Multiplied sounds of the artists’ steps and rhythmic handclaps sound like strong open-handed slaps straight in the face. The sound of a bell disciplines the group of dancers – for the spectator it is a sign that the spectacle enters the second (...) spectacular phase. The scene changes into a dance training ground (...). The visions constructed in front of the spectator are very refined (...). Not only the artistic part and suggestive imaging deserve words of appreciation, but above all the easiness with which the choreographers move from one thematic block to another: intimacy and individuality evolves into fear or obsessive anxiety, which in turn disappear giving way to the matter of liberation. (...) Yes, “This Is Not a Love Song” is not a song about love – it is a song for the tough ones. Alternatively interesting, with a wise text, and well arranged (...).”.

4th July, 2014, Magdalena Tarnowska, www.teatralny.pl
Link to the source: http://teatralny.pl/recenzje/to-jest-piosenka-dla-wytrzymalych,605.html

”(...) The spectacle is full of moments of tension. The initial solo choreographies are gradually replaced by duets and group choreographies. The pace and the relations between the dancers change. They begin to cooperate, united by a common cause. (...) The duets change – from this complicated rotation questions on the sense of seeking acceptation and the quality of gained attention emerge. The subject of untypical relations with the others and with oneself develops in the spectacle’s subsequent fragments, it evolves unexpectedly, and assumes new meanings. (...) An interesting endeavour that was used in the choreography is the introduction of a folk song, which is sung solo at first and with time in a choir. (...) The ”live” song, a cappella, united with motion, gives a one-of-a-kind effect, real and true in its manifestation. The spectacle
designed by an Israeli-Dutch duo is a very untypical proposal, which focuses on many subjects and thus it is quite incoherent. This, however, is not a disadvantage. The variety of the presented choreographies and a specific alternativeness of the music do not let you forget about this performance and they create a broad field for interpretation.”.

8th July, 2014, Ramona Śmieszek, Tomasz Watras, www.rozswietlamykulture.pl
Link to the source: http://www.rozswietlamykulture.pl/reflektor/2014/07/08/this-is-not-a-song-