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norma 2016

The second year of the Norma festival will again offer two days of international contemporary drama and motion theatre with accent on visual art. The individual performance days of the festival should be viewed as wholes; ideally, the viewers will see the complete programme, not just selected projects.

The first day will open with Excavatory Ballet, a project by conceptual Polish motion performer Iza Szostak inspired by the work of Oskar Schlemer, a leading exponent of Bauhaus. With excavators and sand, Szostak will create an original motion installation in the monumental space of Trojhalí.

The performance will be followed by the Skugga Baldur international project of Studio Hrdinů in the building of the former Bauhaus store reopened after several years. Skugga Baldur is a play based on the novel by the leading Icelandic author Sjón. Directed by Kamila Polívková, its only protagonist is Tereza Hofová. The play lays emphasis on a minimalist visual aspect and links two different traditions: the Czech theatre and Icelandic storytelling and mythology.

The first day will close with an energizing variation on the Korean Bokko dance, somewhat bizarre in the European context. The playful performance by Karl van Laere and Vanja Rukavina is loosely inspired by Asian pop culture.  Performed by Belgian dancers, it will make an ideal start for a joint evening party. The performance will turn into a DJ set followed by an afterparty hosted by Harakiri Break Brothers and Floex.

The first two projects of the second day, visual-minimalist performances, took shape in the course of this year. The project inspired by Milan Grygar’s acoustic drawings was prepared by an experienced team of performers from the CreWcollective circle, whose handwriting is informed by the contemporary Dutch motion scene.

One of the concepts of the Norma festival is to approach a visual artist who would create their own project for the festival. Dominik Gajarský predominantly works with the photography and film media and other audiovisual techniques; however, his projects typically involve strong ideas. Aesop’s Fables no. 2 derived from the iconic ancient tales is a variation on the theme of his previous work and a loose follow-up to his latest exhibition project Carausius morosus, a comprehensive visual installation examining the multi-layered subject of cultural, social and gender differences and their clashes. The last project of the second year of the Norma festival will be the performance Blau Peru 1979–1980 by the tandem of artists Alexandra Moralesová and Georgij Bagdasarov based on an amateur archive of Super8 films from the 1970s and 1980s. Their “staging” introduces a series of hypotheses concerning the presence of a European on a subcontinent in the second half of the 20th century. Everyday history enables the artists to touch upon historical subjects such as the Second World War, military dictatorships in South America and the clash between the European civilization and other worlds. The festival will close with Georgij Bagdasarov’s DJ set.

For the second time, Norma showcases original projects spanning different genres, projects that came into existence in a region referred to as Central Europe but that have absorbed both the latest trends and age-old traditions from all over the globe.

Jan Horák
Norma festival programme director