7th Annual Black Box International Theatre and Dance Festival 2013

The 7th annual Black Box International Theatre and Dance Festival was held May 30 to June 8, 2013, in Plovdiv. The nine-day festival featured 13 Bulgarian and international works in the fields of physical theatre and contemporary dance and performance. For the first time, four separate days in the festival program were devoted exclusively to contemporary dance and performance. The festival’s partners include the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, Municipality of Plovdiv, Embassy of Israel, Austrian Embassy, Goethe Institute, Polish Cultural Institute – Sofia, Embassy of Belgium, Plovdiv Drama Theatre, and Trakart Cultural Centre.


SHOWS 2013


Оfficial Opening

May 30 (Thursday)

Two of Us

Passe-Partout D.P. Theatre Company – Romania

Chamber Hall – Plovdiv Drama Theatre, 7 p.m.

Awards: Romanian Cultural Television Award 2012 – The Theatre Vérité, Grand Prix for Best Performance 2011 – International Theatre Festival, Omsk, Russia, Gold Medal, Belgrade 2010 – International Festival of Drama and Pantomime

The Passe-Partout D.P. Theatre Company is acclaimed for its mix of humour, drama, and improvisation.

Two of Us is a classic “love story” full of sensitivity and expressivity. The play’s universal language of theatrical communication (no translation required) is determined by the freedom with which the two actors use alternate forms of performing arts (acting, classical and behavioral pantomime, traditional dance, tap dance, tango, flamenco, ballet, contemporary dance, martial arts) as vehicles to convey ideas, experiences, and sensations. The images and symbols thus created have a special force that evokes unique emotions. Two of Us has been performed in Thrissur (India), Lisbon (Portugal), Omsk (Russia), Imatra (Finland), Frankfurt (Germany), Belgrade (Serbia), Skopje (Macedonia), Budapest (Hungary); Brest (Belarus), Warsaw (Poland); Madrid (Spain); Vienna (Austria); and Prague (Czech Republic).

“It was fantastic, something unusual. The blend of pantomime, images, music, history and philosophy makes this performance a masterpiece with a form unseen until now.” – Sylvia Rotter, Director, Wiener Kinder Theatre

“The actors have managed to tell a compelling poetic parable on the eternal topic of love, using their movements, skill, and delicate lyrical expressions. Both actors have shown exceptional skill in demonstrating scenic illusion.” – 2010 International Festival of Drama and Pantomime, Belgrade Jury

Directed by: Ana Pepine and Paul Cimpoieru

Actors: Ana Pepine and Paul Cimpoieru

Choreography: Lelia Marcu


May 31 (Friday)

Program – Contemporary Dance and Performance – Part I

Mi arma – Solo by Laila Tafur – Spain

Chamber Hall – Plovdiv Drama Theatre, 7 p.m.

Laila Tafur graduated in choreography and dance techniques from the Institut del Teatre Barcelona, was an exchange student at Escola Superios de Dansa de Lisboa, and studied flamenco with Teresa Roja in Ibiza as well as classical ballet with the Royal Academy of Dance in Granada.

Laila was recently named best performer at the Masdanza international solo contest with the piece Mi arma, where she explores the fringes of flamenco. The past few years have seen her focus on reinterpreting flamenco, resulting in the works Camarón vs M Jackson and Martinete y Caballería, which she’s performed at flamenco and contemporary dance festivals such as Dies de Dansa in Barcelona, Cádiz en Danza, and Mes de la Danza in Seville. Mi arma is a crossroads where flamenco meets the West from a contemporary perspective.


Adi el-Rabi – Duet Dance by Orly Portal and Shlomit Yossef – Israel

photographer Eyal Hircsh©

Choreographer Orly Portal graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, going on to dance in the Israeli “Kol Udmama” (Sound and Silence) Troupe and “Batsheva” Ensemble. She’s a member of the Israeli Choreographers Association and a senior member of the Israeli Contact Committee. Orly is the founder and choreographer of the successful, critically acclaimed Orly Portal Dance Company, which has performed throughout Israel since its creation two years ago. Orly has developed a unique method combining contemporary dance and belly dance techniques.

Adi el-Rabi is a duet for two women who dance to the song of the legendary Egyptian singer and Oud player, Farid el-Atrash.

Two women dance for love and longing. They use their bodies to express their desire to connect with sensuality and yearning for the loved one who’s gone. The duet’s language of movement is the product of an ongoing process in which Orly Portal researches and combines different forms of traditional and contemporary dance, including contact improvisation, Feldenkrais, belly dancing, and Sufi dancing.

All blend together into a new form of expression in modern dance, which seeks natural organic movement.

Choreographer: Orly Portal

Dancers: Shlomit Yossef, Orly Portal

Music: Farid el Atrash

This guest performance is supported by the Embassy of Israel in Bulgaria


June 1 (Saturday)

Program – Contemporary Dance and Performance – Part II

Plant B – Transitheart Productions – Germany

photographer Fivos Salahas©

Trakart Cultural Centre in the Archeological Underpass, 7 p.m.

Plant B explores the relationship between two women, unfolding in an utterly dramatic, serious, tragic and unexpected way. In 2012, Ilona Roth won the Spoleto Open Award for her pieces Plant B and The Hype.

Ilona Roth is trained in musical theatre, voice and contemporary dance, and works as a choreographer, director, performing artist, dance and dance/theatre improvisation instructor and actress. Her art studies have taken her to a variety of places, including Germany, Austria and the US, and she has attended workshops in such countries as Serbia, Egypt, Italy and Russia in the fields of theatre, voice and dance. She is co-founder (with Emmanuelle Vinh) and leader of the RedSapata cultural initiative, which has now grown into a major gathering point for local and international dancers.

She is also a co-founder (with Tanja Brandmayr) of the Schauacker Feat Company. Her highly successful piece De_Forma (2006) was re-developed in 2011 for the Deep Space in the Ars Electronica Centre, one of the world’s most renowned museums for technological art. She is a member of the Babylon international theatre troupe, which has produced two theatre pieces so far, supported by the National Theatre of Scotland and the Creative Forum (Alexandria, Egypt).

Performers: Anna Majder, Marina Mazaraki

Concept/Director: Ilona Roth

Music: Manuel Mitterhuber and Bernhard Hochtel

This guest performance is supported by the Goethe-Institut Bulgaria


Play.Back.Again.Then. – Ji-Eun Lee – UK/Korea

Ji-Eun Lee won two first prize awards from the most prestigious dance competitions organized by the Korean Dance Association and National Dance Competition.

Lee was selected for a scholarship to study choreography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She is also a winner of the International Art Expo in Venice, and has been commissioned to choreograph for the Czech Chamber Ballet.

Ji-Eun Lee has performed internationally in such countries as the US, UK, Japan, Italy, Indonesia, Turkey, Ireland, Germany, Romania, Estonia, Mexico, Argentina, Poland, and Czech Republic.




June 3 (Monday)

Program – Contemporary Dance and Performance – Part III

Souvenir – Solo by Julia Danzinger – Austria

photographer Anja Köhler©

Trakart Cultural Centre in the Archeological Underpass, 7 p.m.

Souvenir is a choreographic journey into the fatality of the forgotten and the remembered, using Jacques Prévert’s poem Blood and Feathers as its starting point.

Julia Danzinger was born and raised in Vienna, Austria. She took professional contemporary dance training and master classes primarily in Vienna and Paris (2006–2009), including at the Centre National de la danse, Ménagerie de Verre and Micadanses (Paris); the Centre de Developpement Choregraphique Roubaix/Danse (Lille); and the Tanzquartier Wien (Vienna).

She took part in the Impulstanzfestival from 2007 to 2012, and has toured Austria, France, Germany and Sweden. Since 2010, she has been teaching contemporary dance in Vienna.

Residencies / research projects: 2011 Artist in Residence at Tanz*Hotel Vienna; 2012 Residency at FAR- Festival for art as research, Ottersberg/Germany; 2012 Residency Im_flieger CHANGING SPACES national in cooperation with NetzwerkTanz Voralberg in Dornbirn; 2012 Impulstanz Choreographers’ Ventures with Claudia Bosse, Vienna; 2013 Current Residence “Werkstück” at Tanzquartier Wien.

Music: Deadbeat – “Texas Tea”

This guest performance is supported by the Austrian Embassy in Bulgaria

Supported by a residency Im_flieger CHANGING SPACES national (in cooperation with NETZWERKTANZ Vorarlberg) Austria, 2012 and Salon Emmer.


About Me and a Bit about You – Solo by Liwia Bargieł – Poland

The piece is a dance monologue filled with gentle gestures suggesting an intimate journey through the emotional memories of a romantic relationship. The audience witnesses a personal, subjective and one-sided account of a past love affair between two people. The performer attempts to come to terms with these memories and vivid emotions. The piece was prepared as part of the “residency/premiere” program held by Klub Żak in Gdańsk, Poland.

Liwia Bargieł graduated from the Laban Centre in 2010. During her studies, she performed pieces choreographed by Gary Lambert, Tom Dale, Tom Roden, and others. After graduating, she performed with the Warsaw Dance Theatre .She also founded the Mala Duet group with Magda Grabowska. Her choreographies have been shown at festivals such as Go, go dance!, Re:wizje, FAMA, Galeria Turbo at Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Warsaw Dance Scene, Gdańsk Dance Festival, and Dimanche Rouge. Recently, she has been collaborating with Waldemar Raźniak and students of the Warsaw Acting Academy to choreograph the physical theatre piece Ce formidable bordel.

This guest performance is supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in Bulgaria


June 5 (Wednesday)

Program – Contemporary Dance and Performance – Part IV

Second Hand Landscapes – Legitimate Bodies Dance Company – Ireland

Chamber Hall – Plovdiv Drama Theatre, 7 p.m.

Second Hand Landscapes is inspired by life in the Irish Midlands. The latest piece by Legitimate Bodies Dance Company, Second Hand Landscapes, is athletic yet emotional, powerful yet intimate, courageous yet accessible. Performed by three incredibly talented dancers, Second Hand Landscape is a visually inspiring and atmospheric dance work, where movement, music, text, video and a simple but stunning set created by internationally renowned artist Therry Rudin come together to create a portrait of life in rural Ireland. In 2012, the company received the prestigious Project Award from The Arts Council of Ireland and created Second Hand Landscapes.

With the support of Offaly County Council and The Arts Council, the company created a momentum for contemporary dance in the Midlands. Since its establishment, LBDC has toured to various venues in Ireland and around the world, like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Aerowaves Dance Festival at The Robin Howard Theatre London, Dance House Limassol, Auditorium Theatre, Rome, Tanec Praha Festival, as well as the European Parliament in Brussels.

Choreographers: Cristina Goletti and Nick Bryson


Zona de arribo – Solo by Nidia Barbieri – Argentina/Italy

Zona de arribo is a choreographic work created in 2011. The idea for this piece started with the question “How do I use this space?” The choreographer conducted a physical exploration into this and other questions about the creativity, language of movement and interpretation of the contemporary dancer. The piece was presented at the Festival Puentes in Brussels, Belgium (2013); Caffe Berg´Art, Brussels, Belgium (2011); II Encuentro Platense de Investigadores/as en Danza y Performance, La Plata, Argentina (2011); and Platform “La Plata Arde” TACEC (Centro Experimental Teatro Argentino) (2011).

Nidia Barbieri was born in Argentina and has lived in Brussels since 2011. Her principal language of expression is contemporary dance. She was a guest dancer at the Solo Conversations Dance Collective (2012 Festival des Arts Forains in Namur, Belgium).

Performer: Nidia Martínez Barbieri

Assistants: Lourdes de Santis, Julieta Ronchetti

Artistic collaboration: Guillermina Andrade

Music: Andrés Felli. Clarinete: Tomás Meyer

Photography and Costumes: Agustina Bianchi

Lights: Christian Gadea

Design: Carolina Chiarella

Video: Clase B Producciones

Supervision: Florencia Olivieri

Idea & creation: N.M.B."

Artistic assistance and external view for The Black Box Festival: Agostina D'Alessandro


Svarta Rosor – Sacred Places – Belgium

Foto: SacredPlaces©

NDIVIduo “Svarta Rosor”

Yentl de Werdt has danced all her life, and Mieke Segers loves Sibelius, Berlioz and Rachmaninov. Together they go in search of a harmonious presentation where movement and tone turn into a story. Svarta Rosor is a performance full of contemporary dance and classical singing.

Sacred Places is an arts organization under the direction of Ben. De Keyser. Sacred Places devises original concepts and operates small and large multidisciplinary projects. It has built a reputation for original and special initiatives, multicultural combinations, original locations, and innovative concepts.

Choreography: Yentl de Werdt, Mieke Segers and Ben. De Keyser.

Performers: Mieke Segers (voice) and Yentl de Werdt (dance)

This performance is sponsored by Sacred Places vzw. Belgium

This guest performance is supported by the Belgian Embassy in Bulgaria.


June 6 (Thursday)

Ego – Theatre “Hand” – Bulgaria

Program - Plovdiv in Focus

Hand Theatre Hall, 7 p.m.

Ego is a puppet show where the performer works mainly with his hands – bare hands, shadows, and ultraviolet. Hands are human beings’ most visible means of expression. That’s why the performer uses them to convey the show’s message to everyone, regardless of age, gender, nationality or religion. The show is made up of several smaller pieces. Each has a different theme, but with the same idea – a little kindness and love are enough to resolve any conflict, before it degenerates into insults and violence.

Director: Ivo Ignatov-Kenny

Music: Ivan Kavrakov

Arrangement: Peter Stoyanov


GLASS by Elena Aleksieva

Monodrama Performed by Ivana Papazova

Program – Plovdiv in Focus

Chamber Hall – Plovdiv Drama Theatre, 7 p.m.

Is she to sing or remain forever silent? A great opera singer is born of another one’s shadow. Or is it that the original herself is now the shadow, the reflection? Does life end where art has ended, or does it mercilessly go on? The understudy or the original? Victoria Glass or Maria Callas? Having mastered her role to perfection, the understudy knows how to play the prima donna performing her repertoire. But will she finally succumb to the temptation to come onto the stage and do it for the first and last time in her life?

GLASS tells the story of a life in the shadow of art and one of its greatest icons, Maria Callas. It looks at the underside of glory and fame, at the pain and the triumph of those whom art robs of everything and gives nothing in return.

directed by Kalin Angelov

scenography by Teodora Lazarova

consultant: Docent Lilia Ilieva


June 8 (Saturday)

The Road/Trail – Duende Dance Studio – Bulgaria

Program – Plovdiv in Focus

Chamber Hall – Plovdiv Drama Theatre, 6 p.m.

The Road/Trail is a story about the inevitable path that we travel through life. But despite the apparent sketchiness of that path, our energy is different, being as colourful and diverse the trail we leave behind.

After founding a dance studio, the Duende troupe participated in dance projects staged as part of Plovdiv’s Museums and Galleries Nights, in performances at Resonance Gallery, and in concerts put on by the Plovdiv Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts.

The Road/Trail is the first choreographic production by Ivaylo Ivanov and Elena Zdravkova.

Performers: Maria Dimitrova, Jelyo Diakov, Stanislava Gadeleva, Boryana Tengulova, Maria Angelova, Petya Ivanova, Vanessa Dimitrova, Ivaylo Ivanov and Elena Zdravkova

Art Director: Natasha Kyupova

Narrator: Todor Georgiev


Official Closing

June 8 (Saturday)

Gagarin’s Daughters

Mobil Teatr Lab – Hungary

Chamber Hall – Plovdiv Drama Theatre, 8 p.m.

Gagarin’s Daughters is based on an image of three old ladies sitting around a table, which is actually a white sheet where they pretend to eat their way through a special menu. The appearance of these grotesque characters with strange faces and voices, repetitive sentences and stylized movements makes up one part of the piece. In the second part, each woman reveals her own story; it turns out that the three sisters happened to fall in love with the same man until he turned them against each other and disappeared.

Mobil Teatr Labor is a physical theatre ensemble that draws on the theatrical language of Jacques Lecoq in the creative process. The body is the basis for creation, which relates to the dynamic of space, story, rhythm and, of course, movement. The performers try to walk a thin line between the grotesque and poetic storytelling, using objects, visual effects, shadow puppetry, puppetry and live music.

Performers: Szofi Berki, Agnes Domonkos, Aniko Kalman

Light Visuals: Mykola Bondarchuk

Music: Gábor Botond Barna

Artistic Leader: Agnes Domonkos