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As It Is – Milan Kozánek / Artyci, TRAKT

 

Milan Kozánek graduated from Ján Levoslav Bella Conservatory in Banská Bystrica, and earned a degree in the pedagogy of modern dance from the Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava.

Since the completion of his studies, he has worked as a dance pedagogue, choreographer and expert advisor.

Following more than twenty years of research and teaching at such institutions as SEAD – Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, Tanzquartier Wien, Konservatorium Wien University, Northern School of Contemporary Dance (Leeds), TIP – School for Dance, Improvisation and Performance (Freiburg), or University of Calgary, Kozánek has created his own pedagogical approach and system.

In 1996, he established the Artyci dance company with Zuna Vesan Kozánková. For Artyci, they both created 14 dance works that have been presented in Slovakia and abroad (Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech  Republic, Hungary, Canada, Thailand, China, among others).

Since 2010, he has worked intensively with artists and theatre performers seeking a connection between physical theatre, movement, text, voice and singing.

Milan Kozánek was a member of numerous research theatre projects and collaborated with theatremakers from such artistic groups as Studio Matejka (Poland), Teatr Pieśń Kozła (Poland), Rēs Ratio Network (Greece), Honey and Dust (Slovakia).

In his artistic career so far, he has displayed continuous interest in educating people without any previous experience with movement. He has worked in this field in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

 

Description of his work:

In his choreographic work, Milan Kozánek has been systematically looking for an authentic core of the movement impulse. He exposes and then develops it, reaching the limits of augmented physical possibilities of the performers. The trust he puts in the expression of the body is sufficient even without narrative subtexts and emotional incentives. His themes often include universal questions raised in their most fundamental form. He removes their pathetic tinge and offers a meditation about the meaning of life, essence of the sources of movement impulses, meaning of relationships and quality of life. For Kozánek, the expressive instruments used to present such derived intellectual themes include clear, physical action characteristic for its highly performative level of dance expression. The concepts of Kozánek’s dance projects have a very subtle structure focused on detail. Detail is always the central element of the main theme, the prism through which the author communicates with the audience.

 

As It Is

In this solo performance, the choreographer continues with the movement study about the quest for clean expression of the body without using pre-defined storytelling. The body moves, searching and determining its place, presenting itself as a mediator, offering new changes in meaning, transcending the borders of physicality. The moving architectural construct of the body shown in the introduction is reminiscent of a micro-drama in the infinity and stability of the bridges connecting the fragile points where the performer touches the floor. In the next part of the performance, the stability theme is transformed into a dynamic study. It stirs up the energy of gestures around the vertical axis – a spiralling expansion that gradually takes control over the whole space. The concentrated energy is then distilled into dexterous moves comprising extensions and counterextensions, accumulation and release, pressure and counter pressure, auto-semantic and syn-semantic gestures. Towards the end, this performance becomes a play with reality, honesty, possibility of being. When creating the dramaturgical structure, Kozánek has abstracted the principal elements of individual themes, leaving them in their visceral authentic shape. It is only the sequencing of the elements that defines stage style. A compact, abstract theme is unexpectedly relieved by humorous detail of the action, bringing refreshing bubbles of absurdity into the definition of reality.

 

Premiere: 10 April 2018, Garden – Centre for Independent Culture
Concept, choreography, visual concept, direction: Milan Kozánek
Co-creator and performer: Evandro Pedroni
Assistant choreographer: Zuna Kozánková
Dramaturgical cooperation: Andrej Kalinka
Light design: Ján Čief
Video: Matúš Druga
Production: Artyci, TRAKT

 

Trailer to the production can be found at this link.
Author: Matúš Druga

 


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