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Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction

Janez Janša: “Procedures in Reconstruction of Pupilija, Papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks

Friday January 18 at 2:30 pm  

Centre Nacional de la Danse, Paris, France


Janez Janša’s lecture at the international conference “Dance and resistance”in Paris between 17th and 20th of January on dance in the 20th century as a form of protest. 

Other participants of “Dance and resistance” conference are: Catherine Soussloff, John Perpener, Blondell Cummings, Emilyn Caid, Veronique Fabbri, Boyan Manchev, Jens Richard Giersdorf, Mark Franko, Mattia Scarpula, Mylene Sauloy, Helene Marquie, Genevieve Vincent, Marina Nerdera, Okwui Okpokwasili, Martha Rosler and Cecile Proust.

"Radical body expression, dissident postures, ideological injunctions… Throughout the 20th century, dance has often been conveyed in the form of protests. How have choreographers, with their stances and their art, striven to resist? What are they objecting to?"

Many artists involved in social and political movements have insisted that art has a cause, through their commitment to the workers’ movement, to condemnations of racial and social segregation, to feminist campaigns, to denouncing sexual discrimination, to opposing totalitarian regimes, etc.

Their activism went hand in hand with historical upheavals that shook the century. This results in a wide range of dance works, with each work adopting the aesthetic values and the forms of involvement that were typical of their specific era and their intended objectives. Most often, these works are seen through the prism of their commitment to a cause, and their status as works of art is debated. However, while some dancers portray violence or inequality in their work in order to make them more palpable to the public, others, far from using forms of depiction which may be considered simplistic, offend the very systems of representation.

"By confronting the discourse of artists and theorists from all over the world, the symposium questions the criteria for the aesthetic assessment of activist choreographies. After all, isn’t resistance a form of creation?" (Claire Rousier, Director of the Department for Development of Choreographic Culture of the CND.)

Janez Jansa about Pupilija:

“Created in 1969, Pupilija introduced interdisciplinary devices into slovene performative practices, and gave up the imperative of body and dancing techniques. It is political primarily in its resistance to authority, rather than in its direct political protest, as it subverts external (state, nation, etc.) and internal (theatre, aestetics) authorities. Its reconstruction in 2006, examines the embodiment of historic event into the present time, when resistance and experiment are forced out to the margins of the social and cultural milieu. Emphasis is thus on the performativity as well as on its contextualization and re-textualization. The performance features conversations and interventions by the original cast and also reproductions of the responses to those. It stresses the procedures used in the original performance, with a focus on openness and non-formality. The performance attempts to lay open the introduction of contemporary dance, which struggled through experimental performing forms. The reconstruction re-actualizes also the question of collectives, circles and 'the scene' in our neo-liberal capitalist societies.”