“Entropy of words”, “Faust: A Court Trial for the Soul” and “Before the end… (of the world)“ are artistic challenges which we issue to you, projects which you can take part in and create. Let us tell you a bit about them:
The project “Before the end… (of the world)” of the Brain Store Project Foundation, Iva Sveshtarova, Wili Prager, in collaboration with the Croatian dramaturg Ivana Ivković, the composer Emilian Gacov-Elbi will explore the apocalyptic culture from different viewpoints. Will there be an end of the world? And what would this end be like? The team will explore the topic, using different narratives, visual examples and interpretations of the topic of popular culture and will look at the ways in which the apocalypse is being presented as a projected event. What will be sought in the work process is how would an apocalyptic body look, its emotions, mass psychosis for destruction, as well as the other side of this scary picture – the scale of an event like this and the fascination of those delighted by the interpretations of the end of the world.
The word apocalypse comes from the Greek word “apocalupsis”, which means “revelation”. Meaning “unveiling” or “exposure”, the term has obvious biblical connotations relating to the biblical “revelation for the future, given to St. John”. The meaning of the word apocalypse, however, even in the biblical sense is closely related to destruction and transformation of the physical world. This exact motive to obliterate and transform will be the focus of the project work.
During the workshops, participants will be introduced to the project topic, using different narratives, visual examples and interpretations of the topic from popular culture. During the first session we will introduce the creative team and provide an introduction to the topic. We will discuss what we imagine the moment “before the end…” would look like. We’ll explore how would an apocalyptic body look, its emotions, mass psychosis for destruction, as well as the other side of this scary picture. During the next workshops participants will be able to propose different materials that correspond to the topic – be it a poem, a story, a verse, a visual representation, or a physical gesture. The proposals will be discussed with the group and later incorporated into specific directions for the creative team. During the last meeting, the team of “Before the end… (of the world)” will showcase the results of their work and share some details about the final piece of work they will be working on.
Willy Prager holds a Master’s degree in Solo, Dance, Authorship from the University of Art in Berlin. He also graduated from the experimental Theatre-Studio 4XC and Synthetic Stage Arts program of University of Plovdiv. He has worked with directors and choreographers such as Galina Borissova, Nikolay Georgiev, David Zambrano, Ivo Dimchev, deufert&plischke, Thomas Lehmen, Dalija Acin, Matej Kejzar, Maren Strack among others. He has authored and co-authored the performances: Museum of Hygiene (2011), Transformability (2012), The Victory Day (2013), Balkan Dance Reality Show (2015), Our Last Pas de Deux (2015), shamebox (2018) together with Iva Sveshtarova National price Ikar 2018 , “Made for happiness” National price Ikar 2019, “A better life ” 2019 “More is less , but sometimes less is nothing “ 2020.
In 2013 he won Prix Jardin d’Europe Award of ImPulsTanz Festival. Willy Prager is among the cofounders of the Balkan dance network Nomad Dance Academy, Brain Store Project Foundation and Antistatic International Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance.
Iva Sveshtarova works in the filed of contemporary dance and performance. She graduated from the experimental Theatre-Studio “4XC” and “Synthetic Stage Arts” at the University of Plovdiv. She recently completed MA programme “Choreography and Performance” at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen, Germany. From 2002 till 2006 she worked as a performer at Acto – Instituto de Arte Dramática, Portugal. In 2006 she was granted a scholarship for DanceWeb. In 2007 she joined the Sofia based formation Brain Store Project in the frame of it she collaborates with Willy Prager. She has worked with directors and choreographers such as a.o. Nikolay Georgiev, Filipe Pereira, Galina Borissova, deufert&plischke, Thomas Lehmen, Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz, Helena Botto, Ani Vaseva, Maren Strack, Ani Dankova a.o. Iva is the author and co-author of more than 10 performances. Her collective performances with Willy Prager (“Made for Happiness” and “shamebox”) have been awarded the ICAR National Award in the category “Contemporary Dance and Performance”.
Iva Sveshtarova is co-founder of the Nomad Dance Academy – Balkan Network for Contemporary Dance and of Antistatic Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance in Sofia.
Ivana Ivković is a dramaturg whose interests lay on the intersections of theater, contemporary dance, new media technologies, sound art, and radiophony. In collaboration with other artists and as a member of Zagreb-based performance collective BADco. she has co-authored a series of artistic projects for the stage, gallery, screen, radio waves and page since 2004 that have been presented internationally, including at the Steirischer Herbst Festival, Berlin’s Volksbühne, the Venice Biennale and Antistatic International Festival. A former editor-in- chief of Frakcija Journal for Performing Arts (2008-2012), she has also published in other publications (Maska, The Drama Review, TkH, Jungle Juice Magazine…). She is a recipient of several fellowships (Akademie Schloss Solitude, CEC ArtsLink) and regularly holds workshops and presents at international festivals, symposia and conferences.
“Entropy of words” is an interdisciplinary project by the graphic designer Teodora Simova and the actor Stephan A. Shtereff. It refers to creating authors’ copies using the blackout poetry technique, in which the written and recorded text receives a new meaning in a new form, using visual and audible elimination. The project develops the idea of irreversibility of the newly created artistic form in the light of the physical property entropy as a measurement of disorder.
During the workshops the team will show participants what blackout creation is. You will be able to discuss with the team the different dimensions of entropy and even create your own blackout interpretations from a common piece of text.
Stephan A. Shtereff is an actor and a producer. He receives his education at, Experimental Theatre Class 4XC, Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski” – Synthetic stage means, University of Novi Sad, Serbia – Body Unlimited – pilot training and research programme.
He is a co-organiser and producer of the International festival for contemporary dance and performance – Antistatic (since 2006), Bulgarian dance platform, Educational platform “Without distance”, Foundation Association “Informbureau” and Nomad dance academy in Bulgaria. He takes part in many international theatrical, dance and interdisciplinary projects in the country and abroad, as well as in cinema and TV productions. IZTRITO. In 2020 his work with LIGNA collective Nonumet wins The National Theatre Award IKAR for contemporary dance and performance.
Teodora Simova is a graphic designer, devoted mostly to cultural projects in her work. She graduates Advertising in Milan but comes back to Sofia and founds “Lunohod” studio, in whose portfolio the advertising visions of 8 plays by the director Javor Gardev can be found (The Celebration, Chamkoria, The Drunken Ones, The Seagull and others), the visual identity of Nomad dance academy summer and spring forward 2018, as well as many more local and international projects. Since 2017 she has been a graphic designer of International festival for contemporary dance and performance – Antistatic, and since 2019 – visual design for the only magazine in the country specialising in dance and dance culture – “Dance magazine”. In 2020 she started the project “28 days of blackout poetry” about the creation of blackout poetry from archive periodicals.
Vladimir Bozhilov, PhD is a lecturer in the Department of Astronomy at the Faculty of Physics of Sofia University ‘’St. Kliment Ohridski“ and a communicator of science. He has a PhD in Astrophysics and Astronomy. His main research interests are active galactic nuclei, cosmology, and life outside of Earth. He won a second place in the science communication competition “Laboratory for Fame FameLab” in 2010 and the first prize in its international edition “Hall of FameLab” in London, UK in 2014. He is a frequent guest on radio and TV broadcasts and at various science communication events, where he talks about the latest discoveries in space and makes these topics very accessible and understandable for the people. Co-author of more than 30 scientific and over 70 publications for popular science. Lecturer and scientific expert at the Science Center for children “Muzeiko” since its founding in 2015. In the period between 2012 and 2018, he was a scientific editor and then editor-in-chief of the magazine „BBC KNOWLEDGE“.
As hard as it can be for any artist during the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue his artistic searches, we found that true the possibilities of the online communication and representation we could explore a whole new way of interacting with the audience. Based on the Goethe’s Faust we will try to provoke the audience to think about what for would they give their soul to the Devil. Is the online communication real or is it just a mystification, what does being alive mean in the digital world, is there redemption for the soul – these are just a few of the questions that this project intends to articulate and to try using the combination of theatre, magic, and puppetry to explore together with the audience. The project, although is online based, could become a real live performance including live and virtual actors and audience.
Faust: A Court Trial for the Soul is an interactive online performance based on Faust by Goethe. The project presents a modern Faust existing in our rather virtual present. The process needs to decide whether Faust deserves his soul. The audience turns into a kind of jury, which not only become familiar with all the evidence of the case, but also must decide on his sentence. The spectators become direct participants in the process apart from through their participation in the open rehearsals and public presentation, but also through the online communication with the characters. A series of videos, posts and private messages will put the audience in the role of an active participant and judge of Faust’s soul.
My name is Miguel Ponce de León and I became aware of my artistic self about a decade ago. The story of my relationship with the performing arts does not begin when I was only a child nor has big turning points. The only remote origin I can find is the reprimands from childhood, when I dared say I was bored: I was brought up as curious by force and I couldn’t get rid of that adjective anymore.
This has led to combine my training in different fields: my first jobs have been as a circus artist and illusionist, which let me study sciences at the university. During my student stage I was able to develop my artistic interests with like-minded people, which led me to found a theater company in which I have worked as an actor, director and playwright. In recent years I’ve been focusing on merging essential aspects of the different disciplines I have the pleasure to try and study.
I am Oscar Isaac Fernández Fernández and I was born on September 20, 1993. I had a normal and boring childhood like most children of my generation. I discovered magic at the age of 15, when a friend taught me my first magic trick and since then my relationship with magic has never stopped. At the age of 21 I decided to leave economics studies to dedicate myself fully to magic, first independently, giving magic classes and doing performances and later founding with some friends the company “Magia en la Manga” founded in 2018 and awarded with the award for “best artistic project” at Pontegal 2019.
In addition to my experience acting and teaching, I have also participated in projects at European level of artistic exchange and in projects to disseminate magic. Currently, in addition to continuing with the classes and the performances, I am collaborating with Miguel Ponce de León in a new show and in the relationship of magic with other arts, especially the relationship of magic and theater.
My name is Dimitar Stefanov and I was born in Bulgaria, Sofia in 1984. My interest in arts began when I was only 7 years old applying for the children acting group in the Bulgarian National Television. That led to acting for TV and film productions and later on to get my bachelor’s degree in acting for puppet theatre. Afterward, I finished a master’s degree in stage directing and directed more than 15 plays.
From 2014 I began teaching in The National Academy for Theater and Film Arts (NATFA) “Krastyo Sarafov” as an assistant in the class Acting for Puppet Theatre of professor Rumen Rachev. Now I`m finishing my Ph.D. in NATFA, directing, acting and teaching, and keep on searching for different expressions of the art that I feel and love in my heart.
My name is Dimitar Jivkov and I was born in Vratsa in 1984. Since I was a child I have had a passion for art until I joined the amateur theatre group “Pioneer”, where, discovering theatre art, I fell in love with it. Love which has only been growing stronger over the years, which helped me to gain confidence and to explore the world from an artistic perspective – theatre, music, cinema.
I have had encounters with big and small theatre companies, inspirations and disappointments, great examples of success and roles models, but also reminders of the traps of the profession. I have been lucky and happy enough to act a great deal so as to meet the right people, colleagues, who lent me wings, led me to and proved the power of love for art.
Daringly I have gained experience in the cinema, dubbing, improvisation and since recently – in teaching too. And yet again my love for art makes me search, explore and perceive new ways of contact with the audience and art. So I continue more and more confidently with the next challenge, the next project, the next meeting with like-minded people. And I believe this love will be growing even stronger.
The project “In the Artist’s Shoes” is made possible with the financial aid of National Culture Fund Bulgaria and the Sofia Development Association.