More Than Just Theatre is the title of the residency project announced by the production platform ProFitArt together with the German partner The Theaterfestival Schwindelfrei. The first of the two selected residencies, the dance sci-fi project Oxy-Gen | Embers, will be finalized this Friday, July 14, with a public work-in-progress at KD Mlejn in Prague.
More Than Just Theatre consists of two residencies, for which the partner organizations selected two project proposals, were invited to the Prague cultural center KD Mlejn. The first selected project is a sci-fi dance performance Oxy-Gen | Embers by dancer and choreographer Lisa Bless from Germany and her collaborator Anand Dhanakoti from India. Both artists arrived in Prague on 25th June and during their three-week residency they attended dance and movement training with renowned lecturers, performers Cécile Da Costa, Andrea Miltner and Viktor Černický.
On Friday, 30th June, an informal networking event took place at KD Mlejn, where local artists could share contacts, creative plans and international experiences and thus potential future collaborations with the invited. The entire residency will then conclude in a public work-in-progress presentation on Friday 14th July.
The dance sci-fi performance Oxy-Gen | Embers deals with the theme of natural disasters, war, and especially the climate crisis we are currently in the midst of. Its consequences are tragic for us. Unless we change something, many parts of the world will be uninhabitable by 2100.
This production will take the audience to not too distant future of our planet. Together we will look at ourselves as a species and our relationship with nature. The performance, which combines contemporary dance, physical theatre, kathak and martial arts, will take the audience to two different climate scenarios in two science fiction worlds.
World1, the “dying fire”, a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world where we have failed to change our human behaviour and irreversibly damaged planet Earth. World2 is about hope, rekindling the fire, transformation and utopia; a journey towards a world where we embrace human nature and our inevitable interconnectedness with the whole.
The project is a follow-up to the film Lisa made with dancer Pankaj Sihag through Zoom. “We are building on the overall theme of the film, which is primarily a toxic environment, and taking some ideas from that and creating new material through exploring ourselves and getting to know the other,” says Lisa Bless, a dancer, choreographer and multidisciplinary artist from Heidelberg, Germany.
Her work explores different forms of expression such as dance, performance, video (mapping), voice… to create innovative and thought-provoking works. Her current research focuses on climate change and its impact on human behaviour. For Oxy-Gen | Embers, she collaborates with Indian martial arts trained dancer Anand Dhanakoti.
The second residency of the crossboarder project will run from 4th to 24th September and the selected project is Whimsical Paranoid by dancer, choreographer and teacher Martina Martín from Spain and dancers Sade Mamedova and Lorenzo Ponteprimo.
Project More Than Just Theatre is supported by the European Union (National Recovery Plan).