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In this page you can discover the finalist for the Dance discipline in the Blue Area (Mediterranean to Ocean) rated by the audience and a professional Jury at the event in Tuzla, Bosnia and Erzegovina.

One winner of each discipline will partecipate to the Biennial MArteLive and will have the chance to participate in Art residencies and more prizes.


Finalist from Mediterranean to Ocean

Ivana Balabanova

Skopje, North Macedonia

Ivana Balabanova (29.05.1992) is a dancer, choreographer and interdisciplinary artist from Skopje, North Macedonia. Her experience is broad in both the aspects of creation and cultural management. As an artist who not rarely and courageously explores the possibilities with the team, space, art forms, always creating strong visuals for the audience, sometimes with the act and bodies of the dancers, and sometimes helped by technology.
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So far, she has created dance pieces that have been performed all over Macedonia, Berlin, Zagreb, Cagliari, Belgrade, etc. “Rising” – 2013 (Dance Fest, Skopje), “Pieces” (The rooftop of the building”Makedonska Falanga”, 2016), “Silence” – (National Ballet, 2018), “Ether” – Audiovisual performance (YCC, 2019), “Apoptosis” – (YCC, 2019), “Her own space” – with the composer Alessandro Olla (Dance Fest, 2020), “The Conversation Chair” – choreodrama (YCC, 2021), “RAW” (Beatrix Dance League, 2021), “Code #9” (Pogon – Zagreb, 2022), “In my head” (St Petersburg, 2022)
Performance presentation
CODE #9 was developed within two artistic residencies in Barcelona, 2021 & North Macedonia, 2022.What at the beginning started as an exploration about darkness and the external relation of the body and the lightness/darkness, was later developed into an intimate solo performance, reflecting not only the external, but moreover the internal aspects of darkness found into the body and soul of the performer, guiding the performer i to self-exploration of the soul and different aspects of mere existence. The very small source of light, used in the performance, ads to the journey of the performer as a partner, but, at the same time, the minimalistic scenography and centrally focused action, brings the audience into an immersive state witnessing the embodiment of the performer. The electronic music within this piece was developed simultaneously in relation with the research process and the play between the movement and the music remains an act of playfulness and mutual collaboration. The music, being played live ads to the liveliness of the creation as both performers (the composer and the dancer) communicate together and co-exist within the creation.

Semifinalists from Mediterranean to Ocean

Jacqueline Lopez

Linz, Austria

Jacqueline originates from Vancouver, Canada where she began her career in dance with Vancouver based companies: Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, Move: The Company, Plastic Orchid Factory and as a guest artist with Ballet British Columbia and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. During this time she instructed ballet, contemporary and modern dance at various. In spring 2012 she joined Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, as a full time artist and was promoted to demi soloist in 2014.
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She has had the opportunity to perform works by Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Mats Ek, Stephan Thoss, Stijn Celis, Christina Spuck, Jean-Christophe Maillot, Andreas Heise, Beate Vollack, Joshua Beamish, and Paras Terezakis. Since 2017 she has been living and working in Austria for the Landestheater Linz and the Oper Graz. Jacqueline began choreographing in 2010 with independent projects in Vancouver, where she was first presented at Internal Voices for her solo work In(pro)gress and later at Interplay for her collaborative duet Cusp. She then created A Short Essay on Themes of Joy in 2016 for the dancers of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens as a part of their choreographic workshop, À Suivre. In spring 2018 she created All Together Alone for the Oper Graz which was later remade into a dance film entitled Together All Alone. Her recent trio work In Our Nature was presented at Craft Choreography in Vienna in Winter 2020 and has recently began a new creative project for a 3-part duet work to be ready for performance in Spring/Summer 2021.
Performance presentation
In Between Now and Then Life does not follow a linear path. What happens at the fork in the road? In confronting change, what dualities reveal themselves in one’s inner dialogue of negotiations? The push and pull, looking forward and back, contemplation, hesitation, impatience and panic, drive the narrative of the two sides inside one.

Vanhulle Dance Theatre

Ely, United Kindom

Led by Belgian born Laura Vanhulle and UK born Oliver Robert Russell, Vanhulle Dance Theatre was established in 2014. VDT’S first full-length production, ‘Angles in Life’, was created in collaboration with Mickael Marso Riviere and Nicolas Vladyslav, touring nationally in 2015 and then reformed into a dance film, with Director of Photography Mat Beckett (River-Rea-Films), showing internationally at film festivals such as Pool 15, Berlin, Dance Film Festival UK, London, and selected for Dance-on-Film-Screening at 2018 Woman in Dance Leadership Conference in New York City.

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In 2016 Vanhulle Dance Theatre went to Hong Kong to present ‘Infinite womanhood’ and was selected as an artist in residency. Vanhulle Dance theatre has strong teaching reputation- nationally and internationally, working regularly with organisations such as The Place, Trip Space (London), Rambert. Vanhulle Dance Theatre has led choreographic, health and wellbeing, and martial arts into dance workshops with CAT programmes and BA(Hons) courses including NSCD-CAT, CAT-Lowry(Northwest), CAT-Swindon, DanceEast-CAT, DanceCity-CAT. Vanhulle Dance Theatre has taught Internationally in Portugal-Porto, Greece and Belgium.

In October 2016 and 2019, VDT was awarded the Choreographer strand of ChoreoMatch, an extension of BDN’s ‘Introducing…”Infinite Womanhood – Reworked’ and ‘Yggdrasil’ and was later awarded a ‘Residency Choreography Award’ by DanceXchange. In 2018 VDT joined the ‘Young Composers project’ as the role of Facilitator. In the Summer 2018, VDT choreographed an outdoor work for unusual spaces “Echo”, which performed at Sommerwerft Festival, Festival, before touring to The Lighthouse, Poole and Birmingham Weekender (Bullring). VDT was selected for the Artist Residency 20 days 20 Years in Deda, before becoming the artist in residence at Pavillion Dance Southwest and Deda. In 2019 was commissioned to create a new work on BOA, before creating their next Nationally touring work “Yin”.

During lockdown 2021, the company was commissioned by Motus (Milton Keynes) to create ‘Moo Shim'(Korean for ‘Empty Mind’), performed at MK Gallery and a further 6 outdoor performances at Mk Shopping-Centre before touring to Birmingham and Cambridgeshire. The company was later commissioned by DanceCity(Newcastle) to recreate ‘Moo Shim’ on the BA(hons) 3rd Year students in January 2022.

Vanhulle Dance Theatre has received commissions from The Lighthouse Poole ‘Echo’ 2018, Muda (Belgium) ‘Schoen’ 2021, DanceCity(Newcastle) ‘Moo Shim’, Swindon Dance ‘The Last March of the Ents’ 2022′ and NSCD to create a new work in Summer 2022. The company has been asked to return to both Swindon Dance and Dance City in 2023, to create two new works.

Following the success of the ACE funded research and developments, and then creation, VDT commissioned Mickael Marso Rivere to choreograph a new outdoor work, ‘Dovetail’, performed by the Co-directors Laura Vanhulle and Oliver Russell.  The work premiered at Dance City, before touring to Middlesborough, Dancin’ Oxford, Out There Festival and Deda.

Performance presentation







Namu’- (Korean for ‘tree’)


Drawing upon Laura and Oliver’s practice, ‘Namu’ delves into the interflow of contemporary dance, influenced by Laura’s background in African, Kathak, Gymnastics, Yoga, Mind Body Practices, and Oliver’s 22 years of martial arts experience; his time training Kung Fu and Qi Gong in China under the instruction of 34th Generation Shaolin Warriors, the Korean martial art, Tang Soo Do, Laura and Olivers continued training in Tang Soo Do & Capoeira and the use of breath, creating a unique and fierce physicality.


An ever-growing body of research is telling us that time spent around nature and trees can reduce depression and anxiety, by decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increasing people’s sense of wellbeing. Our practice invites nature into the studio and invites us into nature.

‘The one who plants the tree is not the one who will enjoy it’s shade’ – Chinese Proverb




Our company mission is to bring dance to everyone, our education work walks beside our professional performance work. In an ever-changing world, where the cost of living is increasing at a scarily fast rate, not everyone can afford to go to the theatre and that’s why we have made it our mission to bring theatre to the people. We believe that dance is a universal language, it has no restrictions, it can be used to build confidence, motor skills, expression, spectacle, to convey messages and stories, and so much more.

Following the feedback that we have received when sharing our ever-developing movement practice, we are interested in how we can use movement as our vessel to convey mindfulness, evoke compassion and raise awareness of the need to address eco sustainability.

As artists, we believe that if we are going to create work that isn’t elitist and is accessible to the public, we must continue to interact with our audience, by sharing regularly and reflecting on feedback from people that watch it, and people that dance it.


Sense Pell

Linz, Austria

Born in Barcelona, she graduated from Institut del Teatre in Barcelona and from Codarts in Rotterdam. After dancing in several projects in the Netherlands and Germany with choreographers like André Gingras and Marguerite Donlon, she joins as a dancer the company Gelabert Azzopardi in Barcelona in 2011, and then in 2013 Baltic Dance Theatre in Gdansk. Following a series of projects as a dancer and co-choreographer in Iceland she joins Landestheater Linz in 2016 until August 2019, when she starts her freelancing working with choreographers like Daniel Morales and Kasija Vrbanac. She currently works as a freelance dancer in Linz and is one of the membres of emerging art collective Flirty Horse.
Performance Presentation
“Between” is a duet that started from pure movement, everything else came after: the movement inspired the concept and the music was composed as the piece evolved. Moreover it is a creation from two equal choreographers. Though it can be interpreted in various ways, this duet is a metaphore for the emotional luggage we carry with us that often stops us from progressing and gets us stuck, so we are left in a sort of limbo until we choose to confront it or let it go.


Tiblisi, Georgia

Xosilita is a Performer, Dancer, Multimedia Artist, 3D Modeller, Actress and Model from Tbilisi, Georgia. Currently she is focused on researching body and movement as the most genuine and free form of expression on the level of unconsciousness. She has tried many dance disciplines but nowadays she's practicing to make her movement more independent from any disciplines and form to sync it neatly with the complexity of human emotions and put it in digital art forms.
Performance presentation
Within this video I wanted to express the emotions caused while being lied and cheated on. For me seeing myself in this dreadful situation became my inspiration. It was very interesting to observe my inner condition travelling from total destruction to hysterical need to survive not to get drown in the evil harmful thoughts. The most depressive event of my early years became the most powerful taking me closer to my instincts and empowering me.

Anna Papathanasiou

Athens, Greece

Anna Papathanasiou is a Greek-Canadian interdisciplinary artist. With roots in the fine arts and music she has created a unique language through video, performance, installation and sculpture works. She presented her live piece “EAT” in New York, as a resident artist at the Watermill Center under the direction of Bob Wilson, performed the piece “Empathetic Body” at the Architectural Biennale of Venezia, the #SKG Bridges Festival and the Kaunas Biennal, completed a residency in La Serre Arts Vivants at Ecole Nationale De Theatre in Montreal, Canada. 

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Co- created and performed the site-specific performance “Outland” presented at Rooms, held by Kappatos gallery. Performed at the “Some Sort of Now” project, in France, Spain and Andorra showcasing the brutalist architecture of Ricardo Bofill. Her video-performance “Christmas Tree” was exhibited at the Art Props, Kunst- Interventionen in Mannheim, Germany. She has presented her works in the Digital Biennale, Electric Nights, Palais de Paris, Tokyo, Japan, “Infantry Square” Greece, Athens Biennale, Omonoia and Salon du dessin Erotique de Paris, France. She was an artistic collaborator at the production of “Elenit” by Euripides Laskarides. In 2021 she participated in the 8th New Choreographers Festival of Onassis foundation with her piece “Axel’s just dreaming.”

Performance presentation

Anna Papathanasiou created “Axel’s Just Dreaming” as a compendium of moving images, an album of “unreleased” material. A series of seven video portraits that depict imaginary characters in states of isolation and ecstasy.
Each image presents an existence that builds its own narrative within strict chronological and spatial constraints, inside a closed circuit, behind a screen or a pane of glass. Each existence is a small explosion that went to waste inside a taped-up gift box never delivered due to problems with the postal service. Repetitive movements bring to mind a kind of purgatory where mentally worked up beings make each day special, even if it’s all only an illusion.
We all want someone to bear witness to our loneliness, so as not to go mad inside our own little boxes.
Distortion, repetition, and transformation are the core materials used in this rendition of a dystopian feeling. A silent and gentle nightmare with absurd visual connections that cannot be explained, but which do the explaining. Like the dream of a dog on the verge of death, already afloat inside a transitional space as its body leaves it ever so slowly behind. A tableau vivant of a dive into the absurd.


Belgrade, Serbia

Born in Belgrade in 1999, she graduated from the Lujo Davičo Ballet High School in 2018 at the Department of Contemporary Dance. She won the second prize in the national competition of ballet schools in the category of modern dance in 2018 in Serbia. She is currently a third year student at the Institute for Contemporary Dance, Department of Choreography.  
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She presented here author's work “Die (Women”) within the finals of the 22nd Festival of Choreographic Miniatures (2018), Serbia and on a  F. A. K. I. festival in Zagreb (2019). She collaborates as a choreographer with director Luka Jovanov on the plays “Clear end”  (2018, Serbia), ” Love reading (2019, Serbia)”, Back to the sea, far from the island ” (2020, Serbia). At the 23rd Festival of Choreographic Miniatures in 2019, she won the third prize, the Critics' Award and the Encouragement Award with the choreographic miniature “Vita Brevis”.At the 24th Festival of Choreographic Miniatures in 2020, she realized theatre play “Vita Brevis”at Bitef Theater (2020, Serbia).She worked as an assistant of theater director and choreographer at ” Theather Duško Radović” on a play ” Stolen prince and listen princess ” (Serbia,2021).
Performance presentation
The play Vita Brevis is based on motifs from the book of the same name by Justin Gorder, which through the memories of the main character re-examines the consequences of losing tenderness, touch, support, security, intimate relationship in general, essentially love. The line of the narrative flow is the internal process of reconciliation with the loss in stages defined through the research of Freud's work of sadness and personal experiences of the participants. It defines the path to recovery, cross-cut by circumstances, everyday life, time that does not wait for any emotional breakdown to be completed and healed, and combines tenderness towards oneself with scars that arose as a result of losing that same tenderness. This is a show about happiness, vengeance, games, inconvenience, low passions, horrors, contradictions. This is a play about beats

Neža Kokalj

Ljubljana, Slovenia

I started my contemporary dance training in Ljubljana in the contemporary dance programme of SVŠGUGL high school. Currently I am in the first year of the contemporary dance bachelor programme (IDA) in Anton Bruckner Private University in Linz, Austria. While my artistic focus is on dance, I also write, draw, and my dance projects tend to use sound that I create by myself.
Perfromance presentation
V solu se, kot napove njegov naslov »Ljubezen: v treh delih«, ukvarjam z ljubeznijo in tremi načini, kako jo doživljam. Načini so med sabo jasno ločeni, vsi imajo prostorsko isto izhodišče, njihovi trojnosti sledi tudi zvočna podlaga. Tako je koreografija razdeljena na tri dele, ki pa še vedno nosijo podobnosti, v moji izkušnji doživljanja ljubezni so namreč njihovi načini prepleteni; v prvem se zlahka znajde nekaj tretjega, v drugem nekaj prvega. Čustva ki se pojavljajo in moje reakcije nanje ostajajo podobni, ker vsi še vedno izhajajo neposredno iz mene. Posebno pozornost posvečam tudi svoji orientaciji v prostoru in odnos do gledalca, kakršnega s to vzpostavljam; frontalna orientacija, ki namiguje, da plešem zanj, ali stanje brez vzpostavljenega fronta, kjer se gibljem zase, ne zanima me njegova prisotnost. As the title »Love: in three parts« suggests, in this solo I approach love and the three ways I experience it. The ways are clearly divided, all have the same starting point in space and the sound design also follows their trinity. The choreography is therefore segmented into three parts, which do still remain connected as, in my experience of love, the ways intersect as well. The first one may contain some of the third, the second some of the first. The emotions appearing and my reactions to them remain similar because they all stem directly from me. I pay special attention to my orientation in space and the consequential relation to the spectator; the frontal orientation which suggests I’m dancing for a watcher, or a state without an established front, where I am moving for myself without regard for the spectator. V prvem delu se ukvarjam z nežnostjo, prijaznostjo, afekcijo, željo po pomoči ljubljenemu, kjer ves svoj fokus postavljam na drugo osebo in njeno dobrobit. Tu nase pozabim, pozornosti ne posvečam svojim potrebam, svoji prezentaciji ostalim, vem samo za svojo ljubljeno fiksacijo. Primer tega načina je, ko na primer nekdo zboli in potrebuje pomoč, lahko pa tudi zgolj nekdo/nekaj, ki mi ljubezni ne (more) vrača(ti). The first part is all about tenderness, kindness, affection, the wish to help the loved one. I direct my focus at the other person and their welfare. I forget about myself, my needs, the way I present myself to others, I only know about my beloved fixation. An example of this is when someone gets sick and needs assistance, or perhaps just when someone/thing cannot/will not return the love. Z drugim delom doživljam zabavo, strast, viharnost, počutim se živo. Tu se mi ne zdi, da svoj fokus usmerjam v ljubljeno, saj do tega pride samo od sebe. V teh trenutkih sem z ljubljenim najbolj povezana, en drugega zabavava, navdušujeva, ko ta del plešem, si predstavljam, da sem na avanturi. Ker pa je ta način tako viharen, tako poln občutkov, dogodkov in energije, pa nikoli ne traja zelo dolgo. Utruja, zahteva veliko kondicije, pa naj bo to fizična ali čustvena. With the second part I experience joy, passion, turbulence, vitality. I do not feel that I am directing my focus toward the loved one, it happens spontaneously. During those moments I feel a strong connection with the loved one, we entertain and thrill each other, as I dance this part I imagine that I am on an adventure. Because of how this way is so turbulent and full of emotions, sensations, events and energy, it cannot last a long time. It is tiring, requires a lot of physical, as well as mental stamina. Tretji del je pogosto posledica utrudljivosti prvih dveh. Najočitnejši občutek je dolgčas, z njim pa tudi naveličanost, opazni postajajo ustaljeni vzorci, lahko pride do frustracije. Pri tem načinu ljubezni se moj fokus povrne name. Tu opazujem, končno se začnem zavedati svoje prezentacije ostalim, ki je bila pozabljena v prvem delu, opazim tudi manj očarljive lastnosti ljubljenega. Zdi se, da zgolj zapravljam čas, pa vendar ima tudi ta čas svojo vlogo; nudi mi počitek in me prizemlji. The third part is often a consequence of the first two. The most obvious feeling is boredom, accompanied by apathy, noticing of established patterns, often also some frustration. With this way of love, my focus returns to myself. As I observe I finally start to gain consciousness of my presentation to others, forgotten in the first part, I start to notice the less charming attributes of the loved one. I may feel like I am wasting time, but this time does have an important role; it grounds me and allows me to rest. Za izvajanje teh delov se trudim njim pripisane občutke doživljati medtem ko jih plešem, moj ples pa (se trudi) biti njihov čim bolj avtentičen prevod v gibanje. Pri tem mi pomagajo mentalne slike, kot je pri drugem delu omenjena predstava avanture, prav tako pa tudi zvočna podlaga, katero sem sestavila iz zvokov videov, ki sem jih brez specifičnega cilja snemala preteklo leto. V njih nastopajo moji najbližji prijatelji, družina, sošolci, pojavi se zvok prizora ob jezeru, ki sem ga posnela, ko sem se preselila zavoljo študija plesa… vsi torej predstavljajo moje ljubezni, preko sola pa so razvrščeni glede na tri skupine občutkov, ki jih v meni vzbudijo. To perform these parts, I try to sense their respective feelings as I am dancing them, and my dance is (trying to be) their upmost authentic translation into movement. For that, I help myself with mental images (as is the imagining that I am on an adventure in the second part) and the sound design, which I assembled out of the sounds of videos I had been filming without a specific purpose for the last year or so. The videos display my closest friends, family, schoolmates, there is a sound from a scene next to a lake, which I filmed when I moved to a foreign country to study dance… all of them representing my loves, perhaps slightly tainted by some sadness because of their perceived absence or inaccessibility.

A(r)CT: Art can ACT

Athens, Greece

A(r)CT was born in 2014 with the idea that dance and arts in general should exist as a medium of social change. Since then we create works by bringing together performing arts such as theatre and dance with music and other visual arts, presenting them in both indoor and outdoor settings such us urban, public spaces. So far we have presented our work, including dance performances, interactive actions and workshops, across the UK, Greece and Mexico.
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Some examples are: Our Festival 2021, Culture is Athens 2021, Apo Mixanis Theatre 2019, Lithografeion Theatre 2019, International Contemporary Dance Festival of Mexico City 2018, Rabbitlab 2.0 (Athens), In Progress Feedback Festival 2017, 1st and 2nd Platform of Contemporary Dance (Athens), Resolution 2016 and Fringe Shorts 2015 at The Place (London), Athens Video Dance Project Festival 2016 (Athens), Summer Streets 2015 in Regents Street (London), Friday League at Theatre Delicatessen (London), Motus Festival (Milton Keynes), 2nd Scratch Festival (Athens), Emerging Choreographers Platform 2015 at Broadway Theatre (London).
In 2019 and 2020 we received national funding to create two full productions entitled “Look Little Man” which was premiered in Athens, June 2019 and “A shield of dreams”, a physical theatre piece for younger audiences premiered in July 2021, as well as the educational programme ” The Museum Otherwise” that runs in hellenic cultural spaces and museums.
A(r)CT aims to create accessible, interactive art by combining dance, text, music and visual arts. Through our works we usually aim to communicate a meaning related to our everyday life, our social and human existence and the contemporary world. We want people to be able to engage with what they see and respond to it actively

Performance presentation

Dis Dance

These past two years we keep listening and reading the following phrase:Please keep your distance”.

Social Distancing is something new in our lives at least as a rule. We somehow got obliged to not get close to each other, to hide our mouths and smiles, to gradually distance ourselves from the outer world.

Isolation became part of our everyday routine, or just our main routine. We started working, eating, reading, practising, rehearsing, having fun, working out, socialising just within our four walls, keeping the distance, away from what seems to be real , away from what we know and what we need, away from any other interaction. We were far and we came even further from the essence of our human existence.

Our idea started off with questioning all the above, while living in countries and societies that suddenly changed. Our roles shifted within, as people and as artists.

So where do we fit now?

What is our disDance?

Through this project, we want to explore every potential meaning of the word distance and its practicality through movement and dance, combining it with the possibilities of technology and projections.

Distance as a rule, as a law, as an obligation, as an oppression.

Distance as a choice, as a geographic element, as a walk, as a safe space.

Distance as proximity from me, you, the other, from a viewer, a reader, an audience.

Distance as a state, an illness, a depression, a refusal of living.

Distance as a gap between cultures, as walls, as borders.

Distance as the unknown, the fear, the breath.

Maria Shurkhal

Vienna/Kyiv, Austria

Maria Shurkhal (UA/AT) Maria was born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine. She started her professional education at the Serge Lifar Kiev Municipal Ukrainian Academy of Dance and continued at the Anton Bruckner University, Linz. Now she lives and works in Austria as a freelance dancer, choreographer and pedagog, collaborating with institutions as BRUT, Kulturhaus Brotfabrik,Rose Breuss/Cie Off. Verticality, PUC collective, the National Austrian team of Rhythmic Gymnastics, Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst FHNW among others. This year she is developing a new work with PUC collective in a frame of a year long residency at Huggy Bears Mentoring Program. Next to that, she is currently a Dance researcher in the FWF project Smooth Spaces at the University of Music and Performing arts Vienna.
Performance presentation
‘In Touch’ is an experimental piece that reinterprets the materiality of physical contact using sound. Based on recognizable everyday noises of touch, the piece explores collective sensory experiences and plays with the audience's expectations. Using their skin as a means of communication, the performers from PUC explore alternative worlds of the senses that unfold with the music. The movements of the dancers are linked to sound events. This often results in unexpected and therefore surreal combinations of action and sound. The visual effect is sometimes reinforced, sometimes reduced, or even contradicted by the auditory element. The piece is created in dealing with the global lack of human contact during the pandemic and thus emphasizes the importance of physical and social closeness.

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