Rin Yamamura: Life upside down

How a Japanese puppeteer decided to study in Bulgaria, and the definition of a "sleeping man"

Ana Bateva: Gunpowder on Screen and Stage

For Ana Bateva, one of the leading young theater directors in Bulgaria, being Macedonian in our country today is like being between a rock and a hard place

THE STAGE SPEAKS: ZHANA PENCHEVA

A choreographer, teacher and performer. She is part of the STEAM ROOM creative team along with Alexander Georgiev and Dario Damas, and their work has been shown in Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia, Sweden and Spain.

She got a degree in philosophy from Sofia University, then studied directing at the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts, and in 2015 enrolled in the one-year training program Dance Port Derida. In 2016, she made her choreographic debut with Mainstream, and this year won the Icarus prize for the dance show WO MAN, which also stars Martina Apostolova.

THE STAGE SPEAKS: STEFANI HANDJIYSKA

She thinks of her biography as a series of totally unrelated short books. She has choreographed projects in England, Bulgaria, Egypt, Vietnam. In 2020 she was selected for the program of the Vienna International Dance Festival ImPulsTanz.

THE STAGE SPEAKS: MIROSLAVA ZAHOVA

She would dance her autobiography with a giant smile at a techno party, and the soundtrack of her soul is the sound of nature – the sea, the sky, the river... She works as a freelance artist. Over the years she has participated in dance performances such as Medea and Leda and the Swan, as well as in plays such as TRAEVREMENE. In 2017, her show Madame Kiflà opened at the Etude Gallery.

PRINT CHOREOGRAPHY

Three print editions with different focus that complement and develop our understanding of contemporary dance

FESTIVAL CURRENTS

If contemporary dance was a sea, then its local festival currents only began to move in the years after Bulgaria's accession to the European Union, when the first editions of the oldest specialized forums in this field began to appear.

Vladimir Gruev never thought that he would dance professionally, because most of the time dance was just a hobby to which he devoted a huge part of his energy.

DANCEHOUSES: DERIDA STAGE, DNA, ETUDE GALLERY, TOPLOCENTRLA

Over the years, a number of spaces (some more sustainable than others) have provided a space for contemporary dance, although the ones entirely dedicated to this form can be counted on the fingers of one hand – which creates the impression that modern dance is everywhere and almost nowhere all at once.

THE QUEENS AND ZGUROVSKI

This year, the main activity of Sofia Queer Forum 2020 is the creation of an archive titled The History of Crossdressing, a project by Zgurovski and Boryana Rossa. It will be presented on December 28 as an exhibition, both in the gallery and online at dragbg.sofiaqueerforum.org, where the archive can be explored.

WARRIORS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER

Series of exhibitions, actions and performances, over seventy artists from all over the world and working in all kinds of different genres took part in Sofia Art Week.

ON STAGE: BORIS DALCHEV

Coming from a family known for several musicians, a sculptor and one of our most prominent poets and translators, Boris Dalchev is a young artist and set designer, and we'll certainly be hearing a lot more about him.

If you look closely at the biography of set designer Marieta Golomehova, you will notice that ever since she began working in theater in 2002, she has done at least one performance per year with the director Veselka Kuncheva.

RIN YAMAMURA

For the Japanese artist, who chose Bulgaria as her home about fifteen years ago, the clothes on the stage and the actors in the puppet theater are the domains where she stands out and for which she has received numerous nominations for the Icarus and Askeer prizes.

VENELIN SHURELOV

It is difficult to talk about Venelin Shurelov in one short paragraph. There is an impossible amount you want to say and list. Countless projects that go beyond standard formats, all collected in many solo and group exhibitions, festivals, installations, videos, animations, awards from around the world and in our country, and last but not least, theater in the form of performances, costumes and scenography.

GALINA BORISOVA

Galina Borisova is a choreographer, teacher and producer of more than forty projects shown in Europe and the United States. She has been called many things, including "the Amazon" and "Robin Hood" of Bulgarian dance. Recently she has been in charge of programming at the Etude Gallery.