Impressions of my whirlwind trip to Bulgaria this Summer

ETUD and Friends Festival

After getting off the plane and walking into ETUD Gallery, I basked in the atmosphere. The space greeted me with the utmost intimacy. In that moment, I realized how special the space could be when used for performances and live installations. Sitting just inches from the actors made me feel each and every word they uttered. The words, poetry by Emily Dickinson (an excerpt from White on White ), felt so up close and personal. I’m so happy to call Lidia and Mayia my friends.

The opening of the Festival was a solo exhibit of my work (dance images upstairs and NY collages downstairs), and it curated itself. Well, not really, because Liliana Dvorianova and Galina Borissova made sure that the works presented well. Looking at the prints hanging from the walls -- and realizing the scope of talent and beauty showcased -- made my heart fill with joy. The images reflected either single movements captured at rehearsals or performances, shots from “on location” shoots, or the final result of midnight inspiration for new digital collages.

Among the images: Vessa Tonova (Principal, Sofia Opera and Ballet), Drew Jacoby (formerly with NDT), Oksana Maslova (Principal, Pennsylvania Ballet), Galina Borissova (Choreographer Mutant Extraordinaire), Alessandra La Bella (Gauthier Dance), Ballet Arabesque dancers (the ballet company in Bulgaria where I danced professionally years ago), and behind the scenes photos in the dressing rooms at the Sofia Opera and Ballet... Still, there were plenty of my Bulgarian dancer friends that I wanted to present, but as usual I scrambled until the last minute to make up my mind… Maybe next summer I will be more organized – at least, I hope! For more images, head to this photo album.

Stay tuned for another blog post when I will share viewers' impressions from the other six dance performances that were presented during the festival. All performances were shown at the DNK Contemporary Dance and Performance Space at the National Palace of Culture (NDK) in Sofia.

Concealed Party – Tana Maneva

Високо Там Горе – honoring the memory of Russian Poet Anna Akhmatova

Тук долу всички люляци умират – a new solo performance by Galina Borissova, inspired by texts by Marcel Proust

Victory Day – Willy Prager and Iva Sveshtarova

Невъзможност в най-чист вид – Atom Theatre

To Scale - Be well – Tzveta Kassabova

And I haven’t even mentioned the NY trip, where I was lucky enough to shoot The Ballet Festival at The Joyce Theatre. Companies that performed included Emery LeCrone DANCE, Claudia Schreier & Company, Cirio Collective, and Amy Seiwert’s Imagery. Those two weeks were amazing! I felt like a kid in a candy store. I’m still going over impressions and ideas from the festival, which I hope to share with you later. And, of course, I had to take a couple of ballet classes while in the city. I'm always trying to remember new combinations that I can ask my students in Gainesville to try out...

Also, I’m currently plotting and planning a couple of gallery residencies with Bulgarian artists, which will take place at Black C Art in Florida. Allison will keep you posted on all the details.

Until next time!

Ani

#AniCollier #Summer #Bulgaria #Sofia #GalleryETUD #ETUDandFriendsFestival #TheJoyceTheatre #BalletArabesque

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