Matjaz Faric

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Matjaz Faric

Article

From Swan Lake to Solo

Pushing back the boundaries of Slovenian dance

Award winning dancer and choreographer Matjaz Faric was born in 1965 In Slovenia, then a part of Yugoslavia. He established his reputation in the field of dance both nationally and internationally during the 1980s. He is now Slovenia’s foremost contemporary choreographer – establishing Slovenian dance in the arts world as his country establishes itself in the new Europe of the millennium.
Although born in 1965, Matjaz Faric is considered a senior statesman of Slovenian dance – one of the “older generation” of experienced choreographers currently being joined by a “powerful younger generation of dancers and choreographers” who look to him for mentorship and inspiration. Slovenian dance is developing as rapidly as its country – a former state of Yugoslavia.
Matjaz Faric graduated from Dresden Palluea Schule, Germany in the mid-eighties and rapidly established his reputation both at home and abroad with performances such as “April 6th” and “Break” (88) and “Red Alarm” (89). He continued to work with the dance group he founded – the Vzhodri plesni project – for two further performances. “Emotional” (90) and “Icht” (91). In 1991 he won the Borstnik prize for yet another work “Wind, Sand and Stars”.
Since 1989 Matjaz has also worked abroad. He has collaborated as a dancer with the group Testworks in Amsterdam, and as a choreographer for the studio for contemporary Dance in Zagreb, Croatia. There he created “Stravinski and I” (95). In 1997 he joined for a time the Diverions Dance Company from Cardiff, Wales. Together they developed “From the desert through the forest.”
In addition Matjaz has worked as choreographer with directors of national theatres in, among others, Zagreb and Antwerp.
Alongside his contemporary choreography Matjaz has also tackled the classics: Swan Lake (94), Romeo and Juliet (95) and The Rites of Spring (96) re-uniting him with his favourite composer, Stravinski. In 1997 he choreographed “Trilogy – The Last Act” - comprising extracts from all three aforementioned classic ballets - for the Cankarjev Dom.
The Cankarjev Dom opened in 1980 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and is the largest cultural centre in the country. It contains spaces for performances and exhibitions, and organises over 1200 events every year. These include classical and jazz concerts, theatre and dance productions, exhibitions and festivals. Artists from around the world have participated in Cankarjev Dom events, including the London Philharmonic orchestra and artist David Hockney.
In 1998 Matjaz Faric became artist in residence at the Cankarjev Dom, and was awarded Slovenian Artist of the Year.
Not one to sit upon his laurels, Matjaz was back again later the same year with another new work “Terminal” with his his new dance group “Flota” (The Fleet). Flota performed Terminal in Stockholm as part of the Cultural Capital of Europe ´98 celebrations, and again in 2001 as part of the “Hotel Europa” project initiated and organised by Intercult.
Performed to exceedingly loud live rock music (the audience is offered ear plugs on entering the theatre) the piece represents an apparent journey of no return at break-neck speed.
A year earlier in 1997 Flota presented “Clone”, again using Stravinski’s music. Clone marked a new phase in choreography for the group, as it also used a huge computer screen on stage. Clone raises the question of the limits of an individual’s physical freedom by placing human uniqueness and creativity beside modern technology. Why choreograph when a computer simulation can offer a much wider range of movements than one human could create in a lifetime? Can art still be original, authentic, humane?
Six dancers dressed initially in uniform black dance in front of the screen. They perform repeatedly a set sequence of movements, gradually exerting their individuality by deviating from the sequence and by changing T shirt to one of a bright colour. The computer cannot cope with these “illogical” deviations and the screen becomes blurred.
In 1998 Flote took a shortened version of Clone – “Ram” to the world choreographic competition Rencontre Choreographiques Internationeles de Siene – Saint-Denis. Matjaz was awarded first prize – “prix-d’auter” for the performance.
Other notable awards Matjaz Faric has received include the Golden bird Prize, the Zupanac award and the Preserens Fund Award which he received for his choreography of Trilogy – The Last Act.
In 2001 Matjaz radically adapted the Slovenian classic farce, Cankar’s “Scandalous Temptations in the St. Florian Valley” into a ballet – “Temptation”. The performance received excellent reviews. Critic Anja Golob wrote:
“Temptation…has demonstrated that Slovenian contemporary dance has successfully passed the test of “grand stage”…. An excellent performance whose components are individually perfected and built into a uniform and consistent whole.”
Earlier this year (2003) Matjaz participated in “Gibanica” (Moving Cake), the First Festival of Slovenian Dance. Here he performed a new piece “3.Olo”. This is his fourth solo piece and is, in Matjaz’ own words, “a performance on movement driven by time and about the ever-recurring feeling of missing the right moment even before becoming aware of what is going on around him.”
Quite possible a metaphor for the modern age.
Author: Julie Lerpiniere edited by Annika Salomonsson

Bio

Matjaz Faric was born in 1965 in Slovenia and is now a recognized choreographer and dancer. Faric has collaborated with directors of the national theatres of Ljublijana, Klagenfurt, Zagreb and Antwerpen. He lives and works in Ljubljana as well as being active internationally.

Works

Bari (SEAS Project)

Exhibition / Installation,
2004
Created within the platform SEAS. Project Bari is based on a recorded soundscore of Swedish artists Carina Reich and Bogdan Szyber in the Italian town of Bari. The stage is divided into strips that are five and a half meters wide and ten meters deep. On every belt, which represents a different location, we see physical actions of one performer. These actions are based on personal impressions of performers about the harbour city they can only hear but cannot see. It is a physical commentary, which is not necessarily synchronized or connected with specific content of the soundscore. Because the place of action is separated, the actions of performers are separated too. It is only for a one short moment that all performers are in contact. We wish to show five different persons, at the same time, on five different shores, daydreaming and thinking about the same destination, which they know only through eyes of a third person. BARI was part of SEAS Events 2004. In 2005 Bari is part of SEAS Second Wave and is presented at SEAS/Koper 29 june-2 july, SEAS/Stockholm 31 aug-4 sept, and SEAS/Udine 18-30 oct.

3.oLo

Production / Performance,
2002
Dance Solo

Govori mi Svoje telo/ Speak Your Body

Production / Performance,
2002
Dance / Theatre performance

Temptation

Production / Performance,
2001
Dance-performance

10´ below 0

Production / Performance,
2000
Dance performance, directed by Matjaz Faric. Part of Hotel Europa, a site-specific landscape on tour in Europe 2000-2001. Co-produced by Intercult, Stockholm, Wiener Festwochen, Festival d´Avignon, Bologna 2000, Bonner Biennale 2000. Co-directed by 10 of the finest European performing arts professionals, rooted in the Balkans and the Baltics.

Otok/Island

Production / Performance,
1998
Dance Performance

Terminal

Production / Performance,
1998
Dance performance. Part of Landscape X - Euralien, production of Intercult, Stockholm.

Trilogy

Production / Performance,
1997
Dance performance

From the desert through the Forest

Production / Performance,
1997
Dance Performance

Klon/Clone

Production / Performance,
1997
Dance Performance

The Rite of Spring

Production / Performance,
1996
Dance Performance

Straveinsky and I

Production / Performance,
1995
Dance Performance

Romeo and Juliet

Production / Performance,
1995
Dance performance

Swan lake

Production / Performance,
1994
dance performance

Derr

Production / Performance,
1993
Dance performance

Solo

Production / Performance,
1993
Dance - solo

Wind Sand and Stars

Production / Performance,
1991
Dance performance

Icht

Production / Performance,
1991
dance performance

Red Alarm

Production / Performance,
1989
dance performance

6 April

Production / Performance,
1988
dance performance

Zlom/Break

Production / Performance,
1988
dance performance

Ghosts of my Life

Production / Performance,
1987
Dance performance

Dreams of Mario H

Production / Performance,
1987
Dance performance

Merits

*Golden Bird Prize
*1998 "Prix DÁuteur "for the performance RAM Slovenian Artist of the year ( 1998 )
* The Preseren Fund Award - a prestigious Slovenian cultural prize ( 1998)
*Zupancic Award - Municipal cultural award of Ljubjana ( 1994)
* Zlati Lovor Vijenac - prize for best theatre choreography in Sarajevo ( 1991)

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

SEAS/Second Wave 2005

(19 January 05 - 19 January 07)

SEAS Events 2004

Baltikum-Adriatico

(26 April 04 - 26 September 04)

SEAS

Baltikum-Adriatico

(01 December 01 - 30 September 05)

Landscape X

(01 May 98 - 31 December 98)

Www

Intercults web page

Hotel Europa - produced by Intercult in 2000 - a collaboration of artists

Diversion Dance Company

images
Matjaz Faric
SEAS: Bari
Matjaz Faric
SEAS: Bari II
Matjaz Faric
SEAS: Bari III
Matjaz Faric
Hotel Europa: 10´ below 0
Matjaz Faric
Hotel Europa: 10´ below 0
video

SEAS meeting in Stockholm

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