Show for All the Comers

Factory of Found Clothes in collaboration with Dance Workers

Location: St. Petersburg, Russia

Project Description: On December 18, we are going to do the first stage of the following project.

Migrants who come to Russia from the former Soviet Union to be used as unskilled and low-paid workers, as a rule, are close groups displaced to the periphery of the society. This closure is determined by the deprived and often illegal status of migrants, as well as by the culture and language difference. The whole society usually has a mistrust and suspicion of groups of migrants, since all unknown is frightening.

The society does not wish to accept them as its full members; migrants have almost no opportunities for assimilation. Belonging to a group gives them a sense of the minimum social security. There is a cruel world where they have no rights outside the group. There is an edge of fear between society and the migrants. The goal of our project is to show that it is possible to overcome this border.

The idea of our project is a joint dance performed by Vaganova School dancers and by migrants-construction workers. Russian classical ballet is the quintessence of European culture characterized by its desire for order, beauty and harmony. And so the classical ballet incorporates the idea of ​​empire, power and discipline. Construction site is a typical work place for a migrant. In our project we want to bring together these two cultures in equal positions.

The Performance will consist of two parts:
In the first part ballerinas come to dance to the construction site. However, it will not be just a classical ballet dance. Ballerinas will teach migrant workers to understand the ballet language. Migrants will try to repeat ballet movement, to understand their meaning and significance.

In the second part of the performance migrants arrive at the Vaganova School, where they, in turn, will train ballerinas a Dance of Construction Workers. This dance will be specially produced based on the peculiar migrants’ movements. It will be related to their life and professional activity and will expose their culture.
In our project both the ballerinas and migrant-workers will be forced to try themselves a dance of the other. We hope that through this compulsion we’ll be able to make visible the differences between the two social environments marked by their own position in society and to show ways of developing their dialogue.

Both parts of the performance will be created in association with a professional choreographer Nina Gasteva (Iguan Dance Theater).

Producing the Dance of Construction Workers will be preceded by serious research with migrant-workers. We are planning to get involved in our project a sociologist who studies migration problems. In addition we plan to work in cooperation with the organizations supporting migrant-workers who, we believe, will help us in finding people from their environment interested in participating in our project, interviews, etc.”



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