29 Dec 19:00

Jesús Rubio Gamo & En–Knap Group & Zagreb Dance Company: Gran Bolero

En–Knap and Zagreb Dance Company

Gran Bolero Gala

In the name of community

Just like Maurice Ravel's Bolero is a timeless classical composition, a musical ritual for an orchestra coming together as a musical community, the festive season’s Gran Bolero Gala is a dance ritual for two companies meeting as a dance community, and at the same time a communal ritual for everyone coming together as a social community. It is a ritual where bonds create unity through repetition and gradation results in a communal crescendoGran Bolero Gala is a spectacular, a dance that enraptures community through music, the community in turn enrapturing the stage, the event, the standout achievement.

In Gran Bolero (2023), six dancers from the En-Knap Group and six dancers from the Zagreb Dance Company revisit Ravel's score. A major co-production, the performance is an extension of an adaptation made for two Spanish dance companies, a production showered with critical praise and winner of numerous awards. Among others, it won the Premio MAX (Spanish Performing Arts Award) for Best Dance Production 2020. On their 2023 summer tour, the En-Knap and ZPA production sold out all major summer venues in the region, including the Križanke Summer Theatre as part of the Ljubljana Festival, the Veneranda Summer Theatre as part of the 62nd Hvarske ljetne priredbe Festival in Croatia, and the annual Purgatorije Festival in Tivat, Montenegro. During the autumn leg of their tour, Gran Bolero delighted the visitors of the VISAVÌ Contemporary Dance Festival in Gorizia (IT).

Ravel’s Boléro (1928) is a classical composition that is anything but classical. The entire orchestra, all instruments, contrary to convention, finely attuned to one another and in synch for one big crescendo in C Major with some strategic doublings, conceptual jumps, one big repetition, or escalation, lasting a good quarter of an hour, based exclusively on a two-bar rhythm with 169 repeats. Ostinato, the very rhythm that will dominate the 'mechanical' music and 'club' dancefloors in the second half of the 20th and the first half of the 21st centuries. The adjective 'mechanical' has not been utilised by chance. The inner 'logic' of the composition is 'mechanical', a reduction with repetition. This is a repetition that produces minimal differences, 'small variations and details inside the repetition'– a repetition, or escalation, that is exhausting but never exhausts itself. Repetition as looping. 

The festive season’s Gran Bolero is an orchestration, the instrumentation of two groups, relations, relationships between groups and within a group, through repetition as looping, or escalation, for community to emerge – its bond, tissue, limit, surplus – precisely in the tension of that 'more!', that drive, that persistence, that exhaustion that never exhausts itself. Gran Bolero Gala proves that repetition doesn't kill, but – saves. 

“My work combines mathematical structures with sensorial intensity. I like to compose formal architectures of the body that allow emotion to burst. I love to explore small variations and details inside repetition, to look at the rhythmic possibilities of simple actions.”
Jesús Rubio Gamo

“The ritual of transformation of the human, dancing community lasts about fifty minutes, in a precise, meticulous gradation, a spiral repetition of patterns, with the chemistry of the body, partnership, intimacy seeping, leading slowly, spontaneously to a bursting, peeling of layers, shedding of tight clothes from strained body membranes, surrendering to the ecstatic pleasure of a community of equal, sweaty bodies, burning out.”
Maja Đurinović, Plesna scena, April 2023

"... Jesús Rubio Gamo and his dancers effectively enriched (Bolero) and conjured up the illusion of dance as a timeless window onto man’s inner recesses and feelings, human loneliness and desire for coexistence. He has thus rendered substance to another one of his statements: 'Dance gives hope to the body. Music transforms time into something better'."
Damijan Vinter, Večer, Avgust 2023

En-KnapThe international dance group En-Knap was founded in 1993 by Iztok Kovač in Leuven, Belgium. A year later the group moved its headquarters to Ljubljana, where it established EN-KNAP Productions. The internationally renowned production company has introduced and established its trademark aesthetics inside the European space, attracting an array of acclaimed international co-producers. Since 2009, EN-KNAP administers Španski Borci Cultural Centre, a public infrastructure in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, which provides home to the only professional contemporary dance ensemble in Slovenia, EN-KNAP Group.

En-Knap Group
En-Knap, founded in the 1990s by choreographer Iztok Kovač, gave birth to the international dance company EN-KNAP Group in 2007, which has been the only professional contemporary dance ensemble in Slovenia since its establishment. The group, which consists of dancers from all over the world selected at an international audition, boasts an exceptional repertoire, created in collaboration with internationally renowned choreographers and directors from highly diverse aesthetical backgrounds. 
Since its establishment, the company has worked with over 30 Slovenian and international choreographers and theatre directors, and created 26 full-length stage productions and a dance film. The company tours internationally with their repertory, and makes over 50 annual appearances nation-wide.

Jesús Rubio Gamo (1982) is an independent dancer and choreographer based in Madrid. After studying ballet, contemporary dance, theatre and literature, Jesús was awarded with a MAE-AECI grant to develop dance studies in a foreign country. He moved to London where he completed an MA in choreography at London Contemporary Dance School (Distinction). His work has been presented at Festivals such as Chantiers d’Europe (Théâtre de la Ville-Paris), Dancenet Sweeden, The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (London), FAEL (Lima), Les Plateaux (La Briquetterie-Paris), Birmingham International Dance Festival, ARC for Dance (Athens), International Theatre Amsterdam, Hay Festival or Romaeuropa Festival. Jesús was selected two years in a row (2017 and 2018) by the Platform Aerowaves as one of the most relevant 20 young choreographers in Europe. In 2020 the Spanish National Radio presented him with the el OJO CRÍTICO Prize for his achievements in dance. 

Zagrebški plesni ansambel (Zagreb Dance Company)
Since its foundation, the renowned contemporary dance company, Zagrebški plesni ansambel (the only permanent contemporary dance group in Croatia) has remained uncompromising in its artistic expression. The Zagreb Dance Company has trained a number of dancers and dance experts who are now working in Croatia and abroad. The Company has an enviable continuity of its work, and has performed at all important festivals in Croatia and internationally. Zagreb Dance Company has gained renown for the originality of its productions which are characterised by the performative energy and the unique readiness to face the challenges of different artistic approaches and poetics. Abroad, the Company has taken part in important festivals and events across Europe, as well as Mexico, Egypt, Korea and Israel. The company continually works on professional education of its dancers, through collaboration with renowned Croatian and international choreographers and pedagogues. 

The programme of En–Knap Productions, administrator of Španski Borci, is financially supported by: City of Ljubljana – Department of Culture, which also supports Španski Borci activities, and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia

The programme of Zagreb Dance Company is financially supported by: City of Zagreb, the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, and created in co-production with ZKM – Zagrebačko kazalište mladih / Zagreb Youth Theatre

Jesús Rubio Gamo & En–Knap Group & Zagreb Dance Company: Gran Bolero

29 Dec 19:00
30 Dec 19:00
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16,00 | 18,00 | 22,00 | 25,00 EUR

14,00 | 15,00 | 18,00 | 22,00 EUR * * EUR for younger than 25 and older than 65, as well as pensioners.

Concept and Choreography: Jesús Rubio Gamo
Assistant Choreographer: Alicia Cabrero
Assistant Choreographer in Slovenia and Croatia Clara Pampyn

Izvajalci En–Knap Group (Núria Capella Florensa, Mattia Cason, Tina Habun, Davide Lafabiana, Tamás Tuza, Carolina Alessandra Valentini) and Zagreb Dance Company (Luna Lilek, Nika Lilek, Silvija Musić, Endi Schrötter, Linda Tarnovski, Karlo Topolovec) 
Glasba José Pablo Polo, na osnovi glasbe Boléro (Maurice Ravel)
Oblikovanje svetlobe Leon Curk, David Picaza

Sound edit: Gal Škrjanec Skaberne
Costume design: Katarina Markov (Atelje d.o.o.)
Photography: ZKM Jelena Janković
Text and editing: Dražen Dragojević

Production: Zavod En–Knap and Zagreb Dance Company



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