"Traditional dances to electronic music is a meeting between two worlds" Luca Pucci, one of the initiators of the Agenzia Dancing Days project says in an interview for Culture.pl, "This dance is a heresy" he adds with a grin. Stepping to the same triple meter tempo, the dancers of this particular brand of mazurka have had to pick up the tempo. The electronic beat reverberates in their ageing bones and speeds up their orchestrated steps. Culture.pl brought its camera to where the magic happens,
Luca Pucci and Emanuele de Donno are an Italian architect and performer duo promoting socially engaged art for years. Engaging Italian seniors to dance Brazilian samba, Argentine tango and the twist, they were invited by Keret House (artistic centre for residencies and the world's narrowest house) to come to Poland. As part of the Agenzia Dancing Days projects, a group of Polish seniors diligently prepares to dance the Czech Polka and an Italian version of the Polish mazurka to the thumping beats of DJ Filip Lech in front of an audience.
A chance to convince seniors that there is more to club music than the echoing bass Filip Lech illustrates,
When I came to the workshops for the first time, the seniors asked me straight away what kind of music I played and in what kind of clubs. They answered straight away: "Oh, that's not for us, they probably wouldn't let us in". That's entirely not true - club music should break all barrier: skin colour, gendre, sexual orientation, political view, and of course age. I suggested a couple of songs to the workshops organisers Luca and Emanuel, they chose the most lively and aggressive ones. And nobody here minds that.
The seniors on the other hand are overjoyed to be a part of this groundbreaking venture. One of the participants commented,
I liked the workshops with the Italian artists from the beginning and not only because I have been interested in dance and Italy for years. The mix with electronic music is particularly great, it requires increased concentration to keep up with the fast rhythm and the dance form. This way, the dance becomes stronger, you have improvised movements of the shoulders and hips and a completely different facial expression characteristic of people who have a firm grasp on life.
The effects of the work of the colourful group of people was presented on the 5th of December 2013 in Warsaw (Klub Powiększenie. ul. Nowy Świat 27).
The workshops were organised by the Fundacja Polskiej Sztuki Nowoczesnej. The Keret House residency programme is supported by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Partners: Polish Institute in Tel-Aviv, Biuro Wystaw, LHI, White&Case, Kostrzewa PR, Notes na 6 tygodni, Mozaika Restaurant and Coffee House, Tropicana Club, Uniwersytet Tańca Trzeciego Wieku, Powiększenie. The project received funding from the city of Warsaw.
Author: AL, translated and adapted by Mai Jones 08.12.2013