This article was developed within the program Venture an Idea funded by the USAID.

You’ve seen the billboards, haven’t you? The 2023 Belgrade Dance Festival is stretching its wings this April. It glides its way across theaters, opera houses, and other venues across two cities under the slogan Together, we celebrate dance.

Traditionally held in Spring, this year actually marks the 20th anniversary of the BDF with a lineup of oriental and contemporary dancing companies from Paris, Tel Aviv, Florence, Seville, etc., to match the jubilant occasion.

We're at the halfway point of the fest, so if you're coming to the party just now, here's a brief, cutdown roundup of what to see and where.

Israel Galván - Solo

First up on the menu is the amazing one-man show by Israel Galván, a virtuoso flamenco dancer coming from Seville, Spain, and winner of the National Dance Award for 2005.

His Solo is a piece without music accompaniment where Galván's seductive movement and body rhythm speak more volume than any dB scale could count. In Solo, the dancer becomes the capital D Dance, with all the logic, irony, and even comic elements that such transformation brings to the podium.

Date: April 2nd. Venue: Bitef Theatre.

Balletto di Torino - Faun*

Straight from the city of Turin, the four-party dance group Balletto di Torino is having the world premiere of their newest piece titled Faun*. The inspiration comes from Mallarmé poem L’apres-midi d’un faune.

Just like in the poem, the stage is transformed into a limbo where real mingles with the imaginary, and erotic fantasies clash with vulgar realities. The four dancers on stage will take you through several metamorphoses of the half-animal creature from the title in trying to release the dynamic power trapped in its troubled non-material existence.

Date: April 5th. Venue: Serbian National Theatre, Novi Sad

TanzMainz - Promise

Premiered at Staatstheater Mainz in 2021, Promise puts all the choreographic genius of Sharon Eyal on full display. In it, the dancers extend the very possibilities of their craft, at times acting as a unibody entity and other times stressing the individuality of each separate agent.

But just as in other Eyal creations, every movement on stage is inextricably linked to any other. The dancers play out the intricately human drama of love, confinement, mercy, loss, and loneliness, glimpsed only in those precious moments of flashing revelation.

Date: April 11th. Venue: Yugoslav Drama Theatre.

Hofesh Shechter Company - Double Murder

Not for the faint of heart, Double Murder by London's Hofesh Shechter Company is a two-faced dance drama that will take you places for sure.

The first part, titled Clowns, explores our ever-increasing tolerance for violence. Through its chaotic and borderline anarchic choreography, it asks the paroxysmic question of how far we are willing to go for entertainment's sake.

The second side of the coin, The Fix, flips the script to present a slow, tender roll where hope heals the wounds of violence. A true modern classic.

Date: April 12th and 13th. Venue: Opera Madlenianum


This article is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this program are the responsibility of Nova Iskra and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.


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