Poland Dance Platform 2019 staged in European Dance Port
翻譯 Translation: Pomny Chu
2019年9月上旬，我很榮幸獲邀參加了波蘭舞蹈平台2019。這項波蘭舞蹈界的盛事從2003年一直發展至今，最初是首都華沙（Warsaw）的Body/Mind International Contemporary Dance Festival中一個名為「taniec.pl」的節目板塊，2013年開始，由The Institute of Music and Dance開始負責統籌，分別於2014 年在盧布林（Lublin）和2017年在比托姆（Bytom）舉行，今屆舉行的城市就選址於他們所稱的「歐洲舞蹈港口」（European Dance Port） ─ 格但斯克（Gdańsk）。
In early September this year, I was honoured to be invited to participate in Poland Dance Platform 2019. This big dance event has been developed since 2013. It was initially named taniec.pl, which was part of the programme in Body/Mind International Contemporary Dance Festival. From 2013 onwards, The Institute of Music and Dance has taken over taniec.pl and started to take charge of organising and coordinating the event. It was hosted in Lublin in 2014 and in Bytom in 2017 respectively. In 2019, the host venue was in what they called the European Dance Port — Gdańsk.
戶外圓桌午膳，設於The European Solidarity Centre 門外，別具意義 Outdoor round-table lunch outside the gate of The European Solidarity Centre, it was especially meaningful; 照片由馮澤恩提供 Photo provided by Jacky Fung
Gdańsk has a superior geographical location, with its north as the Baltic Sea whose other side is Northern Europe. Therefore, Gdańsk has been the centre of transport and trade. Its profound history and location advantage has made Gdańsk the spot where many European countries scrambled for occupation. It was also the point where the Nazi Germany first attacked to enter Poland, marking the start of the World War II. Although Gdańsk had been through a lot and experienced severe damages, the city soon recovered its prosperity again after the war. Gdańsk today is the model of a culturally diverse city in Poland, encouraging new thoughts and ideas, endeavoring to attract more artists and cultural organisations to work on choreography and conduct researches on dance here. The open approach to art and dance has made Gdańsk the European Dance Port. Hosting Poland Dance Platform in Gdańsk not only enabled international dance artists and curators to experience the European Dance Port, but also spurred various forms of cross-cultural exchange, which served the functions of a port.
As the Port, it seeks to find more opportunities for touring and dance-making abroad, encourages more creations of artworks and the development of artists on an international level, and promoting to the world the dance groups and artists based in Poland, and even the Polish artists around the globe. In the form of contest, 12 extraordinary pieces of choreography stood out from the rest 100 contestants and selected by the judge panel of the Poland Dance Platform. The selected works illustrated the diverse patterns of dance development in Poland, excelling in themes, forms of expression and aesthetics. Apart from the competition, there were also forums, exhibitions and workshops, which gave international curators chances to understand the dance development in Poland through different channels. In addition, the organiser also launched plenty of large-scale funding programmes to subsidise art groups and artists to perform and create artworks abroad. The local government spared no effort in supporting local art and dance.
當地獨立藝術家的自我介紹環節 A self-introductory session of different local independent artists; 照片由馮澤恩提供 Photo provided by Jacky Fung
可惜的是，格但斯克要成為實至名歸的歐洲舞蹈港口，在劇場配套方面仍然稍嫌遜色，估計是市內專為舞蹈而建成的劇場不多，這次舞蹈平台的幾個主要演出的劇場都不能為觀眾提供最佳視野去欣賞舞蹈演出，尤其是其中一個主要演出場地 ─ 格但斯克莎士比亞劇院（Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre），顧名思義便是為戲劇演出而建成，縱使劇場的佈局概念源於英國倫敦的莎士比亞環球劇場（Globe Theatre），劇場可打開屋頂構成半露天劇場；主觀眾席卻置於舞台前面的水平面，絕大部分觀眾都被前排觀眾阻擋視線。作品與劇場的關係唇齒相依，就算再優秀的作品，也需要有合適的劇場演出，才能把作品淋漓盡致地展現在觀眾面前。
However, Gdańsk still lag behind in being a true and qualified European Dance Port, it is not equipped with up-to-standard theatrical venues and facilities. There are not enough performing theatres especially for dance in the city. The main performing theatres for the Dance Platform did not provide a satisfactory viewing experience for audience. Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre was particularly disappointing. The title already indicated the theatre itself is for drama instead of dance. The design concept was originated from the Globe Theatre in London, where the roof could be open and thus made the theatre half-outdoor. The setback was that the audience seating facing the stage has rows of seats on the same gradient, so most of the audience from the second rows onwards, had their sight blocked by the viewers at the front. Performing works always ties with theatres. An excellent work of art also needs an appropriate theatre to be performed fully and completely to audience.
Both software (artists/artworks/systems) and hardware (rehearsal studios/performing venues) are equally important for the Port. When both work well together, they would connect and prompt a promising atmosphere for arts and creation, making cultural exchange successful. I hope that Gdańsk would continue its pursuit of European Dance Port as its main urban development, and improve both software and hardware so that there would be one more settling location for dance.