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I would certainly recommend this jump in at the deep end…

Austrian dancer

The transition days from summer to autumn, i.e. August and September, I am spending with a group of young dancers and choreographers in Ukraine. The reason for this is the project ARTIL – an art residency and training program.

The results are to be displayed in several cities in Ukraine, Austria, and Poland.

For the first time, this format takes place across borders. Participating countries are Austria, Poland, and Ukraine. The focus lies on an intensive cultural, social and artistic exchange.

During this time, I get to know different work processes and at the same time gain insights and experience in a country that was totally unknown to me before. My impressions are limited to a short period of time, so instead of hasty judgment, here are some first impressions:

As I arrived, I have immediately realized that language is a huge barrier. Not only in everyday encounters or asking for information, but also in the Artil group, where it creates a certain distance between the participants. I attribute it to a shy reaction because the majority of the population does not speak or hardly speaks English. In the café, I order water for my coffee and get milk instead. In the post office, I draw a stamp and an envelope on a sheet of paper to explain what I want. This list could go on and on, but when I look back, I simply smile.

Apart from challenges in everyday life, it also takes time to grow together as a group. We grew up in very different environments and what is self-evident to one person requires patience from another. As we also live together during this period of two months, I notice how quickly the ice breaks and, on the other hand, there is hardly a minute to get away from work.

I learned a lot during this time and would certainly recommend this jump in at the deep end.

The project has great potential, especially in Ukraine, where it can draw attention to performance art and show the audience the spectrum of its possibilities.