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XII the Black Box International Theatre and Dance Festival 


The 12h annual Black Box International Theatre and Dance Festival was held from May 31 to June 6, 2018, in Plovdiv. The festival featured 10 international and Bulgarian works in the fields of theatre and contemporary dance from 9 countries. Festival's partners in 2018 were the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, Municipality of Plovdiv, Embassy of Israel, U.S. Embassy, Italian Cultural Institute, Plovdiv Drama Theatre, National High School for the Performing and Screen Arts Plovdiv and Plovdiv 2019 Foundation.

Leading Bulgarian stage director and actress Diana Dobreva was a special guest of the 2018 The Black Box ITDF.


May 30


Production of Plovdiv Drama Theatre 


Author: Matjaz Zupancic

Translation: Lyudmil Dimitrov

Director: Alexandra Petrova

Art Direction: Desislava Bankova

Composer: Milen Apostolov

Cast: Dobrin Dosev, Todor Darlianov, Radina Dumanyan, Dimitar Banchev

An apartment is rented by three friends who are looking for a roommate. They have posted an ad and are waiting for the candidate. One wonderful day the mysterious Vladimir has arrived. His past is a mystery. By applying the "divide and conquer" strategy, Vladimir will do everything necessery “peace to rule” in this house. An exciting story about the blurred line between order and tyranny, love and repression, and "normal" and extreme. The well-know Slovenian playwrite Matjaz Zupancic is a professor of directing in AGFRT, the Ljubljana Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television and a multiple winner of the biggest theatrical award in Slovenia – Grum Award.


June 1

Program – Plovdiv in Focus

First Steps in Pantomime

National High School for the Performing and Screen Arts, Plovdiv

First Steps in Pantomime is a performance created by the dance and pantomime pedagogue Guram Birkadze and students in the Pantomime program at the National High School for the Performing and Screen Arts, Plovdiv. The high school is unique on the Balkan Peninsula, training high school students in the field of theatre, cinema and contemporary visual arts.

The performance consists of several etudes combined by the universal language of the mime art and inspired by the new reading of the young performers.


June 4

Contemporary Dance Program

What Is Jazz? / The Way We Play

Alina Sokulska


Alina Sokulska is an internationally acclaimed jazz dance artist, choreographer, performer, instructor and researcher. Alina started her path as a solo dancer since the very early age gaining experience and knowledge in many dance styles and cultures. Jazz dance has become her major passion and for the moment she is one of those dancers in the swing dance community elaborating on her own dance language with intertexts of swing, blues, bebop, tap dance, UK jazz, afro and latin, comprehending jazz as an African rooted art form. Through her theoretical researches of jazz dance history she broadens the limits of what is called "jazz dance" to African-American dance, both in practice, art and a teaching approach.

What Is Jazz? / The Way We Play - The way Jazz sounds now. The way Jazz would look like now embodied in motion, if one day in the vernacular jazz dance history it wouldn’t have ceased to be danced, cherished by the music.

Inspired by Marquis Hill Blacktet.

Festival participation history of the piece: Rock That Swing (Munich); Paris Jazz Roots (Paris); Evolution Solo Weekend (St. Petersburg); Brothers-In-Jazz (Madrid); Barcelona Jazz Weekender (Barcelona); Moscow Christmas Swing Dance Camp (Moscow).


June 4

Contemporary Dance Program


Autumn Eckman Dance


This guest performance is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria

'Sardine', investigates the ways in which human interactions--from the simple to the complex-- form deep relationships that are both physically and metaphorically attuned through synchronous movement.

AutumnEckmanDance (AED) devises work from an integrated approach to an ever-broader range of contemporary dance languages and the body in the living moment. By manifesting stories through body-based lenses, each project aims to draw a deeper understanding of the social, cultural and political fabrics of choreography as well as the ways in which dance fosters connection between us. AED has been presented nationally and internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival and the Detroit Dance City Festival.

Autumn Eckman received her ballet training from Susan Banks Bebee, Tom Pazik and the Houston Ballet Academy before dancing professionally with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Giordano Dance Chicago, Lucky Plush Productions, Ron De Jesus Dance and the State Street Ballet. Her performance repertoire includes works by Benjamin Millepied, Twyla Tharp, Robert Battle, Ohad Naharin, Nacho Duato, Gus Giordano, Daniel Ezralow and Mia Michaels.  Currently, she is a member of Chicago-based company, The Cambrians. Forming AutumnEckmanDance in 2015, her work has been presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Jazz Dance World Congress, Midwest RAD Festival, Florida Dance Festival, Detroit Dance City Festival and the Kalamazoo Aesthetic Research and Education Program. An Iowa Arts Fellow, Autumn received her MFA in Choreography at the University of Iowa. Currently, she is a Visiting Professor of Dance at the University of Arizona.


June 5

Contemporary Dance Program


Lee Jung In 


Choreography, Dance : Lee Jung In

Live Music : Lee Dae Heung

Light : Park Ju won

Movement Assistant : Lee Seung Ju

Demand intimacy as holding out a sweat hand. I cannot help holding the hand, but I pour cold sweat due to the instant inconvenient contact. Soon, I close my eyes.

From the intricate daily senses to hysteric feelings.

Unintended instant contact, momentary inconvenience, stiffened senses upon that feeling. From the intricate daily senses to hysteric feelings. Can dance express peripheral nerves?

Skins was shown in Hidden Door Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, GB, INACT Festival, Strasbourg, France, High Fest International Performing Arts Festival, Yerevan, Armenia, International Contemporary Dance Festival, Mexico, Mexico city, Dance Days Chania 7, Crete Chania, Greece, Varna Summer Theater Festival, Varna, Bulgaria, 31st, TanzHafen Festival, Linz, Austria, Modafe Korea(Premiere), Seoul, Korea, Seoul International Choreography Festival, Seoul, Korea, Mono Tanz Festival , Budapest, Hungary (EU Premiere), Dance Festival, Kaunas, Lithuania , Bratislava in Movement, Bratislava, Slovakia, Dance Bridge – Session House, Tokyo, Japan.


May 31

Romanza - triptych of the intimacy

Cie Twain physical dance theatre Italy

This guest performance is supported by the Italian Cultural Institute in Bulgaria.

Best Choreography Award at the CortoinDanza Festival 2011 in Cagliari

Shortlisted Kilowatt Festival 2013

Choreography and direction: Loredana Parrella

Dancers: Elisa Melis, Yoris Petrillo

Lighting designer: Cesare Lavezzoli

Costumes designer: Loredana Parrella

Costumes production: Sartoria Mulas

Distribution: Lune Fè Magrini

Production: AcT/Cie Twain 2013

Supported by: MiBACT - Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism

In residence: Centro d'Arte e Cultura – Città di Ladispoli

Romanza, trittico dell'intimità is a path melting as an antidote in our miserable time to revive the dormant impulse of passion, where Love and Pain become emotions expressed through the fragile laws of our bodies. The work is composed of three parts: "Angeli e Insetti", "Riflesso" and "Féroce présence".

Cie Twain, a company having accomplished more than twenty productions over twelve years, was born in 2006 when the Italian choreographer and director Loredana Parrella met the Belgian designer Roel Van Berckelaer. Since 2011 Cie Twain physical dance theatre is a Dance Company supported by MiBACT - the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Regional Governament – Regione Lazio, City of Cerveteri, City of Ladispoli. In residency at Sala Bausch – Art and Cultural Centre of Ladispoli (Rome) and Teatro Claudio in Tolfa (Rome).

Cie Twain physical dance theatre performed in hundreds of Italian's theatres in cities like: Rome, Naples, Florence, Turin, Milan, Palermo, Bari, Bologna, Vicenza, Venice, Trieste, Modena, Ravenna, Perugia, Ancona, Salerno, Catania, L'Aquila, Pescara, Spoleto, Siena, Cagliari, and abroad in England, Serbia, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Cyprus and U.S.A.

In the last few years the company has been participating in high profile festivals such as: Sala Cuarta Pared_Madrid, Teatri di Vetro Festival_Roma, Finalista Premio Equilibrio, Auditorium Candiani_Mestre,Festival CortoinDanza_Cagliari, La Mama Spoleto Open Festival, Teatro Palladium_Roma, fabbricAzioni Festival_Rieti, Finalista Premio Teatri del Sacro , and many others.


June 4

Contemporary Dance Program

I saw a fish in the river(it had some of you in it)

Lior Lazarof


This guest performance is supported by the Embassy of Israel in Bulgaria.

Concept, choreography: Lior Lazarof

Dance, interpretation: Tímea Laza, Sharon Barbakov

Original music: Ádám Márton Horváth

Supported by: Life Long Burning, Workshop Foundation, Ultima Vez, L1 Association, EMMI

Premiere in the International Dance Festival SzólóDuó | Mu Színház |

Budapest, Hungary, BÁNKITÓ Festival | Bánk, Hungary, Echo Echo festival of Dance and Movement | Derry, Ireland

Lior Lazarof is a freelance dance and movement artist. She began her professional dance training at the MASPA Ga’aton, Israel. She later continued her studies in “The Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance”. Lior’s work and research had been acknowledged as she received several different grants and residences that supports her artistic practice. In her projects she collaborates with artists from various disciplines, exploring the border point between the physical body and a defined space.

The abstract world created in the dance parallels reality through the physical and spiritual self-revelation. The audience is to be lured into a grey zone, where the image overwrites the presence. The continuous and fluid movement creates a trance sensation that opens the gates for the dancers subconscious. The dancers appear as fish in the river, or the river itself, change their relations in space moving from horizontal to vertical and vice versa. What happens in the point the two rivers meet, do they become one and flow together?


June 5

Contemporary Dance Program

In Light of Those You Love

Retrospect Dance Theatre


Christopher Thomas and Hannah McGlashon founded Retrospect Dance Theatre (RSDT) in July 2017. Both Directors trained at Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.

Christopher and Hannah first collaborated in their final year of training creating a duet, which was part of the official selection for 31 Internationaler Wettbewerb fur Choreographie Hannover 2017. From here the partnership was formed and Retrospect Dance Theatre was born.

Both directors are passionate about creating compelling narrative work with honest and true performances. The company creates work by using a method acting based choreographic process, where movement is generated from honest emotion. It also collaborates with a multitude of art forms to engage a variety of audiences, these include spoken word, film, dance, intricate stage design and music to create emotionally immersive dance theatre.

Festivals Participation:

31 International Wettbewurb fur Choreographie Hannover 2017, Theatre am Agei, Hannover

14th October 2017 – _FLUX International Dance Rotterdamse Schuwberg, Rotterdam, Pitch 2017, The Point, Eastleigh , Dance Proms, The Royal Albert Hall, London, Resolution 2018, The Place Theatre, London, SCRATCH, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead 


June 6 



Czech Republic

This guest performance is supported by Státní fond kultury České republiky

Concept: Holektiv - Andrea Vykysalá, Karolína Křížková, Eva Stará

Music: JAK- Matěj Coufal & Julie Lupačová

Light design: L‘non

Costumes: Barbora Procházková

Stage design: Anežka Kalivodová

Supervision: Adéla Laštovková Stodolová

Supported by: HAMU, La Fabrika, Cirqueon, Cooltour, De‘Longhi, KC

Zahrada, Art District Praha 7, Nadace Život umělce

Photo: Dita Havránková

The coffee-machine shines. The coffee flows. Kaffee! Women sitting down.

Gossiping. Klatsch! Kaffeeklatsch. A theatre piece with dance, acrobatics

and coffee.

*The term „Kaffeeklatsch“, meaning gossiping at coffee, has its origins in the first half of the 19th century. In those days, women weren't allowed into public cafés, and so they started to consequently meet in their own households, where they drank coffee and talked. The men started calling that new custom Kaffeeklatsch.

Holektiv was founded in 2016 as an annual cooperation by three performers. The young artistic company combines mime, contemporary dance, acrobatics and clownery.

Eva Stará studied at the Duncan centre conservatory (CZ) and at the department of pantomime at University of performing arts in Prague. She is involved in the creational process of children’s performance prepared by Studio Light of Lenka Tretiag. As an interpreter, she acts at following plays: Jeníček a Mařenka (State Opera House in Prague, directory: M. Forman), Modrý pták (National theatre in Prague, directory: Š. Pácl), Oni a Marie (directory: M. Stará – festival Za Dveřmi, Open Air Hradec Králové), News Garden (chor.: M. Purucker – festival Tanec Praha) and at Domácí úkoly z pilnosti (theatre Alfred ve dvoře) etc.

Karolína Křížková studied at the department of pantomime and non-verbal theatre at University of Performing Arts in Prague. As a performer she took part in festivals - My Mime, PAN, Prague’s Quadriennale (project He war - Tribes), Fun Fatale, etc. 

Andrea Vykysalá studied at the Duncan centre conservatory (CZ) and at the dance department at University of Performing Arts in Prague. Up to now, she took part in various performances – Sophi (chor.: S. Puchowska), Žízně (chor.: M. Talaga), Materia (chor.: D. Pala), Salome (State Opera House Prague, director: M. Trelinski), Among us (director: H. Strejčková, chor.: V. Ondrašiková), News Garden (chor.: M. Purucker) and as a performer at festival KIOSK (SK), Warsaw Dance Days (PL), Tanec Praha (CZ), Malá inventura (CZ), Nová generace (CZ), etc. She teaches contemporary dance technique.

Accompanying events


June 1

Creative meeting with Bulgarian stage director Diana Dobreva 


Diana Dobreva is a leading Bulgarian stage director and actress. She won a directing award at the Avignon Festival, France. For her roles in cinema and theater she has received the Golden Rose and Askeer awards. Dobreva has also won Askeer award for Best Performance and Direction. In the last years she directed - "Macbeth", "Casanova", "House of Wrath", "Wolves", "Salome", "Caligula", "Debelyanov and the Angels". Her works boldly expand theatrical aesthetics. As of 2017 Diana Dobreva is a stage director at Ivan Vazov National Theatre – Bulgaria.


May 31 - June 6

Sounding Dance

Participatory Sound Art Project

Renzo Spiteri


Four Plovdiv’s choreographers and sound artist Renzo Spitteri from Malta will create SOUNDING DANCE during the 12th Black Box International Theatre and Dance Festival.

An immersive project that experiments with awareness through sound, inviting publics to engage with sound/space experiences.

An internationally respected experimental electronic artist, composer and musician, Renzo is renowned for his artistic versatility, creative use of sound and unlimited modes of expression. He shares his work base between the UK and Malta, although his own projects as well as collaborations with artistes in all genres of artistic expression take him to different countries around the world. 

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