Jacopo Godani awarded with Jovan Ćirilov Award

At the Belgrade Dance Festival in October

Jacopo Godani awarded with Jovan Ćirilov Award
Aja Jung and Jacopo Godani

BELGRADE On October 29th in the National Museum’s Atrium Belgrade Dance Festival’s Jovan Ćirilov Award was presented. By the decision of the jury, the award for the choreographic works performed at the previous Festival was given to Italian choreographer Jacopo Godani, the director of the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company.

Godani is well-known to the audience in Belgrade as one of the most striking European authors of contemporary dance, but also as a frequent guest of the Belgrade Dance Festival. We also remember him by his seven-day installation that he created and performed with the dancers from Frankfurt and Belgrade, for the occasion of the opening of the reconstructed Museum of Contemporary Art in Ušće.

The award that carries Jovan Ćirilov’s name is given to Godani for the triptych of works performed by The Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company at Sava Center on April 11th, 2019. in Belgrade and also at the Serbian National Theater on April 12th, 2019. in Novi Sad. Thus, Godani became the fifth laureate of the Jovan Ćirilov Award, after Jiri Kylian, Dimitris Papaioannou, Sharon Eyal and Marie Chouinard.

"What makes Godani’s manuscript special is a high level of aesthetic perfection and virtuoso dynamics. He is a choreographer who sculpts the complex dance figures into brilliant, unstoppable forms. He perfects every move to the extreme bodily limits, revealing the essence of every dancer’s identity, but also the Company he created...", is what is said among other things in the jury announcement read by the ballet dancer, teacher and critic Marija Janković.

Sculptor Andrea Prokopijević is the author of the artwork that was awarded to Jacopo Godani in Belgrade.

The Belgrade Dance Festival’s director, Aja Jung said among other things: “The times are really complicated, but it seems that persistence is the only tool in our hands. The responsibility is huge, but we cannot allow that the pause becomes longer than the show. I believe that Jovan Ćirilov would be pleased that we are so persistent and responsible towards our profession… The 17th Belgrade Dance Festival was interrupted before it started in March, but it is still happening, in the form of a marathon. We already know that this will be its longest edition, maybe more important than any previous, because it shows our relationship towards artists, partners and audience”…

Aja Jung stated that they were hesitant about who would present the award to Godani. “Jacopo feels at home in Belgrade, among friends, he spends time with my daughters, more than he does with me… so the question was who will present the award to him. However, we remembered that one Minister watched every show of his Company from Frankfurt in Belgrade and Novi Sad, but also many other shows at the Festival, following further journey and success of the choreographers that he met in Belgrade… Of course, this was not the Minister of Culture, but the Minister of Labour. In fact, during the last 4 years we had hardly seen any other politician in the cultural institutions…”

Expressing his gratitude for the award, Godani said: "I am honored to be a part of this cultural family and glad to be a part of the Belgrade Dance Festival. We are moving forward and we will see you on the stage soon! We are all impatiently expecting Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company’s performance on the December 22nd in Sava Center in Belgrade!”

Instead of March, or November, Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company will perform on the December 22nd in Sava Center. For this occasion, Belgrade Dance Festival is expecting a world premiere. One part of the 17th Belgrade Dance Festival had already been held in September, when Companies La Veronal from Barcelona, Un Poyo Rojo from Buenos Aires, Herve Koubi Company from Cannes, Ballet of Croatian National Theater from Rijeka, and Sanja Ninković’s production with the dancers of the National Theater’s Ballet from Belgrade performed. In November the audience will see performances of the Company 111 from Toulouse in Atelje 212 (November 6th) and Silvia Gribaudi Company from Venice in Opera Madlenianum (November 9th). After Belgrade, the Company from Venice will also perform in Gornji Milanovac (November 10th), as part of the Dance Caravan, a project of the National Foundation for Dance and the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne. Voetvolk Company from Antwerp will perform on December 19th in Belgrade Drama Theater.

Yesterday the organizers announced that the 18th Belgrade Dance Festival, in 2021, will open with the premiere of Dimitris Papaioannou from Athens, and that it brings many new titles. For now, it is certain that Companies and authors such as Akram Khan, Maguy Marin, Roberto Zappala, Adi Boutrous, Franck Chartier, Guilherme Botelho... will arrive in Belgrade and Novi Sad. Also, the audience can expect a part of the 17th edition’s program, mainly the performances of the companies from the USA, Canada, and Brazil, which were prevented from traveling abroad during the year 2020 due to the pandemic. 

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