Moving Borders or Migrating Identity of an Artist

Panellists: Jaro Viňarský, Soňa Ferienčíková, Peter Šavel, Martin Kilvády, Milan Tomášik
Moderator: Maja Hriešik

To claim that art is a language that transcends the boundaries of communication and overcomes barriers is as truthful as it is simplistic, smoothing over a complex and often bruising process of promoting anything beyond the borders of one’s own world. For crossing borders is always a struggle. And a transgression. Both for the artist and the audience. The process of acceptance requires determination as well as continuous effort. Maybe that is why it is sometimes said that works of art that have succeeded in crossing the borders of their own country and appealed to foreign audiences are worthy of attention and respect, indeed a growing reputation, back at home. What is it like for dance artists to make their mark in the global community? What is their migrating identity?

This year has been dominated by migration, a sense of threat and of new cultural encounters. What shapes the national outlines for which artists play the role of international messengers? Sometimes this leads to a process of creative assimilation, a shedding of the skin and of dissolving boundaries, but sometimes it results in an anxious protecting of one’s own culture, which demands isolation. Is there a third way? Is dance better able to cross the limitations of national borders or the barriers of prejudice relating to the body, or is the view that thanks to its non-verbal character dance is able to communicate across countries and cultures just a myth? Does a dancer’s body have its own identity and boundaries?