“Homopuppy” by Hrista Panayotova and Leon Leon Börgens is an artistic research on communication. At the center of their performance is the need to connect, to interact, to create side by side. The performance is inspired by the ideas of the historian and writer Rutger Bregman. In his latest book Humankind (2019), he opposes the concept that people are driven solely by self-interest and that selfishness is at the heart of the modern world. According to him, humankind has evolved from survival of the domineering ones to “survival of the friendliest”; for the latter he also introduces the concept of "homo puppy". Bregman sees humans as generous and cooperative, and a major factor in shaping our society is the ability to create together.
The performance “Homopuppy” creates a neutral space of empathy where we meet. In this space, the two artists seek to explore the possibilities of communication and to experience the differences through dance, partnering and acrobatics, inviting the audience to join in.
Since 2021 Leon and Hrista have been working on the project “Let's meet in the middle”, funded by the National Culture Fund, Bulgaria, followed by its second version “Homopuppy”. In addition, Leon and Hrista share their practice in workshops on partnering, acrobatics and dance in Varna and France.
Leon Börgens is a German circus artist, dancer and performer with Indonesian roots. He studied circus arts at the Escuela de Circo Carampa in Madrid and contemporary circus arts at ESAC in Brussels where he specialized in partner acrobatics. Leon has worked as a professional circus artist and performer since 2016. Together with his duo partner – Leonardo Garcia, Leon realized several projects in Belgium, working with Charlie Dégotte (Revue Fantastique, Theatre 140), Roberto Magro (Un Minuto, Les Halles), Catherine Diverrès (Blowin', Les Halles) и Marcus von Wachtel (Wonderful World, Teatro Circo Price).
For a short time their duo performance tour “Mitone - LeonoLeo” had toured Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. Leon joined the team of Overhead Project – a company for contemporary circus and dance based in Cologne, Germany in 2018. He has been working with the French company Un Loup Pour L'Homme since 2020.
Hrista Panayotova (b. in Varna, Bulgaria) had studied classical dance at “Dobri Voynikov” Secondary School – Varna. In 2020 she acquired BA with a focus on contemporary dance and stage practice from Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. During her studies in Cologne, Hrista received training in somatic practices, floor and dance technique, anatomy, and dance studies. She created two solo works, “Adaptation” and “Nestinari'”, which are inspired by Bulgarian folk traditions and dances, and combined with processes and practices from contemporary dance. She has also worked professionally on dance projects with Apt Lachky, Ben J Riepe Company, and has received mentorship from the dance and circus artist Breno Caetano. Since 2020 Hrista has been working as a freelance contemporary dancer and is part of a company that links dance and circus, Overhead Project, specially working on the Circular Vertigo project. Since 2021 she has been part of Acting for Climate's Greenhouse Network project. Nowadays, Christa works as a dancer and performer with various choreographers, with her own collective, and in duo with Leon Börgens. Her practice connects environmental activism, personal affiliation and identity.