The Swimming Pool in question is: the name of the institution that has initiated this project; a key point in the architecture of the space; a blue cube; yet another empty pool deprived of its functions in the city; a metaphor for emptiness and the potential for change; but also a metaphor for the emptying of meaning of the institutions of the post-socialist state and for the privatization of public spaces.
Within the framework of the workshop* “A Score for an Empty Swimming Pool,” the swimming pool of Swimming Pool will become a laboratory for studying collective movement in which we learn to act in a coordinated way and through which we restore our sense of community.
This study of movement is informed by scientific research on the slime mold (Physarum polycephalum), by Hito Steyerl’s text “In Free Fall,” by theory and practice in contemporary dance dramaturgy, social choreography and relational aesthetics. Its main point of departure, however, is the already existing movements in the body and the synchronization of the different bodies as a single mechanism.
How can we act together and move as one? We explore group dynamics, decision-making, shared responsibility, body intelligence and intuition. We look for a new approach to touching in the new normal. The movements we discover together will be recorded in a score of tasks that can be activated in different institutions and empty swimming pools.
The empty swimming pool is a Petri dish in which we observe a slime mold. In the movement of the slime mold, thinking and doing are inseparable, and the possibilities about the future are imagined and rehearsed.
Yasen Vasilev (1988) is the author of four poetry collections, he is winner of the audience award at the festival Sofia:Poetics 2010, and of the CEI Fellowship for Writers in Residence 2020 at the Vilenica International Literary Festival. He holds a BA in Dramaturgy from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia and an MA in Intercultural Communication from the Shanghai Theatre Academy. The practical research for his MA thesis on the politics of dance, NUTRICULA (2015–), has been developed and presented in the form of workshops and solo and collective performances in Shanghai, Lisbon, Vilnius, Barcelona, Volda, and Taipei. The first Bulgarian version of this project, titled Impossible Actions, will premiere in May at DNK – space for contemporary dance and performance in Sofia. Since 2018 he has been collaborating with Radar Sofia and with Belgian choreographer Ehsan Hemat, and writing regularly for Springback magazine. He is co-founder of Drama Pact, an informal group of writers and artists who share resources instead of competing for them, which is designed as a platform for developing, supporting and producing new forms and formats in contemporary dramaturgy.