| 47 A total of 16 ballet and contemporary dance companies from 11 countries, with 20 choreographic pieces and 25 solos and duets, will present themselves to the Belgrade public from 22nd March to 12th April during the 16th edition of the Belgrade Dance Festival, which will this year be coloured by “Emotions”. Among them is also the renowned Jacopo Godani, Artistic Director of the Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company, which will once again shift the concept of contemporary dance at Belgrade’s SavaCentreon11th April. He’s coming back to the BelgradeDance Festival to show, once again, that there are no limits for him... You mentioned once that people from the Balkans have a rhythm inside them. What does that rhythm sound like to you? - Balkan people have movement inside them, they are very dynamic people, very close to their physicality, and also to dance.Their rhythmisastrongbeatingone. Youwereborn inLaSpezia, on Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea, but you’ve worked all over the world. Today you are the artistic director of an amazing company that is resident in two cities, Dresden and Frankfurt. Do you like totravel andmeetdi erentpeople andmentalities? Is thatwhat inspires you, among other things? - It is one of the best things in life for me: to have the chance to work on what I love, and for this work to allowme to travel and to bring me into contact with new people, newplaces, new frequencies and inputs…All that is one of the best sources of inspirations I could ask for. It keeps me on my toes, always refreshes me and shows me how many possibilities exist. Didyoubringsome impression from Serbia that later you incorporated into dance? - Yes, the power its people have to make things happen! Your grit! You re-opened the Museum of ContemporaryArtBelgrade inspectacular fashion!HaveyouhadtheopportunitytogetacquaintedwiththeCity of Belgrade’s art and culture scene? -Becauseof theprojectwiththeMuseumof Contemporary Art in 2017, me and my team had the chance to be with, and towork very closewith, some of themost important artistic and cultural gures in your country, such as Aja Jung (Belgrade Dance Festival), Slobodan Nakarada (Museumof Contemporary Art), IvanTasovac (Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra)…We also collaborated with a fantastic group of local Serbian dancers... It was an amazing project, and it gave us the very best rst impression we could ever have had of your culture scene. Youhavepreparedreal treats for this year’sBelgradeDanceFestival, isthat right? Tell us what we can expect, I think we will also enjoy live music, in addition to dance itself? - With my company, I have prepared a very special mix programme for the Belgrade Dance Festival: it is edgy and classic and there is live music and, to end the evening, achoreographywith the full company on stage… Everything is going to be there, all that we’ve achieved to date workingover thesepast four years is there, on stage. Do you like to challenge yourself, to push theboundariesof physical and mental endurance inart? Is therean end? Have you reached the limit? - I don’t think I’m ever going to reach a limit, I don’t believe there are limits, actually! I truly believe that the human body, and dancers in particular, have so much to research, so much to investigate, that we have to keep on going and create ballet for the future…There is away todo it, andwe try todo that every day at the company; to push and challenge ourselves intellectually and also physically, whilst trying to achieve a more sophisticated way of movement and choreography, which empowers us and gives us beautiful emotions. What does dance represent to you, and what is itsplace incontemporaryart that seems tohavebeen lost inexperiments? - Dance is communication; it is a language that elicits emotions in us. It is something very primordial that exists in all of us. There is a contemporary ballet belonging to the future that can speak to our society today, and we now need to develop that close contact again. We now need to start investigating how to create it while we reach out to audiences. You design all segments of work – from choreography, via design and stage setting, writing texts, stylising theartists’ looks, adjustingthemusic etc. Does that mean that you have a clear vision in advanceofwhatyouwant to see on stage? -Yes, I normally have a very clear concept ofwhat I want to see on stage, what I need to see, though in some productions that takes longer to take shape. Each process is different, Imust say. Sometimes I’mable to choreograph very quickly and create a large amount of material, other times I give myself time and the space in the process for the concept to be born. Costumes, music, stage settings happen inparallel with the choreography. Some of the concepts that Idevelopedrecently, duringthese last four seasonswith the company, have been evolving in my mind for the last 10 years. It is an ongoing process that never stops. Whatdoyouthinkabout theprogramme of 16th Belgrade Dance Festival? Which performances would you like to see? - The Festival’s programme gives its audience an unbelievable overview of what’s going on in dance worldwide. I think its artistic director, Aja Jung, always manages to bring the most interesting companies to Belgrade. I would love to be able to sit and enjoy any of the shows, honestly! Withmy company, I’ve prepared a special mix programme for the Belgrade Dance Festival – controversial, but also classical, it includes livemusic and the evening ends with choreography that includes the entire company on the stage Igra je komunikacija, to je manevar koji izaziva emocije u nama Dance is communication; it is a language that elicits emotions in us