Battery Dance Company worked and performed at the Varna Festival (Bulgaria) in 1999.
VARNA, BULGARIA – 1999
Event: Varna Festival
Accommodations: Odessa Hotel – situated near the beach (Simple, clean rooms)
Please see the Narrative for information relevant to lessons learned.
The Varna Festival was the last engagement in a tour that also included two festivals in Slovenia: Lent Festival in Maribor and Krizanke Festival in Ljubljana; and the European Cultural Month Festival in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Claire Pannell, BDC Company Manager, and Barry Steele, Production Designer (and man of all trades) led the tour, with critical assistance from our dancer Tadej Brdnik, a native of Slovenia, who was able to serve as translator on a linguistic and cultural level (and who also helped us obtain the Slovenian engagements.)
The opera house in Varna (see picture on the right) was visually beautiful but presented some serious problems. The stage was rickety and wooden with big hand-winding contraptions underneath to move sections of the stage up and down. In the minds of the crew, they had flattened the stage in preparation for our performance by making all the wooden floors match up to some extent. However, the large gaps between sections were not safely dealt with by the thin linoleum that had been laid across the stage (without gaffers tape to hold it down.)
A technique came into play that we have since used elsewhere (see Baku, Azerbaijan, 2008). Large cardboard boxes were flattened to bridge the gaps and then the linoleum was restored and taped into place. This solution was not ideal and the dancers had to navigate carefully during their performance so as not to catch a toe or lose a balance.
We have fond memories of Maria, our translator, who was outstanding in every way. She became an integral part of our group, and we remain grateful to this day.