“Step right up ladies and gentlemen! Join us in the happiest show on Earth!”
National ICARUS Award for Contemporary Dance and Performance, 2019
Made for Happiness is a commentary on a topic which we often consider unquestionable, but which turns out to be very important in our contemporary culture: what is happiness and how do we achieve it? To create their “happy show”, Iva Sveshtarova and Willy Prager studied various popular manuals, tests and websites for measuring happiness, documentaries and scientific papers. Equipped with the findings, they embark on an hour-long session in which they will produce happiness for the audience and for themselves. On the stage they are armed with stress balls, Champaign and other pleasant stimuli. And alluringly invite us to “Laugh! Cry! Scream! We just want you to be happy!”
Iva Sveshtarova holds a Master’s degree in Choreography and Performance from the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany. She also graduated from the experimental Theatre-Studio 4XC and Synthetic Stage Arts program of The University of Plovdiv. In 2006 she was awarded with a DanceWeb Scholarship, and from 2002 to 2006 she was part of the company Acto – Instituto de Arte Dramatica, Portugal. She has worked with directors and choreographers such as Nikolay Georgiev, Filipe Pereira, Helena Botto, Galina Borissova, deufert&plischke, Thomas Lehmen, Verena Billinger and Sebastian Schulz, Ani Vaseva, Maren Strack, Anna Dankova a.o. Since 2007 she is one of the cofounders of Brain Store Project Foundation. She has authored and co-authored the performances: A Better Life (a collaboration between Willy Prager, the German choreographer Martin Stiefermann and the dramaturg Natalie Baudy), shamebox (with Willy Prager, ICARUS Award 2018), Balkan Dance Reality Show (collective work with Rosa Beermann and Sonja Pregrad), Our Last Pas de Deux by Galina Borissova, Museum of Hygiene, Donna Clara and Cliché. Iva Sveshtarova is also among the cofounders of Nomad Dance Academy and Antistatic International Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance.
Willy Prager holds a Master’s degree in Solo, Dance, Authorship from the Universtität der Kunste in Berlin. He also graduated from the experimental Theatre-Studio 4XC and Synthetic Stage Arts program of University of Plovdiv. He has worked with directors and choreographers such as Galina Borissova, Nikolay Georgiev, David Zambrano, Ivo Dimchev, deufert&plischke, Thomas Lehmen, Dalija Acin, Matej Kejzar, Maren Strack among others. He has authored and co-authored the performances: Museum of Hygiene (2011), Transformability (2012), Victory Day (2013), Balkan Dance Reality Show (2015), Our Last Pas de Deux (2015 ), shamebox (2018). In 2013 he won Prix Jardin d’Europe Award of ImPulsTanz Festival. Willy Prager is among the cofounders of the Balkan dance network Nomad Dance Academy, Brain Store Project Foundation and Antistatic International Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance.
The production was supported by The Culture Program of Sofia Municipality for 2018 and The Ministry of Culture of The Republic of Bulgaria, and was realized in partnership with National Palace of Culture and with the cooperation of Goethe-Institute Bulgaria.