Euphoria of Sickness
Euphoria of Sickness
Euphoria of Sickness

Euphoria of Sickness

Or crossing beyond microscopic boundaries

Bulgarian Dance Platform is realized with the financial support of Ministry of Culture. 

The notion of humankind regarding what sickness is has undergone deep changes over the centuries. From assigning extraordinary powers to diseases in ancient times through the discoveries of microbe theory in the 19th century to the COVID-19 pandemic – our story about sickness has always been influenced both by the scientific advancement and the cultural beliefs and practices of the time.

“Euphoria of Sickness” dives deep into the theme of the sickness through the “body” of one of the smallest, but powerful pathogens known to the mankind – the virus – and looks at the most critical moment for any person: when encounter with contagion. The performance explores the multi-layered relationship between the host cell and the virus to present its abstract perspective on these so miniature  yet so essential complexities intertwined in a common “dance”. 

In “Euphoria of sickness” the virus is methaphoric projection of a silent invader, tempter, a force of nature that forms a squad of attackers.

The mechanisms of attack and spread of the infection are revealed through a series of fluid and dynamic scenes highlighting the adaptability, resilience and unpredictability of the viral presence.

The performance goes beyond the literal, it enters into the symbolic aspects of the infection and interweaves the insights and intuitive experiences of encountering the unknown, creating a stage environment that reflects the complex relationships between people and virus. The inevitable euphoria thrives in it, which upon conquering the cell creates the conditions for both the invader and the host to experience pleasure and delight.

In “Euphoria of Sickness” the virus transforms into a key to the artistic space where the boundaries between the sickness and the understanding and human experience become fluid and transformative.

Iva Sveshtatova graduated in “Choreography and performance” from the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany, “Synthetic and Stage Art” from the University of Plovdiv and the experimental theatre classes 4XC. In 2006 she was a grantee of “DanceWeb”. 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, Galina Borisova, Ani Vaseva, Filipe Pereira, Deufert and Plischke, Thomas Lehmen, Maren Strack, Helena Botto, Andre Rio-Sarsey, Anna Dankova, etc. Since 2007 she has been a member of the Brain Store Project.
Iva Sveshtarova is the author of the performances “Perfectly Pink” (ICARUS Award nomination for Contemporary Dance and Performance, 2019), “a (e) ffect”, “Doing that thing again”, “Mirror Phase” and “Kafka’s Metamorphosis” (production by Acto – Instituto de Arte Dramatica, Portugal).
Sveshtarova collaborates artistically with the artists Willy Prager and Rosa Bermann (Germany). In recent years she and Willy Prager co-authored the following works: “Before the end … (of the world)”, “A Better Life” (a collaboration between Sveshtarova, Prager and Stiefermann, Germany), “Made for Happiness”, “shamebox” with Willy Prager, ”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”, etc. Contemporary performances with Rosa Bergmann: “Soft things”, “Strip naked, talk naked” (realized within “FREISCHWIMMER” 2014/15, produced by “Sophiensaele”, Berlin), “Show me how” and “Velocity Pumps” (in cooperation with Tessa Theisen).  
Iva Sveshtarova is co-founder of the Nomad Dance Academy – Balkan Network for Contemporary Dance and of Antistatic International Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance.
Some of the co-productions of Iva Sveshtatova and Willy Prager – “shamebox” /2018/ and “Made for Happiness” /2019/ were awarded the national ICARUS award in the “Contemporary Dance and Performance” category.

Willy Prager is an artist, working in the field of contemporary dance and performance. He graduated from the experimental Theatre-Studio 4XC and Synthetic Stage Arts Bachelor’s program of the University of Plovdiv in 1999 and he also holds a Master’s degree in Solo, Dance, Authorship from the Universtität der Kunste from 2013. As a performer Willy Prager has worked with directors and choreographers such as Nikolay Georgiev, Galina Borisova, Ivo Dimchev, Matej Kejzar, deufert&plischke, Thomas Lehmen, Xavier le Roy, Dalija Acin, Maren Strack, etc.
Willy Prager is author of the performances “Prager Strasse”, “Game-a porter”, “Transformability”, “Egyptian spring”, “The victory day” and „Less might be more”, Transformability: Forever [partly musical].
Together with Iva Sveshtarova they created and participated in “Watch your back”, “Cliche”, “Dona Clara”, “Premigration Fever”, +/- 359 Topology, “Museum of Hygiene”, “Our last pas de deux”, “Balkan Dance Reality Show”, “shamebox”, “Made for Happiness”, “A better life” and “Before the end … (of the world)”.
In addition to Iva Sveshtarova, Prager has cooperated with Rosa Bermann, Sonja Pregrad, Stefan Shterev, Mila Ivanova, Nelly Miteva, Martin Stieferman, etc. He participated in numerous international festivals such as: ImPulstanz“, Wien; “Tanz Tage“, Berlin; “ExPlore“, Bucharest; “Off Europe“, Leipzig;  “Bazzar“, Prague; “Kondenz“, Belgrade; “Platforma“, Zagreb; “Spider“, Ljubliana; “Tanz Nacht“, Berlin; Experimental theatre festival Cairo; Varna Summer”, Varna, “The Aquarius Era”, Burgas; “Water” Burgas; “ACT” Sofia; “One dance week”, Plovdiv, etc.
Prager has won the European choreography award “Jardin d‘Europe” by ImPulsTanz“, Vienna for the performance “Тhe victory day”(2013), ICARUS award for the performance “shamebox” (2018), as well as the ICARUS award for the performance “Made for happiness” (2019).
Prager is co-founder of the Brain Store Project Foundation (2005), the Nomad Dance Academy and the Antistatic Contemporary Dance and Performance Festival, as well as a co-producer of “Dance Magazine”.

The performance was realized with the financial support of the National Culture Fund under the Restoration and Development of Private Cultural organizations Programme in partnership with “Toplocentrala” Center for Contemporary Arts and Goethe-Institut Bulgarien.