Transformability: Forever [partly musical]
Transformability: Forever [partly musical]
Transformability: Forever [partly musical]

Transformability: Forever [partly musical]


The performance is co-funded by the “Creative Europe” Programme of the European Union, the National Culture Fund, under “Creative Europe” subprogramme and the Sofia Municipality Calendar of Cultural Events, 2024.

“Transformability” is an original performance by Willy Prager, provoked and inspired by the article of the same name by the philosopher Boyan Manchev, published in 2006 in the prestigious German performing arts magazine “Theater der Zeit”. The performance was created in partnership and with the participation of the choreographers and performers Sonja Pregrad (Croatia) and Tian Rotteveel (Netherlands), and later on the team was joined by Iva Sveshtarova (Bulgaria). The premiere of the original work took place in 2012 at the iconic dance festival “Tanztage” in Berlin, followed by numerous invitations from other festivals in Europe and rave reviews in the media. Twelve years later, this cult performance returns to the Bulgarian stage with the title “Transformability: Forever [partly musical]” as part of the international educational project “SEEDS”. It started in 2023 as a kind of “academy” for dancers and producers who are at the beginning of their career and aims to integrate them into the European professional exchange through long-term intensive training. Therefore, the choreographer Willy Prager recreates his work with students from the Romanian Dance Center and with young Bulgarian performers.

The full title of Boyan Manchev’s influential publication, which is the basis of the performance, is: “Transformability. Performing Society and Contemporary Conditions of Dance’. In his text, he discusses the relationship between contemporary consumer society, with its increasingly heightened “performativeness” and dance, in the context of capitalism and the global market economy. From this starting point, in his performance Willy Prager not only tells the key philosophical theses of the text in stage language, but manages to comment on them on a meta-level, viewing them from the position of practice and performing arts. For this purpose, the philosophical text has been turned into a script following the structure and rules of the musical. The performers are placed in the conceptual framework of this popular genre, which symbolizes the progressive society, but also aesthetically often moves on the edge of fake happiness, leading to a state of impossible pleasure and complete exhaustion.

Through its subtle play with the nuances of stage genres, philosophical concepts and contemporary sociopolitical reality, “Transformability: Forever [partly musical]” encourages us to think together about whether it is possible for a philosophical text to become an essential element in the creation of one of the most market-oriented stage forms such as musicals; how a theoretical text can be danced; how a bridge can be created between dance and theory using the rules of popular culture.

Willy Prager is a performer and choreographer, who graduated from the experimental Theatre-Studio 4XC and “Synthetic Stage Arts” program of the University of Plovdiv. He holds a Master’s degree in “Solo, Dance, Authorship” from the Universtität der Kunste in Berlin. He has worked with directors and choreographers such as Nikolay Georgiev, Galina Borissova, David Zambrano, Ivo Dimchev, deufert&plischke, Thomas Lehmen, Dalija Acin, Matej Kejzar, and Maren Strack, among others. 

He is author of the performances: “Prager Strasse”, “Game-a porter”, “Transformbility”, “Egyptian spring”, “The victory day”, “Sequel for the future”, “Less might be more, but sometimes less is just nothing” – the last four created and premiered in Berlin and Bucharest. Together with Iva Sveshtarova they are well established stage tandem and have worked together on “Watch your back”, “Cliché”, “Dona Clara”, “Pre-migration fever”, “+/- 359 Topology”, “Museum of hygiene”, “Our last pas de deux”, “Balkan Dance Reality Show”, “shamebox”, “Made for happiness”, “A better life”, “Before the end of …(the world)”, “Euphoria of Sickness”. Their most recent joint productions – “shamebox” /2018/ and “Made for Happiness” /2019/ have been awarded the national ICAR Award in the category “Contemporary Dance and Performance”, and “Euphoria of Sickness” /2023/ has been nominated for the award in the same category. 

In addition to the ICARUS award, Prager won the European Choreographic Award “Jardin d’Europe” from ImPulsTanz, Vienna with the performance “The victory day” (2013). Willy Prager is co-founder of Nomad Dance Academy and the Antistatic Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance, as well as co-producer of Dance Magazine. 

The performance is cofinanced by “Creative Europe” program of EU, National Culture Fund, subprogramme “Creative Europe” and is realized in partnership with RCCA “Toplocentrala”.

The performance is part of the European project SEEDS – South-East European Dance Stations. SEEDS is co-funded by the “Creative Europe” Programme of the European Union. However, the views and opinions expressed there are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the EACEA are responsible for them. 

Without Distance