On Friday, October 20, we took a train to Bratislava in the morning. After a day of exploring the city and visiting a couple of exhibition spaces, at around 6 p.m., we took a walk to the Slovak National Gallery, located next to the Danube Promenade in the heart of the city. Our first impressions of the building were pleasant. Walking through the garden filled with sculptures from the gallery’s collection, everything appeared very clean, minimal, and extremely focused on detail. The gallery was recently renovated, and a new complex had just opened in December 2022. We were there to watch the performance „Sull’attimo – In the Moment“ performed by a group from Italy.
Many people, including a lot of children, were already there. The gallery had long halls filled with areas for permanent exhibitions, a cinema, a library, a café, and a gallery bookshop, and people were all around.
After a few moments of waiting, we found ourselves in the hall where the performance would take place. Designed by architects Martin Kusý and Pavol Paňák from the BKPŠ studio, the audience began to be seated in rows and was able to find seating places from two perspectives. In one corner of the stage, drums and a piano were placed.
The performance began with the entrance of four dancers, including choreographer Camilla Monga, followed by Emanuele Maniscalco. Once Emanuele positioned himself in front of the instruments, the space began filling with gentle and slow sounds. The dancers, dressed in very minimal costumes made of cotton and silk in natural shades of blue and gray, occupied the stage.
From the first minute, „In the Moment“ felt meditative but also transcendental. It felt like a reflection of time through a blend of performance and improvisation. The collaboration between the piano and drums created a composition that was both spontaneous and reached a higher level.
The music started drawing inspiration from the graceful movements of the dancers, forming a special connection between sound and motion. The music influenced the movements, and the movements influenced the music. The performance, I felt, gave the audience a place to think freely and opened up subconscious areas within us. „In the Moment“ was an experimental minimalist performance that combined different music genres and dance practices. The juxtaposition of jazz and ambient, Bach and Brazilian pop music, was followed by dancers who clearly enjoyed their time on stage and gave their maximum.
After slightly less than an hour, the magic unfortunately came to an end, and we gave a standing ovation to the performers. Our journey back was accompanied by discussion and a warm breeze outside on that Friday night in Bratislava. One thing is certain: we want to attend the festival again next year!
Performance: Sull’attimo – In the Moment
Choreography: Camilla Monga
Live Music: Emanuele Maniscalco
Performed by: Camilla Monga, Francesco Saverio Cavaliere, Stefano Roveda, Chiara Montalbani
Bratislava in Movement – www.abp.sk/en/
For 27 years, Bratislava in Movement has brought the art of international contemporary dance closer to Slovak audiences. This year, the Festival will take place from October 2 to 21 and, during seven evenings, it will present eight dance companies from Belgium, France, Italy, Great Britain and Slovakia. www.abp.sk
Camilla Monga is a choreographer who graduated from Fine Arts Brera and Choreographic Research at P.A.R.T.S. Academy. Her works have been presented in several contexts, including Biennale Danza di Venezia, B.Motion Danza, Bolzano Danza festival, Julidans Art Lab, Spazio – ICK Amsterdam, Triennale Teatro / Milan, Cango, Camping CND Paris and Fabbrica Europa Florence. In all her works dancers and musicians become the performers of a single score that evokes shapes and images. Her work with visual, logical and emotional associations create a sequence of events, exploring the processes of improvisation and instant composition which unite the two disciplines. www.instagram.com/camilla_monga_works/
Emanuele Maniscalco is a multi-instrumentalist, drawing inspiration from various influences ranging from jazz to ambient music. After his music studies in Siena, Brescia and Copenhagen between 2001 and 2014, he found his own expressive dimension that brings together multiple sources of inspiration in a lively and extemporaneous approach, from early to modern day music. He teaches at the popular music department of the L. Marenzio Conservatory in Brescia. www.instagram.com/maniscalcomusic/