Opening address by the Ksenija Hribar Award Committee 2017

In performing our function, we considered the Ksenija Hribar Award as a high professional acknowledgement. The Contemporary Dance Association Slovenia and this year’s committee have done their best to ensure that the award in the future be more than symbolic, that it would also have material implications.
At this point we find it necessary to point out that over the last two years the awarded choreographers were confronted with an unusual situation – they were consistently denied the grants from the Ministry of Culture, our major co-funder. The question is obvious: how can something like this happen in the first place and how do we understand these double standards? It’s an anomaly and it’s of fundamental importance to fight anomalies that are obstacles against creative endeavours.
Today I am honoured and very pleased to present the Ksenija Hribar Award 2017 to Neja Kos for her lifetime achievement in the field of contemporary dance. She has quite significantly contributed to its development and visibility.
Awards in other categories – i.e., choreography, dance, production, theory as well as prospective young artists, should also be considered as high professional acknowledgements. We scrutinised the artists’ achievements over the last two years and, to be honest, the decisions weren’t easy to make… Which is good because it supports the notion that today we have high quality authors who persistently and uncompromisingly build their autonomous positions and roads in the field of contemporary dance thereby reflecting a creative, artistic and aesthetic vision of the present time.
What we particularly considered in our decisions was the fact that contemporary dance poses relevant questions in an intelligible way. In this light we didn’t just evaluate what somebody does but how they do it and why. We examined the procedures, principles and methods of work which illustrate the various ways of answering to legitimate and interesting questions.
It is rewarding that contemporary dance art in Slovenia is constantly evolving in quality, not only with regard to its choreographic aspect, but also other dimensions which are fundamental and complementary in any field of art. We want this year’s awards to be part of this process. The only thing that is missing is – a “vision”: that in 2019 we could unanimously present the Ksenija Hribar Award for achievements in the field of cultural policy and structural progress in the field of contemporary dance, meaning that we would be closer to a modern dance centre. Tone Peršak, the current minister of culture made reference to this in his official address at the opening ceremony of this year’s Gibanica.