a joyful tactic
Acceleration and growth stubbornly rule the development of our society. In almost every field, these principles infuse and drive humanity in a mad rush. Insidiously, a culture of haste permeates our personal, social, economic and political spaces. Facing this, we recommend an unreasonable and disobedient answer: this is our decelerated response! We want to celebrate slowness and observe what this celebration brings. This joyful process shall intensify our presence, densify our relationships, make space for experience, feeling, reflection, and requestion the world we live in. Being slower than usual makes the invisible visible. We trust that deceleration can create new phenomenons, build different relations, discover other possible worlds.
an adventurous walk
Facing unpredictability, our efficient and profitable society systematically strangulates possibilities and creates anxiety and powerlessness. It pretends that life can be controlled and it strengthens the power of only a few in the name of security. Our strategy is the opposite: we want to celebrate uncertainty and experimentation and stand for exploration rather than convenience. We want to walk with our uncertainties: to think without being sure, to research and move on, even beyond reason. Sometimes paths might be longer and slower, sometimes actions might be more tiring and more expensive. But always driven by curiosity, we will resolutely pursue our adventurous work. The rest is poetry.
Fourteen international artists explore deceleration and walk within European rural areas. They walk, they walk two by two, they go step by step, they collect and they share, they create and they perform. They discover and reveal their work along the way: dance, theater, music, sculpture, storytelling, clown, poetry… They create for and with the people they meet, along the walk.
For two years, Along the Walk explores new forms of artistic creation that are in line with the concepts of deceleration, environmental awareness, social inclusion, intercultural dialogue and collective work. It is therefore a research project! The core of it are The Walks : 14 walking artistic tours, led in rural areas by duos of artists from 8 different countries. Each international artistic duo performs two 10-day Walks in rural areas of Germany, Slovenia, Italy, France and Belgium. These Walks are both the artistic productions and the research tools of the project. They allow the artists-researchers to develop, test and analyze their performative methods together with the audiences they meet.
No flights are used in this two-year international project, all the travels are done by slower and more sustainable transportational means or by foot. The creation happens all along the artistic walks and it is not limited to the usual hour or two in specifically designated performing venues. Art is much bigger and wider and more mysterious. It rarely happens where and when and how we expect it. At the same time it also needs space and time and closeness to life to breathe properly and emerge. Artistic improvisation is of key importance, stating that every phase of creation process is valuable to share. The vulnerable emergence and collective discovery are of greatest value. The decision to walk in rural areas and visit small settlements supports the idea of the art that is both developed and performed in the same local environment, devised from the land and co-created by the participating audiences. Working outside the cities, the project also gives a stronger focus to time, environment and deceleration.
Finally, the conclusions of the research and the developed approaches are shared with European professionals of the performing arts during the closing Conference and the publication of a Book.
Along the Walk is run by three European performing arts companies – Combats Absurdes from Lyon, Gorilla Theater from Berlin and Kolektiv Narobov from Ljubljana. For over 20 years we have been creating, producing, exploring and working together in the field of artistic improvisation. The core team of Along the Walk consists of members of our companies: Maja Dekleva Lapajne and Matthieu Loos share the artistic direction, Christoph Jungmann and Juš Milčinski share the managing direction, Ulrike Adam and Baptiste Colin join as producers and public relations managers.
Kolektiv Narobov – Ljubljana, SLO
Narobov is a professional performing arts collective from Ljubljana. The Narobovs have developed their own specific style by experimenting with improvisation in different performance contexts, from improvisational theatre, clown theatre, physical theatre and cabaret to concert performances, dance pieces, radio plays, film, site-specific performances and street interventions. Apart from their work across different genres, the Narobovs seek to fuse their individual expertise in different fields – cultural studies and philosophy, social work and education – into new ways of understanding the possibilities of improvisation in a broader artistic and social context. Kolektiv Narobov’s artistry in spontaneous composition and live interaction with the audience has evolved into diverse award-winning work, guest-performing and teaching in Slovenia, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Armenia, Georgia, Macedonia, Canada, the United States and Australia. Through intensive tours of guest performances across Europe and North America, the Narobovs have built a wide artistic network and developed it further by their biannual international festival of improvisational theatre, the Naked Stage. Interested in longer creation processes, deeper and sustainable work relations, international cocreation and intercultural dialogue, they have co-developed and collaborated in three European projects: Should I Stay or Should I Go? (2013-2015), Our Lives (2017-2019) and Along the Walk (2022-2024).
Combats Absurdes – Lyon, FRA
That sometimes celebrates absurdity, sometimes fights it.
Unreasonable nonsense, to split the illogical,
But that stimulate.
Lyonnaise willingly, Alsatian infused, Combats Absurdes wanders between contemporary theater and art performances. Explorer in love with inconsistencies, the troupe tickles our contradictions, convinced that in their friction a form of life is created! The rest is poetry.
Gathering artists from different countries in Europe and around the Mediterranean sea, Combats Absurdes is a Euro-Mediterranean group. On stage, cultures and languages are mixed. These combined complicities forge an essential desire: to strive together. Thus, the very nature of the troupe, formally, girds an artistic commitment for Peace, with its chances and its perils.
DIE GORILLAS – BERLIN, GER
Gorilla Theater is one of Germany’s most reputable professional improvisational theatre companies. They are based in Berlin, where they have built a very large audience in more than 25 years of the company’s existence, resulting in regular performances in different venues across the city, almost every day of the week. Apart from a very dense schedule of their own theatre events, members of Gorilla Theater regularly work as cultural educators, teaching theatre courses for young people in local schools and offering regular workshops in improvisation and collective storytelling for amateurs as well as communication and presentation coaching for business professionals. Last but not least, for the past 20 years Die Gorillas have been yearly organizing Europe’s biggest international festival of improvisational theatre, inviting artists from all corners of the world, thus making Berlin a hub for the international improvisation scene.