Novi Sad Hosted Austrian Artist and Performer Willi Dorner

Published in category: News

Willi Dorner, an artist (choreographer) from Austria, visited our city within the ‘Grooving’ Street Dance Festival, which is part of the Bid-Book of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation, in order to work with the local partner ‘Groove’ Dance Association on an unusual performance ‘Bodies in Urban Spaces.’ During the two day visit he made a selection and did the first rehearsal with dancers from Novi Sad, and mapped objects in public spaces, where he will perform within the Kaleidoscope of Culture in September.

According to the artist, the aim of the ‘Bodies in Urban Spaces’ performance is to emphasise the function of the urban structure, possibilities of restricted moves, behaviour, as well as rules and limitations. The movements of dancers encourage people to think, by placing them in specific places. Passers-by, citizens and audience stay motivated and willing to experience their everyday surroundings in a whole different way.

‘This project is a kind of fight for freedom in cities. Thus, I see surroundings as a playground where we can do whatever we want. Mostly we get permission for this, and if not, it is interesting to me why we did not get it. In that way, the whole project shows how much freedom we actually have in the city, how freely we can move and behave in the city we live in. This becomes increasingly important because this is the place where we build our future, and it is up to us to decide the way it is going to look like,’ said Dorner.

His performance, set for a group of dancers, is a temporary intervention, which is taking place in different urban-architecture surroundings. It is made of a series of movements set in a moment, movements that are temporary, and in that manner they empower observers to experience a well-known place in a whole different way.

This kind of mutual communication does not leave physical trace, but it stays deep in the memory of the viewer. While walking in groups, people start to talk, so it becomes a social event, a momentum that encourages interaction among citizens.


Willi Dorner works as a choreographer since 1990. Along with performing his choreographies within international tours, Dorner was involved with film-making, and is especially interested in organising events that help audience to experience new things, see and perceive everyday life in a different way. He presented his work on festivals and interesting locations in Europe, Africa, North and South America, China, as well as other European Capitals of Culture like Riga and Valletta. Almost the whole world has experienced Willi Dorner’s unusual ideas.

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