What happened in September a year ago
Plovdiv has been the only Bulgarian city so far to host the European Capital of Culture initiative. In 2019 our city celebrated this landmark cultural initiative of the European Union.
What happened a year ago
Each month in “What Happened a Year Ago” we look back at some of the highlights in our programme during the landmark year 2019. We call to mind this incredible energy and focus on the efforts and creativity of the hundreds of partners who joined in our programme. More than 300 projects and nearly 600 events engulfed Plovdiv but also the entire South Central Region as well as the cities in the second round of the competition for hosting the title — Varna, Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo.
Throughout the year the Children’s Science Centre Muzeiko was in Plovdiv with “Eurika” (at the Museum Centre for Contemporary History), an exhibition telling about some of the most popular discoveries of the 19th and 20th centuries.
With the unique River Feast show the natural pull of Maritsa River in the summer heat was turned into an experience with a spectacular show on one of the bridges in the city centre. With unique fireworks-music-and-light show, a concert stage and a lavish sports activities programme the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation celebrated the end of a dynamic and rich in events summer and the fifth anniversary of the awarding of the title European Capital of Culture.
The ATOM Choreographic Series #3 initiative was bringing together young choreographers, dancers and video artists from Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Israel and the United States in a 10-day intensive training session that concluded with a dance show.
Under the motto Art. No Borders. Plovdiv. the large-scale edition of the Week of Contemporary Art 2019 marked its 25th Anniversary.
With free choral concerts, we celebrated the partnership of EU JAPAN FEST and Plovdiv 2019 and the Fifth anniversary of announcing Plovdiv as European Capital of Culture. Participants in the event were children's choir formations from Japan together with the choir "Detska Kitka" in Plovdiv.
The Building Together: Learning from Stolipinovo project encouraged togetherness through architectural workshops, where we learned from the craftsmen of Stolipinovo and from each other.
The motto COMMON PLACE for the 2019 edition of NIGHT, one of Plovdiv’s most recognizable festivals for contemporary urban culture, was the tool we’ve chosen for dealing with the new roles given to established shared spaces, ideas, communities and conceptions. NIGHT/Plovdiv, in its 14th appearance, was a space that rediscovered the city in more than 120 projects and events.
‘Urban Researchers’ project invited young people in Plovdiv to become discoverers. With specially created architectural riddles they were able to explore interesting places in the city.
Some of the most influential Bulgarian and Japanese thinkers and artists were joining forces to conceive the performance Hijikata and His Double, premiered at the Puppet Theatre in Plovdiv: the philosophers Boyan Manchev, Yasuo Kobayashi and Futoshi Hoshino as well as the creative core of the Metheor theatre group – the director Ani Vaseva and the acclaimed actor Leonid Yovchev as Hijikata himself.
Enjoy the food. Share the experience. Have fun with your loved ones. This was the philosophy of ‘Mood for Food’ – a culinary outdoor festival which offered food for all the senses.
In 2019, within the programme of European Capital of Culture, ONE DANCE WEEK Festival marked the largest-scale edition in its history – featuring 22 shows from 17 companies from 14 countries, as well as a rich accompanying programme. The 12th edition looked at Europe as a source of identity, an area where ideas are exchanged and a generator of global cultural processes. Traditionally, the roster of events included the Young Choreographers module and, as a highlight, dancing from a country from Eastern Europe.
Thе colorful and joyful 6Fest in Kapana Street Art Festival, whithin the programme of Plovdiv 2019, was for the first time in Plovdiv and presented contemporary circus, puppet theater, street magic, stilts parade, a fire and light show, a puppet show featuring street artists from Plovdiv, Sofia, Varna, Gabrovo, etc.
At the stage of the Ancient Theatre of Plovdiv we enjoyed a classical Japanese Noh theatre – ‘The Feather Mantle and The Ground Spider’ and the specially created for the programme of European Capital of Culture new Noh Play ‘Orpheus’, which emphasized the peculiarities of the Japanese traditional aesthetics through the widely known image of the hero Orpheus.