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Venice. City of Hope

From October 2012 to October 2013 we implemented a pilot cycle of our project under the auspices of the German director, a former “Oscar” winner, Mr. Volker Schloendorff. The main activities of the project were modern dance, circus, sport and eco-design. The participants were children facing vulnerabilities of the “Our Kids” Center (COK), as well as those from the “Home of Happy Children” Center and from the “Aspern” Foundation in Kiev. We also had students from the Serge Lifar Dance Academy, The Rhizome art-studio, the Brovarsky School of Physical Education and the “Shchedryk” children’s choir.

On October 11, 2013 the project participants presented their work at the final performance “Venice. City of Hope” on the stage of the Ivan Franko National Academic Theater.

The results were also filmed in a documentary prepared by a young German filmmaker Ms. Lina Schuler under the leadership of Mr. Volker Schloendorff. The Working Group of COK psychologists, pedagogues and teachers from Serge Lifar Dance Academy, under the direction of choreographer Marc Bogaerts, created the first draft of the methodologically-psychological concept presented art as one of the main ways to help children having experienced trauma.

Subject matter

A performance titled “Venice. City of Hope” was based on a children’s book “Venice Tomorrow” by a Czech children’s storyteller, Mr. Štěpán Zavřel. This book we have chosen with our partners Spazio Brazza at their Štěpán Zavřel Museum in Italy.

Once upon a time, there was a child living in a big city. The child felt alone, with neglectful parents and only one friend – a goldfish.

One night, the child fell asleep and saw in a dream, as though through smog, the city of Venice sinking under the waves. The Doge, appearing as Neptune, begged the child to save Venice.

The child plunged into the depths, swimming amongst the fish, and met a sea monster who looked like a pile of garbage, forever preying on other fish. The child did all he could to save the fish and think of a way to defeat the sea monster. But it was an unfair fight and the sea monster took the child prisoner.

Under the constant gaze of the black fish ballerinas protecting the sea monster, Neptune, accompanied by boxer fish and other fish, tried to save the child, finally succeeding in freeing the child from the monster’s clutches. With one blow, he vanquished the monster, which exploded due to the garbage and the child’s parents, eaten by the monster, escaped from its belly.

Venice was thus saved and emerged from the water. This is the event that all celebrate at the Carnavale. The idea and courage of a single child rescued hope and a city drowning under tons of garbage.