8 June-2 July 2005. The Body is at the centre of this years festival as director Ismael Ivo explains: From the cult of the perfect body to its use as offensive weapon, the primacy of the body is today beyond discussion. Choreographers are invited to explore the body in its erotic, socio-political, historical, spiritual and aesthetic dimension, because the body is the living document in which are inscribed all the thoughts, conflicts and transformations of our time. It is from this starting point that Ismael Ivo has built up the programme of the festival, which includes tribal rites to avant-garde art, from Africa, the Americas, Europe and Muslim cultures. To introduce the festival there are theoretical sessions and performances by artists, intellectuals, sociologists, philosophers, journalists and critics to define the different perceptions of the Body Attack theme. The festival, co-produced with the Fondazione Teatro La Fenice, will be inaugurated at the same time as the opening of the 51st Venice Biennale of art. Some 14 companies many giving world premieres from the Ivory Coast, Cuba, Iran, Canada, Italy, Brazil, Chile, China, Japan, Germany and the United States will perform at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, Teatro alle Tese, Teatro Malibran and Teatro La Fenice. The Afro-Brazilian choreographer and performer Ivo has planned a new choreography for Venice, Erendira, inspired by the magical realism of Gabriel Garca-Mrquez (8-12 June). There will also be the xavante rituals of the indios of the Mato Grosso (8-9 June), a document exploring the anthropological roots of an extraordinary liturgy of the body, and an exhibition of works by German photographer, Dieter Blum, KrperKatedralen, which will remain open for the whole festival. Also from Latin America is the Danza Contemporanea de Cuba company, which explores the comparison between local and European choreography, under Jan Linkens from Holland (10-11 June). A host of big names in the dance world follow, including those of Marie Chouinard and Helena Waldmann.

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Address For information tel. 0415218898, www.labiennale.org.

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3rd International Festival of Contemporary Dance Body Attack.

For information tel. 0415218898, www.labiennale.org.