On Sunday July 18, @cretaive.fellowship participants from Guatemala, Ukraine and North Macedonia presented their virtual performance “In Happiness We Dance” in the birth town of Mozart as part of the 2021 Salzburg Festival’s opening program.

For 11 weeks, young dancers united by #creativefellowship took part in a dance residency led by the Austrian choreographer, Olivia Mitterhuemer. Together, the young dancers explored the topic of Happiness and how folk traditions are transformed into modern movements. Their research was documented on video, and the results were presented during the Salzburg Festival’s opening program in the form of a short musical film. The film was produced under the creative directorship of the program’s mentor, industrial artist, Petra Zublasing.

It took 54 dancers from four countries, one choreographer, one creative director, two videographers, three regional coordinators, 15 hours of dancing and 72 hours of editing to put this incredible virtual performance together, but the result was worth it!

“Researching the topic of Happiness during a global pandemic was a bit absurd, but also a very rewarding experience. It was interesting to see how all of us from a variety of cultures perceive what makes us happy. Some would say fishing, others say meeting friends. By the end of the story, you realize that happiness lies inside people. There is only one person that can make you happy and that person is you. But then, if you can find the way to translate your feelings into body language, you can actually make the other people watching you dance a bit happier. And that was proven during the premier in Salzburg. On a rainy day, locals stopped in front of the spectacle and children began to dance. Witnessing this, I believe, we delivered the message and created a direct response,” added Petra Zublasing.