Made for Happiness

  • Dance & performance

55 min.


“Made for Happiness” is a comment on the relation to happiness stimulated by contemporary culture. For creating their “happy show” performance makers Iva Sveshtarova and Willy Prager study various
manuals, tests and websites for measuring happiness, documentaries and scientific papers. They make them understand that besides an emotional state, happiness has become a product with a very clear formula and imagery. So it can be a matter of concrete practices. The artists take the challenge to produce happiness on the stage. For that purpose they get equipped with stress balls, champagne and other pleasant stimuli.

The National Icarus 2019 Award in the category Contemporary Dance and Performance.

Idea, realization and performance: Iva Sveshtarova and Willy Prager
Dramaturge: Ivana Ivković (Croatia)
Music: Emilian Gatsov – Elbi
Lights: Ralitsa Toneva
Graphic design and costumes: Georgi Florov

The guest performance is made possible with the financial support of the National Culture Fund, “Programme for recovery and development of private cultural organizations”.


Iva Sveshtarova is a versatile artist and performer from Sofia, with a rich educational background in the arts. She graduated from the experimental Theatre-Studio “4XC” and “Synthetic Stage Arts” at the University of Plovdiv, followed by a Master’s program in “Choreography and Performance” at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies in Gießen, Germany. Sveshtarova’s career commenced as a performer at Acto – Instituto de Arte Dramática, Portugal, from 2002 to 2006. Her artistic journey includes collaborations with prominent directors and choreographers, such as Nikolay Georgiev, Filipe Pereira, and deufert&plischke. Notably, she authored performances like “Perfectly Pink,” “Mirror Phase,” and “Kafka’s Metamorphosis,” among others. Sveshtarova has fostered a long-standing partnership with artist Willy Prager, resulting in innovative dance and performance projects, including “Before the End…(of the World)” and “A Better Life.” Additionally, Sveshtarova co-founded the Nomad Dance Academy – Balkan Network for Contemporary Dance and played a pivotal role in establishing the Antistatic Festival for Contemporary Dance and Performance in Sofia. Her artistic endeavors continue to shape the contemporary dance and performance landscape, both locally and internationally.

Willy Prager is a prominent Bulgarian performance artist and art manager known for his extensive contributions to the world of contemporary dance and performance. His artistic journey began with graduation from Sofia’s Theatre-Studio “4XC” in 1996, followed by studies in “Synthetic Stage Arts” at the University of Plovdiv in 1999. In 2013, he earned a Master’s degree from the University of Arts Berlin through the MA SODA program. Throughout his career, Prager has garnered recognition for his performances under the guidance of renowned directors and choreographers such as David Zambrano and Xavier le Roy. As a director and choreographer, he has created notable works like “Prager Strasse” and “The Victory Day,” receiving acclaim and prestigious awards, including the audience prix Jardin d’Europe at ImPulstanz in Vienna. Collaborating closely with fellow artist Iva Sveshtarova, Prager has co-authored compelling pieces like “Our Last Pas de Deux.” His artistic impact extends beyond the stage, as he has showcased his works at prestigious festivals worldwide and shared his expertise through teaching roles. Moreover, he is a co-founder of significant dance networks and initiatives in Bulgaria, including the Nomad Dance Academy, Brain Store Project Foundation, and Antistatic International Festival. Prager also plays a vital role in the “Dance Magazine,” an annual publication dedicated to ballet, contemporary dance, performance, and dance culture.

Produced by
Brain Store Project and DNK – space for contemporary dance and performance.

The production is supported by the Culture Program of Sofia Municipality for 2018 and Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, and is realized in partnership with National Palace of Culture and with the cooperation of Goethe-Institut Bulgarien.

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