IDO AGM 2023

IDO Ordinary General
Assembly Meeting 2023

Copenhagen, Denmark,

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by Trajce Petkovski

Interview with Predrag Katanic , organizer of FESTAR Dancing Days

Welcome to a special interview with a remarkable figure in the world of dance. Today, we have the privilege of speaking with Predrag Katanic, longtime IDO moderator and the visionary organizer behind the highly anticipated IDO-licensed event, FESTAR Dancing Days. Set to take place in the vibrant city of Cacak, Serbia, from May 18th to May 19th, this event promises to be a spectacular celebration of dance, bringing together talented performers. Join us as we delve into the inspirations, challenges, and highlights of organizing such a grand event, and discover something new about Predrag Katanic.

Interview with Predrag Katanic

Q: In a few words, tell us a bit about yourself and how you started with IDO?

A: I have been a member of the national dance organization since 1997, and since 1998, I have been actively participating in the association's governing bodies. I met IDO in 2000 at the European Show Dance Championship in Slovenia.

Q: Reflecting on your career, what has been the most fulfilling aspect of your involvement in IDO, dance event organization, and judging?

A: I instantly felt that I wanted the IDO world to become my dance family, and I saw myself in that from the first moment.

Q: You have an extensive background in moderating events. Can you share some of your first moderations, memorable moments, or significant challenges you've faced while moderating IDO events, and how those experiences have shaped your career?

A: IDO's first appearance in the big dance lights was in 2007 on the stage of the SAVA Center in Belgrade at the European Championship in Show Dance. I was given an opportunity by Miodrag Kastratović, the president of IDO Serbia, and I hope I used it well...

Q: As an IDO judge, what qualities do you believe are essential for a dancer or performance to stand out in a competition?

A: I believe there is a dancer and one who practices to become THE dancer. I manage to recognize the combination of one and the other and always support the dancers who express their emotions through movement and bodies on stage and to highly evaluate them.

Q: How do you balance objectivity and personal preference when judging dance performances, and what criteria do you prioritize?

A: It doesn't matter what I personally like or prefer; it's always up to me to evaluate what is well and harmoniously performed on the podium.

Q: Have you noticed any emerging trends in dance styles or techniques over the years, and how do these trends influence your judging criteria?

A: I am very happy that the dancers, choreographers, and their styles, ideas, and thoughts are always a few steps in front of our judges. It is up to us to always adapt to the styles they impose and, of course, to recognize good dancers. In the end, the best dancer overall ALWAYS wins.

Q: Can you tell us about the start of FESTAR Dancing Days and what inspired you to create this event?

A: It all started in 2017 when we realized that the world has become too expensive for many dancers from this area, so we made sure to bring the world to Serbia and to our city.

Q: What are some must-visit places in Cacak? Tell us a bit about the history and attractions.

A: In the center of Serbia is Cacak, a city of natural parks and greenery. Cacak is the City of river Morava, with an amazing beach, basketball, rock and roll, great poets, and artists. It has the beautiful Ovcarsko Kablarska gorge, a small sacred Serbian mountain with 11 monasteries. Atomska Banja and Ovcar Banja are located nearby. Cacak is a great place for peaceful family life and has hosted Star Dance Serbia for 25 years.

Q: What are the core objectives and vision behind FESTAR Dancing Days, and how have they evolved since the first edition?

A: This year, we have 37 dance organizations from the entire region, including guests from Hungary and America. The focus was on the countries of the region to see the advantages and disadvantages of the technical organization in the city itself. We received a LOT of support from the city and all its structures, making everything easier. We are fully convinced of success and a good EVENT.

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you've encountered in organizing FESTAR Dancing Days, and how have you overcome them?

A: Hotel facilities were a challenge, but Cacak is strategically located and connected to all cities, so it is less of a problem than before. A huge hotel is under construction, making things easier for next year. Importantly, Cacak is only an hour away from the airport by highway, a huge advantage.

Q: How do you stay updated with the latest developments in the dance world to ensure FESTAR Dancing Days remains relevant and exciting for participants?

A: Star Dance dancers travel to all world and regional competitions, and our connections with dancers and clubs are really at a high level.

Q: What impact do you hope FESTAR Dancing Days has on the dance community, both in terms of artistic development and cultural exchange?

A: It already has a huge impact on Star Dance, the city of Cacak, and the Serbian dance community. This year, we have the IDO qualification for Slovenia in Performing ARTS, dance workshops on all three days, an after-party on the city beach, humanitarian activities, and much more...

Q: What are your long-term goals for FESTAR Dancing Days, and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: We aim to be a positive place where there is not only competition but also where the Katanic family hosts their friends. A place where everyone will leave with a positive experience and a small dance memory.

Q: What is your message to the IDO Community?

A: There are many dance organizations, but only one can be named the dance family – IDO.

Thank you, Predrag, and all the best this weekend!

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