Guest performance: Marble shoes

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Marble shoes, Foto Ajda Schmidt
Marble shoes is a contemporary flamenco performance that combines various theatre languages to form empty spaces for the dance of the soundscapes. To get to the dance, we fall through the cracks of our own psyche only to be captured by the water that prevails. The state of powerlessness makes communication difficult and altered movement through the liquid can be frightening.

The essence of humanity is hidden inside a block of marble. The block was taken from the mountain and now it awaits further processing in the middle of a geometric field. We cannot understand it easily. It is perfect and yet full of cracks, black fluid runs through its white veins.This fluid carries in itself long forgotten ideas and stirs emotions torn from the heart.

The performance is based on flamenco dance that undergoes structural transformations throughout the performance. Flamenco rhythms merge with original electronic music, fragments of the dance communicate with spoken words, combining various forms of expression into a whole. Movement and voice, dance of the sounds that replaces words, finds a cry and anwsers it, the form that absorbs words, voice that guides the movement. Sometimes trapped, sometimes supported by the rhythm, sometimes completely free.

Universal forms in the subconscious


The theoretical background of the performance is based on studies that put dependance of inner forces in the centre of human activity. Man is not independent precisely because he tries to become so. He is always bound by the course of nature, it is therefore best for him to learn to swim with the flow.
Water is at the same time the softest and the strongest force in nature, both adjustable and propulsive, both calm and mighty. It shapes stones and rocks, it erodes the earth and thus forms valleys, it has the ability to change its environment and at the same time adjust to it, and, most importatnly, it always finds a way. That is probably why it is the most common symbol for the subconscious. It is a mirror, an abyss, the unknown. We enjoy its surface and yet are frightened of its depths. We can see our reflection in it, however, the mirror cannot lie, self-confrontation is an unpleasant event that can be avoided as long as one projects negative thoughts to his surroundings.
There are certain shapes in our psyche that are present everywhere, one might call them »primal thoughts«. These reflections of the instincts that move far from the conscious borders are the basic patters of our behaviour. Could they be called universal forms?
Autochthonously repeating mythological themes and motives, inherited behavioral and emotional patterns, shapes without substance, archetypes. There are as many of them as there are typical situations in life. They are quietly waiting to be filled with substance. But we must be careful: »In a similar way, air and water cannot be cut or clutched, and their flow ceases when they are enclosed. There is no way of putting a stream in a bucket or the wind in a bag.« (A. Watts) After the shape is filled, the pressure of repetition occurs and the unstoppable power of instincts gushes towards the power of reason, resulting in a conflict between what we think and what we feel.
The subconscious thus entails plenty temporarily hidden thoughts, impressions and images that dictate and shape our behaviour. Comprehension and control are impossible here. »As we try to comprehend and control the world it runs away – from us. What is that which always retreats when pursued? Answer: yourself.« (A. Watts) One never stops, one only substitutes and starts to fill the voids with other meanings. And this is where one walks the line, this is where one can decide. »Process of natural course of life, in which the individual becomes what he has always been. Due to the conscious nature of man this development varies and can be most mistaken when it goes astray and moves from the archetypal instinctive basis and opposes it.« (C. G. Jung)
We need to admit to ourselves that we have problems: admission, honesty, integrity and reality are necessary for the journey through the areas of collective subcosciousness. One can indulge the thoughts one was previously trying to repress, one can hear sounds that were long forgotten and the sleeping powers of subcosciousness are finally awakening. The more walls we have built around ourselves, the harder the consciousness connects to the inner world and the more can this connection, once made, take one’s self by the storm and drive one insane.
Everyone fights for their place, their own limited square on the rocky shore. The stream flows in one direction – evenly and ceaselessly. Our task is to harmonize with the other square and catch the rhythm of the flow. In order to achieve this all the levels should be coordinated and harmonized, the sediment cleared and refined, and the inner notions/perceptions brought closer to reality.
»We are swimming in the infinite vastness, where the incompatible is compatible, where you are a part of me, and I a part of you. The world of water, in which everything floats.« (C. G. Jung)

Outline


A stone carved couple is sitting in the middle of the field that was created for them. The black and the white are each in its place. The couple and the liquid surrounding them seem to be calm and in harmony. Suddenly, a black drop falls into the water and it immediately takes over previously transparent liquid, thus blurring the image of the bottom and making hard to see. The particles start racing around, surrendering themselves to the fluctuations.
The seemingly calm surface starts to break down, the image of the couple falls apart and the water starts to carry and spread the divided fragments along the flow. The man and the woman start to resist the current and try to hold on to rocks, yet the water overflows their bodies, guides their movement and makes their breathing difficult. They manage to save themselves, but they end up on opposite shores. At first, they blame the stream for their disintegration, however, they misunderstand the situation since they had forgotten that the states of life are subject to constant changing.
One should be loyal to one’s tastes and instincts, infinite battle in the neverending cycle, the block of marble that is quietly waiting in the middle of a geometric field.

Anja Mejač


is a dancer and a choreographer whose work is based on flamenco dance, which she intertwines with her knowledge of art, dance and theatre. She graduated at the Academy of fine arts and design in Ljubljana, the performance Marble shoes (under the mentorship of Tanja Zgonc) represents her Master’s dissertation at the Academy of theatre, radio, film and television in Ljubljana.
»With this performance I wanted to step away from the regular artictic forms that define an individual’s work. To cross the limits and fill the gaps enables an artist to develop their own theatrical expression. I don’t want to be a flamenco dancer, I don’t want to be an actress, I don’t want to be a musician, I want to be a performer that distances herself from her conscious expectations with every step, and gets closer to what I’ve been carrying inside me my whole life. The path is long, but this performance is one of the first steps in this direction.«
AGRFT
Director: Anja Mejač
Choreography: Anja Mejač, Sasha Sasic
Cast: Anja Mejač, Voranc Boh
Dramaturgy: Katja Černe, Mojca Uršič
Original music: Tine Grgurevič
Scenography: Anja Mejač, Tomaž Zarifa
Costumography: Katarina Šavs
Additional sound creation: Tim Crnek, Voranc Boh, Vasja Štukelj, Anja Mejač
Sound design: Tim Crnek
Lightning design: Igor Remeta
Cajon: Vasja Štukelj
Video, photography: Fabris Šulin
Editing: Črt Potočnik
Graphic design: Anja Mejač
Mentorship: prof. Tanja Zgonc, prof. Jasna Vastl
Special thanks to: Tina Fortič, Nastja Miheljak, Katja Gorečan, Ena Kurtalić, Sara Lucu, Ajda Schmidt
Media sponsor: s-5 naložbe, Parada plesa
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