Lučka the Dandelion

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Lučka the Dandelion, photo Jaka Varmuž
Every dandelion gets a blowball. Who has never blown it and then observed its small seeds dreamily floating in the air? But Lučka the Dandelion is not an ordinary blowball. And she is not an ordinary dandelion. Because she wants to see what she looks like, she sets out from the meadow for the city. There, people look at themselves in shop windows and go to the cinema and the theatre to watch themselves. On her way, she meets unusual animals, plants, people and reflections. To see herself, she must overcome a few fears, make a few friends and travel along a few byways.

Perhaps it is more important how we see, than how we are seen. 

The magic of the delicate white stars … on the green sky of meadow …,

… resembling the breeze of the gentle dandelion seeds, swirling in the warm summer air, has already enchanted everyone. The magic, momentary transformation of the white flask into the myriads of tiny little independent spheres. Are these white clocks the thoughts, flying from our heads to the others in search of a fertile soil? Are they our wishes, travelling far into the world and hoping to come true?

Every seed, previously only a part of a flower, is now a perfect potential – for the next new, similarly perfect dandelion plant.

Every dandelion once gets its clock. Whoever has not yet blown it and then observed its little clocks floating in the air?  But Dandelion Clock is not just an ordinary clock. And it is not an ordinary dandelion, neither. She desperately wants to see herself, so she leaves her green meadow and goes to the city. There, people are watching themselves in the shop windows and going to the cinema and theatre for the same reason.  People, as Clock finds out, are crazy about themselves. Every mirror also makes a fool of them, well, just a little bit; therefore people are sad, because they do not want to see their accurate reflections in the mirrors. So, in order to see her real self, Clock has to quell some fears, make some friends and walk a few detours and dead ends. 

Gregor Strniša is a poet, playwright, writer and song writer who also wrote some young adult fiction, as well as songs and fairy tales for children. His poetic style found its way even to the literature for youngest readers, which he enriched with his idea of the so called »space consciousness« - awareness that even the smallest thing demonstrates the fundamental characteristics of the universe. In his fairy taleDandelion Clock this is reflected both in the lyrical narrative and the song. This fairy tale was published as a picture book by Mladinska knjiga in 1987, and reprinted in 2011, in Zlata ptica (The Golden Bird), the anthology of stories and songs, illustrated by Ančka Gošnik Godec.

Gregor Strniša wrote most of his works back in the 1960s and 1970s. Worth mentioning among them are by all means his two dramatic texts Žabe (The Frogs) and Ljudožerci (The Cannibals), which are still regularly presented on our stages. Some of his dramas have been chosen for translations into the languages of neighbouring countries, whereas his collections of poems have been translated into many European languages.  In addition to the texts for popular songs Orion and Zemlja pleše (The Earth is Dancing), which he wrote - according to his own words -, “only for earnings' sake”, he also created an enviable number of poems, dramas, prose, mostly for children as well as radio plays.

Strniša is a very sensitive observer. What he observes is not only our society, but also man’s assimilation into the environment, nature and its rhythms. His topics and words touch both on the universe and (grassy) ground. He reaches for the ethereal, yet he projects it into the story through the material. Reflected in his work is a complex and multifaceted contemplation about the world and the desire for its discovering, exploration. Life is not always friendly, but it is undoubtedly interesting and full of puzzles, mysteries. Strniša's texts are not about surrender or despair, but rather about the acceptance of the flow of life, which does not always turn the way we imagined or wished it would.

The journey of Dandelion Clock takes us, layer after layer, to different worlds, connecting them with each other in quite an unexpected way. It touches on the key worldly matters of each and every individual. At the same time it artfully addresses children's world as well as those little corners in adults, still full of vital spirit and desire for knowledge.  

»I'd like to see myself! « insists Dandelion Clock, tirelessly searching for a mirror.

Who am I? How do I look and feel from the outside? All our lives we are - intentionally or unintentionally -, faced with the mirrors of our fellow men. Every eye, in which we look, is only a mirror in human disguise. Each and every one of them offers us a part of our own reflection.

»Every mirror makes a fool of you, well, just a little bit! « comforts the Clock Strniša's Erna.

Do we look distorted in the eyes of others? Do they put fake clothes on us? Is there some truth in each and every one of them and can we find the ultimate answer in the puzzle of all pieces?

Pervading us along with our need for comprehension is fear; what if we don't like what we see? Will we handle the truth? We swing between our courage and our need for comprehension. And somewhere in between swings our story.

And yet even the vision of our own selves is elusive. The moment we see something, it already becomes a part of the past. For we are caught up in our constantly changing nature.  Every next moment we are something or somebody else. A new man.  An intersection of each and every »here-and-now«.

»In it she can see everything behind her: grass, plantains and dandelions, as big as poplars and sunflowers and even the smallest clover, resembling oaks – but there is no way she could see herself in it at all: in the middle of the rainforest, in the small hand mirror there is less than nothing to be seen of Clock. Overwhelmed with the pure happiness of staring into that huge, green universe in the mirror, the seed crawls deep within itself and hides into the soil. «

See you next year!

***

Maruša Kink is an actress, director and co-founder of the Zavod Margareta Schwarzwald (Margareta Schwarzwald Institute), in which she acts as an Artistic Director. Over the past years she has been intensively dedicating herself to staging performances for children and young people (Veliki pok (Big Bang), Prosto po Prešernu (Prešeren Freestyle), Romeo in Julija (Romeo and Juliet), iCankar), contributing not only to their direction but also to their concept and adaptation.

Tina Dobrajc is a painter and illustrator, creating in the field of new media and set design.  She has already received several important awards for her achievements in the field of painting - among others the Richard Jakopič Recognition Award for Young Artists. In the field of book illustration she was nominated for the Kristina Benkova Award for her picture book Dve želji (Two Wishes) and she also received the Hinko Smrekar Citation.  

Premiere: 5th April 2018, Šentjakob Stage LGL
Director: Maruša Kink
Author: Gregor Strniša
Art: Tina Dobrajc
Cast: Maja Kunšič, Gašper Malnar, Katja Povše a.g., Gregor Prah a.g.
Lyrics: Maruša Kink, Kristina Mihelj and Kristijan Krajnčan (except Poletje in morje and Senena kopica, author Gregor Strniša)
Music: Kristijan Krajnčan
Lighting design: Jaka Varmuž
Language coach: Metka Damjan
Associate Dramaturge: Kristina Mihelj
Stage Manager and Sound Designer: Aleš Erjavec
Producer: Ana Rokvić Pinterič
Lights: Kristjan Vidner
Set technician: Jernej Remše
Puppets, set and costumes production: Jože Lašič, Zoran Srdić, Iztok Bobić, Polona Černe, Sandra Birjukov, Marjetka Valjavec, Uroš Mehle, s. p., Vladson, Karla Rihtaršič, Gabrijela Fleischman
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27.11.2018 at 17:00
Stage: Šentjakobski oder LGL
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