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AngelsStaged poetry, length 35 min

Foto Jaka Varmuž
Angels ('Angeli', 2012) was the last volume of poetry by one of Slovenia's most celebrated contemporary poets, Tone Pavček (1928-2011). This literary testament rounded off an extraordinary body of work whirling with verses of life, love and fidelity.

In Angels, Pavček’s evergreen poetic discourse, which has become ingrained in the Slovenian collective psyche, meets the premonition of death while reaching for something larger, perhaps even eternal: I dream my white dream / Borne to and bestowed on me / By kind-eyed angels / From the approaching eternity. Rather than supernatural, untouchable creatures, these angels are a constant throughout our lives in one form or another and emerge as harbingers of goodness, lyrical ode-singers to life as our greatest gift. Released on Slovenia’s national day of culture at the author’s request, the volume was reprinted little more than a week after its publication and went on to become one of the most beloved Slovenian literary works.

Marking the first collaboration between the performer, dancer and choreographer Mala Kline and the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, this eponymous production is based on a selection of poems that speak of a child’s soul and address children’s fundamental qualities such as sentience, imagination, playfulness, curiosity and the capacity for dreaming, discovering and creating new worlds. These qualities are represented by the angels evoked and staged by the production. Angels are also the qualities that the actor and musician apply and embody in their dialogue while creating the wealth of characters, landscapes and songs out of thin air.

Layered with striking stage imagery, soundscapes and music, Pavček’s heartfelt and witty poetry reaffirms magic and the duality of the imagination, elements that go hand in hand with the most widely recognised feature of poetry—rhyme. The poems that speak to adults on the pages of the book, when staged, help concoct a universe for the youngest audiences—a world full of play, laughter, ingenuity, daydream and creative craze, acting as a mirror to the inner child in every one of us. Angels invite us not to forget about them in our daily lives, to keep coming back to them and to stay close to them, under their wings.

Mala Kline is a performer, choreographer and writer with a BA in philosophy and comparative literature (University of Ljubljana), an MA in theatre (DasArts Amsterdam), and a PhD in philosophy, more specifically ethics in contemporary performing arts, from the University of Ljubljana and a.pass, Brussels. Kline is a certified practitioner and teacher of the Saphire™ imagery and dreaming method. In her original choreographies, most notably Eden, Scores for Dreaming and Genesis, Kline draws on dreaming, a creative practice based on Saphire™ techniques that deal with the emotional and transformative impact of imagery. Her works have been shown at various national and international festivals and have won several awards, including the Golden Bird Award for special achievements in culture, several Triton Awards for dance, and the Ksenija Hribar Award for choreography (2013). Kline has been part of various research, education, publishing and other projects. She is the founder of the Emanat Institute (2005), The School of Images of Slovenia (2010), DREAMLAB (2011) and ELIAS – School of Prophecy (2018).

Author: Tone Pavček
Director and choreographer: Mala Kline
Visual and Lighting Design: Petra Veber
Music: Blaž Celarec
Cast: Ajda Toman in Blaž Celarec k. g.
Language Consultant: Maja Cerar
Stage Manager and Sound Designer: Emil Koprivc
Chief Lighting Technician: Gregor Kuhar
Stage Technician: Stanko Božanić
Wardrobe Supervisor: Jadranka Pavlović
Set and Costumes: Zoran Srdić, Iztok Bobić, Marjetka Valjavec, David Klemenčič, Olga Milić