Essay impressions by Simona Noja-Nebyla
Pictures@Ctibor Bachratý from “Unanswered Question” with Martin Svobodnik & Thoriso Magongwa (duo) & Arthur Abram
Overwhelming experience in Janáček Theatre
In a fast-changing world that brings with it a permanent swift of values system, the simple fact of attending a dance premiere in a big theatre, where ballet dancers are creatively involved in choreographies with sensitive topics, was a privilege. Taking the time to reflect and process the impressions of the evening took me a couple of days, and today I can write you more objectively about the overwhelming experience.
To question life and our meaning in life
If we consider the role of art as a chance to educate ourselves further, to question life and our meaning in life from other perspectives than what we already know, then this premiere was a life-changing experience. To be able to explore the depths of our thoughts and feelings with so much sensitivity and good taste, not falling into the very tempting cliches of our times, is a rare gift.
“Walking Mad” by Johan Inger
“Walking Mad” with its walls-changing-planes perspective as symbols for the multitude of ways of perceiving the same reality was an invitation to a flexible and tender approach to each other. Not everything we think we need is also necessary. A sudden “shaking” of a door that asks to be open offers another reality, hidden until that moment, and the whole future depends on “shaking” the chance. We know that dance embodies cognition. That this embodiment receives another level in understanding the beauty of the “why that makes us cry “remains the merit of the ballet dancers. Nothing in the world can beat their capacity to embody the abstract concept of beauty and make it visible!
“Mountain Call” by Dan Datcu
“Mountain Call” and dealing with big existential themes of life anchored in a waved ancestral space continued the journey of the evening towards the depth of our being. The sensual movement of dancers’ bodies seems to be in harmony with the curly background and nature elements, especially the water, as a symbol of continuous birth. The voice of Maria Tanase inspired not only the famous Romanian sculptor Brancusi but influenced the taste for the folklore of the whole XX century Romanian generation. Placing the big existential themes of life and death in the ballet dancers’ bodies with the support of deep vibrating sound (the timbre of Tanase’s voice) created a magic state of connecting to the origins. Without a doubt, the particular Romanian “mioritic” space projected itself on the universality of human feelings.
“Unanswered Question” by Mário Radačovský
“Unanswered Question” revealed another universe of dealing with human feelings. After shaking different realities in Johan Inger’s piece, and connecting to the origins in Dan Datcu’s piece, the third piece of the evening, choreographed by Mário Radačovský, raised the urge to confront our old beliefs about love. Society’s limitations on how we should feel about and deal with love became visible and acknowledgeable. Talking about love through dance in this piece meant unifying truth and beauty in concrete space and precise time through the interpretation of the ballet dancer. Their roles in transmitting the message were to bond to the views of the choreographer to reflect the “unanswered question.” Maybe putting the right questions at the right moment to the right person properly became emblematic for this piece and the whole evening. So, perhaps changing the paradigm of asking not what is right or wrong but who “does” love and how love can “manifest” would allow us all to dare love from a fresh perspective of understanding each other: unjudgementally, respectfully, joyfully, and for sure more human.
The offering a high vibration
The premiere celebrated ballet dancers and choreographers supported by stage and costume designers to make together the knowledge visible through movement and to reveal its unseen truth and beauty. The fact that principal dancers joined young dancers in the creation process requires recognition and reward. Each ballet dancer was cherished. Each person in the audience felt the same. I, for instance, keep asking myself ever since if “walking mad” by a “mountain call” might offer a high vibration for the “unanswered question.”