Director and choreographer: Natalija Manojlović
In collaboration with dancers: Sara Barbieri, Petra Chelfi (ZPA), Ivana Pavlović, Nina Sakić, Karolina Šuša, Martina Tomić (SSP)
Set Design & Design: Martina Granić, Natalija Manojlović
Lighting Designer: Duško Richtermoc
Photography: Hana Ciliga, Martina Granić, Ana Markić
Costumes provided by : MORH, Mura i Rebel
The project is realized through the financial support of the City of Zagreb, Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Ministry of Culture, Republic Croatia, supported by Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance through the Zagreb Dance Centre residency program.
At times when the whole country is packing their things and looking for the quickest way out, Slavica Zepec can pay only for the fare to Dobova. Customs will kick her off the train and her voyage will end right there and then. Will she comply with this and stay at home, consoling herself in her fierce patriotism? Will she continue working ardently and grow her own means to surmount the border crossing? Will she borrow a military boot and stride down the tunnel in the good faith she can reach the light at its end?
On the verge of shame and despair, there lives the Croatian dance scene. It does all sorts of things to survive: pilates, yoga and, when luck is really on its side, expensive cars promotions. The rest of the time it plucks the fruit of its creative urge. Goddamn Bastards! who make this kind of art, defy extinction with all their might. What is this strange masochistic drive that takes this petty pile away from the main square with sausages and hot wine into studios, the black holes of civilized society where they keep their muscles strong and ready to defy common sense? Although scarce, this population shows traces of activism, displays its dissatisfaction and thus signalises its vulnerability.
Can this vulnerability create a new dance scene, embedded into the neoliberalistic criteria of dance?
Or, will it continue trying to satisfy its insatiable hunger for emotional motion in strolls along streets and across squares, joining crowds of megaphones and banners?
Or will it grow in its basements and crack its asphalts and doorways? And then use vulnerability as a boot and tank, posters as protest banners, and ideas as a whistle. And just keep creating. Despite the goddamn bastards.
“This project was initiated by six excellent young dancers whose invitation I was honoured and glad to accept. Their only condition was the list of performers and the rest was for me to decide. The first decision was to choose together the performance subject matter and we easily decided on Slavic women.
While reflecting on what a piece on Slavic women could be about, we were teemed with ideas. From the Volga to the Adriatic, from the Slavic god Perun to the Russian god Putin, we worked with different theories of Slavic history and names some claiming the Slavic name was derived from schiave-slaves, others from the Slavic slovo-letter, and finally the Slavic antithesis brought us to slavlje-celebration, a Slav who celebrates. Celebrates at all times, everybody and everything and most fiercely celebrates at times of grief. The performance is dedicated to our grandmas and grandpas, heroes who fought for a purpose higher than just their mere existence. We do not intend to mourn nostalgically the olden times but to say a bit more about the demands of a new social system which leaves no time for mistakes, support, emotion and even less for nostalgia.”
Natalija Manojlović, the author