“Conspiracy of Silence by Michal Rynia and Nastja Bremec: a work of art that does not leave you indifferent“
Standing ovations at the repetition of the show, same as the first night.
On Saturday, 20 May 2017, the Slovene National Theatre (SNG) Nova Gorica again included in their varied theatre playlist the exceptional, emotionally touching dance-theatre performance Conspiracy of Silence (Zarota tišine). The work with a marked note of social criticism was concieved and choreographed by the dancers Michal Rynia and Nastja Bremec.
In creating the performance the dance tandem was aided by a team of excellent dancers from both Slovenia and abroad – Tjaša Bucik, Siniša Bukinac, Kaja Lin Jagodič Avguštin, Giovanni Leonarduzzi, Tamás Tuza, chosen especially for this production among 500 competing, plus 100 invited candidates from all around the world – and the actress Maja Nemec. The latter’s lucid speech and carefully selected strong words (the text is by several authors: beside the mentioned actress the spoken words were written by Alojz Ihan, Tereza Gregorič, Tamás Tuza – editor’s note) verbally articulated the dance evolving on the stage and expressing current (prevailing) social truth and reality … This was also the main idea of the show that the dancers studied, searched for its meaning inside the spirit of the present times, and expressed through fluid, dynamic, at times softened, at times abrupt dance elements, including acrobatic ones.
The truth, Veritas, is not one. There are several truths. Every individual being has his/her own truth. Every human being is different, enriched by the panopticum of his life experience from which the world is observed. He walks his life path seeking for his truth. Indeed, in a democratic, free society one should be free to search for one’s own truth, free from prejudice, and yet … The dancers use the corporal and mental instrument intelligently to question precisely the »democratic« truth based on diversity, multi-culturality, free thinking, and its existence in the contemporary, »modern« society. They put forward the question: are we really becoming, as the mediatically visible situation and truth would suggest, a uniformed society (a way of showing it are the non-differentiated costumes: set and costume design by Michal Rynia, Nastja Bremec, Ana Špacapan, editor’s note) that rejects diversity and knows only one (nationally narrow) truth? In parallel the spectator is witness to another kind of social criticism, i.e. criticism of the capitalist “commodified” society. This society bears the stamp of the truth of profit, inhuman and de-humanizing. Her one and only truth is seen through a profitable product, merchandise. Man himself is seen as merchandise, as thing, in capitalist society. This is put forward with excellent irony by Maja Nemec when dictating to a dancer, as if she were a GPS device, what to do. On top of it she asks him: “Is your mind empty?” The prevailing social apathy, the feeling if impotence, are the embodiment of the mental, spiritual emptiness caused by the capitalist monster!
We are thus watching a carefully thought-out and crafted “dance-film” rich in movement which excellently captures the spirit of the age. This is an exceptional work not imprisoned by the prevailing social context but instead critically reflecting it. Not superficial, not based on mimesis, but requiring thought, reflection, decoding and connecting to social circumstances of today. This is art that wants to convey a message to us, the spectators, to society. With the final sincere direct look into the audience (the only one) they summon us: Wake up! Let’s get together! Let’s do something! The dancing, choreography part clearly shows that the Nova Gorica tandem is endowed with a n incredible sense of the symbolic. Apples hanging from the ceiling, malum as symbol of the truth. Mirrors as symbol of the social phenomenon – narcisism.
One of the outstanding attractions of the evening was the duet of the choreographers’ tandem; one clearly feels how they feel each other. Accompanied by sensual sounds of the violin (music by Diaphane, editor’s note) they fuse into one, become simbiotic; their virtuosistic, acrobatic dance elements that require a precise knowledge of one’s body, sense of focus, self-control, have a very light feeling. For the rest the dance work dynamically enacts various formations, from duets, solos, men’s quartets to septets. On the whole the most outstanding was the already mentioned Michal Rynia with his unique, consummate, innerly harmonic movement.
Anyhow – a work that was premiered in November 2016 at the Nova Gorica National Theatre takes the spectator to an entirely new dimension of social reality and does not leave him indifferent. This is clearly proved by a standing ovation at the end of the show such as we witnessed already on last year’s first night.
And yes, the two main artists and authors of the show can be described as – significant, outstanding, inspiring elements of the Slovenian and international dance scene.
Nova Gorica, 27.05.2017 | Nina Žnidaršič
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