Medusa is the common name for the stage of a jellyfish whose appearance resembles a bell or a lantern. Jellyfish are some of the oldest organisms in the world possessed of a nervous system, tracing back to a time some 500 million years ago. Although the species are incredibly well-adapted to life under water, both in marine and freshwater milieus, where their tentacles sting anything that might threaten them, the fate of a jellyfish is only one: after death, become a polyp on the sea floor that will develop into a new medusa.

The Gorgon Medusa, the first records of which date to the 8th century BC, is a Greek mythical heroine and one of the three sisters born to a monstrous family. However, Medusa was not monstrous like her sisters at first. She had beautiful golden locks of hair, which caught the eye of one of the Olympus gods. As is the case with all myths, there are multiple versions of how Medusa came to be transformed into a monster. In some instances, the motif is simple infidelity and Medusa’s seduction of Poseidon, Athena’s wife. In other sources there is mention of a violent non-consensual sexual relation that Poseidon insists on and accomplishes. Although there may be different paths to Medusa’s final outcome, her fate is only one – Athena turns her golden curls into snakes and transforms her into a monster. Perseus will subsequently cut off her head, precisely because of her newly acquired monstrous nature. That is, whoever Medusa looked in the eye was considered a threat – and was turned to stone. Both before and after her death, Medusa is a woman without a body, while her head, disembodied, came to function as a weapon used by various Greek heroes, petrifying everything before them. Medusa is a mythological locus in which contemporary vectors of identity, loneliness, rights to one’s own body and injustice without guilt overlap. In fact, the term medusa refers to all jellyfish in the stage of development in which they are able to swim freely.

The performance that bears the name with two entities, deep and ancient, human and animal – MEDUSA is an entity in which the ardour of eternal life is intertwined with the petrification of death, in the act of free swimming. Their fate is no longer only one.

Choreographer: Zrinka Lukčec Kiko
Dramaturgy: Patrik Gregurec
Co-creators and performers: Katarina Arbanas, Adriana Josipović, Bernabe Romero
Music: Bernabe Romero
Costume designer: Emina Kušan
Lighting designer: Katarina Arbanas
Visuals and photography: Majda Petković
Camera, editing and video production: Sven Copony
Technical support: Saša Fistrić and Duško Richtermoc

Production: Plešimedo, 2023
The project has been realised in cooperation with Zagreb Dance Centre.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb.

PLEASE NOTE: A strobe light is used in the performance.
Intense flashing or pulsating light of different frequencies can trigger an epileptic seizure in people suffering from photosensitive epilepsy.

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