Taking children’s games as the starting point for its research, Playing Reality combines playing and performing, playfulness and dance. Working on this production, the authors were on one side dedicated to the choreographic analysis of formal aspects of certain games, their variations, exceptions and rules, an on the other they dived into the affective world of children’s games and the atmosphere in which they occur, constantly questioning the consequences of their transformation into a performative, that is, a dance material. Mime, hide and seek, twister, elastics, broken telephone, dodge-ball, grasshopper and many other, often forgotten and sometimes invented games, thus became a fertile ground for constructing a modular matrix which functions as a sort of a playing machine, which brings in front of the audience short, dynamic, sometimes dazzling, other times unrecognizable sequences built from the abstracted elements of individual games. The excitement of waiting for the game’s final outcome, victory or defeat, is suspended or replaced by another kind of performative excitement created by the gradual accumulation of varied material, which in its progression offers an evermore complex reconstruction of the world of games.
The creative team gathered on Playing Reality is composed of artists with very different experiences and artistic sensibilities, and each one of them has brought their perspective into the project. Connected through previous individual and group collaborations, but also through friendships, they gathered as a team which explores and analyses the games, being absorbed in play through various ways of functioning. Together they were at two international residences, in Czech Republic and Sweden, and they finished this show in Zagreb… playing a little and working a lot, and learning many new things about dance and theatre, games, and one another.
Jasna simply adores dancing, but she is rarely on stage. Davorka and Koraljka constantly played together when they were growing up. Martina has been dancing since she was five years old, and for the last four years she’s been dancing with her son. Nastja likes to play with both dance and music, but is very serious in her work. Filipa likes to play in her imagination more than anywhere else. Mia laughs even when she loses in a game. Stella plays with materials and is delighted when she sees elastics. Saša sees the world in many colours. Neno is a musician and he likes to play with his old junk.
Idea: Koraljka Begović
Concept and dramaturgy: Jasna Jasna Žmak
Choreographers and performers: Filipa Bavčević, Koraljka Begović, Nastasja Štefanić, Mia Zalukar / Martina Tomić
Music: Nenad Kovačić
Lighting designer: Saša Fistrić
Artistic advisors: Davorka Begović and Martina Tomić
Costume designer: Stella Leboš
Graphic designer: Ana Kunej