Masters of Time

Iztok Kovač

The performance Masters of Time pulls the romantic ballet thematic (Sleeping beauty, Swan lake and The Nutcracker; which are three basic terms of ballet classic) from its dance ‘cannon’ into the field of contemporary art. What is its fundamental operation? It actually uses a very basic gesture of modernism. It’s aware of the fact, that in the history of ballet modernism on an ontological level never happened, that’s why it excavates a lacuna (Šklovski, Brecht and Malevič are writing about this in some of their texts) into the canonized discourse of ballet, which it inhabits with a belief of progressive artistic directions of 20th  century; a belief that every artistic practice in each of its artistic oeuvre needs to- beside offering the solutions on the level of content and form- stay in touch with a question: ‘What is our practice?’ In this case: ‘What is ballet?’ Or even more general: ‘what is dance?’

Premiere: 13/03/2007
Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana

The performance, at least partially, answers this question by putting into the visual spectrum everything that is usually not seen by the spectators: rehearsals, people, who have beside their physical training also their private voice with a story, will and wishes of dancers, who’s careers are much shorter than most, their motives for physical utopia, the confessions of dancers about what determines their race for physical and dance ideals, the pleasure that is present when the movement is done properly, even though it may not be noticed… This is how Masters of time are actually happening in some place ‘in between’ the dance with names and surnames and the ideal choreographic matrix, between the wish and its obstacle, between some dance discourse and the anxiety, that is released with it, between memory and dance relishing in some kind of ‘now’. ‘The Masters’ are also dramaturgically placed in the time between rehearsals and the beginning of ‘the real’ ballet performance (Swan Lake), and scenographically (Goran Petercol) between balletic verticality (vertical scenographic gesture - chandeliers) combined with contemporary dance like horizontality (the vertical elements is broken with a help of light and usage of body shadows, which are projected on the floor, where it opens the new ‘in between’ space), similar methods are applied also in music (Jean-Luc Plouvier). Kovač is positioning all that and the myth of ballet classics (Swan lake, Sleeping beauty, Nutcracker) as well as his own dance arsenal in the way so that both dance dispositions remain dislocated, turned towards each other, not towards itself. And with that they open a space –‘in between’. (Rok Vevar)


concept and choreography

Iztok Kovač

choreography assistant
Naomi Perlov

created and performed by
Adriana Cioata
Edward Clug
Tamara Divjak
Eva Gašparič
Mircea Golescu
Demitrius King
Jevgenija Koškina
Tijuana Križman
Jean-Baptiste Leroy
Tiberiu Marta
Gabriel Marin
Matjaž Marin
Pia Mlekuš
Ines Uroševič

Jean-Luc Plouvier

set and light design
Goran Petercol

light design
Sašo Bekafigo

costume design
Leo Kulaš

costume design assistant
Anja Prešeren

Jaka Polutnik

Sašo Podgoršek

narrator in the video
Lane Stranič

Matej Juh

stage manager
Uroš Kus

SNG Maribor

Cankarjev dom

The program of EN-KNAP is financially supported by the Slovene Ministry of Culture and by the City Council of Ljubljana - Departement for Culture.