Vertigo Bird

Sašo Podgoršek,Iztok Kovač

Contemporary dance, concentrating on the body and space, represents an isolated world, a world of formal and moral rules, a world which creates its own isolated experience. Just like the world of the miners. Here lies their inescapable magnetism. They are both some kind of highly poetic illusion, with which the camera can fall in love. They are both dictated by the rules of reality that come from outside. In the example of the encounters between dancers and miners in Trbovlje, this "outside" is the camera. An instrument which sets the event in a contemporary context. The virtual character of the worlds which can exist only in their physical reality is connected in a poetic structure by means of an instrument of true illusion, a device with the power of simulating time. With its help, the world of contemporary dance acquires a dimension of the past, of history, its own subjective memory, while the world of the miners acquires the opposite. From the timeless shaft of faith and hope, it steps into the present, contemporary time, into objectivity. The connection is vertiginous, intoxicating and alienating, like the glances, smiles and comments of miners watching the performance of the dancers in a hall where at the same time everyday life is taking its course. This life is actually the miners’ presence, for the environment itself is already abandoned, empty and historically outdated. And so are the movements of the dancers, who in the moment of rest and relaxation for the miners obsessively pour out their urban stress there, on the floor, on the concrete which does not belong to them, on the non-existing floor. Thus is the image of the naked female body, taking a shower in a place of male intimacy, connected with the image of a crowd of naked miners washing after strenuous work. The reality of thoughts, visions and wishes. Two worlds which feel their mutual presence, but they cannot actually see or touch each other. Through the eye of the camera, we watch this vertigal impotence climbing up the 360 metre-high chimney stack of the Trbovlje power station, in search of a new and even more vertigal dance surface, floor, reality or time condensed in a single moment. A half-man and half-bird who carries flight within himself but who in reality cannot fly. (Eda Čufer)

Premiere: 18/01/1997
Slovenian film maraton, Portorož


concept and choreography
Iztok Kovač

directed by
Sašo Podgoršek

performed by
Maja Delak
Antoine Lubach
Mala Kline
Iztok Kovač
Kathleen Reynolds
Jordi Casanovas Sempere
Claudia de Serpa Soares

Aleš Hadalin

string quartet
Enzo Fabiani

music composer
Boris Kovač

director of photography
Sven Pepeonik

sound recording and designing
Hanna Preuss

produced by

production manager
Andrej Želježič

executive producer
Bindweed Soundvision
Franci Slak

line producer
Darko Vinko

coproduction with
TV Slovenija the film was financially supported by the Slovenian Film Fund

With financial support from the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana - Department for Culture.