24 July 2020

Only a month and a half after the premiere of the ballet “Lace”, the ballet ensemble of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc also announced its new premiere today, the ballet-dance “Burning Water” by renowned European and world choreographer Andonis Foniadakis. The performance is part of the Times of Power segment of the ECoC – Rijeka 2020 program, and is scheduled for July 27, 2020 at 9 PM.

As the director of the Rijeka Ballet, Maša Kolar, pointed out, the past two months have been very intense and fruitful for the ballet ensemble, which is at the peak of its readiness and can hardly wait to appear before the audience again.

“Thanks to the ECoC project, the ensemble has been able to once again, for the second time, work with a choreographer who is a prominent name, a personality who attracts attention in the European and global dance world, and thanks to whom the Rijeka ensemble has established itself in the European dance scene. However, working with Andonis Foniadakis is very challenging; he is an author and choreographer who pushes dancers to physical and mental extremes, but who also perfects results,” said Maša Kolar.

In discussing his new show, Andonis Foniadakis, who a year ago created an innovative and surprisingly attractive dance on trampolines with the Rijeka ensemble to Ravel’s “Bolero,” emphasized that “Burning Water” began with just the title, a set of contradictions, as a starting idea from which he began to develop the project.

“Since we are working under special conditions and in a very challenging time marked by a pandemic, which we do not directly address in the performance, my idea was to emphasize opposites, such as water and fire, as well as to use choreography and movement to tell of what has existed since the beginning of the world, all the way to the current moment: the insecurity, instability, fragility and vulnerability of the human race, which through community becomes an extremely powerful force that manages to survive. I tried to express this eternal process of the conflict of opposites through metaphorical images underlined by very strong emotions, which I hope the audience will feel as well,” said Andonis Foniadakis.

Ballet ensemble members Marta Kanazir, Maria Matarranz, Svebor Zgurić and Nicola Prato agreed that the work on the project was extremely demanding, both mentally and physically, and that it pushed their personal boundaries, but that it was at the same time especially inspiring and motivating. After the period of isolation and a time of uncertainty that has changed us all, it is the responsibility of artists, as they say, to react and send their own artistic messages in times of crisis.

Andonis Foniadakis then stressed that they want to sent the message that the world simply cannot do without art, not only because many artists depend on the possibility of creation for their very existence, but also because art is a mirror of the world, which can be corrected according to that reflection, and because it provides a feeling and vision of hope.

Irena Kregar Šegota, director of ECoC – Rijeka 2020, said that the performance is part of the Times of Power program, because although it does not directly deal with history, it poses questions to all of civilization and addresses important topics such as water as one of the resources without which life is impossible.


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