Baga-Basta

dance performance

  • Premiere: 11/06/2008, Ljubljana dance theater
  • Concept and choreography: Milan Tomášik, Alexander Gottfarb
  • Performers: Alexander Gottfarb, Nikolaus Herdieckerhoff/Florian Kovacic, Milan Tomášik
  • Composition and Live Music: Nikolaus Herdieckerhoff
  • Lighting Design: Jaka Šimenc, Luka Curk
  • Set and Costume Design: Jasna Vastl
  • Producer: Živa Brecelj
  • Produced by: Plesni Teater Ljubljana 2008

Baga-Basta is a dance performance created and performed by Milan Tomášik (Slovakia, Slovenia) and Alexander Gottfarb (Sweden, Austria). They invited musician Nikolaus Herdieckerhoff (Germany) who composed and performs the music live on stage. Baga-Basta is a slightly naïve, spontaneous and playful way of being, sometimes taking actions into unknown territories. It is also a defined, communicative movement language, which leaves space for interpretation. The performers have an optimistic approach towards their actions. Even though things go wrong they never resign and are always happy with their solutions. Pictures and descriptions evolving through transformation. Focusing on the moments in between, allowing the spectator to make new connections. Baga-Basta is a dance, musical and visual landscape where communication has many different faces.

Touring Schedule
29th of May 2008 – AVANTPREMIERE, Rdeči revirji festival, Hrastnik, Slovenia
11th of June 2008 – PREMIERE, Ljubljana dance theater, Slovenia
12th of June 2008 – Ljubljana dance theater, Slovenia
13th of June 2008 – Ljubljana dance theater, Slovenia
08th of October 2008 – Ljubljana dance theater, Slovenia
09th of October 2008 – Ljubljana dance theater, Slovenia
11th of October 2008 – CCL Linz, Austria
14th of October 2008 – Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Slovakia
15th of October 2008 – Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Slovakia
17th of October 2008 – 4 days 4 you festival, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
13th of December 2009 – NU DANCE FEST, Bratislava, Slovakia
15th of December 2009 – Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, Slovakia
18th of December 2009 – Hybaj Ho!, Prague, Czech republic
23rd of February 2011 – Ljubljana dance theater, Slovenia
24th of February 2011 – GIBANICA, Slovene dance platform, Ljubljana, Slovenia
31st of March 2012 – ARGEkultur Salzburg, Austria

Keep Silence With Me

Baga-Basta – Review of a dance performance presented in Stanica Zilina-Zariecie on 15th October 2008
The Surrealists decomposed the Story and the Dadaists destroyed the Image of Word. The Modern individualized the Author and the Post-modern mixed all the Stories and Storytellers of the World. The Spectator killed the Narrator and People killed God. The Art resigned from Beauty and violated everyone who allowed it to. And the People have slowly ceased to communicate. Baga Basta uses all this destruction in its form and expression. The decomposed Word and the fear of communication „talks“ through the language of body and through accentuation of music over the movement itself. The dance is, naturally, not about dance at all and Baga Basta exult over the fact.

The performance is made of several finely intertwined images showing the characters caught in human vacuum in spite being surrounded by other characters. While mutually showing off their skills, they pass each other by not only when it comes to understanding, but also in willingness to understand each other. The individuals, shown in their isolation, are pure examples of exhibitionism. Although real, with images of them found all around us, they seem absurd in the pallid drabness of the surroundings. The absurdity, however, precisely fits into the melange of images, creating an intense action expression. The performance is characterized by a solid dramaturgy, working with timed imaging unusually ranging from the drabness of men/ humanity to the flamboyant variety of acts. Strongly rhythmical, even explosive dance music underlines the irrationality of the act itself and brings it back to us in an aesthetic quality.

The accompanying irrationality is not a genuine one, but it accounts for the wit of the act. The performance tells of sad issues, but if we look at the lines through the lens of comedy as seen by Aristotle, as that of presenting people worse than they really are, the giggle and good feeling that dominates the performance is understandable. The purgative feeling, known in art as catharsis, is inconsistent with Aristotle, though (although we cannot be sure, as his book on comedy had been lost). The said is, according to the philosopher, apt for tragedy acting through chosen emotional elements, such as eleos (empathy, compassion – mercy) and probos (fear). Eleos, in the sense of empathy, can be found in Baga Basta, too. Even though over-exposed (although rather in the lifelikeness of their symbolically represented private behaviour), the represented individuals seem intimately known to us and we tend to identify ourselves in them. The remedial element of art lies in the catharsis, because synthesis of learning and joy, or rather the attempt at it are inherent to it. We are being showered with comical characters and situations and our desire for purification allows us to accept them.

Every attempt to express an art act experience is a translation, a destruction of the author’s statement. The words Baga Basta [meaningless, translator’s note] refer to the level of meta-language, to words about words, to the level where clarity of language is lost showing only through cracks in the language, to feelings and philosophy. The performance revolves around many words, it tells of banality, pop-culture and masses, communication, dance itself, joy, being together and being alone, drabness of living a flamboyance of consumerism, body, music, solitude – we catch fragments through the cracks, we suck on the lips of the performance shooting out all the issues not in words, but rather as images, emotions, situations in which the words are a subset – a residual state of the reality of narration. Every attempt to name the performance ends in naming its parts without a total vision. And the spectator indirectly returns to the shout “baga-basta”, the words on the edge of communication, meaningless, intangible, but offering an impression of the whole that is about to explode before reaching the state of fulfilment. Without a word, just through movement and image accompanied by live music, we are diving into our fantasies and naming the chaos by our own experience, images and impressions. And such is the performance – it does not name, but shows, it does not specify, but offers situations existing somewhere between us, its spectators.

Martin Krištof