Staging a Play: Antigone


Choreographer and Performance: Matija Ferlin

Dramaturge: Goran Ferčec

Music: Luka Prinčič

Scene Design: Mauricio Ferlin

Light Design and Technical guidence: Saša Fistrić

Costume Design: Matija Ferlin

Design: Tina Ivezić and Matija Ferlin

Production and organisation: Emanat and Matija Ferlin

Co-produced with Mediteranski plesni centar from Svetvinčenat.

Project partners: Bunker, Stara mestna elektrarna – Elektro Ljubljana, Istarsko narodno kazalište (Pula)

The project is financially supported by the City of Ljubljana, the City of Pula, the Croatian Ministry of Culture, the County of Istria, the Kultura Nova Foundation.

A performance project titled Staging a Play: Antigone by dancer and choreographer Matija Ferlin has come as continuation of years of studying preforming practices on stage through two concepts authored by Ferlin: a solo performance that he was exploring through the Sad Sam series and the concept of extended choreographic performance consisting of a group of projects under the common title of Staging a Play.

Ferlin’s concept of extended choreographic performance is about choreographic exploration and decomposition of a selected play. Whether he is dealing with Tennessee Williams’s existentialist memory play The Glass Menagerie (2015), or with a classicist criticism of fanaticism in Molière’s Tartuffe (2017), Ferlin approaches them as a kind of sheet music for choreography, decomposing the textual framework and the linguistic sign, cancelling speech, bringing out the unwritten, building the performative in a new form of stage ‘narrative’. In these two projects Merlin has replaced speech with movement and he has taken the play through all its structural, content-related, and semantic levels, while providing a new reading for the reasoning incorporated in the original template.

By selecting Antigone as his starting point, Ferlin has opted for an even more radical and complex approach to the concept of extended choreographic performance, which consists of boiling dramatic characters and their roles down to a single performing body with one voice, while keeping the dramatic narrative and the logic of dramatic situations. The element of speech which had been cancelled by now is becoming the predominant choreographic tool in Antigone’s case, an element of negotiations on equal terms with the body and movement, which serves to establish an integral image on stage. Speech, although predominant, remains invisible. It is present as a manifestation only, as a voice audibly discernible to us, while the apparatus of its execution – the mouth – remains hidden from the eye of the viewer. This way, speech is given full performative autonomy, liberated from the body out of which it is coming and by which it is accompanied.