about the production
The artistic stylisation, corporality and expressive feminine appearance, and authentic female artists or women and their stories – all those are the attributes that characterise the specific Slovak performer Sláva Daubnerová and her work. The multifaceted artist (director, actress, movement actress) is no doubt a unique phenomenon in Slovak theatre. Her original projects, received with anticipation and curiosity, bring new themes and stories about women. Until recently she used to choose and portray female artists (Louise Bourgeois, Francesca Woodman, Magda Husáková Lokvencová). In her latest production, however, she intentionally diverted from art to close one phase in her artistic path.
For her next and new step, she chose a real, yet mundane story brought up by several Slovak media – a story of a lonely woman, the blind Eva N. Every day, for years she played for her neighbours in the town of Štúrovo an operatic aria performed by Placido Domingo, over and over again, from 6 in the morning to 10 at night. She observed all regulations including the permitted volume and strictly kept the night time out. Thus the complainants found themselves at dead end.
Sláva Daubnerová focused on the struggle of an individual with the society, a lonely person who gradually becomes a mentally disturbed individual – a state to which she was pushed by the society. Daubnerová works with documentary material testimonies from neighbours, from the main character, and media reports that followed the actual story. She combines authenticity with fiction and her own take. Although she avoids any explicit assessment of the situation, she achieves a socially engaged testimony. Through the theme that is no longer personal or introverted, but social, she touches upon the issues of humanity and community. The line between the mundane, real and somewhat comical story of an outsider and her surroundings is quite thin. The main reason for the neighbours who have been complaining for decades, as well as for the blogger Eva N., is fear and aggression that overshadow common sense.
The creative aesthetic of Sláva Daubnerová overcomes the limits of genre also in this production. This time it is music, artistic sign and movement that become the significant element. The text that is authentic (such as the recordings from the court files, television report) is largely used in reproduced form replacing the role of narrator, alternating with the inner voice of the main character. The operatic arias are in contrast to the banality and ignobility of the actual situation. With a quotation from the recently premiered film I, Olga Hepnarová (that draws from a similarly real story when a young woman hit eight people with a lorry and considered her deed to be an act of revenge against the society), Daubnerová gradates the testimony of the production. Mozart’s Queen of Night from the Magic Flute points out to the chance of tragedy.
“Solo lamentoso is truly a merger of an original theme with telling choreography, evocative music, action light design and attractive performative interpretation. Daubnerová created yet another original production on the edge of documentary, movement and artistically stylised theatre. At the same time, however, she brought to stage the story of the “lamenting” Eva N., whom she allowed to tell her version of the events. Meanwhile she revealed the issues of relativity of truth, subjective perspective that moves the balance on scale and, particularly the issue of personal right of an individual to revenge.”
Katarína Cvečková: Solo by Sláva Daubnerová for Eva N. kød – konkrétne o divadle 10/4 (April), 12–17
author, direction and cast: Sláva Daubnerová
set design and costumes: Sláva Daubnerová
choreography: Renata Ptačin
music and sound design: Matej Gyárfáš
light design: Slavomír Šmálik
translation: Margit Garajszki, Zsuzsanna Gulyás
voices in the performance spoken by: Sláva Daubnerová, Petra Vajdová, Ján Gallovič
production: P.A.T. platforma pre súčasné divadlo
Sláva Daubnerová (1980), director, performer. Graduated in cultural studies at the Comenius University and earned her PhD from the Department of Theatre Studies at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. She founded the P.A.T. Theatre as a platform for contemporary theatre, dance and new media. Her mono-dramatic compositions on the edge of theatre and performance earned her a number of awards: the documentary monodrama M.H.L. (DN 2010, the 2010 Discovery of the Season in the Dosky poll and the Annual Award by the Literary Fund) and performance Untitled (2012 – Dosky award for the Best Production of the Season and the prize for light design at the 2013 KioSK festival). Daubnerová participated in a number of international projects and held arts scholarships in Germany, Poland and France. She also worked with the Brno-based HaDivadlo and the Opera of the National Theatre in Prague where she directed the avant-garde Orango & Antiformalist Fair by Shostakovich and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet.
Video of the production: yes
Script of the production: EN
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