Stanislav Genadiev and Violeta Vitanova on the movement performance ‘Saline Nebula’

Jacqueline Dobreva talks with the two dance artists who reveal the conception of the project and its multilayered meanings.

You define ‘Saline Nebula’ as an anti-utopian performance that takes place in a complexly constructed sonic and visual environment. How did the idea for this project come about and what task did you set yourself with it?

The idea for the project appeared in 2022 on the occasion of an invitation by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. It was organizing the Leap Off Page festival, which brings together literature and contemporary performance and dance art. Results were presented at TAM cultural centre in the city of Veliko Tarnovo. We worked inspired by the Hungarian writer, visual and sound poet Kinga Toth and her poem ‘Sorrow Island, The North End of Outer Hope’. The task that we set ourselves initially was how to materialize Kinga’s poetry. Thus began the creation of the project that has subsequently evolved. The last developed form we called ‘Saline Nebula’.

Can you tell us a little more about the origin of the title?

Saline is parallel to saline solution, which is widely used in medicine to support bodies in all kinds of medical interventions. It strengthens the body by nourishing the cells. It contains sodium chlorides, various salts and minerals. There is one other element that is present in the material environment of performance, and that is the nebula.

A nebula is a cosmic phenomenon defined as ‘a cloud of gases and dust visible in the night sky as a glowing or reverse darkening spot’. But nebula is also a term used in medicine, where its meaning is ‘a cloudy or dark spot on the cornea’. This is what we use as a starting point for the transformation and evolution of the image. The merging of the micro into the macro cosmos and vice versa. Seline Nebula – the food of the cell in the organic body is also the ingredients of the dust in the stellar nebulae.

Photo: Teodora Simova for Antistatic

You describe ‘Saline Nebula’ as a picture of the emergence and disappearance of a life form, of the transformation of the abstract into the concrete and of the invisible into the visible. Not for the first time you quote C. G. Jung in the resume of your projects. How do you express his influence through the means of dance and choreography?                              C. G. Jung’s work is a reference point for many of our projects because his reflections and writings on the unconscious inspire us sincerely. For us, the creation of images through movement and dance, which can carry different meanings and significance for everyone, has been a guiding principle that we have followed since the beginning of our collaborative experiments.

After one of your first successful dance performances, ‘Imago’ (2006), you have worked together on various other projects over the years. What is your assessment now after so many years of working in the field of contemporary dance and performance? How do you evaluate what you have achieved and what future directions of development are emerging for you?

Every project is a different challenge. We don’t want to talk about a review because we are still in the process of work and action. We haven’t stopped to look back and take stock.  We have enough audiences and critics, in that sense there is no one else to appreciate what we have achieved, and future directions for development will become clear as we go along.

Watch the ‘Saline Nebula”’ by Violeta Vitanova and Stanislav Genadiev with the participation of Marion Ddrova on 6 June at 21:45 at ReBonkers, part of the Showcase programme.




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