About love as a misunderstanding. Collaboration with Development of New Art (DNA) and Glej Theatre Ljubljana
The project started as a workshop with invited performers from Checz Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Denmark in order to introduce them into Via Negativa working process and to select those, which found this way of work challenging and productive. The stories about being a victim of consumption’s love ideology sprang up, scenes about searching for new but at the same time more and more ridiculous and absurd ways to satisfy need for love and need to be loved, were created.
Casablanca is a performance about love as a misunderstanding, packed with cheese romantic songs and love clichés. It exploits theatre as a group therapy; performance culminates with the invitation to the audience to come on stage and touch performers following the instructions on their laptops. Casablanca therapy is a performance desperately needing to be touched by the audience and risks to be disappointed again and again.
Text and scenes conceived and devised by the group.
Performers: Anita Wach and Magda Tuka (Poland), Emma-Cecilia Ajanki and Marie-Luise Stentebjerg (Denmark) and Gregor Zorc (Via Negativa, Slovenia)
Concept and direction: Bojan Jablanovec
Stage manager: Janko Oven
Producer: Adriana Světlíková (New Web, CZ)
Production: New Web, C.A., DNA project partners (Glej Theatre Ljubljana, L1 Hungary, Entre Scénen Denmark, A4 Slovakia, Katedra kultury Poland) and Via Negativa, 2010
Supported by the European Commission programme Culture and by the International Visegrád Fund, Ministry of culture of Czech Republic and Ministry of culture of Slovenia, by the city of Prague and the city of Ljubljana.
Premiere: 6 May 2010, L1 Dance Festival, Budapest
Casablanca Therapy, Alfred ve Dvoře Prague Provokator.org, 20 May 2010, Antonio Baroni
Is it true? She just wants to be touched so badly. What do you get if you put four women who keep undressing themselves and doing humiliating things for love on a stage? A surreal workshop called Casablanca Therapy. A sequence of cheesy pop songs reflect the unsatisfaction and the neurotic need of attention of one/four/every woman (and man) from the opposite (and same) sex.
That’s Love, the one with capital L. That’s the love of the movies, the love of books, the love that causes you to feel butterflies in your stomach, and transforms your eyes into heart-shaped mirrors; making you cry all night whilst listening to Burt Bacharach, throw parties just to dance yourself to death, and not think about all the Gustavs (and Jans, and Janas, and Marys and Johns) in the world that didn’t want you, or at least, not as badly as you were wanting them. Because you were not just wanting, you were craving.
Casablanca Therapy is not a performance about the positive power of love, but is not anti-love either. It’s group psychotherapy, it’s air travel with no emergency exits, it’s a Rick’s Café, where, in the end, everybody gets their visas to leave Morocco for other shores. All this just to make us realize how ridiculously society wants us to behave when we assume we are “in love”. Romantic songs, clichés, promises of eternal devotion don’t prove anything, don’t make our feelings deeper, but they can turn out to be dangerous, driving our expectations too high. Like a Sleeping Beauty disappointed by the kiss of Prince (not so) Charming, because things weren’t supposed to be like that, we risk being perpetually disappointed by the sugary sweet pre-packaged dream that will never be our relationship. After all, as one of the women on stage points out, it’s not about make-up, hair, legs, mouths, but something else, between our legs.
The performance grows interactive in a climax which culminates with the invitation to the audience to physically join the actresses on stage and follow instructions on their laptops telling us how to touch them, their reactions being tender, hilarious or both.
For me creation starts from the frustration of not-knowing what to do Markéta Faustová, interview with Bojan Jablanovec, Dance Zone Prague, 9 February 2011