A WHOLE BODY EXPERIENCE

Contemporary dance artist Neža Jamnikar created a solo ‘Saudade’ in a storm. Started, stopped, let it go, moved away and slowly entered again with a different perspective. ‘Saudade’ is a constant desire for something that is gone. For that, which is no longer present.

Neža talked to us about making the show, what it means to her and her love of dance:

HOW DID SAUDADE ORIGINATE?

It originated in 2016 when a personal, tough emotional situation became a source for creating a final project for my MA studies at University of Limerick (Ireland). But the piece completely changed a year later and though the themes are still the same 2 years later, the movement is in constant deconstruction, rebuilding and adaptation to all aspects of space.

HOW HAS THE PROCESS BEEN SO FAR?

I returned to this piece after a year of giving space and holding it lightly somewhere in the back of my head and in my body. However, the basic structure of the piece has been formed since late 2017. I try to find venues and spaces to perform in that suit the atmosphere of the piece and with that, movement material, details and essence change reciprocally with the space I'm in – physically, and on the other hand emotionally and psychologically. But the process of coming back to it and inside of it, at the moment is like an exciting rollercoaster – it’s always like that for me.

Dance for me is a tool with which I re-question, explore, deconstruct and reconstruct everything.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT DANCE?

The fact that it makes me view the world, people, relationships and myself on so many different levels. Dance for me is a tool with which I re-question, explore, deconstruct and reconstruct everything – themes that are important to me and are purely personal, or themes that are socio-politically interesting to me at the moment. Through movement I’m getting to know my physical body a bit more every time and am exploring its anatomical possibilities, and how it is connecting with thoughts and energy – creating a minded-body. I explain to myself, and understand the world through a moving art form.

WHY ARE YOU DRAWN TO LONELINESS AND ABSENCE?

Because I live with it every day, and I don’t mean it in a pathetic way... It’s just a very fundamental thing that we all live with all our lives, in different aspects. And it’s a very, very deep, strange and sometimes dangerous place to dive into. And I like to stimulate these places in myself and in other people.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE AUDIENCES WILL TAKE AWAY FROM SAUDADE?

The second half of art happens in audience's head and bodies, and it is not my place to even have a wish or desire of what I would want them to take away from it. I guess everything and nothing. This piece is quite abstract, although the themes are very specific and owned by all of us, so whatever they will experience is valid and important (even if it's nothing – that as well tells a lot to me and to a person that had experienced nothing). So, the only thing I do wish for audience to take away is a whole body experience, whatever that means for them.

Saudade is on at Basement Theatre from 04 - 08 Sep. Book tickets or find out more here.