Festival Performa & Platforma 2017 - Woman's domain

Tanja Zgonc


dance performance

Tulkudream <em>Photo: Miha Sagadin</em>
Photo: Miha Sagadin

Tulkudream is a performance about existential dichotomy between joy and pain, desire and disappointment, success and failure, fear and courage, between nonsense and understanding. In it, choreographer and dancer Tanja Zgonc intertwines Butoh method with Tibetan Buddhism and next to Butoh body sets Tulku – the pure physical body of spiritually enlightened Buddhists.

The term Tulku namely represents a person who has been reborn in the human world, has experienced complete enlightenment and has stayed in the world to help other sentient beings. Both bodies – Butoh, whose origin is in confrontation with human Dasein (existence), and Tulku, which, according to Buddhist tradition, is released from fateful integration into matter - are in their extreme abstractness, reduced to concrete material bodies, emptied of their individual meaning, that originate from the void beyond the imaginary.

In the performance, Tanja Zgonc embodies a Tulku, who dreams of a Tulku, who dreams ... maybe of his previous existences, perhaps of his own footprints in some other places and times, maybe of his replicas in the same space and time, similarly to how the substances in the bodies of "Tulku’s" students are lined up in the film directed by Ema Kugler. At the same time, Tanja Zgonc embodies the split between human existentiality, which is liable to birth, changes and transience and is imbued with vitalism, sometimes thwarted by loss, inherent vulnerability and death of the loved ones, and the existentiality of Tulku, who simply smiles at everything that life brings and takes, knowing that the perception of reality depends on one's own viewpoint.

"A clear and evident performance opens new questions to the spectator and leaves him astonished by the emotional depth and complexity of consistently performed Butoh dance." (Tina Šrot, Pogledi)

Author, Screenplay of the video, Choreography and Dance: Tanja Zgonc
Video Directing, Editing and Set Design: Ema Kugler
Music: Aldo Kumar
Lighting Design: David Orešič
Costume Design: Alan Hranitelj
Performers on video: Rosana Hribar, Klemen Janežič, Uroš Kaurin, Blaž Šef, Igor Sviderski, Anja Drnovšek, Jernej Gašperin, Maruša Geymayer - Oblak, Liza Grašič, Lena Hribar, Jaka Lah, Nataša Keser, Rok Kravanja, Robert Korošec, Maruša Majer, Anja Novak, Nina Rajić – Kranjac, Barbara Ribnikar, Ajda Smrekar, Nik Škrlec, Stane Tomazin, Ana Urbanc, Jaka Andrej Vojevec, Nina Vombergar, Vito Weis, Nina Zupančič 
Assistant of Video Directing: Ina Ferlan
Camera: Lev Predan Kowarski
Post-production of Sound: Boštjan Kačičnik
Compositing, Colour corrections: Janez Ferlan, Andraž Čok, Lev Predan Kowarski
Costume Production: Dominika Zver / Beasthetica
Producer: Katja Somrak
Produced by: Plesni Teater Ljubljana 2013
Co-produced by: VPK
The programme of Plesni Teater Ljubljana is subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana.

Tanja Zgonc has been creative as choreographer and dancer,  and recognized at the global and Slovenian dance scene for more than thirty years. She created 21 dance performances and received numerous awards: Yugoslav alternative actress (1989), Golden Bird (1992), Golden Stick (1994), Prešeren's Fund Award (2002) for performance Kagami Reflection and the Triton Prize for the best performance selected by the critics (2002) for performance Koora.

She danced in successful performance of Plesni Teater Ljubljana ( Dance Theatre Ljubljana),  collaborated with numerous acknowledged theatre directors in Slovenia and internationally, and created choreographies/stage movement in more than 100 theatre performances.

From 2002 she lectures at the Academy for theatre, directing, film and television - AGRFT in Ljubljana, from 2012 as Professor for the field of Dance and movement expression.

Tanja Zgonc is a choreographer Butohist. She got acquainted with Butoh 25 years ago, when she became a member of Ko Murobushi's International Butoh Dance Company founded in Köln, Germany. She perfected her knowledge in Japanese Butoh with leading masters, such as Kazuo Ohno, Yoshito Ohno, Ko Murobushi, Carlotta Ikeda and Tadashi Endo.

Through transformation of different dance technics and movement methods by using the methodology of Butoh, Tanja Zgonc has developed her very own systematics and authorial principle of movement, primarily the back.

In the latter years she acts as leading lecturer and conducts creative workshops on the method of Butoh in her own specific language in Europe, United States and also in Japan.

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