John - team & press
Creation and performance: Goran Bogdanovski
Creation process and directing: Tomi Janežič
Music and sound: Tomaž Grom, Bojana Šaljič
Video: Maša Nonković
Light design: Igor Remeta
Photo cover: Dorijan Kolundžija
Photo: Marcandrea Bragalini
Co-production: Fičo Balet, Studio for research on art of acting & Bunker Ljubljana
Project is made possible by: New Dance Alliance Inc.(New York), MOSKVA Ballet Co.(Moscow), Theatre Glej (Ljubljana), O Espaco do Tempo (Portugal) and Ministry for Culture Slovenia, City Ljubljana
The "Fičo Ballet" from Slovenia was represented by the universal genius Goran Bogdanovski, who is the originator, creator, choreographer and performer of the solo show John. Undressed to his white panties, John smacked like a vampire, gasped and smiled to the auditorium, shifting from one foot to the other. And since the hero wore glasses, we could experience the presented figure as an intellectual in search of himself …
Maja Krilova, ИЮНЯ, Moscow, 6 June 2008
Let me note that even in this fairly respected field there are people who work sincerely to find new ways in the art of movement plasticity, in order to respond adequately to the challenges of contemporaneity. And they do so with the love for man – not degrading him to the most base instincts but, on the contrary, trying to ennoble him and help him attain the not-so-simple wisdom: How to respect one's own self and, as a consequence, one's own surrounding at that.
His solo production is a continuation of the development of new tendencies in the synthesis of music, dance, and theatre, which is supposed "to change the quotidian into art", in his own words. Thus, in front of us we have a young man undressed to his panties and wearing slim glasses; with plasticity of his movements, gestures, facial mimicking and a charming smile he endeavours to show how the personal attitudes of the young John depend very much on the feedback of the outside world. The hero's physical nakedness is a visible image of the nakedness of his feelings. And this is precisely what breaks the initially sceptical stance of the auditorium: at the end of the half-hour performance, the faces of the majority of the viewers are glowing with benevolent smiles. The time will show what kind of future awaits this kind of art (it could hardly be called dance). There is no doubt, however, that these kinds of explorations never leave the viewers indifferent.
Elena Antonova, Zavtra, Moscow, 18 Jun 2008
In this spatially-framed choreography, Bogdanovski is dressed only in white panties. He focuses on movement details while performing lookalike combinations – such as the skilfully-executed sequence of "giving-and-taking" with the emphasis on his hands, for example – with regard to stereotypes about communicativeness, or restraint, of a particular space. In doing so, Bogdanovski does not strengthen cultural stereotypes but, rather, shatters them – also by showing a number of Johns from various parts of the world not as portraits, i.e. linearly, but with swift transformations and even mutual overlaps; in the moment when it seems that we have recognised a cultural setting, he dissolves it by means of quick movement and atmospheric twists assisted by Grom's sound interventions, and transports us into another, different globalised ambience. Thus "spiritualised Hindu Janez" could as well be a citizen of London, Ivan could live in New York, and American John lives temporarily in Ljubljana, perhaps. In this short, 20-minute solo composed of interesting and original movement details, Goran Bogdanovski has presented – after a long time – his dance and movement qualities and humour, which marked especially his early projects.
Mojca Kumerdej, Delo, Ljubljana, 22 May 2008