Marija Scekic’s butoh labyrinths

by deborah on 08/22/2009

Marija Scekic is a contemporary dancer from Croatia who can be characterized as ‘a performer with guts’. Her strong and authentic concentration on the stage is a result of heavy bodily education and physical predisposition.

marija_scekic_shadow_1.jpgPhoto: Sandra Vitaljic (c)

In 2003 Scekic took part in Tadashi Endo‘s workshop at his renowned Butoh Centre MAMU in Gottingen. Whereupon Endo, obviously impressed with Scekic’s performative skills, decided to start a collaboration with her. The result of their stage research was created in several cycles between 2003 and 2005 and the process ended with dance piece ‘Shadow’ (Sjena).

Even they performed ‘Shadow’ for the last time in June, I decided to cover it up and to put the Scekic family (her brother Zoran is a contemporary composer) fairly deserved on the map of blogosphere.

tadashi_endo_shadow_2.jpgPhoto: Sandra Vitaljic (c)

‘Shadow’ is based on duality between East and West, duality that interferes through space and movement by using accented parts of the body jointly with music and inner subtle butoh screams.

Tadashi Endo is strongly devoted to Butoh vocabulary and tradition, whilst Marija Scekic dances between Western and Eastern tradition.

The interplay between them dramaturgically supports Scekic’s choreography, and they are both equally strong from the very beginning of the performance till the end… till the moment of darkness… creating with this a sort of stage equilibrium…

marija_scekic_shadow_3.jpgPhoto: Sandra Vitaljic (c)

Composer Zoran Scekic has created a sound based on ambient, electro-acoustics with strong accents of free jazz incorporated in the compositional sound structure. His ambient structures sometimes remind me on Geir Jenssen’s project ‘Biosphere’.

‘The frequency of “Alpha-Theta border” inside human brain (fully active mind and fully relaxed body) ranges between 7-8 Hz, which corresponds to the resonant frequency of Earth and ionosphere (7.83Hz). This correspondence indicates the existence of universal planetary truth created by balanced energy dynamics between Man and Nature.’

zoran_scekic_4.jpgPhoto: Sandra Vitaljic (c)

‘Sjena (Shadow) balances between forms of classical ballet, contemporary dance, butoh and free jazz music. It is an attempt to create Dance which dwells within opposite dynamics of two dancers, completely different in terms of their race, sex, age, nationality, cultural background, dance education and artistic expression, political and religious beliefs. Their differences create one mutual thought, a movement in which they both look the same.’

marija_scekic_shadow_4.jpgPhoto: Sandra Vitaljic (c)

Although, sometimes full of rage because of the ignorance and ‘not fitting’ into domestic supportive chain which is based on the principle ‘friends who have friends, who have friends’ system, Marija Scekic is certainly one of the most intriguing artists in South Eastern Europe who definitely needs be discovered widely. Her habitat is definitely deeply in 21st century: fascination with electronic impulses and soundz, digging through heavy physicality of human embodiment, social awareness and orientation to sustainable oriented urban philosophies.

marija_scekic_shadow_5.jpgPhoto: Sandra Vitaljic (c)

About the artist:
Based in Zagreb, Marija Scekic is the founder and Artistic Director of Histeria NOVA Artistic organization.  Professionally trained in classical ballet, contemporary dance and butoh, Marija Scekic studied choreography and contemporary dance at Concordia University in Montréal (Canada). In 2000, she returned to Croatia and began her professional career as independent choreographer, dancer, dance teacher and producer.

marija_scekic_human_error.jpgPhoto from Human Error by Sandra Vitaljic (c)

Her deep passion for analysis of movement energy transformation (human, air or planetary) fused into choreography as a common place in early 1996 during studies in contemporary dance, electroacoustics and planetary geology at Concordia University. Since that time, she has continued to work in the same direction and self-produced many original works, from full-evening group choreographies and solo performances to educationally designed programs and multimedia events.

marija_scekic_human_error_1.jpgPhoto from Human Error by Sandra Vitaljic (c)

She has collaborated with many artists, teachers and performers in Croatia and abroad. Awards and Recognitions: Special Acknowledgment for „Modulation shape 2“ – for creativity and innovative artistic expression for environment protection; delivered by European Commission and Umis-Smea Association / Lisinski Concert Hall- May 2007. Croatian Association of Dramatic Artists’ Award for „Sjena“– for best creation in dance (Croatian National Theatre House, November 2006, Zagreb), Concordia Contemporary dance Prize for outstanding academic achievement (Place Des Arts, May 1999, Montreal-Canada). (bio taken from the official site)