A story of ballet and its closeness to power and authority, order and discipline. The authors base the narrative part of the story on a documentary representation of the mysterious business of Nikša Župa, whilst the choreography has its starting point in the deep discipline and order written in the very nature of the technology of ballet production.
A site-specific ballet-drama performance directed by the Slovenian director of Rijeka origin Janez Janša with choreography by Maurice Causey (US) and external collaborator Blaž Zgaga (SI).
Why do all regimes love ballet? From the aristocracy which created it, via capitalism which packaged it up, to socialism which enthroned it like a state art. What is it about ballet that is so attractive to authority, power and the glamour, whether it is Russian, French, American or of some smaller western and colonial or imperial origin? A discipline which produces gracefulness? A discipline as a precondition for freedom? A discipline which on the one hand creates the order of a military parade, yet on the other a sublime ease of movement that results from a diligently trained body?
The character of Nikša Župa, a cultural manager born in Split, the director of the Zagreb Academy of Dramatic Art and artistic director of the Slovenian National Theatre in Ljubljana from 1991-1992, also pervades the story of ballet and closeness to power and authority, order and discipline. In this period, considered by some the most propulsive period of the Ljubljana Ballet, Župa became one of the most important arms dealers in the former Yugoslavia, organising many shipments of weapons by air and sea. Slovenia was a key junction for the distribution of weapons in which high state officials took part and with whom Župa collaborated. After Ljubljana business affairs took him to Vienna, to the centre, with an embargo of the United Nations in the trade of arms. Was the Ljubljana Ballet an excellent cover for the dangerous job which he skilfully kept apart from his passionate attachment to the world of ballet? Why has the public, including the ballet and the wider theatre community, never dealt with the question about what actually happened to Župa, the highly respected manager? How did he get involved in the world of arms dealing and why was the aeroplane in which he flew brought down? Why is his disappearance covered in such a veil of secrecy? The story is an interesting example of the deep rootedness of art and culture in political and social events. The authors base the narrative part of the story on a documentary representation of the mysterious business of Nikša Župa, whilst the choreography has its starting point in the deep discipline and order written in the very nature of the technology of ballet production.
The ballet drama show is performed by members of the Ballet Ensemble and Croatian Drama of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc Rijeka.