Maja Delak: What if

Maja Delak: Kaj če / What if;

And then I realised
I have to work more
And then I realised
there is no future
And then I realised
it would be easier if I were a boy
And then I realised
I work out of pleasure
And then I realised
I am ashamed
And then I realised
my body clearly and decidedly sets its own limits

What If …
we lived differently? What if – we didn’t? What If is a performance about not living differently. It is a performance about how time measures out the rhythm of our lives; how instability and hyperproductivity dictate the rhythm of work and how resistance often frames the rhythm of feeling. What If is a solo of a dancer and a solo about a dancer; it is a dance solo about what the body is capable of doing and what not (any more). It is a dance solo about the exposure and vulnerability of all bodies. What If is a performance about an insecure, unstable and vulnerable situation the dancer on stage is pushed into, the body of a dancer at work, the body of a dancer in life, who is continuing her investigation of the intersection between the body, gender and society, while critically addressing production conditions of contemporary dance (and art in general), which are the ongoing themes of Maja Delak’s work.

And then I realised
I would come to the same conclusions
Also if I didn’t do art. 


Created and performed by: Maja Delak
Music: Luka Prinčič
Texts: Saša Rakef, Maja Delak
Dramaturgy: Katja Čičigoj
Scenography: Irena Pivka
Costumes: Urška Recer
Programming: Jakob Leben, Luka Prinčič
Light design: Urška Vohar
Graphic design: Saša Kerkoš
Translations: Katja Kosi, Nataša Živković
Photographer: Nada Žgank
Executive producers: Saša Rakef, Nina Janež

What they are saying

I love it when dancers don’t dance. I love it when they spend more time on stage talking (at one point Maja says, “I realized I spend more time typing than dancing), or singing, or lying on the ground, or bleating into the microphone, because when they do move – when they resort to dancing – it feels charged and critical. When Maja dances, the way she moves underlines her vulnerability and at the same time her way of moving insists: I am capable. I am strong. I can do this. I have done this. When Maja confesses that her first choreography was not a solo presented some years ago in this same festival, but a dance to a Donna Summer’s song she choreographed on a group of friends on the last day of school when she was a teenager, her demonstration of the dance is suitably dated, and in spite of the fact that it is delivered through her 44-year old, practiced and accomplished body, it soars, and it’s a bit heart breaking. It starts off as the feel-good moment of the piece, but ends manically, her back to the audience, screaming at her invisible troupe of dancers. Encouragement has turned into aggressive cheerleading, an outer display of her inner monologue, and we are propelled back into the world of grown-up frustrations. As dancers know all too well, the body remembers everything. At the end of What If? I feel this is both a blessing and a curse.

— Blog City of Women , Shannon Cochrane, On What If by Maja Delak


Production: Emanat
Co-production: Festival City of Women, Dance Theater Ljubljana
In collaboration: Bunker / Old Power Station
Partner: Dance and nonverbal theater Festival Svetvincenti, Mediterranean Dance Center
Financial support: Ministry of Culture RS, City Municipality of Ljubljana



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