FOTO - PERFORMANCE

FOTO - MAKING OF

KRASNI NOVI SVET (po motivih A. Huxleya)

V Huxleyjevem Krasnem novem svetu so vojna, beda, kriminal in nesreča izkoreninjeni. Geslo novega sveta je »Skupnost, istost, stalnost«. Končno so vsi srečni, ni individualne lastnine, ni parov in družin. Vsak pripada vsakemu, vse je od vseh. Ljudje so kloni, proizvajani v laboratorijih po kastah s točno določenim programom, ki se nalaga v možgane že v epruveti. Njihova pot do sreče je skrita v tabletki soma. Tudi starih ljudi ni. Vsi živijo v popolnih telesih popolnega zdravja 80 let, nato se ukinejo. V tem popolnem svetu, v katerem so vsakodnevne skupinske orgije najvišji medosebni bonton in v katerem predvajajo filme z vonji in dotiki, je živeti življenje, uživati in se radostiti privilegij elit in višjih kast. Nižje kaste so srečne, ko služijo višjim. Ni strahu ali ljubosumja; vse emocije se umirijo s tabletko soma in laboratorijskim prilagajanjem možganov.

Če bi želeli dobesedno slediti romanu, je njegovo uprizarjanje tehnično izredno zahtevno in predvsem drago. Tudi režiser Ridley Scott še ni dokončal filma, ki so ga snemali leta 2011. Zato se za režijski koncept v danih okoliščinah neodvisne produkcije pri nas takoj postavi nekaj temeljnih izhodiščnih vprašanj: Kako vstopiti v tehnološko dovršen svet z minimalističnimi odrskimi prijemi, senzorialno poetiko in hladno tehnološko opremo? Kako vzpostaviti interaktivno okolje s številno publiko in ob minimalnem številu igralcev? Nato, ali sploh uprizarjati v slovenščini, če v romanu še Shakespearova dela niso preživela; ni kulture, ni umetniških del, obstaja le en poenoten jezik sporazumevanja? In nenazadnje, iz čigave perspektive vstopiti v zgodbo, da zaobjame vso atmosfero in hkrati jasno izlušči svojo poanto?
Da bi v minimalističnih tehničnih pogojih dosegla čimvečjo potopitev v zgodbo, se poslužujem dramskega, senzorialnega in intermedijskega jezika uprizarjanja. Barbara Pia Jenič

Produkcija Senzorium in SNG Drama Ljubljana
Avtorica odrske priredbe in režiserka Barbara Pia Jenič
IGRALCI/actors
Mama Linda in klon Lenina Petra Govc
Divjak John Nik Škrlec
Hologram
Mustafa Mond Tadej Toš
Video
Thomas (Tomakin) Uroš Fürst
Bernard Marx Rok Vihar
Dr. Shaw Boris Mihalj
Bernie Watson Aljaž Jovanović
Avdio
Sophia Barbara Pia Jenič
Bernie Watson Aljaž Jovanovič
Dramaturginja Eva Kraševec
Scenograf Matej Filipčič
Oblikovalec zvoka Peter Penko
Lektor Arko
Oblikovalca svetlobe Matej Filipčič, Barbara Pia Jenič
Oblikovalka holograma in kamermanka Sara Sedevčič
Oblikovalci videa Barbara Pia Jenič, Gregor Mesec, Sandi Skok
Fotografije predstave in ČB fotografije procesa Peter Uhan
Barvne fotografije procesa: Senzorium
Prevod uvodnega teksta in kolofona v angleščino
Prevod teksta G. Butale v angleščino: Mišo Mičić
Oblikovanje spletne strani: Marko Jurca

Kratki Shakespearovi citati iz Romea in Julije so prevod Srečka Fišerja, Grafične podobe na videih in nekateri izseki videa so kupljeni na Shutterstock, videi avtorjev © 3000ad/Shutterstock.com,
© zolstudios/Shutterstock.com,
© credoartin/Shutterstock.com and
© syntgEx/Shutterstock.com so uporabljeni v predstavi

V sodelovanju z Umetniškim društvom Osum in Akademijo umetnosti Univerze v Novi Gorici ter s finančno podporo Oddelka za kulturo Mestne občine Ljubljana.

Iz gledališkega lista:
GREGOR BUTALA: ZBLIŽEVANJE RAZUMA IN NEZAVEDNEGA
Ali je tako imenovano senzorialno gledališče sploh kaj drugačno od »klasičnega« gledališča, ko pa imamo vendar pri obeh opravka z živim uprizarjanjem takih ali drugačnih vsebin, ki želijo gledalcu nekaj sporočiti oziroma sprožiti pri njem določen odziv – pri čemer so navsezadnje v obeh primerih prisotne običajne sestavine, kot so nastopajoči, scenografija, kostumi, glasba in tako naprej? In če je to gledališče res »bistveno« drugačno – ali je potem sploh še »gledališče«, vsaj v tistem pomenu, kot ga običajno pripisujemo tej besedi? To sta dve najosnovnejši vprašanji, ki se utegneta zastaviti ob omembi uprizoritvene prakse, ki tudi po dveh desetletjih sistematičnega razvoja pri nas ostaja v splošni zavesti razmeroma obrobna. Seveda je odgovor na obe vprašanji pritrdilen; prav tako pa drži, da je med tema dvema tipoma uprizarjanja kar precej razlik, tako v osnovni naravnanosti kot v temeljnih postopkih in orodjih. »Gledališče čutov«, kot ga je v 80. in 90. letih prejšnjega stoletja oblikoval kolumbijski gledališčnik Enrique Vargas ter ga tudi »formaliziral« z ustanovitvijo Teatra de los Sentidos leta 1993, bi lahko nemara razumeli kot neke vrste sintezo njegovih dotedanjih raziskovanj raznolikih gledaliških in kulturnih praks, ki so segala od eksperimentalnega ** in progresivnega gledališča 60. let (nekaj časa je, denimo, deloval v newyorškem gledališču La MaMa) preko povezanega ukvarjanja s telesno izraznostjo in kolektivnih urbanih praznovanj, v katerih se zabrisuje meja med »akterji« in »občinstvom«, do preučevanja razmerij med igro, miti in ritualom ter protogledaliških oblik, kot so starogrški misteriji ali obredi tradicionalnih andskih skupnosti. Vargasova postavitev senzorialnega gledališkega jezika, ki vključuje za sporočanje vsebine stimulacijo vseh čutil, se v določenem smislu umešča v pestro tradicijo poskusov večplastne »pritegnitve« gledalca v doži vetje uprizoritvenega dogodka, ki segajo od zamisli o ce lostni umetnini preko projektov avantgardnih gibanj (denimo Marinettijevo »taktilno gledališče«) do »antropološkega gledališča« Grotowskega ali Barbe; toda v specifičnih sredstvih, ki jih uporablja senzorialna poetika, je obenem mogoče prepoznavati odmik od ustaljene (v sodobnem času tudi sicer prevladujoče) okulocentrične paradigme, po kateri gledališče pač predvsem gledamo (in pa »poslušamo«). Njena orodja čutnega sporočanja namreč enakovredno vključujejo tudi vonje, okuse in taktilne spodbude, ki omogočijo prejemniku neposredno telesno »potopitev« v dogajanje, katere celovitost presega siceršnjo zgolj »mentalno« refleksijo tistega, kar je gledalcu prikazano na odru. Ali rečeno skozi nietzschejansko dialektiko: prevladujoče apolinično naravo (»zahodne«) uprizoritvene umetnosti senzorialni jezik dopolnjuje (če ne celo »nadomešča«) z dionizično (čutno, instinktivno) razsežnostjo dogodka, kolikor ga pač fizično »izkušamo«, in ne le opazujemo oziroma »mislimo«. Vendar pa celostni nagovor čutov ni edini določajoči element senzorialnega uprizarjanja; morda še pomembnejša gradnika Vargasovega senzorialnega gledališkega slovarja sta uporaba arhetipskih vsebin (motivov in simbolov) ter neposredna, živa »interakcija« med izvajalci in občinstvom, ki je praviloma individualne narave. Šele metodološko natančno premišljeno součinkovanje teh sestavin omogoča ustrezno dovršitev »poante« senzorialne predstave znotraj posamičnega obiskovalca, kjer se pravzaprav nahajata njen resnični »oder« in dejanska »snov«; bistvena poteza takšnega dogodka je rekonfiguracija same »situacije uprizarjanja«, ki preobrača ustaljena razmerja med gledalcem in uprizoritvijo, s tem pa tudi tip predstavljene materije in strukturno mesto nastopajočih. Ravno zato različne »dodatne« čutne vsebine, ki jih sicer razmeroma redno srečujemo tudi v sodobni gledališki produkciji (kot na primer vonjave ob pripravljanju hrane na odru ali pač razne oblike neposrednega fizičnega stika gledalcev z izvajalci), še ne pomenijo »senzorialnosti« v smislu izhodišč in metode Vargasovega dela. Prav podobno v okviru standardnega gledališkega dispozitiva ostajajo različni participatorni projekti, katerih uspešna izvedba predvideva takšno ali drugačno sodelovanje (vsaj dela) občinstva; v teh namreč sodelujoči gledalci do neke mere postanejo »objekti« uprizoritve in njihova komunikacija z dogodkom poteka v drugačnem registru kot pri senzorialni »predstavi«. * * * V svoji osnovni obliki je senzorialna uprizoritev postavljena v okolje posebej zasnovanega labirinta, v katerega posamično vstopajo obiskovalci in se potem linearno pomikajo med prizori, umeščenimi na različna prizorišča znotraj blodnjaka. Drugače od »klasičnega« gledališkega modela predstava te vrste ne meri toliko na uprizoritev določene predloge oziroma »zgodbe«, temveč je usmerjena zlasti na dogajanje v notranjosti obiskovalca – ali natančneje, na čustvene odzive in procese, ki jih sprožajo v njem različni čutni dražljaji in arhetipski motivi, skozi (praviloma neverbalno) interakcijo pa mu jih pomagajo oblikovati v celovito, toda povsem individualno zaznamovano pripoved nastopajoči, s katerimi prihaja v stik v posameznih odsekih labirinta. Obiskovalec tako postane bistveni del celote uprizoritve, ki ga postavi v vlogo glavnega lika njegove lastne, v intimi prebujene zgodbe. Tektonika senzorialne predstave se razlikuje od »tradicionalne« gledališke uprizoritve že s tem, da poudarek ni več na dramskem besedilu ali zunanjem dogajanju – oziroma bolj ali manj pasivnem sprejemanju vsebin, ki jih gledalcu sporočajo nastopajoči na odru –, temveč je v vlogo osrednjega »akterja« postavljena notranja pokrajina obiskovalca. Igralec, sicer običajno glavna os gledališkega dogodka, se mora s svojimi sposobnostmi pritajiti v vzpostavljanju celostne senzorialne poetike, če hoče ustrezno predati pomen in vsebino določenega prizora. Med najpomembnejša izrazna sredstva, ki bolj kot na razumski delujejo na nezavedni ravni, spadajo oblikovanje prostora, teme in tišine ter uporaba senzorialnih orodij, kot so vonji, zvoki, okusi ali teksture; ta omogočajo globljo interakcijo, odpiranje potlačenih spominov in drugih nezavednih vsebin; k spodbujanju domišljije in notranjega doživljanja obiskovalca prispeva tudi uporaba arhetipskih podob, situacij in simbolnih predmetov. Temeljna težnja senzorialnega gledališča je, da obiskovalec skozi izkušnjo, ki je le njegova, doživi nekaj, kar ga (potencialno) transformira; v tem smislu ga lahko razumemo tudi kot poskus premika od pogosto neobvezujočega »konzumiranja« kulturnih proizvodov, ki si prav skozi participacijo na »idealnih« vsebinah umetniškega dogodka omogoča »pomiritev« z realno obstoječim stanjem – ter s tem možnost ohranjanja samozadovoljne lege v njem. * * * Sistematično raziskovanje uporabe senzorialnega jezika je v Sloveniji od vsega začetka povezano z gledališčem Senzorium, ki začne delovati leta 1996, kmalu po gostovanju Teatra de los Sentidos s predstavo Oraklji na festivalu Exodos v Ljubljani – to gostovanje je bilo navdih za njegovo ustanovitev. Glavna ustvarjalna sila Senzoriuma sta bila v prvih letih Barbara Pia Jenič in Gabriel Hernández, sicer oba tudi člana omenjene Vargasove skupine; že kmalu sta začela pripravljati prve produkcije po zgledu Vargasovih labirintov, ki so se motivno navdihovale v arhetipih mitov, legend in ljudskega izročila. Vrh tega zgodnjega obdobja, med katerim so se v senzorialnem »uprizarjanju« izobrazile tudi prve generacije domačih izvajalcev, sta bili predstavi Sprehajalec grehov (2002) in Mesto tišine (2003); slednja je s pretanjeno tematizacijo fenomena smrti oziroma prehoda nekako (nehote) napovedala novo poglavje v razvoju in delovanju tega gledališča. Senzorium namreč od leta 2004 samostojno vodi Jeničeva, ki je od takrat v svojem avtorskem opusu postopoma opustila strukturo labirinta ter na raznolike načine preizkušala uspešnost izrabe senzorialnih orodij v različnih uprizoritvenih in vsebinskih kontekstih – vse do aktualnega prenašanja senzorialnih prijemov na gledališki oder, s katerim poskuša v klasičnem gledališkem okviru odpreti nove razsežnosti sporočanja. Do poskusov prepletanja klasičnega in senzorialnega gledališča je sicer v njenem delu prihajalo že prej (na primer Boj med pustom in postom, 2001), toda Jeničeva je šele v zadnjem desetletju zares razširila raziskovanje možnosti združitve senzorialnega gledališča z besedo – oziroma nadgradnje odrskih uprizoritev in drugih umetniških praks s senzorialnimi vsebinami. Ti poskusi so se nemara zdeli enkrat bolj, drugič manj uspešni, toda vsak od njih je pomenil korak po neuhojenih poteh; in tudi sicer je bil skorajda sleherni projekt Senzoriuma od leta 2004 nekakšen eksperiment, preizkus novega pristopa ali uprizoritvenega dispozitiva. Tako je prej omenjeno Mesto tišine že izkazovalo ambicijo, da bi od motivnega navdihovanja pri raznih obredih prešlo v senzorialno »prenašanje« zahtevnejših literarnih ali teoretskih vsebin; tovrstni naravnanosti je sledil še labirint Biti ali imeti (2004), zasnovan po delu Ericha Fromma, Polnočna Margareta (2005), nastala po romanu Mihaila Bulgakova Mojster in Margareta, pa je pomenila prelomnico še v več drugih pogledih: senzorialni jezik je bil v njej nadgrajen z elementoma igre in pripovedi, zlasti pa je bila to prva nadomestitev forme labirinta z novo, za izvajanje bolj prilagodljivo (verjetno pa finančno tudi bolj »praktično«) obliko »odprtega« prostora, v katerega so obiskovalci vstopili hkrati (in ne več posamično), med prizori pa so se pomikali sočasno, razdeljeni v skupine. Takšno zasnovo senzorialne interakcije z več manjšimi skupinami so ohranile tudi poznejše uprizoritve, na primer Odstiranja (2006). Obenem pa je Jeničeva v projektih nenehno iskala vsebinske »sinteze« s sodobnostjo ali okoljem, kot je bilo to v Mestu vzdihljajev (2008), zasnovanem na slovenskih kulturnih arhetipih (od goveje juhe do Cankarjeve matere ali glasbe skupine Laibach), ali pri uprizoritvi Krst (2010), ki je nastala po motivih Prešernovega Krsta pri Savici in v katero je med drugim vpletla tematiko odnosa med umetnostjo in ekonomijo. In prav Krst je bil tudi eden prvih preizkusov uporabe senzorialnih orodij na odru (predvsem učinkov zvokov in vonjev), ki jih je nato Jeničeva nadaljevala še v dveh projektih, povezanih s poezijo: to sta bili uprizoritvi Cro-Magnon (2013) in Gotska okna (2014), ki sta se v diskretnem odmerjanju čut(il)ne »atmosfere« pomaknili še bliže klasičnemu gledališkemu dogodku, pri čemer ju niti ni več mogoče označevati kot senzorialni. Če se torej dozdeva, da poskuša Senzorium v zadnjem obdobju nekako vse bolj zbliževati »razum« in »nezavedno«, je postavitev emblematične distopije Krasni novi svet gotovo hvaležna priložnost za razrešitev dozdevne napetosti med transformativnim potencialom čutnega spomina in praznino lobotomizirane ritualnosti iz neke morebitne prihodnosti. Kajti stari »psihoanalitični« dovtip, da je nezavedno edino, kar ostaja za vedno, nemara velja tudi tam, kjer je večen le »tisti, ki je srečen«.

**Izraz »senzorialno« je neposredna izpeljanka angleške besede sensorial, ki se običajno prevaja kot »senzorično« ali »čutno«; to posebno različico prevoda opredeljuje Barbara Pia Jenič kot svojo avtorsko razločevalno oznako za modele uprizarjanja, ki izhajajo iz raziskav in dela dramatika, režiserja in antropologa Enriqua Vargasa.

BRAVE NEW WORLD (inspired by A. Huxley)

»Community, Identity, Stability«, this is the motto of Huxley’s Brave New World in which war, misery, crime and adversity have been eradicated. Finally, everyone is happy; there is no individual property, couples or families. People mutually belong to each other, everything is shared by everyone. People are clones, manufactured in laboratories according to castes with strictly­specified programmes loaded into their brain during the test tube phase. The secret of one’s pathway to happiness resides in a tablet, called soma. There are no old people in the world. Instead, people inhabit perfect bodies in perfect health for 80 years, and are discarded afterwards. In this perfect world, in which daily group orgies are regarded as the ultimate form of interpersonal etiquette, with movies screened including smell and touch, it is a privilege of a social elite and upper castes to live, enjoy and rejoice. The lower classes are happy when they serve their superiors. Fear and jealousy are no longer; emotions are calmed down with the soma tablet and by means of a laboratory adaptation of the brain.

To stage Huxley’s novel literally would entail extreme technical difficulty and exorbitant costs. Film director Ridley Scott has not yet completed his film which was shot in 2011. This is why, given the conditions and circumstances of independent theatre production in Slovenia, the idea of staging the novel is immediately faced with a basic problem: How is one to enter the state­of­the art world of technology using a minimalist staging approach and sensorial poetics? How is one to create an interactive environment involving a large number of viewers and a minimum number of actors? What is more, should one stage the play in Slovenian, given the fact that it is indicated in the novel that Shakespeare’s works have not survived at all? There is no culture any longer; no works of art, there is only one simplified language of communication. And finally, whose point­of­view should be adopted to embrace the novel’s feel and make a distinct point of one’s own?
In order to reach as deep immersion as possible, I use drama, sensorial and intermedia theatre tools.

Production Senzorium and SNG Drama Ljubljana
Adapted and directed by Barbara Pia Jenič

CAST
Mother Linda and clon Lenina Petra Govc
Savage John Nik Škrlec
Hologram
Mustafa Mond Tadej Toš
Video
Thomas (Tomakin) Uroš Fürst
Bernard Marx Rok Vihar
Dr. Shaw Boris Mihalj
Bernie Watson Aljaž Jovanović
Audio
Sophia Barbara Pia Jenič
Bernie Watson Aljaž Jovanovič

Dramaturg Eva Kraševec
Set designer Matej Filipčič
Sound designer Peter Penko
Language consultant Arko
Lighting designers Matej Filipčič, Barbara Pia Jenič

Hologram designer and camera on set: Sara Sedevčič
Video designers Barbara Pia Jenič, Gregor Mesec, Sandi Skok
Photos of the play and black&white photos of the process Peter Uhan
Coloured photos of the process Senzorium
English translation Tina Mahkota
English translation of G. Butala Mišo Mičić
Senzorium web design Marko Jurca

Short quotes from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet translated by Srečko Fišer, and video clips © 3000ad/Shutterstock.com,
© zolstudios/Shutterstock.com,
© credoartin/Shutterstock.com and
© syntgEx/Shutterstock.com are used in the show.

In cooperation with Osum and University of Nova Gorica, School of Arts. The project is financially supported by City of Ljubljana, department of culture

From the Booklet of the play
GREGOR BUTALA: CONVERGENCE OF THE INTELLECT AND THE SUBCONSCIOUS
Is the so-called sensorial theatre any different from the classical theatre, as both of them deal with live staging and performing of various issues, striving to communicate something to the spectator, to trigger or instigate a certain response in him – and after all, in both types of theatre, the usual ingredients are common: the performers, scenography, costumes, music and so on? If this theatre is in fact so essentially different – can it therefore still be called “theatre” at least in the usual meaning of the word? These are the two most basic questions, which may arise at the mention of this staging/performing practice, which remains relatively marginal in the general consciousness even after two decades of systematic research and development. The answer to both questions is, of course, yes. However, it is also true that there are several differences between these two approaches, in basic attitude as well as in basic procedures and tools. “Theatre of the senses” as it was conceived by the Columbian director Enrique Vargas in the eighties and the nineties and finally formalized by establishing Teatro de los Sentidos in 1993, can be understood as some kind of synthesis of his previous research of various theatre and cultural practices, ranging from the experimental and progressive theatre of the sixties (Vargas also worked in La MaMa Theater in New York for a period of time) through related engagement with physical expression and collective urban celebrations, in which the boundaries between the “actors” and the “audience” is blurred, to researching the ratio between acting, myths and ritual – the proto-theatrical forms, such as the ancient Greek mysteries or the rituals of the traditional Andean communities.
Vargas’ setting up of sensorial theatre language, which includes the stimulation of all the senses in order to communicate, is in a certain way a part of the rich tradition of attempting to attract the audience with multi-layered approaches into a performing experience, from ideas of complete artwork, through avant-garde projects (for instance Marinetti’s “tactile theatre”) to “anthropological theatre” of Grotowski or Barba; however, in the specific tools used by the sensorial poetics it is possible to recognize the deviation from the established (nowadays also dominant) ocularcentric paradigm, which perceives theatre as something “to be observed” (and “listened to”). Its tools of sensual communication equally incorporate smell, taste and tactile stimuli, enabling the recipient’s direct and complete physical immersion into the situation and exceeding the usual mere “mental” reflection of what is performed on the stage. Or spoken through Nietzschean dialectics: the dominant Apollonian nature of (“the western”) theatre is complemented (if not even “replaced”) by Dionysian (sensual, instinctive) dimension of the event, as much as we physically “experience” it and not only observe it or reflect about it. Nevertheless, the comprehensive address of the senses is not the only determining element of the sensorial performing; perhaps even more important cornerstones of Vargas’ sensorial theatre dictionary are the use of archetypal motives and symbols and the direct “interaction” between the performers and the audience, which is, as a rule, of individual character. It is only the methodologically precise and thoughtful cooperation of these ingredients that enables the suitable completion of the “point” of the sensorial show within the individual visitor, where its true “stage” and its true “substance” are to be found; the essential feature of such an event is the reconfiguration of the “performing situation”, which converts a stable ratio between the audience and the performance and thus also the type of the presented material and the structural place of the performers. That is precisely why various “additional” sensual stimuli, which are relatively regularly present in the contemporary theatre (such as the smell of preparing food on the stage or different kinds of physical contact between the performers and the audience), do not presuppose “sensoriality” in the terms of starting points and methods of Vargas’ work. Very similarly, the framework of standard theatre dispositive includes different participatory projects, whose successful implementation anticipates some type of cooperation of (at least a part of) the audience; through these the collaborating spectators become to an extent “objects” of the performance and their communication with the event takes place in a different register as in a sensorial “performance”.

In its basic form the sensorial performance is set in the environment of a specially designed labyrinth, into which the visitors enter individually and then move linearly between scenes, situated in the various points within the maze. In contrast to the “classical” theatre model, the performance of this type does not aim so much at staging a certain “story”, it is predominantly directed to the inner experience of the visitor – more precisely to the emotional responses and processes, triggered by various sensual stimuli and archetypal motifs, through (generally non-verbal) interaction with performers in the different parts of the labyrinth, helping the visitor form a complete and completely individualized story. The visitor thus becomes the essential part of the whole performance, putting him in the role of the main character of his own, intimately awakened story. The tectonics of the sensorial performance is different from the “traditional” theatre performance also by not focusing on the dramatic text or on external events – meaning on more or less passive consumption of the events on the stage – the main role is taken over by the visitor’s internal landscape. The actor, usually the main axis of the theatre event, has to adopt a low profile with his capabilities in the context of establishing a wholesome sensorial poetics in order to effectively convey meaning of a certain scene. Among the most important means of expression, which operate more on subconscious than rational level, are the design of space, darkness and silence, as well as the implementation of sensorial tools like sounds, tastes and textures, these enable a deeper interaction, release of suppressed memories and other subconscious contents; the internal experience of the visitor is encouraged with archetypal images, situations and symbolic objects. The basic tendency of the sensorial theatre is to (potentially) transform the visitor by his individual internal experience; in this context it can be understood as an attempt to move from often non-binding “consumption” of cultural products, which enables “reconciliation” with the real life status quo through the participation in the “ideal contents” of the artistic event. Thus the possibility of preserving the self-satisfied position within real life situations is achieved.

The systematic research of sensorial language is connected to Senzorium Theatre from the very beginning, which was established in 1996, soon after the participation of Teatro de los Sentidos and their performace Oracles at the Exodos Festival in Ljubljana – this performance was an inspiration for the foundation of Senzorium. The main creative forces of Senzorium in the first years after its foundation were Barbara Pia Jenič and Gabriel Hernández, both of them members of Vargas’ aforementioned group; they soon started producing first performances following Vargas’ example of labyrinths, inspired by the archetypes of myths, legends and folklore. The top of this early period, during which the first generations of Slovenian sensorial artist have been educated in sensorial “performing”, were the performances A Walker of Sins (2002) and The City of Silence (2003); the latter (unintentionally) predicted a new chapter in the development and operation of this theatre through the sublime thematization of the phenomenon of death or transition. Jenič is the only leader of Senzorium since 2004, who gradually abandoned the structure of labyrinth in her artistic work and experimented in various ways with the use of sensorial tools in different performative contexts – all the way to incorporating sensorial approaches into other forms of theatre, searching for new dimensions of communication and conveying meaning in the framework of classical theatre.

Attempts of intertwining classical and sensorial theatre are not something completely new for Barbara Pia Jenič (in 2001 she staged The Battle Between Carnival and Fast), however she considerably expanded her research and the possibilities of combining the sensorial language with words (or rather upgrading different artistic practices with sensorial approaches) only in the last decade. These attempts seemed more or less successful, but it is indisputable that each and every one of them represented a new step on the untrained path; every project of Senzorium Theatre since 2004 can be characterized as an experiment, an attempt in discovering a new approach or performing dispositive. The aforementioned City of Silence already showed the ambition of transforming the motif inspiration of different rituals into sensorial “transmission” of more demanding and complex literary and theoretical works; this orientation was upgraded by the labyrinth To Be Or to Have (2004), conceived by Erich Fromm’s work, The Midnight Margareta (2005), conceived by the novel of Mikhail Bulgakov The Master and Margarita, which was a turning point in several other aspects: the sensorial language was upgraded with elements of acting and narration, but most of all it was the first replacement of the labyrinth with a more flexible and performing-friendly (and financially practical) form of “open” space, in which the visitors entered all at the same time (and not each one individually), as the moved in groups from scene to scene. This type of design with several smaller groups was also preserved in the following performances, such as Unveiling (2006). Jenič also constantly and consistently searched through her projects for the content “synthesis” with contemporary life and surroundings, like in The City of Sighs (2008), conceived on Slovenian cultural archetypes (from beef soup to Cankar’s mother or Laibach), or in Baptism (2010), based on the motifs on Prešeren’s The Baptism at the Savica (2010), in which she tackled the topic of relation between art and economy. Baptism was one of the first experiments of using sensorial tools on the stage (mostly sounds and smells), continued by Jenič in two more poetry-related projects: Cro-Magnon (2013) and Gothic Windows (2014), moving even closer to the classical theatre event with their discrete dosage of sensual “atmosphere”, even to the extent of not being able to label them as sensorial. If it seems like Senzorium is trying to converge the “intellect” and the “subconscious”, the staging of the emblematic dystopia Brave New Wold is certainly a grateful opportunity to resolve the apparent tension between the transformative potential of sensory memory and the emptiness of lobotomized rituality from a potential future. The old psychoanalytic joke is that it is only the subconscious that remains forever, where only “those, who are happy” are eternal.