My Kingdom for a Horse

Iztok Kovač

A group of mature performers sets up a new choreography every evening, determined arbitrarily with the use of dice. They carry the history and trust in chance while EnKnapGroup confronts them with energetic predetermined sequences as an unstoppable force of structured conspiracy. The audience is engaged in the performance with a free use of headsets and therefore contributes to the performance`s final form.


Premiere: 16/09/2008
Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana

My Kingdom for a Horse is a performance deriving from the foundational principle, which Kovač built his artistic oeuvre on, in last 16 years. However, as much as the principle is applied to the choreography and composing, this time has become the subject matter and the theme of the piece as well. This element is chance, executed by the throwing of the dice, as a basic artistic procedure, around which Kovač sets different strategies of choreographing and constructs his own artistic world.

The evening happens in three parts without a break. The group of Guests (mature non dance performers) will set up a new choreography every evening, organized as a choreographic system, which is determined arbitrarily with the use of dice. Choreography goes through several stages during the evening; from the dice throwing and its annotation around the table at the beginning, to its firstly individual (invisible but audible) and later group realization on stage.

Kovač positioned the group of Guests in the context of history of chance in art and dynamic dialogue with some paradigmatic artistic works: Marcel Duchamp - Three Standard Stoppages, Kurt Schwitters - Ursonate, Merce Cunningham dance technique and Cabaret Voltaire phenomena… This are one of the first examples from the history of art that used the chance concepts declaratively as a legitimate artistic procedure. Kovač does that, on the one hand, to introduce the viewer into an active game of his ‘chance operations’, which choreograph the ‘stories’ of his creative world, and, on the other hand, to rethink his own variations of these ‘operations’ through the artistic thoughts and practices that lay the ground in the history of chance, and allow them, through their convergence, to lead into the creation of something new inside of the Kingdom.

On the other hand EnKnapGroup, a group of five youthfully enthusiastic dancers, represent forces urging to change the existent, current state- to begin to rein over the Kingdom. Despite their motivation originating from the greed of Richard the 3rd, the performance does not step into explaining and portraying Shakespeare’s play, but stays on very subtle, hardly detectable level of usage of the text. They work with prefixed sequences in the second part and while towards the end they play around with the principle in which chance serves as an origin and a source of dramaturgic innovation and is based on the dancer’s creative use of chance.

The two groups act in a typically different way: the group of Guests is carrying the history and belief in chance which is governed by Nietzsche’s Amor Fati - full trust into the choreography that is constructed and conducted by chance, while the dancers of EKG are like an unstoppable force of structured conspiracy, unwavering executors of their games and inventions. They are representing the distance, the doubt, the Duchamp-ian playful relationship to chance, which is giving them the possibility of free choice of their own ‘choreographic’ responses to the emerging situation within the fixed frame of dramaturgy.

The Kingdom is an open field of encounters. There is a contradiction that cannot be overcome between, the ones in a settled situation of enthroned ‘history’ of a particular (choreographic) system that controls and surveys the opposites, and the ones who bring change, that are marked with the urgency of the ‘operative’ realization of it. The consequence of these meetings is unpredictable. What is the outcome going to be? How does the story end? How does it continue? Will the reconciliation be achieved in the Kingdom again? Will the novelty be? Who will at last decide about that, in times when everything ‘rests on the dice’? Who will offer the Kingdom for a Horse?
Mala Kline

Credits

concept
Iztok Kovač
Mala Kline

directed by and choreographed
Iztok Kovač

created and performed by

EnKnapGroup:
Gyula Cserepes
Luke Dunne
Katja Legin
Ana Štefanec
Ilkem Ulugün
Marijana Brecelj k.g.
Neja Kos k.g.
Vasilij Polič k.g.
Andrés Valdés k.g.
Branko Završan k.g.

copyright music
Borja Močnik
Miha Klemenčič

light design
Jaka Šimenc

camera

Iztok Kovač

set design
Andreja Zapušek
Damjan Černe

costume design

Belinda Radulović

sound design
Charo Calvo

sound technician
Matej Ocepek

pr
Lea Dolinšek

technical support
Miha Zupan

costume design
Vesna Novitović

program writers
Mala Kline
Iztok Kovač

proofreading
Špela Frlic

director of photography
Miha Fras

graphic design
Novi Kolektivizem

production:
EN-KNAP

executive producer

Marjeta Lavrič

co-production
Cankarjev dom

thanks to: Tanja Skok, Matic Turk, Roman Konda, Uršula Berlot, Igor Štromajer, Stefan Doepner, Bojana Kunst, Rok Vevar, Helena Klun, Tomaž Kučer

With financial support from the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Ljubljana - Department for Culture.