Slovenia / 2016 / 60'

What is an artwork made of? In this performance the answer is obvious but hidden. It is hidden in two golden eggs that travel a long way from barely perceived feeling in the womb to the staged performance. In it, the dancer addresses nothing less than all creation saying: “Welcome to the Peace space station!”

Calypso by Tina Valentan isn’t from Homer yet it is – the same as the immortal nymph Calypso – from a solitary land of shadows. It draws strength from the blackness of its inner universe which carefully forms into a movement and voice and reluctantly reveals herself to the mortals too soon. What she shares with the mythological Calypso is mainly the name: καλύπτω (kalyptō) is a Greek word for covering or concealing and in the figurative meaning hiding, deceiving but also protection. The care of the self. 

Calypso and Calypso: two seducers surrounded by symbols of opulence. They give away their wealth with the generosity of those who have nothing but the awareness that before we break it anything can hatch from the golden egg. All possibilities are open. But Tina Valentan’s Calypso is compelled to choose only one way before breaking the egg. What will come out of it: an artistic or biological miracle? A performance or a child? In her picture of the world, every cell holds the entire cosmos and everything is connected, a tree, a dinosaur and a human – therefore creativity and art and motherhood are not mutually exclusive. But in the world she lives in there is not enough money for both. There’s no place for the diversity that Calypso takes immense pleasure in: an astronaut, a dancer, a cosmonaut, a pop star, a bimbo and mystical visionary all in one.

This is the origin of pain and snarling. Disguising because you can only pick one in such a flattened world. It appears that even the magical power of the golden eggs fails. No matter how Calypso protects and hatches them, they remain speechless. Selfsufficient. She tries in vain to revive the ancient mythopoetic picture of the world as a cosmic egg where everything begins and ends, and where there’s truly plenty of room for everybody. Here and now, Calypso has to transform from a goddess into a pop star, and stuff all her dimensions into an exotic hat. Like a contemporary Carmen Miranda who traded calypso and samba for synthetic rhythms, she dances around and more out of a habit than desire she impertinently flirts with the audience which despite seeing it all still feels embarrassed.

To make matters worse, Calypso removes golden eggs from her eyes from where they move directly to the ovaries and converts from an astronaut-cosmonaut at the Mir space station into an ordinary mortal condemned to biology. But before we sigh in disappointment as her guests, we should look back and forth and remember where the golden eggs came from and where they are going. Do ovaries really direct Calypsoor could it be that she directs them? Is this captivity or freedom? What about both at the same time? Mystics nod assent. Baroque poet Angelus Silesius might have wondered which came first, the chicken or the egg, and gave an answer himself: “The egg in the chicken, and the chicken in the egg.” It is not difficult to imagine that in the Peace dance hall, Calypso would cheerfully propose him a toast with egg liqueur and with an extravagant hat on her head call out: “Long live tutti frutti!”

Tea Hvala

Author and Performer: Tina Valentan
Music and outside eye: Tian Rotteveel 
Dramaturg: Aleksandra Blagojević 
Artistic advisory: Snježana Premuš 
Theoretical reflection: Tea Hvala 
Costume Designer: Urška Recer 
Light Designer: Urška Vohar
Producer: Amela Meštrovac


Production: Mesto žensk 
Coproduction: Dance Theatre Ljubljana, Maribor Dance Room 
With Support by: Public Fund for Cultural Activities of RS, Maska Institute

Special thanks to: Luka Martin Škof, Borut Bučinel, Andreja Kopač, Vesna Juvan, Nina Meško, Teja Reba, Institute for Culture, Tourism and Sport Murska Sobota.