The life and death of Stana
The Life and death of Stana
Music theatre by Karmina Silec
Performers: Kitka ensemble and guests
for vocalists of extended vocal techniques, instruments, electronics
BABA is inspired by the sworn virgins – the women who, after taking vows of chastity, adopt a man's name and identity, wear men's clothes, do men's work, smoke, drink rakia, play the gusle ... and join the men's world. The music theatre will draw on anthropological research on this practice to develop a multi-faceted performative form.
BABA offers a journey through places and times that bend under the fruits of the romantic Western imagination. Homer, the virdzina, the muškarača, the tobelia, the blind woman, and Stana live in the region that today we call the Balkans. The performance creates an intuitive conceptual network between music, theWestern view, sweet sorrow, hetero-romantic ideology and Adam’s rib, phallocentrism and virginity. It talks about the otherness, the institution of sworn virgins, and about the dilemma over whether virdzina’s becominga man is an illusion, violence, or salvation.
BABA is a canvas on which the contents of society's consciousness, its beliefs, the history and the present, knowledge and delusions are projected. It reminds us of the narrow-mindedness of the society that condemns every step and every action; it sang praises to women with a vocabulary adorned with the notions such as tradition, family, honour, and dignity, and caching mythomania and misogyny behind them. It reminds us who created and buried the heroines Flora, Liljana, Suni, Lindita,...
BABA holds a mirror to the constraints and choices relating to gender and sexuality that are coming to light today.The theme that revolves around the sworn virgins resembles a translucent curtain, behind which the viewers – while perceiving the events on the outskirts of Europe, somewhere in the mountains of the Balkans – stay aware of the fact that what they are watching is "neither the only time, nor the only place".
Supported by / in cooperation with:
The Hewlett50 Arts Commissions
The National Endowment for the Arts
New Music USA
Zellerbach Family Foundation Community Arts Fund
Alliance for California Traditional Arts
Mills College Performing Artists In Residence Program
Berkeley Repertory Theater Ground Floor Artist Residency Program
Djerassi Resident Artists Program
Radcliffe Institute for advanced studies Harvard University
STIAS Institute for advanced studies, Stellenbosch University
Kebataola ansamble and Carmina Slovenica