Open Door

Arms that never knew me

Choreography and Direction: Charlie Brittain | Co-choreography and Performance: Milan Tomášik | Sound Design: Jakub Mudrák | Set and Costume Design: Jasna Vastl | Photography: Andi Bančić | Production: KUD Cortesia in collaboration with Scenario Pubblico/Centro di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale


Inspired by the ancient Arabic poetic form ‘ghazal’, comparable to the sonnet in European literature, the piece investigates how these literary forms can influence and relate to the moving body – rhythmically, musically, texturally, emotionally and philosophically. Arms that never knew me is a solo dance performance centred on the themes of ‘being’, consciousness and vulnerability. Building on an intensive period of artistic research and development, we will explore these concepts with and through each of the theatrical elements; dancing, sound, light, costume, set, text and dramaturgy will be woven together to create a rich and diverse expression of the exhilaration and fragility of (the) human ‘being’. 


The process aims to cultivate and develop new ways of approaching movement, creating a new movement language based on a spectrum of energetic densities and the aesthetic implications that this practice yields. We will harness the body’s innate wisdom to create qualitative depth, falling into an expressive and poetic realm of movement. We are inspired by exploring the manifestation of ultra-lightness and incredible density through the dancing body and how this can result in an electrified quality of movement, questioning what the aesthetic and expressive outcomes are of both performer and audience. We hope to develop an approach to movement that will evolve into a self-sustaining and challenging entity within its own right, functioning autonomously and transparently, while influencing, and being influenced by, the other elements of the work – creating a dynamic web from the different media, each supporting, challenging and intertwining with each other.


The work will be choreographed and directed by U.K.-based Charlie Brittain in collaboration with Slovenia-based performer and co-choreographer Milan Tomášik. It will feature soundscape and musical composition by Jakub Mudrák who will work closely with Tomášik and Brittain to create an original score comprised of modulated sound and music. Jan Čief will create a brand-new lighting design working between traditional, atmospheric light sources as well as new technology to build the aesthetic world of the piece. The costume and set design, by Jasna Vastl, will allow for theatrical transformations on-stage and range from poetic and refined, to raw and human. Andi Bančić provides enigmatic and poignant concept art which will serve as artistic inspiration as well as feature as a visual anchor in the performance itself. 


‘Heaven can wait. To have found, heaven knows, a bed and a roof so divine’s enough.’ Mimi Khalvati – Ghazal: after Hafez