Matija Ferlin: Staging a Play: Tartuffe


Matija Ferlin: Staging a Play: Tartuffe foto arhiv / photo archive: ZPA


Tartuffe is the second project within the Staging a Play series in which Matija Ferlin tackles canonical works of dramatic art. Staging a Play questions the very foundations upon which the concept of staging is interpreted within the dramatic discourse. In this case, Ferlin has chosen Tartuffe, one of Moliere's “classical” comedies, and translated it from the textual into the choreographic realm. He replaced verbal exchanges with a physical vocabulary and used the dramatic text as a complex choreographic score. Keeping all nine characters on the stage, Ferlin has created a complex performative apparatus in which bodies in space become the only vessels for the narrative, constantly shifting between the attempts at deconstruction and the attempts at reconstruction. All the while, this bodily expression does not follow dramatic conventions, but rather arises from a conceptual treatment of movement, which oscillates on the boundary between the illustrative and the abstract, repeatedly demonstrating the possibilities for expansion. By avoiding the literal nature of gesture, while constantly alluding to it, a subtle choreography of meaning is created, one whose registers were never rigidly fixed in place and which is joined by a parallel orchestration through the presence of an entire dance ensemble which never leaves the stage. 

Zagreb Dance Company (ZPA) was founded in 1970 by dance artist Lela Gluhak Buneta, and since 2014 it has been run by producer Petra Glad Mažar. Throughout many years of its existence and under the leadership of various artistic directors, ZPA has always insisted on original works and high artistic and technical level of its productions. 

The performance is the Slovenian premiere of a Zagreb Dance Company production that includes both company members and guest performers, altogether nine. 

“Matija Ferlin makes an insightful and contemporary interpretation of Tartuffe. He and his creative team, all of whom are simply brilliant in their respective fields, have succeeded in creating a convincing performance. “
© Jelena Mihelčić, PLESNA, 24 January 2018


Direction and choreography: Matija Ferlin
Performance and choreography: Petra Chelfi, Andreja Jandrić, Domagoj Janković, Darko Japelj, Sintija Kučić, Marin Lemić, Roberta Milevoj, Petra Valentić, Kasija Vrbanac (Zagreb Dance Company with guests)
Dramaturgy: Jasna Jasna Žmak
Set design: Mauricio Ferlin
Music: Luka Prinčič, Matjaž Predanič
Costumes: Matija Ferlin, Desanka Janković
Light design and technical direction: Saša Fistrić
Design: Tina Ivezić
Photography: Jelena Janković
Translations: Darko Japelj, Vinko Zgaga
Public relations: Ivana Sansević
Production and organization: Nina Križan
ZPA artistic direction: Petra Glad Mažar


Production: Zagreb Dance Company
Partners: Istrian National Theatre – Pula Town Theatre, Zagreb Youth Theatre
Supported by: Zagreb City Office for Culture, Education and Sport, Ministry of Culture RH,
The Istrian Region

Organization and production of performance Staging a Play: Tartuffe in Ljubljana: Emanat
Partner: Old Power Station Ljubljana
Supported by: Municipality of Ljubljana, Municipality of Pula

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