‘365falls’ – a story of falling by Via Negativa

365falls is nonverbal physical performance. Everything falls. Bodies, objects, ideas, symbols, beliefs, ideals, expectations, fears and hopes are falling. Theatre also. But this is not the story of the great last fall. 365falls is a story of falling beyond human pride, beyond normative countdown, beyond the beginning and the end, beyond religion, politics, ideology …

In 1975

USA President Gerald Ford tumbled down the Air Force One stairs while visiting Austria. It was raining, he wore an umbrella for the first lady, and he claimed that an awkward fall was due to his knee problem.
In 2004

Fidel Castro has fractured a knee and an arm after he tripped and fell at the end of one-hour speech at the mausoleum of fellow revolutionary Che Guevara. The government confirmed the injuries, adding: “His general health is good, and spirits excellent.”

In 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel slipped from a chair while visiting the Wagner Festival. Apparently she sat on a broken chair. It’s unclear whether or not she was hurt neither if she “fainted.”

In autumn 2016

Bojan Jablanovec, Via Negativa artistic director, slipped on marble stairs in front of theatre. There was no media report about this event, but there are some other similarities with earlier listed famous falls. It was raining, Jablanovec wore an umbrella, he permanently injured his knee and it is not clear whether he lost consciousness for a moment. Theater Management immediately placed “Slippery floor” warning sign in front of the theatre.



The warning

Jablanovec understood this warning. Every performance is a slippery situation. For performers and audience. We are all searchers of something unique and unrepeatable. We all know that this is road full of unexpected slips, falls and fails. But without the risk we will get nowhere.

“In Search of the Miraculous”

On July 9, Dutch-born conceptual artist Jan Bas Ader from Massachusetts USA attempted to sail across the Atlantic. Ten month later they found his little boat named Ocean Wave 150 nautical miles from the coast of Ireland. But his body was never recovered. Ader conceived his journey as part of an artwork titled “In Search of the Miraculous.”

Gravity art

Ader’s creative topic was the force of gravity. In his short films he performs a series of falls: fall from the roof, fall from the branch of a tree, fall with the bicycle … After his disappearance some artists reenacted his actions and proclaimed it “gravity art”. In his probably the most known film Jan Bas Ader is weeping uncontrollably for ten minutes under the title: “I’m too sad to tell you”. His tears fell into a gravity abyss of grief. Another great artist of falling was Buster Keaton “The Great Stone Face”. With his mathematically calculated gravity stunts he devoted gravity to laughter. Falling is crying and laughing at the same time.




Every step is a little fall. Slightly forward. Walking is merely an illusion of having control, making progress, holding direction. We are constantly falling. Falling in love, falling apart, falling in wrong hands, falling under suspicion, falling asleep, falling into traps … Civilization is the utopian struggle of mankind to overcome gravity. Everything is pulled some where. Audience in theaters, politicians in front of cameras, earth toward the sun. Every political system is just an ideology of temporary syncronized falls. Illusion of balance. The fall is a blinding flash of enlightenment, painful fusion with the universe. Newtonian turnaround. Einstein’s equation. Space is curved. Time doesn’t exist. But gravity still holds us together.

More knowledge – less stability

Context of falling is omnipresent and slippery. At first glance the gravity is a one-way sequence: to fall – to fail – to die. But the tragedy and comedy of fall is not hidden in its metaphysical outcome. It is not about that we know the end, it is about how we deal with what we know.

The big slip

Financial, health, economic, cosmic, meteorological, environmental, nuclear … It could happen anytime and in any form. One small distraction, one computing error, one innocent miscalculation, bad timing, bad weather condition … We are on standby. Busy to keep everything in balance. Personally, locally, nationally, globally.

On March 9, 2018

Four dancers and two actors step on slippery performing floor and balance between falling and failing. Everything falls. Bodies, objects, ideas, symbols, beliefs, ideals, expectations, fears and hopes. Theatre also. But this is not the story of the great last fall. 365falls is a story of falling beyond human pride, beyond normative countdown, beyond the beginning and the end, beyond religion, politics, ideology …

On March 9, 2019

The UK will leave the EU. Is this the beginning of falling apart or the end of integration doubts?

On November 23, 2022

Via Negativa will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Jablanovec will cease to act as an artistic leader. Will Via Negativa survive?

On April 13, 2029

Asteroid 99942 Apophis will pass Earth within the orbits of communication satellites, but will come no closer than 31,200 km above Earth’s surface. The 2029 pass will be much closer than had first been predicted. Is the calculation this time correct.



Performers: Grega Zorc, Anita Wach, Vito Weis, Kristina Aleksova, Loup Abramovici, Nataša Živković

Concept and direction: Bojan Jablanovec
Music: Tomaž Grom and Eduardo Raon; contains also fragments from works by W. A. Mozart: Requiem; P. I. Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake; Richard Wagner – Das Rheingold – Vorspiel; György Ligeti: Lux Aeterna; Iánnis Xenákis: Metastasis
Additional music: Chubby Checker: Let’s Twist Again; Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the UK; The Clash: Should I Stay or Should I Go – arr. by Alexei Shulgin; The Rolling Stones: Satisfaction – arr. by Alexei Shulgin
Sound design: Tomaž Grom
Costumes, props and stage design: Olja Grubić
Light design: sonda7
Technical director: Igor Remeta
Curtain system: Jože Zajc, David Pilipović, Nika Sajn
Producer: Špela Trošt
Public relations: Sara Horžen
Production: Via Negativa
Co-production: Forum Freies Theater Düsseldorf
Partner: Bunker Ljubljana
Financial support: Ministry of Culture of  Republic of Slovenia and City of Ljubljana

Upcoming dates: 2 -3 JUN 2018. Book your ticket here.