Ballet “Apoxyomenos” by Claudio Bernardo in Croatian Nacional Theatre in Zagreb

The Zagreb Ballet had its first premiere in the new season, ballet Apoxyomenus to the music of Tamara Obrovac in the choreography of Claudio Bernardo.  The dramaturge is Lada Kaštelan, the sets will be designed by Numen, the costume designer is Silvio Vujičić and the light designer is Aleksandar Čavlek.


The Mediterranean Sea, like any other sea, connects and divides, gives life and brings death. From one shore to another, between Europe, Asia and Africa and further, much further through the Strait of Gibraltar, waves of merchants, warriors, prisoners and refugees searching for prey, riches, a new life or new worlds have been coming for centuries. The winds of history determine their rhythm and the sea, wild and unpredictable, becomes salvation to some and a grave to others; be it in the mythical times of the Trojan War or today, in the 21st century.


Photography: Croatian Nacional Theatre in Zagreb


The sea was merciful to the Apoxyomenos from Lošinj. It protected him for two centuries, in the depths near the small island of Vela Orjula, where he had been thrown from a Roman ship like unnecessary cargo in a storm, until one Belgian diver found him by accident, almost intact, covered in sludge and shells. After a 6-year restoration, the bronze statue of the athlete scraped dust and sweat from his body, just like after exercising, and shone in his full beauty. What did he witness in the depths of the sea, where time does not exist? Was he frightened by the explosions of naval mines? Was he consoled by the singing of the Sirens? Was he listening to the screams and cries for help of refugees and exiles trying to reach Lampedusa in small boats?


In this ballet, in which the sea defines the space for poetry and reflection, the choreographer Claudio Bernardo will search for the answers which the mute Apoxyomenos cannot give us by diving deep into his artistic imagination. The ballet ensemble will follow him with movements and voices, to the music by Tamara Obrovac, whose melodies touch all corners of the Mediterranean, and fragments of Euripides’ The Trojan Women, which have been selected and dramaturgically adapted by Lada Kaštelan. This project is realized in collaboration with the dance company As Palavras – Cie Claudio Bernardo.


Information taken from