March 17, 2017
On Wednesday, March 15, dancers from Kosovo’s National Ballet performed excerpts from “Transitional Justice” a new and powerful piece in the Ballet’s repertoire at the Auditorium for the RIT KosovoTM (A.U.K) students, and those active in the S’Bashku Initiaitve aimed at finding a tolerant alternative to extremism. The director of Kosovo’s National Ballet, Ahmet Brahimaj, introduced the performance. He was followed by the guest choreographer, Christina Coleman, who spoke about the narrative underlying the show. RIT KosovoTM (A.U.K) senior, Etrit Haxhiu, put together a remarkable 12 minute video from the show. And Sinan Kajtazi, Vjollca Llugiqi and Mimoza Bytyqi, were the dancers who performed a beautiful and moving excerpt from the show.
The performance demonstrated that artistic expression is often the most effective medium through which to address difficult issues and to make powerful statements about justice. Christina Coleman explained that "Transitional Justice" portrays societies that seek healing and reconciliation in communities that have been torn apart and are searching for a way to achieve accountability and forgiveness: do we have the strength to re-build and heal? Can we avoid a cycle of accountability and punishment?
This piece is inspired by real people and events in communities around the world, including Colombia, Guatemala, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Somalia, and other countries in conflict. After the atrocities, transitional justice has helped people come forward to re-build their relationships, their communities and their countries. This dance piece takes a journey through the lives of several people, walks through time and illuminates complex relationships, betrayals, traumas, fears, desires, moments of empowerment and finally forgiveness.
National Ballet Director Ahmet Brahimaj introduced the show by describing the challenges facing dance in Kosovo since the company was first established in the 1970s. He said that the new generation dancing today has benefited from collaborations with choreographers from all around the world: from America, Cuba, France, Russia, Germany, Hungary, China and many other countries. “Transitional Justice” is the 38th performance since the re-establishment of the ballet after the war and it has now have produced the same number of shows that were produced by the first Kosovo National Ballet from the 1970s to the 1990s: “it is now 50-50” He concluded by calling ballet an international language: “each ballet tells a unique story and each style of dance has its own way of telling the story so that it can be understood all over the world.”
Professor Mark Baskin, PhD concluded the event with the observation that “’Transitional Justice’, as performed by the Kosovo National Ballet, spoke in a language that made a deep impression on the RIT KosovoTM (A.U.K) community.”
For more information, please watch the video below: