EnKnapGroup/Josef Nadj

In collaboration with Josef Nadj, EnKnapGroup presents a performance that will take us into the 80’s by re-imagining a striking piece created in 1987. The choreography by Josef Nadj in which he returns to the start of his career and revisits the source of the unique artistic expression that marks his work is as relevant now as it was then. Together with the dancers of EnKnapGroup he re-invented a part of his first choreography, the cutting-edge piece Canard pekinois. The featured dance material, which is based on a tragic love affair and a dark event full of emotions, raises questions about life’s impermanence fleetingness and compares its two underlying relationships: between a man and a woman and between life and death. Canard pekinois/Dark union is based on a personal story which transcends the subjective and becomes, through artistic transformation, an intimate mythology that blossoms into a universal piece of art.


Canard pekinois (1987) was the debut work of Josef Nadj, a dancer and choreographer born in the small town of Kanjiža in Vojvodina. Josef Nadj, who, throughout his 30-year career, has been working and living between France, Hungary and Serbia, wanted to explore the possibility of existence on the boundary between life and death, where death is considered to be the gateway to the world of nothingness. This famous piece has toured around the world and will be reinvented by Nadj and the dancers of EnKnapGroup in the Španski borci Culture centre. For choreographer Josef Nadj, the revival of this piece represents an end to a thirty-year cycle. It is an opportunity to return to the beginning of his career and rethink the origins of his artistic expression. Working with the dancers of EnKnapGroup gave him the opportunity to isolate a specific motive from the original work and develop a variation of this theme that will serve him as the basis for the new performance. At the heart of Canard pekinois/Dark union is a tragic story of newlyweds who only manage to live a few fleeting moments of happiness before the impermanence of life steps between them. Nadj and the dancers try to evoke the gloomy emotion accompanying this sad relationship, which became almost legendary in his home town. The event that Josef witnessed as a child acts like a projection in his choreography serves as a metaphor for the passing of time and eventually leads us to the beyond. Nadj sees this new work as an opportunity for the new generation to face the core subjects of the story. Interestingly enough, the new piece is much shorter than the original work, while its topic has become much wider – as if one wanted to immortalize the moment for eternity.



Choreography: Josef Nadj

Performing: EnKnapGroup - Luke Thomas Dunne (Great Britain), Ana Štefanec Knez (Slovenia), Jeffrey Schoenaers (Belgium), Lada Petrovski Ternovšek (Croatia), Matea Bilosnić (Croatia), Gilles Noël (Belgium)

Music: Csik Zenekar, A. Mahe, P. Vogel, H. Bennink

Light design: Jaka Šimenc and Hotimir Knific (Based on the concept of Josef Nadj)

Costumes: Katarina Škaper (Based on the concept of Josef Nadj)




ABOUT EnKnapGroup



10 Years / 25 Performances / Over 30 Authors


EnKnapGroup, led by its founder, the internationally renowned choreographer and dancer Iztok Kovač, is the only permanent contemporary dance company in Slovenia. Since 2009, this ensemble of remarkable dancers has been based at the Španski Borci Cultural Centre in the Ljubljana-Moste neighbourhood. Since its establishment ten years ago, EnKnapGroup has worked with over 30 Slovene and international choreographers and theater directors of aesthetically diverse backgrounds, and created a repertoire of 25 full-evening stage works and a dance film. In addition to making over 50 domestic appearances per year, the company regularly tours internationally.


The programme of EN-KNAP Productions is financially supported by: City of Ljubljana – Department of Culture and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia


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