The Kingdom of Ma

Idea, embodiment: Erika Vizbaraitė

Moving images: Gediminas Vansevičius

Images: Laura Vansevičienė

Words: Goda Grigolytė

Duration: 10 min.

This is the first work of the creative group Ma. Ma is a word of Japanese origin, meaning emptiness, negative space, gap, pause. Ma brings together independent artists from different fields to create what is in between life and art, and in between different types of art. 

“The Kingdom of Ma” is a short dance performance, the creation of which was like building a sandcastle: gradually, through different experiences and forms of expression. The initial stage is part of the experience: to be in solitude, silence, pause, where movement, image, word is born.

“Creativity is like a pause. My kingdom of Ma is my moving silence, my uttered visions, my imagined intuitions. We sought to feel ourselves as a gap, as life that flows by itself. As a pause. To create a haiku of dance, of movement. Without dancing. Without acting,” – this is how the creators describe their idea. These experiences were captured in almost an empty space and time – in a period of ten days of solitude, separated and “disconnected” from the outside world. That’s when the inner – real – life “turns on”, from which our self, which has neither beginning nor end, flows: starting with the dreams of our ancestors, that have moved on to our pandemic shutters, like movies showing up in a peaceful moment snatched from the chaos, ending with daily encountered yet never understood signs, messages, traces that we forget, or maybe just don’t bother, can’t, are too scared to read, follow, shell out.

From this experience a short dance film emerged in which, through prose-poetic haiku style, the moments of pause in the Ma space are revealed, paying tribute and drawing inspiration from quiet and fast-paced Japan. We raise the most important questions that we have already heard, that are constantly repeated and scornfully haunting us: “Who am I? Where did I come from? Where, how should I continue to be? How to find ways to be “alive”? What does nature mean to me? Why do I have a mind, a heart? How do I help my body and how can it help me? How to bow but not humble yourself? How to express gratitude?”

108 – that was the spell for survival of Ma. A daily practice of 108 full bows, around which, as around the axis, the episodes of the film revolved. Because to bow is to surrender, to sacrifice your ego, to trust, to apologize. Because 108 is the experience of the sacred formula of the Universe: the unity of everything (1), emptiness and silence (0), and infinity and eternity (horizontal 8). After all, the diameter of the Sun is about 108 times larger than the Earth, the distance from the Earth to the Sun is about 108 times the diameter of the Sun, etc., etc.