The word superstition comes from Latin from super- (above, over) and stare (to stand). It literally means to stand over, but also to survive. Superstitions are an inherent part of many cultures providing meaning and connection, bringing communities together sharing beliefs and rituals.

Superstition and theatre have a long common history. For example it is considered a bad luck to whistle in a theatre, to wear blue clothes on stage, to wish an actor good luck before a performance and to bring peacock feathers into the theatre. In addition to these specific examples, there is a broader connection between superstition and theatre because they both focus on ritual and performance, creating a sense of spectacle and engaging audiences in a shared experience using the power of symbolism and tradition to create meaning.

Kadri Noormets articulates a one hour piece mixing story telling with choreography of actions inviting the audience to stand over the true facts and to levitate from the reasonable ground performing a leap of faith into the supernatural powers of Theater. The process of co-composing does not only refer to composing the scene but composing the meaning. A handshake is the agreement between artist and audience to compose together what a theatre can do, or, in other words, we are all responsible that the magic happens.

At the beginning of the showing, the audience arrives into a space full of carpets. This objects create a warm and comfortable ground. They are a symbol of hospitality but also in some traditions they have a spiritual meaning when they are seen as a way to bridge with the divine or when they represent the interconnectedness of all things. Yes, carpets can fly. But only if we all agree to believe on it and tune our minds into a one common intention. A flying carpet can serve as a metaphor of how the dispositif of the theatre works carrying people on magical journeys. We can look at Kadri’s presentation as an invitation to the audience to train the power of imagination and to believe in the limitless potential of human spirit.

Also, in other cultures from central Asia, carpets are used in funeral and burial rituals and therefor are connected to corpses. Carpets cover the body during the funeral or are placed under the body as a symbol of honor and respect. Let’s remember that superstition also means to survive and to stand over, which opens an interpretation of Kadri’s work as a research on transitions, like during a rite of passage, articulating through a performance how significant transitions happen in life, and the need of liminal spaces to hosts the process of arriving into a new place or stage and also leaving a space behind. And, perhaps, the ultimate transition is death. During the show, the carpets are treated with care and respect as if they are being prepared to enter a new stage of life. The piece begins with an arrival and finishes with a departure, closing the circle of the ritual.

Kadri’s work stands above the facts, surviving the threat of univocal reason and inviting us to perform a leap beyond the conventions of reason and the monochromatic laws of facticity.

Tallinn, 14th April 2023

Residency showing HANDHSAKE by Kadri Noormets