Press Release

Actus for Vjosa: From Albania to Greece, a tribute to one of the last wild rivers in Europe

Close to its establishment as National Park, the Vjosa river cause continues to inspire worldwide organizations, environmentalists, artists, youngsters, and many people – bringing closely to our conscience the message of love, responsibility and care to nature and its masterpieces.

“ACTUS, for Vjosa”, a wonderful choreographic tribute to the wild beauty of the Vjosa river performed its premiere at the National Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Tirana, Albania. 

The performance transmitted strong emotions to the Albanian audience, and continued its journey to Ioannina, Greece bringing special attention also the preservation of Aoos, the Greek part of the water network of Vjosa. 

Created by the world-renowned choreographer Gentian Doda, with a musical composition by Çezar Aliaj,  “Actus, for Vjosa” brought together an extraordinary artistic performance of ten international performers – inspired by natural movements and sounds from the Europe’s untouched wonder: the Vjosa River.

The project is a production by was bleibt kollektiv | Gentian Doda, commissioned and co-produced by Heinrich Böll Foundation, Tirana Office and supported by Riverwatch, EuroNatur, European Union Delegation to Albania, EcoAlbania and the Embassy of Germany in Albania.  

Through this creation, “ACTUS, for Vjosa” aims to convey the message about our belonging to nature. Inspired by Bach’s Cantata 106 and based on some unique polyphonic concepts, the creation reflects as starting point motives from Albanian` cultural heritage, transposing them in the contemporary world. The mission of this artistic piece is to raise awareness on the importance of natural resources, in the specific case on the protection of the Vjosa River.

“With every inch of nature, we destroy for our short-term interest, we lose countless worlds of inspiration” quotes the choreographer, Gentian Doda.

The cast of performers, by symbolizing Vjosa, recreated through the body language a miniature of the world and society – as humans transform nature and are transformed by it, the paysage becomes a reflection of our internal world, and vice versa.

“Contemporary dance is about translating ideas into movement. And for this work we were able to experience what we are translating – we went inside Vjosa, we felt the texture of it. This is what we’re trying to give back on stage” quotes one of the performers, Lilla Jenei.

“Vjosa is like a dancer, a muse for this project. Vjosa has become an analogy for the society we live in – the chaos and the flow, the rush and the changes, its roughness and the life it creates” quotes Fjorald Doçi, another performer of the cast.

The contemporary dance, first of its kind dedicated to Vjosa, comes at a special moment -after the Memorandum of Understanding by the Albanian Government and American outdoor apparel retailer Patagonia on July 2022, a group of international experts is working intensively toward establishing Vjosa a National Park, saving one of the last wild rivers in Europe but also setting a new global practice on protecting wild rivers around the world. With Vjosa becoming the First National Park of Wild Rivers in Europe, Albania enters a new phase of setting best practices for eco-tourism and sustainable development.

‘ACTUS, for Vjosa’ is a project that aims to continue its journey in different important cities of Europe, not only to tell about the magic of Vjosa river, but also to bring to attention the importance of preserving and restoring rivers all over the continent.

Close to its designation as a National Park, the Vjosa river cause – inspires worldwide, organizations, environmentalists, artists, youngsters, and many people to act – bringing closely to our conscience the message of love and care to nature and its masterpieces.