JaDieve The Self Proclaimed Goddess is a queer mama collective and collaboration between Jana Astanov and Maija Rutkovska. Inspired by Baltic and Slavic mythologies and our countries of origins. JaDieve, a self proclaimed goddess is the name created from Polish (Slavic language) “JA” meaning “SELF” and Latvian “DIEVE” meaning “GODDESS”, etymologically derived from Sanskrit: Devi – the feminine form, and deva – the masculine form, meaning “heavenly, divine, anything of excellence”.
Our interest in the pagan mythology comes from the realization that the ancient tribes seemed to revere the feminine power in the form of the nature deities on equal terms with those masculine ones. This balance between feminine and masculine isn’t something that was carried on throughout European culture. With the arrival of Christianity and the monotheistic religion of God with his son Jesus the European imagination concentrated around masculine power in the form of the God, his son, the apostles, and the saints. That, in turn, translated into patriarchal structures of the European societies where most of the influential political and economic functions remain in the power of white men. How would our civilisation develop if we kept on worshiping the feminine deities? Would we be able to create a more equal world that is not driven by greed and wars? Those are the questions that we explore within our performance art practice using movement, dance, sound, and poetry.
Era Junoh is movement based exploration on the partnership, and the archetype of partner/wife as seen through the symbolic mythological figures of Hera and Juno coming from the Greek and Roman mythologies respectively. The name Hera comes from “he-era,” meaning “the earth” also translated as “lady” the feminine form of “hero”. The Goddesses of marriage and committed teach us the mystery that, to attract the ideal partner, one must become the ideal partner. It also conveys the premise that to find the self one needs to dissolve in another.
The dance of Era Junoh is based on the cycles of separation and return expressed through many alterations, and using methods from contact improvisation. Shifting the weight between the bodies, creating various points of equilibrium as well as moments off balance, mirroring each other, conveying the distance and closeness are the main elements of the choreography.