Avant-garde and totally original, Dihaj does Eurovision her way. And today during her first rehearsal she made that very clear with a performance melding performance art and pop. The opening sees the singer in a small room of chalkboards, which feature the lyrics of her song. She serves face and writhes against the walls as she sings about her “Skeletons”. Eventually the camera pans up and the audience sees a man in a suit wearing a horse head. The room soon collapses, Dihaj runs riot on the walls, and she expresses disdain for a series of male dancers by marking them with Xs. This is dark and artistic — and one of the visual highlights of the day.

The comparisons to Loreen are obvious. In 2012 Loreen created an intimate stage-within-a-stage, and here Dihaj creates her own world. And, much like Loreen at Melodifestivalen 2017, she’s created a polished and artistic performance that will divide as much as it inspires. As for me I’m rather confused — but that’s not a bad thing.

Dihaj — “Skeletons”: Reviews and Reactions

Azerbaijan: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2017

Dihaj, a trained choral conductor, isn’t shy about going in her own direction. In a statement send to wiwibloggs, her team said:

“With her theatrical performance of ‘Skeletons,’ Dihaj proves that she is comfortable enough to create an alternative world of her own and take the viewer with her — regardless of the demands of the format or genre…The room represents complex self-destructive relationships, inner barriers and hidden truths — the skeletons. A man wearing a mask serves as a ‘bad boy’ with a symbolic ladder showing the emotional distance between the two lovers. Our heroine, being a strong woman, eventually overcomes her self-destructive feelings. The walls come down, as well as the bad boy’s mask. He’s prepared to reconnect with her, but it’s far too late. She’s made him take off the mask he was wearing in their relationship, but she is leaving him alone in the room that she has bravely escaped. At the end of the performance, four backing vocalists join Dihaj on stage.”

“This staging is more of a theatrical approach,” she says. “I’m happy that our delegation was brave enough to bring it to the Eurovision stage. It’s not about technology or special effects anymore. For me the story is what really matters. It can raise different emotions, and I hope it won’t leave viewers indifferent.”

Azerbaijan: First press conference 2017

 

*BUY THE SKELETONS SHIRT, HOODIE OR SWEATSHIRT

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our Azerbaijan Eurovision news here

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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TJ
Guest
TJ

Dear @Willam! You are repeating that there is this Midsummernights–dream-realness/vibe because of the head! Do you even know Midsummernights dream that you are referring to? Because there is no horse involved in it. It’s a donkey! And it’s about the fairy queen falling in love with the donkey (and presumably having sex with him!) Do you really see that connection the the azeri staging? That would be quite worrying. xD xD xD

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

Impressive. Moving up!

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

AZ’s response to Italy’s gorilla?

Grete Paia
Guest
Grete Paia

I want this to be a complete train wreck. 12 points and hugs from Abkhazia

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Wow! I want to see more of it. This could be the staging the song needs to reach the top 5.

MTD
Guest
MTD

CAN SOMEONE GIVE THIS IDEA TO THE AZERI GUYS THERE:

Please “hide” the horse mask, put on that guy a “regular” black mask (Google “black theater mask” LOL) or some mask Christian Gray would wear. 🙂

Don’t do the horse!

Ay Jo
Guest
Ay Jo

A horse means honesty. So, the Bad Boy wears “an honesty” mask. But, in the end he slips his mask off and Diana gets out of this relationship. (She felt it but she is sure now, he is a bad guy)

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

She should add the iconic “torn jeans” to that board tho

Grete Paia
Guest
Grete Paia

They are thorn jeans. Please pay attention

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Thorn genes? 😛

Robyn Gallagher
Guest
Robyn Gallagher

No one knows what “thorn jeans” are supposed to be, but that is the actual lyric, as confirmed by the official lyrics at Eurovision.tv!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

This is more or less what Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” music should’ve been before they scrapped the dark theme in favor of the Egyptian one. Not Dihaj first serving Halsey and now dark Katy, she’s ASKING me to vote for her ugh

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

music video*

Karl B
Guest
Karl B

I’m obsessed with Skeletons and have been since the first moment I heard the song and today’s rehearsal reaffirms why. I can see this doing very well and honestly I would be very disappointed if it doesn’t. The staging is complimentary to the song’s avant garde edginess and I’m loving it!

Donna Vey
Guest
Donna Vey

Very cool. Azerbaijan are pushing forward, its very artpop.

Grete Paia
Guest
Grete Paia

Avoid to use that word. This is not a lady gaga trash

Little Moster
Guest
Little Moster

Legend Godga is iconic and ARTPOP was amazing.

AngieP
Guest
AngieP

That was amazing! I was a little confused at first! I didn’t know why there was a ladder, a man wearing a mask, a board with words written on it! I couldn’t get it together!

Then I saw Dihaj explaining the concept of the staging at the meet and greet and I got it!

Azerbaijan knows how to do staging!And that wasn’t an exception! It’s innovative, unique and exceptional! It stands out! I love the concept!

Sisimissi
Guest
Sisimissi

Very strange staging but I think I like it

ErvinSass
Guest
ErvinSass

After today’s rehearsals:
1. Portugal
2. Azerbaijan
3. Finland
4. Australia
5. Sweden
6. Georgia
7. Belgium
8. Albania
9. Montenegro

Americanvision
Guest
Americanvision

Wow Will called it a total mind****! Lol

But yeah, it’s like Statements: either it’s seen as art or WTF! I’m a little conflicted and need to see the full rehearsal to get a true feel to it.

After day 1:
1. Sweden
2. Finland
3. Albania
4. Australia
5. Azerbaijan
6. Montenegro
7. Belgium
8. Georgia
Incomplete: Portugal (need to see Salvador on stage to really rank it, but looks beautiful so far)

Markus
Guest
Markus

Reminds me of “American Horror Story”… 🙂

Donna Vey
Guest
Donna Vey

Yesss! Very true.

M_K
Guest
M_K

It’s strange, but in a good way.

ZiZu
Guest
ZiZu

This is pretty unique!I like all the metaphors shown on the stage

Dew
Guest
Dew

I wonder if people will pay to vote for this entry after the performance or just got confused and skipped it.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

Azerbaijan is going for something very risky this year! I just don’t know what to think about this performance and I’m not sure if people get it. I am going to vote for it anyway though because the song is amazing.

Joe
Guest
Joe

I don’t know how to react to this yet.

Mameo
Guest
Mameo

The board behind, does it do anything? A ladder and somewhat creepy man on top? This is weird. LUL

Ay Jo
Guest
Ay Jo

The horse man is that bad boy in the song. Ladder is an emotional border, ladder.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Wow! What a huge risk, and a great surprise from Dihaj! This could be one of Azerbaijan’s best entries.

Ay Jo
Guest
Ay Jo

Choreographer and director of the staging is Naila Mammad-zadeh a weird woman from Azerbaijan. In the background there is a panoramic view of Baku. I am really happy for that. (goosebumps)
Diana is not singing the chorus, she is roaring . Girl, give that “a sorta fairytale with you” performance to us.

fikri
Guest
fikri

very local production. i love it!