Anxhela Peristeri recently delivered one of the most impressive Eurovision revamps of recent memory, pumping “Karma” up with bolder production and an even stronger ethnic sound. And now Albania’s ESC 2021 star is showing the scale of her ambition yet again by confirming to Wiwibloggs that she’s working with noted Swedish stage director and choreographer Sacha Jean-Baptiste.

Sacha, you’ll remember, has given us such dreamy stage shows as Nina Sublatti’s “Warrior” performance from Eurovision 2015 in Vienna, Eleni Foureira’s iconic “Fuego” stage show from Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon and Iveta Mukuchyan’s stunning “Lovewave” show from Stockholm. This genius of a thousand hair-whips is, in Anxhela’s mind, among the best in the business and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Anxhela Peristeri confirms Sacha Jean-Baptiste as Eurovision 2021 stage director

“I’m working with Sacha,” she told me on Skype. “I love her. I love her work. I think she’s one of the best names in Eurovision when it comes to staging.”

“I’ve seen a lot of her Eurovision stages, and I like so much. I was in Sweden for three days and I met her in person. We did some rehearsals and we are working for a great performance in Rotterdam I think.”

While keeping her plans mostly under wraps, Anxhela did tell us that she’ll be swerving away from her FiK59 performance and that she’ll be dropping the dancers.

 

It was a meeting of minds, as the two women instantly shared a vision about her song and staging — which tells the story of a woman who has made bad choices and must live with the consequences.

“I like it a lot when she showed me the draft,” she says. “My idea was like the same as hers, so I liked the idea, and we started immediately working on that.”

And what about the dress? “I want to go for something sensual. To be a woman, a powerful woman, but not a warrior woman.”

Are you excited to hear that Anxhela is working with Sacha? Do you think this could be one of Albania’s best stage shows ever? Let us know in the comments box down below.

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Euro Fan
Euro Fan
8 months ago

I hope Albania will withdraw from Eurovision next year!!!

Andrea
Andrea
6 months ago
Reply to  Euro Fan

Why you hope this?

12345
12345
8 months ago

Alright, jokes aside. How are they gonna save this bland song? Sasha is known for making crazy choreographies, not directing bland ballads. What can you put on stage so this song becomes interesting and not cheesy or just boring? I feel sorry for Anxhela, I know her and I can say she is a very talented person. She didn’t deserve this song. We love you!

Also: what’s up with those Azeri trolls all over the site?? 0_o

Last edited 8 months ago by 12345
Héctor
Héctor
8 months ago
Reply to  12345

Georgia’s “Keep the Faith” was staged by Sacha in 2017 and they managed to reach the 11th place with a bland ballad… Who knows. I agree it is hard to save this but it certainly raises its chances.

Constança
Constança
8 months ago
Reply to  12345

Save the song? You can see that you don’t understand music then. It is one of the best entries this year. You have to open your ears more and take music lessons is a piece of advice dear.

rainer1
rainer1
8 months ago

sacha jean-baptist and her company make the performance for many countries.

Chris
Chris
8 months ago

So does Azerbaizan have the best song this year? It seems like yeah. They have the most interesting sound.

Chris
Chris
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

So 2 hours ago I was at +7 now I am in -14. Isn’t that weird?

Polegend Godgarina
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

tasteful people woke up

KRM
KRM
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

We know who those downvoters are, so no problem..

Ende
Ende
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Azerbaizan might have the best song for the unknown Eurovizion Zong Contest but Azerbaijan has definitely not the best song for ESC 2021.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago

It won’t matter by tomorrow. 🙂

KRM
KRM
8 months ago

Where can I find Malta?

KRM
KRM
8 months ago
Reply to  KRM

That’s not her Eurovision song. It’s the theme song of Junior Eurovision 2016.

Sale
Sale
8 months ago
Reply to  KRM

HAHAHSHSHHS I DIED

Nicolas
Nicolas
8 months ago
Reply to  Sale

You could see there was a problem just by the length of the song

Teddi
Teddi
8 months ago

I usually disagree with you, but I somehow agree with this. For me personally the only song that gave me winner vibes is Azerbaijan. Very unique and different sound from anything this year. There’s also only 2 other countries, among Azerbaijan, that I can imagine winning – Switzerland and San Marino. I wouldn’t exclude Lithuania either, even its not my favorite. But besides these 4 countries I can’t picture any other winning. Weak year in my opinion.

Teddi
Teddi
8 months ago

Mata Hari is the first song this year with serious WINNER ALERT! I love how she included the vibe and some part of Cleopatra in the song. F****** brilliant!!!!!

Candy
Candy
8 months ago

Hair whip with a song like Anxhela’s?

voix
voix
8 months ago

ok mata hari is leaked and this is freaking iconic. This year is among the strongest EVER

Alex
Alex
8 months ago
Reply to  voix

Really!?

voix
voix
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex

its 10 times better than cleopatra, clubs will go crazy. The leaked audio is around twitter go watch it

esc1234
esc1234
8 months ago
Reply to  voix

we havent heard an oriental drop for many years, this song has winner vibes

Polegend Godgarina
8 months ago
Reply to  esc1234

we haven’t had an oriental drop in years bc it was last cool in the mid-00s

KRM
KRM
8 months ago

Ok, I’ve just heard the first minute of Mata Hari and all I can say is… wow… Efendi is coming really strong this year

Excited for the music video

Grft
Grft
8 months ago

I think the new stage director to fear is the French one (who staged Bilal, Valentina and Barbara’s performances). She seems to be more versatile than Sacha Jean-Baptiste who can only do dark stagings, let’s be honest.

Eneko
Eneko
8 months ago
Reply to  Grft

Is it Marika Prochet, the woman who staged Bilal’s entry in 2019? I know about her being the French stage director in 2019, but haven’t read anything about her directing Barbara Pravi’s entry, though…

Last edited 8 months ago by Eneko
Grft
Grft
8 months ago

Nothing can save that song …..

Kredential
Kredential
8 months ago

Not a fan of Karma the song, but Albania is one of my favourite countries in Eurovision. They always seem to lack in the staging department though, so hiring someone like her shows that they are investing more money into the staging aspect of the entry, which is great news. Hopefully this isn’t a one off.

Stan
Stan
8 months ago

Meh…I remember what she did with Equinox…

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Stan

To be fair, not much anyone could do with that one. Same reason I don’t blame Hans Pannecouke for Do It for Your Lover.

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

(Speaking of: gotta love how everyone was talking spicy about him when the artists’ egos tanked his 2018 stagings and then he nailed Arcade and shut everybody up)

Last edited 8 months ago by Joe
Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

The two songs he was involved in that year had the most miserable staging. Belgium should’ve been a guaranteed finalist, but damn it all, she had to walk into the fan circle (people: unless your song is some kinda big, rousing thing, NEVER walk into the fan circle, you’re gonna destroy your whole vibe and I can’t believe how many times it’s ruined stagings).

Sara-Stina
Sara-Stina
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

No one liked the song Fuego until they saw Eleni perform it with the staging in Lisbon. So I think that’s why, a great staging can improve the song.

Ende
Ende
8 months ago
Reply to  Sara-Stina

So true

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

It really is a Spain-specific thing. It’s not that they haven’t gotten good staging directors, it’s that they get staging directors who don’t fit the vibe of the song at all. Pannecouke mostly does well with quiet, intimate kinds of songs (big exception being What’s the Pressure) so he mismatched with the sun-and-sandals vibe of Do It for Your Lover. Fokas Evangelinos specializes in gigantic, highly-choreographed, setpiece-filled bonanzas, and I knew the MOMENT he was announced as the staging director for La venda he was going to absolutely destroy its chances of doing well.

BeepBoop
BeepBoop
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

That is true… it has to do with RTVE just wanting to make Spanish fans shut up, and it happens year after year. It seems as if they announce someone “famous”, the fandom will stop bringing up the awful staging presented year after year. It is pretty much like “have a well-known name, now shut up” which is weird because in JESC, the stagings normally match the songs, but in the adult version they just cannot get it right.

Preuss
Preuss
8 months ago
Reply to  Stan

Gosh, I hate the dramatic handmovements she made them do for no reason. Ugh

BeepBoop
BeepBoop
8 months ago
Reply to  Stan

I still think about Equinox from time to time… before the contest their song was one of my favourites but then something did not work and I am not sure if it was the staging — which was a bit messy — or the fact that they did not look like a group performing, just a few soloists singing together… it was a pity ><

Euro Fan
Euro Fan
8 months ago
Reply to  Stan

And Bulgaria withdrew a year later and I was hoping to Albania withdraws next year…

Chris
Chris
8 months ago

She is overestimated. Ok she made Fuego. But she also made Cyprus 2019, Australia 2018, Bulgaria 2018, Georgia 2015, Switzerland 2019, Armenia 2016, Armenia 2017. She loves dark in her staging. Personally i think she killed Armenia 2017, because the video clip was so colourful but the staging was so dark. I don’t know if she killed Armenia 2016 but she was a favorite before the contest, and she got the 7th place. Everyone remembers how uninspiring were the stagings of Australia and Bulgaria in 2018. Especially Bulgaria. It was one of the better songs that year, and she didn’t… Read more »

Preuss
Preuss
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

If she were to stage France in jESC this year, she’d made it an apocalypse! I think my real “beef” relationship with her started in 2018 actually when Australia and Bulgaria were my two top favorites, entries that I loved, still love, and still listen to. Seeing their chances drop so much after the rehearsals and then Fuego rising was really annoying

felix
felix
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Imo Armenia 2016 is one of the best stagings ever

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
8 months ago
Reply to  Chris

What was wrong with georgia 2015 and armenia 2016? Lovewave wasn’t a favorite for winning it all. 7th place seems on point and a different result than in the polls doesn’t directly correlate to the staging.

Last edited 8 months ago by Frisian esc
Dawid
Dawid
8 months ago

Ah, here it begins.

voix
voix
8 months ago

so another country joined the swedish entourage along cyprus and australia, they wont get the 12 but around 6-8 points i think

voix
voix
8 months ago
Reply to  voix

btw. why Anxhela cant say who did the revamp? Is Kontopoulos involved and wants to keep it a secret?

euroboy
euroboy
8 months ago

Omg Albania is investing in staging. I’m happy for them and I’m interested to see with what idea Sasha is going to come up, since my country didn’t hire her for Hurricane. Old fashioned RTS is always tight-fisted and uninspired when it comes to staging.

esc1234
esc1234
8 months ago

ok i am screaming, well done Anxhela for aiming for the best. Many albanian entries failed to realise that in stage you need to tell a story, wearing a weird dress and singing an emotional ballad is not enough (hey eneda). I am hyped

Sale
Sale
8 months ago

Off topic but does anyone now when will Georgia release her song, we have Malta and Azerbaijan tommorow but no news about Georgia?

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Sale

Tomorrow is the submission deadline so not too long now

Kalla
Kalla
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Can someone tell me if a song can be revamped after the submission deadline?

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Kalla

I believe so

KRM
KRM
8 months ago
Reply to  Sale

Georgia will officially release their song tomorrow afternoon (13:30h)

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  KRM

Hooray! And radio silence from BTRC…feel like a vulture circling around them…

Candy
Candy
8 months ago
Reply to  Sale

Georgia 13:30 Albanian time
Malta 17:00 Albanian time
Azerbaijan hasn’t confirmed the time

Martin
Martin
8 months ago

Yes Anxhela has beautiful hair

Ixuxu
Ixuxu
8 months ago

Say hi to the BUDGET

Nobody Important
Nobody Important
8 months ago

SJB became hit or miss at this point. Her stagings either too or flop. Which is kinda not her fault, she has to do multiple entries every year and not all of them are going to be a success. Let’s see who’s going to be a victim this year.

Preuss
Preuss
8 months ago

Except it is her fault lol. She’s the one who decides to do all these entries, so it’s fully on her. And then it’s her responsibility to enchant these songs, not killing their chances. In interviews, she’s fully aware of how important Eurovision can be for these artists, yet she completely flops and then has the audacity to pretend and say that she always does “equal” work on all her entries. She would do herself a favor if she limited herself to one entry each year, then she wouldn’t rub salt into the wounds of the countries/delegations/artists she’s left in… Read more »

Sara-Stina
Sara-Stina
8 months ago

Could it be a question of budget? I mean if the country or record label doesn’t want to pay up for several dancers, special effects etc then maybe all you can afford is a led screen and some lights.

And of course the artist themselves then need to be able to sell the staging well too.

Preuss
Preuss
8 months ago

God no, here we go again. Every time a new staging idea from Sacha is born, the gods toss the coin in the air and the fandom holds its breath to see how it will land. If I know her right, she’ll be doing multiple entries and playing Russian roulette with all of them. Who avoids the bullet?

Emanuel
Emanuel
8 months ago
Reply to  Preuss

Well, so far she’s only doing Albania and Switzerland. Marvin Dietmann is doing Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Spain…

Joe
Joe
8 months ago
Reply to  Preuss

How many is she doing? Albania, Switzerland…anything else? I see Marvin Dietmann’s name show up more nowadays (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Spain, I think Austria too?)

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
8 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Marvin is also stage director for Bulgaria 2021.

Brötchen
Brötchen
8 months ago
Reply to  Preuss

As someone that works in a creative field with clients I can tell you:
In these extreme “hit and miss” cases the clients involvement is a key factor for the failure.
A lot of times people will hire you but don’t actually care for your ideas and just want it done their way. The amount of times I have been pressured to use Comic Sans… far too much.

Alex
Alex
8 months ago

Sasha will have Albania, Switzerland I guess, and finally Sweden. Maybe Georgia as well.
Cyprus and Bulgaria moved to Marvin

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Alex

yes it’s confirmed that she will do Georgia as well (not Sacha herself but another girl from her group)

Jonas
Jonas
8 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

International Women’s Day was only last week, maybe don’t call her a girl…

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

don’t get it?

Robert
Robert
8 months ago

I think Albania is underrated a bit because it is in native language. Hope the jury saves her.

Honesty
Honesty
8 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Switzerland, France & Italy also sing in native languages this year, but they’re clearly not underrated. The problem must be something else.

Robert
Robert
8 months ago
Reply to  Honesty

How many people in Europe speak French and Italian and in how many countries?

Candy
Candy
8 months ago
Reply to  Robert

Underrated? I’m from Albania myself and I get so happy when we send entries in Albanian. The English revamps have always been a catastrophe

Robert
Robert
8 months ago
Reply to  Candy

Me too. Olta Boka was my favourite entry from Albania.

Leo
Leo
8 months ago

Ok I’m excited now

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

How much is she charging?

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

lol hahaha. I watched an interview with Sacha and she said she chooses herself with whom she wants to collaborate – I kinda doubt Anxhela was one of her choices.. they probably paid her well. And I kinda see Anxhela qualifying just because of it haha.

Preuss
Preuss
8 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

She claims she only does entries she personally wants to do and that she can enchant. Please. There’s a pattern that she’ll be working with countries she worked with the previous year and did well with, then she’ll flop with the same country. See Bulgaria, Armenia, Cyprus…

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

I don’t know, Albania cares about ESC so maybe that’s well known in the ESC inner circles so to speak. I don’t see it as a downgrade for whoever the stage director is. I watched that interview too btw.

Erasmus
Erasmus
8 months ago

damn I’m excited haha even though I’m not a fan of the song.

Donkey
Donkey
8 months ago

This is a one to watch, this has to qualify!