15th BITEF Polyphony 14
(Hamlet, II act, scene two)

Programme editor: Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić
Co-editors: Irena Ristić and Sanja Krsmanović Tasić

In pursuit of the polyphonic drama and theatre – from the art for social change to a forum for the culture of togetherness

Encouraged by the subject-matter of the main programme, Bitef Polyphony this year has as its theme the establishment of its own continuity and existence here and now; it continues its pursuit of polyphonic drama and theatre as a concept for the future and toys with counterpointing as a way of harmonising and mutually complementing differences, disagreements, oppositions… But, most of all, it calls for action and reflection about the strength and power of the theatre to set in motion emotions, critical thought, to empower, to heal, to be responsible, to affect changes, to make the world better.

This year Bitef Polyphony rounds off the fifteenth year of research and presentation of innovative, creative and participative projects and productions created through exchanges among the participants and with audiences and revealing new theatre tendencies and new spaces in which theatre artists and other professionals work together with different populations and age groups, particularly the young ones, in arts and culture, education, social work, inclusion and social activism.

As before, Bitef Polyphony adds to the logo of this year’s Bitef, Past is Present, its own logo: this year it is About, My Brains! playing with Shakespeare and the counterpoint offered and inviting to reflections about one’s raison d’etre and questions about the power of theatre to explore truths and reveal signs of action for the future.

Programme producers of Bitef Polyphony are The Centre for Drama in Education and Arts CEDEUM and National Centre of the International Association for Drama/Theatre and Education IDEA in coproduction with Bitef Teatar.

Partner support: Parobrod Cultural Institution and the Belgrade Youth Centre

CEDEUM team: Boris Čakširan, Dragana Koruga, Diana Kržanić Tepavac, Anđelija Jočić, Jelena Milošević
Team of associates: Nataša Milović, Jelena Hadži Manić, Nevena Radoja, Dušica Gavrilović, Lidija Antonović, Marjam Ristić
Next Generation Placements Program: ASSITEJ Serbia

This year’s programme of Bitef Polyphony is supported by the Ministry for Culture and Information of Serbia and NIS Serbia in cooperation with the City of Belgrade following the public competition Together for Community.

21st September, 13.00
Parobrod Cultural Institution

Interactive presentations
Duration: 90 minutes

The opening is conceived as a meeting and exchange between participants and the audience of Bitef Polyphony in the form of an interactive multimedia presentation of the programme, with a thematic exhibition and selected performances in different spaces with the unfolding of simultaneous scenes and the concept of “polyphonic approach’.

Invitations have been sent to all those who had left the most impressive mark during the previous fourteen years and were, in different ways, the protagonists of the ‘polyphonic approach’ disclosing a new theatre open to differences, new experiences, new changes and ever-new generations yet to come.

The opening will demonstrate the beginning of Bitef Polyphony which emerged from the project Art for Social Changes – Play against Violence presented in 2000 within Bitef programme called Polyphony. The organisers of the first Bitef Polyphony were Stari Grad Centre for Culture in Belgrade in partnership with CEDEUM Centre for Drama in Education and Arts, ANET the Association of Independent Theatres and CENPI, Centre for New Theatre and Dance. The first Polyphony will be presented as a cd-rom multimedia presentation done simultaneously with the event and distributed among the participants and guests on the last day of the programme. The authors were Dragan Jovanović and Ivana Kronja. The photographs of the first Polyphony were by Vesna Pavlović.

The moderators of the project Art for Social Changes – Play against Violence of the first Bitef Polyphony were: Slobodan Beštić, Boris Čakširan, Vedran Vučić, Ivana Despotović, Igor Dobričić, Sunčica Milosavljević, Gordana Lebović, Diana Milošević, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, Tatjana Pajović, Nela Antonović, Zoran Jovanović, Milan Lučić and Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić, head of the project in Serbia; Vladimir Krušić, head of the project in Croatia, Sead Đulić, head of the project in B&H, and Chrissie Tiller, programme coordinator and programme consultant for South-East Europe.

Since 2001 the programme of Bitef Polyphony has been organised by CEDEUM in co-production with Bitef Teatar and since 2011 they have been joined by Parobrod Cultural Institution, a new Institution of Culture of Stari Grad Municipality as support to the preservation of tradition and projects initiated and developed by Stari Grad Centre for Culture during the preceding years.

Photographs by Nenad Milošević and Lidija Antonović have been selected from the library of BITEF Polyphony for a thematic slide presentation and the exhibition Shakespeare’s Children.

22nd September, 11.00
Belgrade Youthe Centre, Americana Hall

Moderators: Erika Isaksson and Lisa Nowotny, Backa Teatar

Duration: 90 minutes

The workshop is intended for young people interested in stage arts and conceived as a preparation for the production of Acts of Goodness to be presented at Bitef Polyphony 14.

The workshop has three parts: introduction to performing arts for young audiences in the Swedish context and the model of Backa Teater with the presentation of work with young people, as a source of knowledge about today’s society. The purpose is to help the young and their teachers to embrace modern performing arts and questions based on the universal moral philosophy. It is followed by practical work and exercises which this model uses in working with young and adult individuals. This will be followed by time for questions and comments

Supported by the Swedish Institute SI

22nd September, 11.00
Parobrod Cultural Institution

Workshop for pupils and teachers
Moderators: Aleksandra Jelić, Miroslav Nikolić, Nermin Ahmetović
Coordinator: Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić

Duration: 90 minutes
(22nd August, following days to be agreed)

The workshop for pupils and their teachers is intended as a support and an initiative to empower and enrich the training module for the Forum Theatre within the School without Violence programme conducted in schools across Serbia. It should extend the training to new programme forms and media such as film, plays and theatre productions. The issues raised by the play Penal Saturday and the production of Acts of Goodness will encourage the participants to tell their own stories and form a basis for small Forum stages and interaction with the audience in the Open Forum.

During the preceding years Bitef Polyphony steadily cultivated Forum Theatre in its programme thereby acting as a promoter and presenter of the evolution of the Theatre of the Oppressed of Augusto Boal as a specific new theatre tendency and a very efficient theatre technique for social action. The first workshop of the School Theatre Forum during Bitef Polyphony was organised by CEDEUM in 2005 as a regional cooperation project. The moderator was Ivana Marijančić, Forum coach of the Croatian Centre for Drama Education in Zagreb.

Supported by UNICEF and the Unit for the Prevention of Violence of the Ministry of Education and Science, Serbia (School without Violence programme)

22nd September, 11.00
Circus tent in front of the Modern Art Museum

Circus workshop for young people

Duration: 120 minutes
(22nd – 25th August, every day at the same time)

The production Oldness and workshops offering secondary school pupils to become participants rather than just audience in the new circus is a part of the Cirkobalkana project. These workshops in a circus tent organised as a circular training will offer space in which every attendant will be able to learn different circus disciplines and props. Following that, the attendants will be able to choose a discipline they will accord more of their time.

Instructors and coaches: Vladana Manić, Hristina Šormaz, Sanja Radulović, Ivana Koraksić, Uroš Kuridža and Milan Manić, experienced circus artists and performers

Supported by the French Institute for Culture, the Embassy of France in Belgrade and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade

22nd September, 11.00
Parobrod Cultural Institution

Stop-Motion Animation Workshops
Moderators: Nela Antonović, Kristina Drašković Bočkov, Lidija Antonović, Teatar Mimart, Belgrade, Serbia

Duration: 180 minutes
(22nd – 28th September, every day at the same time)

Stop-Motion Animations are workshops intended for young people and are of a multidisciplinary nature as they link body movements created by Mimart method and visual arts, photography and stop-motion animation. The purpose is to make the young participating in the creative process to develop and improve their potential and learn about different art formats: art physicus, photography, editing and making short films. It is important to develop dialogue skills, form views, criticism and self-criticism, tolerance, readiness to make compromises, acquire self-confidence and responsibility and to empower young people to find solutions of the problem before them in a creative process. An open presentation for all concerned shall take place on the last day. The linkage of Mimart method and Image Theatre have proven very efficient in non-theatre fields as demonstrated by the results of their application in the informal education in a SKC pilot project when successful short films addressing the problems of young people were made.

Mimart Teatar is supported by the Secretariat for Sport and Youth of the City of Belgrade

22nd September, 13.00
Belgrade Youth Centre, Americana Hall

CEDEUM, Belgrade Serbia
Dialogue platform

Duration: 180 minutes

What does the polyphonic approach of Bitef Polyphony since its inception mean? Which are the harmonies and counterpoints? What principles does it support and why? What methods is it based on? Does it develop any new ones? Which parameters serve today to assess the commitment of artists and workers in culture? Is there any room for criticism? What is the role of critics and theoreticians in the development of emancipatory performing practices? What is the attitude of artists to those with whom/for whom they work? Do they have the power to respond to the needs of the community or change it? How is this power used? How could it be used? Do new ethical paradoxes arise alongside new aspirations and responsibilities?

Introductory questions will initiate a dialogue organised on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of Bitef Polyphony involving, among others, Ana Marjanović-Shane, professor at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and editor of Dialogic Pedagogy magazine; Ivan Medenica, theatre critic and theorist, professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade; Bojana Škorc, psychologist and professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade; Jelena Kovačević, theatrologist and librarian/archivist at the Yugoslav Drama Theatre and Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić, drama educator and editor of Bitef Polyphony.

Other participants will be theatre artists, theoreticians and other professionals helping to create a sui generis platform for future action.

The event will close with the presentation of editions of the Institute for Theatre, Film, Radio and Television of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, focusing on these topics, whose authors will be present and open for a dialogue with the audience.

Moderator: Irena Ristić, theatre director and docent at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade

22nd September, 17.00
Parobrod Cultural Institution

CEDEUM, Belgrade and Scena/Sterijino Pozorje Magazine, Novi Sad, Serbia

Round table and presentation of the special issue

Duration: 80 minutes

The round table/presentation of the special issue should provoke a dynamic dialogue among artists, educators and scientists who have been involved for many years in the strengthening and advancement of the relationship between culture and education. Its purpose is to indicate significant opportunities offered by the new theatre and the new school if conditions are provided for their cooperation.

The round table is inspired by Theatre and Education, the special issue of Scena Magazine and is intended equally for theatre professionals and professors, teachers and educators. The authors and their counterparts are Bojana Škorc, Vesna Đukić, Anja Suša, Jovan Ljuštanović, Sunčica Milosavljević, Milan Mađarev, Slobodan Beštić, Sonja Ćirić, Nataša Milović, Ivan Pravdić and Vladimir Krušić. Marina Milivojević-Mađarev, the editor of the issue, authors and members of the magazine’s editorial board will speak at the round table.

23rd September, 13.00
Belgrade Youth Centre, Americana Hall

CEDEUM, Parobrod Cultural Institution and Belgrade Youth Centre, Belgrade, Serbia
Kosta Peševski

Open forum and public reading of the drama
Directed by: Ana Grigorović

Duration 120 minutes
(Including the open forum)

Performers: Milena Živanović, Dušan Matejić, Uroš Jakovljević, Mladen Sovilj, Milica Trifunović, Mladen Andrejević and Ljubomir Bandović.

Penal Saturday is a play based on The Breakfast Club, the teenage cult film of the 1980s. It introduces us to the world of adolescent hopelessness and search for identity leading to a number of comical, moving and sad situations. This brings one to the precious realisation that delinquency, arrogance, excessive ambition always conceal sadness, feeling of rejection and that one is misunderstood and unloved. On the other hand, the play sheds light also on the world of adults, the narrow-minded ones discontented with their life, unready to engage in education earnestly, resorting to repression as the policy of least resistance and trying to restrain children by force, certain that every new generation is worse than the previous one. The author avoids pathos and resorts to his characteristic sense of humour to show that not all is as dramatic as it seems… Penal Saturday is therefore, although it presents characters whose problems are far from irrelevant, full of authentic and precious hope. It would be important for those whose life addresses the adolescents, to see this play.

Penal Saturday is a part of the programme of reading yet unstaged plays within the Gems in the Administrator’s Drawer of Parobrod Cultural Institution. During the past two years this programme has been identified as a rare initiative whose primary objective is to support young authors. The co-production with the Belgrade Youth Centre has made it possible to acquaint it with a larger audience.

The public reading will be preceded by Open Forum moderated by director Stevan Bodroža, editor of Gems in the Administrator’s Drawer. The forum will continue after the reading with the participation of the author and participants of the workshop School Forum Theatre for School without Violence, the moderator, pupils, their teachers and the audience. This will be followed by the film The Breakfast Club.

Supported by UNICEF and the Unit for the Prevention of Violence of the Ministry of Education and Science of Serbia (School without Violence programme)

23rd September, 17.00
Centre for Cultural Decontamination

Backa Teater, Göteborg, Sweden
Stage performance

Duration: 120 minutes
(Including discussion with the production authors)

Director: Mattias Anderson
Set and costume design: Ulla Kassius
Make-up artist: Linda Boije af Gennäs
Lighting design: Tomas Fredriksson
Music and sound design: Jonas Redig
Dramaturgy: Stefan Åkesson
Production: Lisa Nowotny
Photography: Ola Kjellbye

Performers: Bahador Foladi, Karin de Frumerie, David Fukamachi Regnfors, Ylva Gallon,
Anna Harling, Ove Wolf, Krister Nylander, Wanja Johansson Fernandes

Is there such a thing as a good deed? Or is it simply selfishness in disguise? Mattias Andersson explores goodness as the driving force behind human actions. Acts of Goodness is a theatre examination of the questionable concept of goodness which is not trendy.

In an extensive project with interviews, young people across Europe: Greece, Serbia, Germany, France, Rumania, Hungary, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, were asked if they had ever done a good deed. The production brings their stories, describes their deeds and the reality and sentiments prevalent in today’s Europe.

The stories make up a modern document about Europe ravaged by the economic crisis, usually described as a continent through which selfishness, greed, racism and brutality spread. Starting from specific situations in which individuals could do something, suddenly and unexpectedly, that could be called a good deed we hope to present a picture of our world in a new and surprising light. Acts of Goodness explore alternative models and narratives to describe the motives of people so routinely used in media news and stories. The dramaturgist Mattias Andersson and the theatre’s company have given shape to the collected material. Acting, music, recorded voices, pictures and choreography create a performance in which the audience is the most important factor. In the theatre the audience and the actors together examine what could be a ‘good deed’ and how somebody’s personal story can be manifested in something that could be called theatre.

Supported by the Swedish Institute SI

24th September, 13.00
Parobrod Cultural Institution

Bazaart, Belgrade, Serbia

Duration: 120 minutes

Vertical Axes is a part of the initiative of the Bazaart Group and partner organisations to link up important subjects in the field of drama and education in Serbia – schools, teachers, activists, artists, decision-makers, researchers, professors, donors – through a project called ISLANDS so as to empower teachers and students, update the educational practices, improve initial education of teachers and modernise curricula and syllabuses. The goal is to link tradition and vision in the artistic work with children and adolescents and emphasize the importance of continuity for the preservation and development of principal values of a changing society, values not restricted by human life span – legacy, humaneness, strength of the human body – grounded in the preceding generations and kept, developed and transmitted through our work and deed to the generations to come. This forms the vertical axes which guide us as personalities and as a society. An unavoidable part of their development is the encouragement of endowments. To donate to culture and education means to perpetuate values not restricted by human life span and are a part of the universal legacy of the ideas of humaneness and faith in the strength of man’s act. The institution of endowments will be one of the topics at the forum.

Editors and moderators: Sunčica Milosavljević and Marina Milivojević-Mađarev.

Project OSTRVA/ISLANDS is financed by European Union within program “Support of the Civil Society”. Project is co-financed from the budget of Serbia – Office for Cooperation with Civil Society, Ministry of Culture and Information and Ministry of Youth and Sport.

24th September, 17.00
Bitef Teatar

Hleb Teatar, Belgrade, Serbia and Ake Ake Theatre, Dunedin, New Zealand
Essay in motion about World War I
Discussion with authors after the performance

Duration: 120 minutes
(Including the discussion)
Second showing: 25th September, 20.00
Pozorište Mladih, Novi Sad

Text, dramaturgy and direction: Sanja Krsmanović Tasić and Jassica Latton
Music: Jugoslav Hadžić
Performers: Jugoslav Hadžić, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, Jessica Latton, Rhys Latton amd Anastasia Tasić
The production uses texts by Antonije Đurić, Rebecca West, Kemal Ataturk and the Code of a Japanese samurai from the 14th century
Photography: Allen Dove and Jelena Tasić

Sister in Arms is based on the authors’ belief that history is a kaleidoscope made of individual destinies and personal truths and that the theatre has the power to narrate history directly through a joint ritual by the audience and the performers. Its purpose is to heal and in this case to attempt to unmask the war phenomenon in all its complexity. The principal subject-matter is World War I in the Balkans.

Through the eyes of active participants – Sofija Jovanović, Belgrader, fighter and heroine of the Balkan wars, doctor Jessie Scott, New Zealander, the first female military surgeon who attended to Serbian soldiers and many others – we see the war from a different and more personal angle, the angle of a woman-creator, in the hotbed of destruction and death. The stories in the production, which the authors collected after an exhaustive research, cover also the stories of Maori fighters in the Balkans and testimonies of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) and Serbian soldiers who took part in the war.

This international cooperation includes a number of original songs from remote parts of the world and ancient dances from the Balkans and New Zealand.

Supported by Creative New Zealand WW100 Centenary fund, Otago Community Trust and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia

25th September, 13.00
Univerzitetski Park, next to the Students’ Square, Belgrade

Hop.La!, Belgrade and Masuka Centre for Culture, Velika Plana, Serbia
Interactive project presentation

Duration: 90 minutes

Project author: Anđelka Nikolić
Assistant: Anita Stojadinović

Shakespeare in the Park is a project for young people inspired by the works of William Shakespeare, which Hop.La! company conducts in 2014. With the help of professional actresses young people examine the principal elements of the analysis and interpretation of a theatre piece and familiarise themselves with modern forms of performing arts in order to shape authentic reading of Shakespeare to be shared with fellow-citizens. They look for answers to questions such as: Can Shakespeare be contemporary? Can Shakespeare be personal? How can one play a classical drama in the street, the playground, in a park, the green market, in the waiting room of a health centre? The openness of the creative process and its location in public spaces aim to do away with stereotypes about theatre as an elitist art in order to empower young people to animate the cultural life of the community.

This is a part of a broader project including two cycles of ambient theatre workshops: Shakespeare in the Park was organised in July and August in public spaces in Velika Plana and Shakespeare on the Block will take place in October and November in public spaces in Belgrade and Zemun.

Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and Velika Plana Municipality

25th September, 17.00
Circus tent in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade
Cirkorama, Zagreb, Croatia, Cirkusfera, Belgrade, Serbia, and Le Cirk’Oblique, Carcassonne, France

Production of Cirkobalkana project

Duration: 120 minutes
(Including discussion with authors)
Second and third showing: 26th and 27th September, 20.00

Created and performed by: Arnaud Essertel, Domagoj Šoić, Jadranka Žinić Mijatović, Marie Mercadal, Milan Manić

Light and sound design: Julie Lesas
View from outside: Ivana Koraksić and Nikola Mijatović
Set design: Hristina Šormaz
Costume design: H&Z

Alone in her world – the world of reminiscences, madness, hallucinations and occasional undesirable-desirable visitor – an old woman relives her youth, happy moments and big tragedies in her life. How she deals with all this is shown by six artists from three circus companies. Clown improvisations combined with circus techniques were used to create scenes showing the tragi-comical situation of the old woman toward the end of her life. We are drawn deeper into her world by elements of circus techniques (air acrobatics, object manipulation, magic…) and props used in the performance. These are everyday objects, things we take for granted today and which some day might awaken in us memories we flee from and perhaps encourage us to relive the most emotional moments in our life.

The production is a result of Cirkobalkana Project, a French-Serbian-Croatian coproduction initiated and realised with the help of the French Institute in Belgrade with the Theatroscope project. Its principal idea is, in addition to setting up the circus tent as an autonomous educational, creative and performing space, to train local circus organisations and artists in the functioning, creation and sustenance of both ‘travelling’ performances and a circus tent and to establish contact with local audiences and regional circus artists through performances, workshops and Open Stage programme. This year’s novelty is a big creative gathering in Belgrade taking place before Bitef Polyphony in September.

Supported by the French Institute for Culture, the Embassy of France in Belgrade and the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade

26th September, 13.00
Atrium of Vuk and Dositej Museum

Teatar Farmakopea, Belgrade, Serbia
Interactive presentation of a school project

Duration: 90 minutes

Project author: Jelena Stojiljković
Consultants: Jasna Savić, Marijana Milosavljević, Aleksandra Rakićević Kovačević
Performed by pupils: Katarina Gilić, Nevena Đorđević, Aleksandra Jeftić, Jelena Jojić, Tatjana Karadžić, Saša Komazec, Milica Kulić, Sandra Maksimović, Darko Manjenčić, Marija Miletić, Selma Miftari, Dejana Nađ, Tamara Nedeljković, Katarina Panić, Maja Petrović, Milica Radojičić, Aldin Selmani, Milana Stevanović, Ana Stupar and Nemanja Ćorić

Teatar Farmakopea is a class-room theatre of the Pharmaceutical-Physiotherapeutic School set up by teachers encouraged by EU DICE project in order to use it when covering some of the prescribed reading in correlation with scientific subjects. The production meant a process on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. It is based on a combination of parts from Romeo and Juliet and the book Venomous Shakespeare – Shakespeare’s Venom by Simon Dyarmati. It helps to cover professionally, by a comprehensive method, the topics envisaged by the curriculum. The production is a representative model of the approach to literature and mandatory reading in correlation with scientific topics in chemistry and pharmacognosy.

The production reflects the receptions of Shakespeare’s message. What were Romeo and Juliet poisoned with? Is hatred the most powerful poison giving rise to doses of other poisons? What dose of knowledge a man needs to remain faithful to himself and his profession? By insisting on venoms Shakespeare in fact speaks about counter-venoms and writes a story with a happy ending.

The performance will be followed by a meeting and exchange of experience between the participants of Shakespeare in the Park and members of Teatar Farmacopea.

Moderator: Jasminka Petrović, Ura kultura

26th Septembar, 17-00
Centre for Cultural Decontamination

Compagnie Arti-Zanat
Evolutive production

Duration: 120 minutes
(Including discussion with authors)

Directed by: Richard Grolleau
Music: Seb El Zin
Performers: Damjan Diklić, Richard Grolleau and Seb El Zin

The production explores the concept of participative theatre in constant evolution, an open form which for every performance involves a different group of non-professional actors. The result is a joint production emerged from the meeting with a new group of participants.

Meeting is a crucial issue in the project both in the form and in the interpretation of the epic about Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh, the grandson of Uruk is a half-god half-man. At the start of the epic Gilgamesh feels omnipotent and uses his power to satisfy all his instincts. He meets Enkidu (half-man half-beast), recognises him as his equal and gradually recognises his humanity and after Enkidu’s untimely death becomes aware of his mortality.

After two sessions of work in France with the participation of primary school pupils, and then elderly persons, Enkidu/Gilgamesh will be shown in Belgrade in cooperation with an inter-generational group – Belgrade’s secondary school pupils and members of the club for the elderly.

The workshops before the performance and the production include participants in the projects of POD Theatre: members of Čukarica and Stari Grad II day care centres and clubs for the elderly, pupils of the 13th and the 15th Secondary Schools in Belgrade and the Pharmaceutical-Physiotherapeutic School.

Supported by the French Institute in Serbia, the European Cultural Foundation, the Centre for Cultural Decontamination and Živimo zajedno Association.

27th September, 13.00
Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Ušće, Belgrade

Institut francais, Belgrade, Serbia
Meeting/debate about new circus

Duration: 120 minutes

Within the framework of Theatroscope project intended to expedite the exchange of opinions and practices in stage arts in South-Eastern Europe, l’Institut francais organises a meeting/debate. Its purpose is to analyse the situation in the new circus in the Balkans and discuss its prospects..

Cirkobalkana enjoys the support of Theatroscope project of the French Institute for Creativity and Tour in the region

27th September, 17.00
First Economics School (5-7 Cetinjska Street)

Centre E8 and Bitef Teatar, Belgrade, Serbia
Poor man’s ball accompanied by a cultural and educational programme

Duration: 120 minutes
(Including discussion with authors)

Concept, text and direction: Vojislav Arsić, Milena Bogavac and Ivan Stojiljković
Co-authors and performers: Nadica Ajredinović, Edison Bajramović, Denis Durić, Đorđe Jašarević, Milica Mladenović, Aleksandra Stojanović
Poster design and video art: Ivan Stojiljković, Marina Perović
Organisation: Bojana Stojković
Public relations: Marina Ugrinić
Vocal arrangements: Bojana Vunturišević

Germany, an interactive production, addresses problems of young people in Southern Serbia. Regardless of their ethnicity and different living conditions they all share the idea that they will a have a better future only if they emigrate from the country of their birth. In view of the fact that the Serbian citizens submit the largest number of applications for asylum in Germany, the production aims to show why so many young people in our country feel undesired, discriminated against or discontented. It addresses in particular the subject of “fake asylum-seekers” and asks whether they can be divided into fake and true applicants in order to demonstrate that in Serbia one speaks mostly about the effects of the phenomenon and very little about how to prevent its causes.

Integration, discrimination and migration of Roma prompt this production to ask why is Serbia a country that young people want to leave and what needs to be done to make Serbia look like Germany. Is it easier to flee to Germany or learn from Germany? Is it more difficult to be an alien or to feel like one in one’s town of birth?

The production is the result of experiments, a workshop process, when the young participants talk about their personal experiences, thoughts and vision of the future. Due to its educational character and the fact that the discrimination against the Roma begins in the educational system, the production is performed in a school. Its audience are pupils’ of different ages wishing to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge about integration, discrimination and migrations of the Roma population.

The production was realised within the Anti-Discrimination campaign aimed at young Roma and non-Roma population in the south of Serbia.

Donor: Caritas Luxembourg

28th September, 13.00
Parobrod Cultural Institution

Teatar Mimart
Presentation of Stop-motion animation workshop

Duration: 120 minutes

Autor: Nela Antonović

Mimart’s workshops of creative visualisation have encouraged the participants to create an event with the help of knowledge and practical experience of the moderator, to offer them information about theory and literature and enable them to autonomously create personal stories about a subject/problem they have chosen themselves along with the solution of such problems. The body movements created during work were photographed and the photographs then became a basis for further creation and video animation. The presented video art is based on stop motion animation technique – pixelisation.

Moderator of Mimart method: Nela Antonović, founder and director of Teatar Mimart
Moderator of video animation: Kristina Drašković Bočkov, FLU, master Bauhaus
Moderator of photographic workshop for animation: Lidija Antonović, photographer

Teatar Mimart was supported by the Secretariat for Sports and Youth of the City of Belgrade

28th September, 17.00 and 20.30
Belgrade Youth Centre, Americana Hall

ZID Teatar, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Community theatre

Duration: 120 minutes
(Including discussion with authors)
Second showing at 20:30

Concept and direction: Karolina Spaić
Text: Ane Hogvind.
Music: Mark Baroner.
Company: Sebo Baker, Anika Ferflet, Dido Mirk, Ista Bagus Putranto.
Actors from the local community: Gokan Aksoj, Mahmud Ibrahim, Nanda Jagdev, Marike Lukas, Lara Baker, Emanuel Lukas, Febi Brak
Photography: Maria Morales, Malwina Kovalska i Roberto Rizzo

ZID Teatar brings together arts, culture and the society by promoting the creative talents of people as the driving engine of positive changes. This is the latest production of this community theatre. This brilliant, enchanting, dynamic production draws inspiration from the much-lauded production of The Roman Tragedy by Toneelgroep in Amsterdam, the leading theatre company with which ZID cooperates..From the Rooftops of the World is based on three Shakespeare’s tragedies: Coriolanus, Antony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. Artists of ZID Theatre and actors from the community examined the influence of politics on the everyday life of the local population in several Amsterdam communities where quite unexpected and universal events take place..

In the course of a year of meetings, rehearsals and interviews in different parts of the city the artistic team collected stories of the local population and turned them into a multidisciplinary performance complete with music, singing, poetry and video messages of people across the world.

ZID has now developed the model of the project ‘On tour’. In it ZID combines this method in cooperation with local artists and the community. This means that for every place a new, authentic version of the production is created, consisting in existing elements and fresh local material. This is an additional opportunity for ZID to expand its method and present this unusual form of community theatre to different parts of the world.

The director Karolina Spaić points out that From the Rooftops of the World represents present-day Holland and its citizens. People of different origin, religion, views and dreams live together in a small country. Many of them live in multiple realities: they lead their daily lives but they are also affected by their lives in the countries they have left behind or to which they want to move. What brings us together? And even more importantly: do we have a say anywhere except in our living room?

Members of POD Theatre from Belgrade will join the performance of ZID Teatar as a part of the company and local performers.

The tour is supported by Performing Arts Fund in the Netherlands.

29th September, 13.00
Belgrade Youth Centre, Americana Hall

POD Teatar and Čukarica Cultural Centre, Belgrade, Serbia
Project and production of a community theatre

Duration: 120 minutes
(Including discussion with authors)

Directed by: Tanja Pajović and Branka Bajić
Participants: members of daily care centres and clubs for the elderly in Čukarica and Stari Grad II and pupils of the 13th and the 15th Secondary School in Belgrade ,

The magic of erstwhile family reunions of all generations and their story-telling seems to be on the way to extinction. Once upon a time these reunions helped us to learn from one another: we the old and the young, conservative and modern, ‘water under the bridge’ and barely emitting our first breath… helped us to tie up the experiences from both ends and exchange our beliefs and truths. These family events respected the worth of every individual as an equal member of the community.

The project and production of Two Ends of a Shadow are an attempt to revive and shed at least a little light on such events and stories and through the magic of listening, rapprochement and exchange light up what makes the shadow: people, old and young, by giving them equal visibility and strength. How did we try to do it?

As a place of communication, meeting oneself, a place where a relationship is established between those who are different (and what is different), the theatre makes this difference visible and enables communication through a direct live contact, empathy and reciprocity.

The work on this production created the space and time for the meeting of two generations, the meeting of a multitude of different and similar stories and important topics, personal and universal, according equal dignity to different actors, their ‘languages’ and forms of expression.

By working together, the participants have to plan, come to agreement, organise, conceive situations, scenes, costumes, the space where stories take place and to live the unrepeatable experience of creating a production as a joint collective act.

Observation-reflection-challenge-experiment-action were the steps made during this voyage through oneself and through time to then come together in this now, in a concrete act. Aspects of human relations and artistic aspects can and must coexist especially in this reality in which it seems that the only possible salvation is in the beauty and harmony of differences. As the last scene of Fellini’s 8 1/2 shows: A large circle of people holding hands…

This production will close the 15th Bitef Polyphony and set in motion the opening of a new partner-project of this year’s participants for a new community theatre at Bitef Polyphony 2015.