The twentieth Bitef Polyphony will mark its anniversary by various events and surprises which will occur through interactions between performers and audience as new polyphony community. Theatre productions, performances, workshops, discussions, round tables, on-spot visits, and new initiatives… open up the possibility for the audience, especially the young one, to choose and actively participate in the events, to discuss and exchange the experience about what they have seen, and the topics that have been raised.
As a side program which searches for polyphony concepts of its own modification, organization and presentation, Bitef Polyphony is marked by a rather complex composition. This year, it is designed as a small metaphoric fugue based on the old topic of artist’s role in the work with the young, and in the new topic and anti-topic in the spirit of an unexpected but very positive and uplifting Bitef slogan - LET’S START LOVE OVER… Marking its first encounter with Bitef, which took place twenty years ago, Bitef Polyphony has once again toyed with the slogan and created its own - FROM THE VERY FIRST HUG… The title is on the trace of the main slogan, it is taken from the same famous song, but with the Polyphony it acquires a wider symbolism and meanings. First hug like the first encounter and unity with Bitef and with the organizers of the project “Art for Social Changes - Play against Violence” from which it has ensued in the form of first presentations and audience participation, as first links and shapes of polyphony concept, new initiatives and partner projects which have maintained Polyphony, helped it to become Bitef Polyphony and to persist until today.
This year, in its twentieth edition, Bitef Polyphony will last for seven days, from 19th until 25th September, it will bring together artists, first project leaders, and former young participants who are today the leaders of the new projects that we present. Together with them, through memory and creative perspective on the topical issues, there will also be the participants of all the previous Polyphony editions, partners from the region and the youngest generations, including the audience who are invited to discover their right to be heard, to participate, to create their own stories and get involved in developing new theatre initiatives and new artistic actions for social changes.
Polyphony does not have a curator. Based on the polyphony principle, stimulated by the anniversary and by the main programme concept, the twentieth Bitef Polyphony is tended by the board and organizational team made of the representatives of the ones who lead and support this year’s programme.
Bitef Polyphony concept author: Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić
20th Bitef Polyphony coordinator: Nemanja Dragaš
The first Polyphony was marked by a project by the European Cultural Foundation from Amsterdam and the Network of Open Society Foundations for Southeast Europe, as a 34th Bitef side programme, which was, back in that 2000, prepared under the slogan “Theatre and Evil”. The programme of Polyphony was, as a matter of fact, the finale to the project “Art for Social Changes - Play against Violence”, performed through presentations, seminars, and the results assessment. The project aimed at reopening regional exchange and cooperation, at supporting performing arts as a method of work, and the role of artists in work with the young in times of crisis, conflict, and warfare. In the following period, Bitef Polyphony, supported by CEDEUM (Centre for Drama in Education), has become a regular Bitef side programme, continuously building and accomplishing it unique polyphony theatre concept of participation and art for social changes.