The double Bitef, its 54th and 55th edition, will take place 13-25 September 2021 in Belgrade. The main programme of the festival will present fourteen productions from ten countries. In addition to well-known European and regional theatre names such as Wim Vandekeybus, Rimini Protokoll, Thomas Ostermeier, Sebastijan Horvat, Miloš Lolić and Bobo Jelčić, the Belgrade audience will have the opportunity to see productions by authors who are appearing at Bitef for the first time.
The Bitef artistic team insists on the affirmation of new authors in the broader international context. As a reminder, in the past several years, performances at the festival included the works of Ersan Mondtag, Igor Vuk Torbica, Nadav Barnea, and others.
This year Slovenian theatre director Žiga Divjak will take part in Bitef for the first time. Although very young, Divjak is already the leading director on the Slovenian theatre scene and has won the most relevant national accolades in his country. He will introduce himself to the Belgrade audience with Lungs, a production by the Slovenian National Theatre Drama Ljubljana, based on the play by Duncan Macmillan. This is a minimalist production, based on the exceptional acting of two young actors and the symbolic treatment both in direction and the set design by Igor Vasiljev.
Thematically, Lungs fits with the part of the festival that raises the issue of the present-day environmental challenges. Within this part, prominent French and international director of the middle generation Philippe Quesne will appear at Bitef for the first time. His production Farm Fatale was created as a coproduction between the director’s company and Kammerspiele from Munich. In a specific, visually identifiable framework and ironical discourse, Quesne develops his surreal vision of an ‘ecological revolution’ that is initiated by unemployed scarecrows: they have lost their jobs for different reasons, one of them being the destruction of urban gardens and corporations going after independent farmers.
Chilean-Mexican choreographer Amanda Piña will be appearing for the first time in the Bitef main programme. Her choreography Climatic Dances is dedicated to the ecosystems that are threatened by the projects of multinational corporations and it is based on the claim that modern Western civilization is not only endangering nature, but also ancient cultures.
Due to the current epidemiological situation, reservations and sales of tickets for this year’s Bitef will start in the second half of August. Follow the Bitef website and social networks for more information.
The festival is traditionally supported by the City of Belgrade Secretariat for Culture and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Goethe Institute, and the French Institute in Belgrade. Once again, this year Bitef’s partner and friend is I&F Group, within which the festival’s creative agency McCann Belgrade operates. The partners yet again are Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad and long-standing friend of the festival Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia.