Conference of the Absent / Photo: Sebastian Hoppe
Conference of the Absent / Photo: Sebastian Hoppe

The double Bitef edition will be held in Belgrade from 13th till 25th September. The main programme will present fourteen performances from France, Belgium, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Iran, Austria, Mexico, and Chile, while the side programme will be equally rich and varied.

The artistic focus of the festival will be placed on the dehumanization of the body of the performers in various forms - through choreography, light and video effects, absence of the performer, their digital presence, to the use of robots and drones on stage. The performances that explore this artistic phenomenon will dominate the second half of the festival.

This focus brings the performance Conference of the Absent by the famous Rimini Protokoll, created by all the three authors - Helgard Haug, Stefan Kaegi аnd Daniel Wetzel. As stated by the Bitef artistic director, Ivan Medenica, this performance wittily explores the popular “franchise-performances”, which are being created as a response to the fact that international traffic has become affected by the pandemic or eco-conscience. The thoroughly developed artistic and technical plan of the performance is, in another surroundings, carried out by local performers. In the performance Conference of the Absent, the performers are the audience, who are invited to take part and make it possible for the fictional situation (an international scientific conference) to take place since the pandemics has, allegedly, made it impossible for the scientists to attend.

Flash / Photo: Quentin Chevrier
Flash / Photo: Quentin Chevrier

The climax of the artistic line which aims at exploring dehumanisation of performing bodies, is the project which closes this year’s Bitef. It is a French performance Flesh by the director Franck Vigroux and his Compagnie D’Autres Cordes. The performance does not follow a clear plot, it is utterly abstract, almost surreal, and is reduced to a spatial installation with emphasised visual, atmosphere and sound effects. Its participants are the bodies of two dancers whose “human identity” is radically decomposed through costumes, light, smoke effects and other stage means.

Before the performance, Franck Vigroux will, within one of the festival side programmes, teach a masterclass aimed mostly to students of music and performing arts, and which will focus on his work on hybridization of disciplines, especially on the dialogue between music, sound, images and bodies in motion. It will be exchange of opinions about how Vigroux approaches sound design in relation to other disciplines: dance, theatre performances, video-works.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Lungs by Žiga Divjak will not be presented on this year’s edition of Bitef. Already purchased tickets are available for refunds and we ask you to contact the box office ([email protected], +381 69 899 24 00).

Ticket Sales

Tickets can be bought online through the website www.bitef.rs. Online purchase receives 10% discount. If unable to make online purchase, you can buy the tickets at Bitef BOX OFFICE in Kombank Dvorana, on the first floor (Nikola Pašić Square).

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.