Building on the previous edition of Bitef, as well as the practice introduced by the previous artistic director of the festival, Ivan Medenica, the audience will be introduced to this year's Bitef through a prologue. This time, it is the "Divine Comedy" directed by Frank Castorf, which will be performed on the "Oliver and Rada Marković" stage of the Belgrade Drama Theater on October 3rd at 6 p.m.
Thus, it will represent a connecting point that aims to maintain continuity with previous festival editions. The exceptionally playful performance of the ensemble, and the ambiguity of the text, staging, music, and movement that Castorf skilfully employs, all contribute to the strength of this critique of consumerism in today's neoliberal capitalism, which is equally skilfully reproduced in all times.
In addition to the mentioned performance, in the main part of the programme the Bitef audience will have the opportunity to watch two domestic performances on Friday, October the 6th.
At 6:00 p.m., the play "Desire To Make a Solid History Will End Up in Failure" will be performed in the Bitef Theater. The work of the author and choreographer Igor Koruga, produced by the Station service for Contemporary Dance, deals with the complex issue of the position of contemporary dance in Serbia. This issue becomes even more complicated when you take into account the fact that there is no institutional framework for preservation in Serbia, i.e. archiving contemporary dance practices.
"By drawing attention to the phenomenon of disorder in the field of dance, Bitef strives to contribute to the struggle against the further marginalization of contemporary dance practices," says co-selector and producer of Bitef's main program Ksenija Đurović.
Igor Koruga created this performance in collaboration with six pioneers of the local dance scene - Anđelija Todorović, Nela Antonović, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, Tatjana Pajović, Jelena Jović, and Boris Čakširan.
At 8:00 p.m. on the "Mira Trailović" stage of Atelje 212, the play "All Adventurous Women Do" produced by the same theater, based on the text by Tanja Šljivar and directed by Selma Spahić, will be performed.
Inspired by the true story of seven thirteen-year-old girls who fell pregnant on a school excursion, this performance deals with the topic of teenage sexuality in a bold and original way, thus opening many questions that society in the region refuses to answer.
"Focusing on the issue of the generation gap and the lack of care of the older generations towards the younger ones, and at the same time highlighting the extent to which the voices of young people are neglected in these areas, this play fits perfectly into this year's selection," explains festival co-selector and playwright Tijana Grumić.
This year's edition of Bitef, the 57th in a row, will be held from October 3rd to 10th. Under the slogan "Strength, Don't Let Yourself Be Anyone Else's", the festival audience will have the opportunity to watch nine plays in the main programme that come from Germany, Lithuania, Hungary, Sweden, Greece, Burkina Faso, Belgium, and Serbia.
The festival has traditionally been supported by the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, the Goethe Institute, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Embassy of Greece. New Moment New Ideas Company, the festival's creative agency, is a partner and friend of Bitef. Festival partners this year are Generali Insurance Serbia, Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad, as well as friends of the festival Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia, 1664 Blanc and Somersby, Rajićeva Shopping Center, Alma Quattro, Info media group, and Halo Creative team.