About the Production
Inspired by the works of Yuval Noah Harari, the 2020 performance focuses on human evolution and fate. Harari’s thoughts are used to build up dialogues, monologues, dance and music scenes that will take the form of a scientific vaudeville. Our aim was to create a clever, fun, and educational work addressing evolution, space, our place in the universe, existentialism, and artificial intelligence.
In seeking to transpose Harari’s world into a stage performance, theatre director Ivica Buljan has likewise looked for absoluteness, a definite answer. According to Buljan, “the 2020 production explores what is good life. Its central issue does not only formulate a philosophical or religious thought, but puts human existence at the forefront! We ask ourselves how humankind has put into practice two fundamental ideals: love and respect for the other.”
IVICA BULJAN studied political science and graduated in the French language and comparative literature from the University of Zagreb. He has worked as a theatre critic in Polet, Start, Slobodna Dalmacija and Feral Tribune. His theatre directing career began in 1995, when he staged Pascal Quignard's The Name on the Tip of the Tongue in Ljubljana. His special interests include playwright-poets such as Bernard-Marie Koltès , Pier Paolo Pasolini, Heiner Müller, Marina Tsvetaeva, Robert Walser, Elfriede Jelinek, Miroslav Krleža, Botho Strauss, Hervé Guibert, Anja Hilling, Jukio Mishima, Danilo Kiš. Slovenia, Lithuania, France, Germany, Norway, United States of America, Serbia, Hungary, Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Montenegro, Ivory Coast, Italy and Albanina are some of the contries in which Buljan directed. He served as Drama Theatre Programme Director at the Croatian National Theatre of Split from 1998 to 2001. He co-founded the Mini Theatre in Ljubljana and the World Theatre Festival in Zagreb. Since 2014 he has been serving as Drama Theatre Programme Director at the Croatian National Theatre of Zagreb. He is a several time winner of the Borštnik Award for the best performance and other important Slovenian theatre awards. His other awards include the Sterija Award, the Vjesnik Award, the Dubravko Dujšin Award, the Branko Gavella Award, the Petar Brečić Award and the City of Havana Award. In 2012, he was awarded the highest accolade of the Republic of Slovenia in the field of art, the Prešern Foundation Award for performing arts. He is aslo the holder of the Republic of France's Order of Arts and Letters.
PETRA POGOREVC graduated from the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts in comparative literature and English language and literature. Between 1993 and 2007, she was active as a journalist, critic, publicist and translator in the Slovenian cultural arena. In 2007, she started working at the Ljubljana City Theatre (MGL) as a dramaturge and editor of the book series in the field of theory and history of modern performance art MGL Library, for which she has thus far edited 30 books from the fields of drama and theatre theory, history and practice. In 2017, she started her PhD studies in the Department of Dramaturgy and Performing Arts at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana. In 2005 Slovene writers’ association awarded her with Josip Stritar Award for best literary and theatre critic. For managing LCT’s Library the Slovenian Association of Dramatic Artists awarded her with the Ivy Wreath Award for Artistic Achievements in 2016.
AHMED SOURA was born in Banfora, Burkina Faso. A dancer (break-dance and pop) and self-taught acrobat even before he was 20, Ahmed trained at the National Institute of Artistic and Cultural Training in Burkina Faso and at the Centre Choreographique National of Montpellier from 2003 to 2007. Then Ahmed joined the Burkinabe company of Irène Tassembédo for five years, touring in Africa and Europe. In 2010, Ahmed Soura danced and performed in the opera Via Intollérenza II by Christoph Schlingensief (1st prize for the staging of the Theater Treffen in Berlin in 2011). From 2012, he joined the Opera Ballet Deutsche Oper Berlin with Verdi Requiem, Die Liebe zu den drei Orangen (The Love for Three Oranges) and Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (The Little Match Girl). In August 2013 Ahmed joined the company Christoph Winkler for Das wahre Gesicht - ein Stück über den Kapitalismus and won the FAUST 2014 award. In the course of 2014, he collaborated with the Swiss company (Berne) Pink Mama Theater with a 2015 tour Poland. At the same time, he founded KORO / Compagnie Ahmed Soura in Burkina Faso to develop his own choreographic writing and he created solos such as A to, Rien ne m'appartient, Ecrazement 100Sens, En opposition avec moi (3rd dance prize at Internationalen Tanz-Theater Festival - Stuttgart 2011), 166 (second prize at Need to Dance 2013). He regularly teaches contemporary dance courses and traditional dance from Burkina Faso in Germany, France, Switzerland, and Brazil.
MITJA VRHOVNIK SMREKAR is a Slovenian composer and musician. Since 1989 he is passionately devoted to exploring his art primarily in the fields of theatre and film. That includes profilic musical works for more than 130 theatre productions in Slovenia, Croatia, France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Lithuania etc.; original music for 13 feature films and several short films, a chamber opera, two string quartets, oratorio and a double violin concerto. In 1998 co-founded Betontanc theatre group and toured with it worldwide. His work is making an indelible mark on the theatrical music scene and productions of prominent theatre directors such as Ivica Buljan, Mateja Koležnik, Martin Kušej, Janez Pipan, Vito Taufer, Erik Ulfsby and many others. Vrhovnik Smrekar received several national and international awards, among them Borštnik Awards for music and in 2017 he was awarded the highest accolade of the Republic of Slovenia in the field of art, the Prešeren Foundation Award for his newest musical creations for theatre and film. As a teacher of incidental music he also works at various schools and courses and is also permanetly engaged as a percussionist in the esteemed Slovenian jazz ensemble Bossa de Novo that will soon be celebrating its 20th aniversary.
ANA SAVIĆ GECAN studied Fashion design at the Faculty of Textile Technology in Zagreb and since then has created over a hundred costume designs, for film, plays, television and video. In addition to costumography, she also works in scenography. In the theatre, she has won multiple awards working with Robert Waltl on his children's plays. More over, since 2002 she has been working with Ivica Buljan with whom she created a large number of works, with director Mateja Koležnik, director Krešimir Dolenčić with whom she has created many dramas and operas. When it comes to movies she works with Lukas Nola and Dalibor Matanić. She was awarded three Golden Arenas in Pula for the best movie costume designer. Outside Croatian borders she has also worked a lot in Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Norway and also in La Mama in New York.
From the Reviews
“Harari advises contemporary audience to get to know themselves. The director Ivica Buljan accentuates that making it clear that man, chasing happiness, turns into a slave of market and sensual pleasures.”
Marjana Ravnjak, TV Slovenia 1
„… One can feel that the artists managed quite well while making and presenting the 2020 production. The task was, definitely, demanding: to delve into the vision of the humankind, to look backward and foreward, to study past - elusive material - from the big bang up to date, to imagine the very beginning, to explain certain questions about evolution, artificial intelligence, cosy life, and turn it all into a performance…“
Nenad Jelisijević, performans.si
“The performance is an ode to devised theatre, abandoning itself to its principles and to the creativity of an individual, with Buljan’s direction becoming more a direction of individual directions (here, actors are much more than merely actors) - seeking to integrate the wide-spread networks of themes and forms. In little over three hours the audience, guided by the performers, travel through human history, the world and its cultures, refer to the future and question the present unburdened by linear temporal logic.”
Jaka Smerkolj Simonette, Koridor