New Three-Part Inventions of Bitef Polyphony
This year’s double Bitef Polyphony - 21/22nd - under the title “Play for Life”, links a story of the journey we made marking twenty years of our existence with the presentation of new stories in the performances created under the circumstances caused by isolation and limitations imposed by the pandemic. In that period, marked by waiting, postponing, and searching for possibilities to do something, we have inevitably returned to the topic of the role of artist in work with young people in the times of crisis as our experience in the project “Play for Life”, which gave birth to the first Polyphony. Creating a new encompassing programme under the same title which relies on Bitef slogan Edge of the Future, this year’s Bitef Polyphony offers new challenges with performances, follow-up discussions and dialogue platforms on the topic of art in life and its power to empower in the times of crisis.
The new topic became self-evident through one curiosity - all the performances were created through the “return of the theatre”, i.e., they rely on a well-known classical or contemporary literary work and offer rich and powerful sources and metaphors as an inspiration and challenge in relation to universal questions, with an idea to give us an impetus towards global problem the world we live in is facing, and to see those problems from the point of view of young people - in the past, nowadays, but also in an imagined future. Bitef Polyphony lasts for five days, from 20th till 24th September, and begins, traditionally, with an interactive opening, and the presentation of programmes and performances that introduce topics and each event in the programme. Three dialogue platforms and follow-up discussions (after three performances from last year and three new ones) are focused on the question of how open theatre is to current topics, and possible creative, artistic, exploratory, educational and social programmes, projects, activities, and actions which would accompany performance in the form of theatre packages. The programme will be particularly marked by a search for polyphony concepts of participation, both in theatre created by young people and theatre for children and young people, who enrich their performances by processes and project of that kind. Traditionally, after the end of Bitef Polyphony at Bitef Festival, it continues as “Polyphony in Duration” through the project “Shakespeare’s Children”, involving participants, topic and issues which will greet us at 23rd Bitef Polyphony, full of new challenges.
Realized by: Polyphony Theatre in coproduction with Bitef Theatre
Project holder and programme support: the Centre for Drama in Education and Art CEDEUM, the National Centre of IDEA, International Drama/Theatre and Education Association.
Programme team: Ljubica Beljanski-Ristić (author of the programme concept), Mirjana Žarković (producer), Ivona Janjić and Irena Ristić (moderators of dialogue platforms), Nela Antonović, Jadranka Anđelić, Jelena Bogavac, Sanja Krsmanović Tasić, Anđelka Nikolić, Mina Ćirić, Tanja Piper Stanković and Damjan Kecojević (directors/choreographers of performances/performing events).
Co-operators (communication, monitoring and evaluation): Lidija Antonović, Bojana Durman i Teodora Sarić (foto/video), Dijana Milošević, Milena Bogavac, Dušan Vulić, Predrag Radonjić, Snežana Arnautović Stjepanović, Jelena Gavrić and Aleksandar Nikolić (performing events/performances), Ana Marjanović Shane and Tijana Đorđević (dialogue platforms), Slađana Bušić and Nemanja Dragaš (follow-up discussions), Bojan Durutović, Aleksandar Gubaš and Nikola Ilić (media and social networks), Ljubinka Brezojević and Jelena Stojiljković (schools and young audience), Tatjana Vasiljević, Danilo Trajković, Maša Seničić and Ana Popović (Polyphony Resources/Polyphony in Duration).
Partners: Cultural Centre „Parobrod“, Little Theatre “Duško Radović”, Theatre “Vuk”, Centre for Studies in Cultural Development, Serbia, Estan studio Belgrade and School for Pharmacy and Physiotherapy in Belgrade.
Project supported by: the City of Belgrade Secretariat for Culture, and Open Society Foundation Serbia.