EUROPOLIS – Travel diary


 

Cluj

Sensucht

Proposed by the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania
 

Cartolina-Cluj---small

 
“It seemed only fair to choose to talk about something that is very present in my life and that feels also very present in the lifes of some people around me: trying to come to terms with the space we are in, and dealing with the desire to leave.”

Balazs Bodolai

 

 
The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj founded in 1792 is the oldest Hungarian theatre in Romania. It is a repertory theatre, entirely subsidized by the Romanian Ministry of Culture.
Performances are presented in Hungarian, but due to the multicultural nature of the city of Cluj, all performances are subtitled in Romanian, and in certain cases there is simultaneous translation into English or French.
In 2007, on the 215th anniversary of its existence, the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj successfully organized the first edition of INTERFERENCES International Theatre Festival, with 12 productions from 7 countries.
Since its UTE membership Hungarian Theatre of Cluj regularly participates in international projects. Among these we have to mention the Atelier 200 Workshop, where the aim was to extend the theatre’s activity into the civil sphere through 200 ordinary theatre lovers who took control of the theatre under the guidance of young actors.
Because of its strong international relations and cooperation projects, addressing to the very diverse Cluj audience, and because of the success of the INTERFERENCES Theatre Festival, the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj plays a major role in the candidature of Cluj for the European Cultural Capital title in 2021.
Its outstanding internationally acclaimed performances and its organization of important theatrical events combine to make the Hungarian Theatre of Cluj not only an important institution for the Hungarian community in Romania, but one of the most important theatrical institutions for the country as a whole.

 
 

Graz

My Dear Loved Peoples

Proposed by the Schauspielhaus Graz, Austria
 

 
Where does Europe lead to? The European Union got the Nobel Prize for Peace and Understanding, whilst the common currency is said to be breaking down. On the one hand, the EU grows; on the other hand, discussions about national strength are rising. Where do you go to, my lovely…?
 

 
The Schauspielhaus Graz is one of the best-known Austrian theatres. It is a modern repertory theatre, creating 15 to 20 productions in 3 venues per season. Under the leadership of artistic and executive director Anna Badora since 2006, the theatre has successfully sharpened its profile, attracting internationally known actors and directors.
A strong focus is put on international co-operations, involving artists’ exchange (as Badora already practised in Düsseldorf). A major project was in 2008 “Blog the Theatre”, an Internet-based theatre project, involving six middle and Eastern European countries (subsidised by the EU “Culture 2007-2013″ Programme, invited to “Culture in motion conference” Brussels 2009 ). Annual invitations to major festivals, such as the “Berliner Theatertreffen”, Salzburger Festspiele, Kaltstart Festival Hamburg, Festival NET (Moscow). Several nominations and an award for the “Nestroy” annual theatre Prize. In May 2011, the Schauspielhaus Graz won the “Golden Mask” theatre award in Moscow for Viktor Bodó’s production of “The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other” by Peter Handke in the category “best foreign production 2010″. In previous years, this award had gone to, amongst others, Robert Lepage, Alvis Hermanis, Michael Thalheimer or Pina Bausch. The Schauspielhaus Graz is a member of the UTE (Union des Théâtres de l’Europe).

 
 

Moscow

Monologue from The Orloff Couple

Proposed by the Maly Theatre, Moscow, Russia
 

 
“Gorki’s characters have a most interesting dream – they are thirsty for “life”, for which they need boundless freedom and they do not submit to anyone.
The story (…..) speaks about the painfully difficult awakening of social consciousness in the people of the national masses, their search for their destiny, their inconsistent aspirations, the remnants of the old world in their consciousness.”

Alena Kolesnikova

 

 
The Maly Theatre is one of the symbols of Moscow. Its history is inseparable from the history of Moscow. The theatre is situated on one of the Moscow’s most beautiful squares, and is an integral and one of the oldest parts of its ensemble. The idea of the rigging of the square wholly belonged to the exceptional architect and artist Osip Bove and the merchant Vasiliy Vargin. It was in his house on the 14th of October 1824 that the first production of the company of the Maly Theatre took place, and which has been playing there for nearly 190 years.
The Maly Theatre has always been respected by Muscovites. The stalls of the Maly Theatre remember Nikolay Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Vissarion Belinskiy, Ivan Turgenev and many other people that have glorified Russian culture. The Maly Theatre, especially its heroic repertoire in which shone such actors as Pavel Mochalov, Alexander Lenskiy, Alexander Yuzhin and of course the great Maria Ermolova, was singularly popular with the students of Moscow.
The Maly Theatre was regards as the second Moscow University. The townspeople equally and unconditionally loved also the “domestically-themed” repertoire. On one day in history it became strongly connected the name of one of the more famous inhabitants of the Zamoskorechie area – Alexander Ostrovsky. Especially with the Muscovites did the playwright find many of the prototypes of his heroes and breathed into them Muscovite speech. For a long time afterwards, during the Soviet era, the trademark Moscow pronunciation could be heard only from the stage of the Maly Theatre – the language of the Moscow “prosvirns” – the simple folk, to which Alexander Pushkin urged to listen to.

 
 

Oslo

The Jacket

Proposed by the National Theatre of Oslo, Norway
 

 
“In the first place I wanted to do something very experimental and I was for a long time looking for texts, but there were so many and it was so hard to pick one of them so I instead decided to do something personal and ended up with this one that I wrote myself. It says something about life in a secular, western society.”

Birgitte Larsen

 

 
First opened in 1899, the National Theatre in Oslo is one of Norway’s largest theatre. Founded in the context of high political tension that preceded Norway’s separation from Sweden – a process that culminated in the dissolution of the Union between Norway and Sweden in 1905 – the Theatre was meant to promote Norvegian playwrights and artists.
The world famous International Ibsen festival – that features the work of local and international directors all staging plays by Ibsen – is a significant witness of the theatre’s engagement towards its theatre tradition, enhancing it through topical and groundbreaking productions. It also shows the theatre’s determination and capacity to weigh on the artistic international scene, showcasing national and international leading figures of theatre excellence.
Another key event in the Theatre’s life is the ICON Festival, an International festival of contemporary theatre that takes place every two year, in alternation with the Ibsen Festival. With internationally acclaimed directors and artists coming from all over the world to show their work at the National Theatre of Oslo, either as part of the season’s programme or as part of these festivals – Rimini Protokoll, Anders Paulin, Oskaras Korsunovas, Heiner Goebbels, The Woocester Group, Romeo Castellucci and others.
The NTO is growing on as one of Europe’s leading theatre. Stage director Hanne Tømta, formed at the Saint-Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy, has directed the Rogaland Teater in Stavenger (Norway) from 2005 to 2008, before being appointed as theatre director at the National Theatre of Oslo in 2009.
 
The picture shows one of my relations to the city: the National theatre. It’s an important place for me, located in the center of Oslo. Ibsen has got a red tie. I´ve been working there for ten years, more or less, and it´s been my most steady place in town so far.

 
 

Porto

Pedro

Proposed by the Teatro Nacional São João do Porto, Portugal
 

 
“Infante D. Pedro and D. Inês represent one of the strongest and most romantic love stories Portugal has had in its history. They draw the portrait of a lost love, an overwhelming passion. A traitor parent in a society filled with hierarchies and a love story that holds strong until today and influences our day to day.”

Luis Puto

 

 
The São João National Theatre hosts the headquarter of Teatro Nacional São João E.P.E (Entrepreneurial Public Entity), structure which also comprises Teatro Carlos Alberto and the São Bento da Vitória Monastery, cultural institutes with different and collateral functions located in the center of Porto.
The current building came to replace the original Teatro de São João, the first opera house of the city – built in the end of the 18th century in the historical center of Porto.
The relation between the Theatre and the city is established in the field of public services rendering, mainly through the presentation (in the 3 houses of the TNSJ network) of an arts program that, by following patterns of artistic and technical excellence, aims at reaching a wider audience, from all social classes and age groups. During its regular activities, the Teatro Nacional de São João develops initiatives that, together with the program, contribute to the captivation and education of not only the city’s inhabitants, but other people as well.
It is important to highlight the extremely vital role that the TNSJ has been playing as a benchmark cultural entity in the city of Porto and in the Northern region of the country, thus bringing several Audiences, Creators and International Companies to this region – through different national and international festivals that have been organized throughout its existence, for example: Po.N.T.I, 13th Festival da UTE, Portogofone, Dancem! and ODISSEIA; these had a local impact on several fields and contributed to the construction of an image of Porto as a creative space, which is then taken by the visitors when they return to their countries.
In 10th July 2012, the Teatro Nacional de São João was considered a national heritage monument. Currently, its exterior is being renovated and rehabilitated, so it can be returned to the city of Porto in its total magnificence.

 
 

Sofia

Theodore’s Monologue / Medea, My Mother

Proposed by the Sfumato Theatre Laboratory, Sofia, Bulgaria
 

 
“The protagonist of Medea, My Mother rushes into this adventure with the urge of the big researchers of ancient civilisations. The return to the root, to the archetype is an act of intolerance towards the comfort of the modern consumer-oriented civilization, towards its models that deprive us of individuality. The gesture of quitting is already a challenge.”

Boyko Krastanov

 

 
SFUMATO was founded in 1989by stage directors Margarita Mladenova and Ivan Dobchev. It was meant to be a theatre laboratory, a territory for theatrical researches – and it understands itself as a long-term creative strategy, driven by the conviction that the artistic and the spiritual have a common nature.
The “Sfumato” (which means a method to paint the air) seeks the intersections between “here” and “there”, “now” and “always”; it undercovers the no-play in the play ; it uncovers the unseen with the visible and it analyses the archetypal oppositions. The Sfumato undertakes long-term projects about authors, subjects and preliminary “expeditions” in order to accumulate scientific material with the support of a large number of experts – philosophers, scientists, theologians, psychologists, etc. The workshop constitutes the basic model of creative life for the Sfumato. With its parallel programmes and its annual festival, “The Small Season”, it is open to a dozen projects by young professional artists. It also keeps a large circle of foreign partners, more than 300 representations on tour and a dozen workshops all over Europe, Japan and Korea. Since 1994, the Sfumato has been established as National Theatre with the status of an innovative theatre. After leaving behind a long “nomadic” lifestyle, with several locality changes due to commercial constraints, the Sfumato is now based since 2003 in an old public baths building which was reconstructed according to a specific architectural project. It possesses 3 auditoriums with each 180, 50 and 30 seats respectively.
 
Hagia Sophia is the name of a saint, which carries with it the grace of faith, hope and love. They all are manifestations of the invisible, of the spirit. Sfumato has adopted by Leonardo da Vinci the propensity to penetrate beyond the visible, to “sfumatise” the visible lines of reality and to reach for the invisible. Our motto taken from by Odilon Redon, states: “The logic of the visible, in the service of the invisible.”

 
 

Thessaloniki

Electra’s monologue

Proposed by the National Theatre of Northern Greece, Thessaloniki
 

 
“Elektra talks about the disasters that had been cast on her family and takes us back to the beginning of the myth, referring to the dinner where Thiesti eats the meat of his children, killed, butchered and cooked by the hands of his brother Atrea. The circle of blood that they started is still open – thus, describing the whole history of Europe… only that we don’t know if at the next dinner we will be on the plate or on the chair.”

Aglaia Katsiki

 

 
The National Theatre of Northern Greece, seated in Thessaloniki, was founded on the 13th January 1961 and inaugurated its activity in the summer of the same year with performances of ”Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles at the Ancient Theatre of Philippi. Its first president was the writer Giorgos Theotokas and its first director Sokratis Karantinos. In December 1961, the N.T.N.G. staged its performances in Thessaloniki, at the Royal Theatre (Vassiliko Theatro), while in autumn 1962, it was located at the new, at the time, building of the ”Society for Macedonian Studies”. Its aim, from the time of its establishment, was the presentation of plays of Greek and world dramaturgy, the realization of tours in Northern Greece and the whole country (since 1962), the production of ancient drama and classical plays, in ancient and open theatres, and cultural events in relation to theatre and art in general.

NTNG was the first theatre in Greece which established repertory performances. At the same time, it organized a series of literary matinees. Since 1973, the Drama School of NTNG provides gratuitously full theatrical and generally artistic education, constituting a ”seedbed” for young actors.

 
 

June 24/30

A polyphonic monologue by the ISO Theatre

Produced by the Union of Theatres of Europe, the Academy for Performing Arts Baden-Württemberg, the Teatro di Roma
 

When the European actors from the ISO Theatre started reflecting on the way they could talk about Europe all together, they soon realized it would be impossible for them to bring into one voice their variety of experiences and sensibilities. All of them had different priorities, different perspectives, different angles on Europe and these couldn’t be summarized in one homogeneous discourse. Polyphony thus appeared as the only and most relevant way to talk about Europe, in a way that would bring together – without denying their own singular identity – the variety of their voices. Using their different experiences as a creative material, the ISO actors decided to start from who they are and what they want to say, convinced that talking about themselves in a way that would be both personal and collective / disordered and harmonious / fragmented and connected, is already talking about Europe.
 

 
The ISO Theatre , International Super Objective Theatre, is a collective of young European actors from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Portugal , Israel, Italy and France. They all met for the first time at the Maly Drama Theatre in Saint Petersburg on a master-class directed by Lev Dodin, in the context of the 2012 UTE Decentralized Academy. Their language, culture, theatre education and even the way they relate to theatre are different from one another, but they decided to stick together and explore, on the ground, this Europe of Culture they tend to embody. They want to build it together. They want to make it real, concrete, tangible, by rising to the challenge of creating together, with the idea that cultural differences make us richer.