|Ljubljana Puppet Theatre|
This well known folk tale of the musicians of Bremen gave Matija Solce, an established puppet artist, foundation for a vivacious and friendly performance, which combines puppets and music. As they do in the fairy-tale, the four animals make a journey, and they surprise the town folk with their music.
Despite being in a language I am not familar with, the experience was mesmerising. The performers used hand puppets, string puppets and even made animals out of kitchen utensils! Their music, most of which was entirely comprised of accapella voices, was beautiful, and every child in the room was completely engaged in the show, including me!
Following the performance, we were given a guided tour of the theatre by it's General Manager. We were surprised to find out that the theatre contained many stages of varying sizes, including an underground tunnel which housed a stage area, which they used for site specific performances.
|En-Knap rehearsing Ottotto|
Iztok invited us to watch the rehearsals of their upcoming premiere, Ottetto, built around a 16 minute musical delicacy by Igor Stravinsky from 1923. Iztok choreographically decomposes, analyses and then reconstructs and visualises his work. The work in progress was certainly something to behold. Using unique lighting arrangements and live film techniques, the dancers were extremely atheletic in their delivery, and all slightly different in style. I was hypnotised by the complexity of the relationship between the dance and the music.
|Exhausted Young Festival Managers!|
We moved on to a Press Conference for the launch of the European Festivals Association's fifth book, Inside/Insight Festivals. It was interesting to hear how passionate the panel (Hugo De Greef, Kathrin Deventer, Nele Hertling and Darko Brlek) were about progressing the arts and festivals as important parts of all societies. Hugo De Greef talked of the "Driven Mission" that we all have as festival directors, which is most definitely a sentiment I share.
Despite a sense of shared (but happy!) exhaustion amongst participants, we enjoyed a lively lunch together and bonded with coffees by the river. I feel that we're really coming together as a network now.
The day continued with a talk from Darko Brlek about the history of Slovenia and two of the Ljubljana Festival's main venues - a large open air stage by the festival offices and the Phillharmonic Hall.
|The Ljubljanaica River|
N.B. International collaboration was engaged in on the small scale today, when Lara Sweida-Metwally of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation helped me scratch an unreachable spot on my shoulder blade. We are calling the commission International Intimate Itching, and it will be coming to a cultural venue near you very soon! XP
My attendance at the Atelier Young Festival Managers Conference is funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation - www.jerwoodcharitablefoundation.org