UNIQUE SARAJEVO THEATRE | SLOBODNA DALMACIJA
Zehra KREHO, theatre critic
On the occasion of the guest appearance of theatre “Maska i Pokret” with the play “Somebody has killed the Play” and “Mme Leopoldine’s Memoires” on Carrarina Poljana
Already known and recognised, the refined hearing of the president of the commission for drama program of the Split Summer Festival Marin Carić, to bring the best performances from other theatre environments to this eminent Yugoslav event, was definitely confirmed this year in the presentation of Bosnian theatres. In the space of a few days, we saw two probably the most characteristic (and perhaps the best) Bosnian plays “Mother’s Sultana” by Svetozar Ćorović by Mostar National Theatre from Mostar and two plays by the “Maska i Pokret” Theater from Sarajevo.
The theatrical, “home” workshop of Iva and Petar Mandić, operates in the house of Austrian construction on the busiest street in Sarajevo – more precisely in a room from which come out rarely original performances like these, seen on a warm July night on Carrarina Poljana. However, what makes this theatre stand out in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and why not say the Yugoslav theatrical situation, are the outlandish expression and aestheticism, relatively conditioned by the huge fund of the intellectual, which is an organic need, and consequently the strong vehemence of their artistic personalities.
Rarely poetically charged, soft, sad play “Somebody has killed the Play”, whose plot can be told in one sentence (a group of characters, each for its own reasons contributes to killing the great-pre-puppet Agave) is an attempt to bring the mask into close connection with the plot and to mark two levels of this attachment: the plot is discovered through the action of the mask, and at the same time – the character (mask) develops through the plot.
In “Mme Leopoldine’s Memoires”, the plot is a reconstruction of Madame Leopoldine’s wedding day. And more detailed psychologisation liberates the “inner” world of the mask, realising a concrete stage act.
In both performances, the expression of stage signs is produced through the relationship of MASK and SPATIAL SIGNIFICANCE as such. Huge masks unite the basic artistic value, which is dominated by a note of appropriate grotesqueness – elongated by the profile of the acting energy that is manifested even through the minimal head movement. This movement, brought in connection with the reactions of the rest of the body, dissolves an almost innumerable range of new meanings of the characteristic substitutive determinants, which together form the BASIC METAPHORIC CORE.
A significant element for the aesthetics of the performances of this group is music, as an inspirer, less often an illustrator, but certainly a kind of driver-flywheel of thinking and CREATION of new body-dynamic values in space. Aesthetics by the most probable sense of meticulous determination each part in the performances of “Maska i Pokret” theatre by an internal analysis of one’s own sense of things decomposes the matter of the STAGE into its – tangible dominants.
Iva and Petar Mandlić did the script, masks and choreography themselves. They are the only participants in the performances, for which it seems to us that they did not leave the audience indifferent on Carrara’s Field. The seemingly oversised stage seems to have been an advantage: Iva and Petar Mandić “filled each of its cracks with gold”, warmth, energy. … A rare theatrical act.