Chief selector: Laslo Gerold
The play with mask – is stated in the subtitle of the play “Neko je ubio pjesmu”, which deals with “exploring the function and possibilities of the mask and movement”, and it also includes music as an important dramaturgical mean.
The play – research, in terms of finding adequate solutions and in the sense that everything takes place before the eyes of the audience – has its consistent dramaturgical line of action and rhythmic development of stage events, poetic note, experience of human truth and a high degree of artistry.
An almost autochthonous phenomenon in our (Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Yugoslavian) theatrical art, the “Maska i Pokret” Theatre, as the title itself confirms, deals with the research of the function and possibilities of mask and movement, as stage means of expression.
Whose effect should not be viewed in isolation. Namely, the mask and the movement, that is, conditionally called choreography of the movement, are by them by no means “decorative”, “additional”, only artistic and visual elements, but have such theatrical value that can be compared and evenly measured with a stage action which is in essence of one theatrical act. This is exactly what “Maska i Pokret” Theatre is trying to prove – that everything stems from the action performed on the stage, in front of the spectators (and conflict, and fatal act, and guilt, and punishment, and an ironic message). Every scene they present in the play “NEKO JE UBIO PJESMU” originates and ends on the stage, in front of the spectators, which by its hidden cruelty, almost ritual brutality and at the same time purity and tenderness (not pathetic), turn into a sign-symbol or system of sign-symbols.
The aim of creating these signs-symbols is to systematically and directly, without too much story, retelling, etc., provoke extremely strong feelings in the viewer, which are mostly born spontaneously, the moment a certain character appears on the stage and does something, which is partly rationally incomprehensible.
The function of the mask in this play, which with the help of characters who appear on the stage, gaining in specific situations very clearly and precisely defined characteristics (from primordial evil, through grotesque sarcasm, apparent lyricism, imbecility to predestined sinfulness and dullness), is multiple and cannot be read and understood only as a type definition of a person (character), but just the opposite – as an elaboration of the character to its final exposure and procedure, which usually acts on the viewers as a Shock. The mask also, under intense lighting and in combination with a very precise, not ballet but “dramatic choreography of movement”, changes its expression, achieving clarity in the motivation for a certain action, which often can be missed by a “living actor” whose improvisation can lead to misrepresentation the procedure of the character.
This play is in the true sense the research, albeit of certain theatrical research means, which does not limit its value, “unusualness”, freshness and studiousness – elements that meet the criteria not only of this festival but of “new movements” and different, more modern thinking of theatrical art.