HERMETIC PHASE 1979/80
After the summer project (in summer ’79) our group scattered in different directions, and we needed to start working alone seriously and intensively to figure out what we were about.
At that time we worked at our apartment at Tito’s street 12, the kitchen was our atelier, our dance studio and – even – the theatre was in our living room. That was an old Austrian/‘Master and Margarita’ – style building, with very high ceilings and vast rooms with the bohemian details and furniture. Memories accumulated over the generations for this apartment where Iva was born and where her family lived for more than 100 years.
That was the time of endless experiment, the time full of discovery and of blending our different backgrounds and directions. Iva fresh from university of theatre drama and Petar still in classical ballet school. Ballet, theatre, theatre history, so much to share…
Surrounded by books, art, literature, and ballet-studio mirrors which we installed over the whole wall, we were creating the connection between movement, mask and music. And moulding it all to what will become our own theatre aesthetic.
MIRACULOUS (WONDROUS) SYMBIOSIS
After we finished the chapter with the group, we isolated ourself because we had an overwhelming need to dive into creating new connections and meanings among various means of expression, to experiment without boundaries, and to synthesise our backgrounds and inspirations.
In the first place the mask and the movement.
My affair with mask begins several years earlier during my studies. In the attic of Tito’s street 12 I found one paper mask, probably a character for some opera. My father who was sculptor often made sceneries for operas – hence this mask. I already felt something “magnetic” back then. I asked my father to explain the technique of mask making. He briefly told me I should sculpt first, then either make a plaster model and layer it with newspapers and glue or layer it directly. In the coming time somewhat colored by the alcohol of university life on the one hand, and by the great inspirations, images, ideas I received from studying theatre – the Mask became more and more fascinating.
I started going to the basement – dark, scary, moist. A pile of clay lay on the ground. I made the first masks in the basement.
In the same time I wrote 2 plays:
– one is Pest (inspired by Antonin Artaud) – a street spectacle
– the other is Man and Death
My graduation thesis was “Mask in the Theatre”.
Only with Petar did the mask begin to occupy an important place.
Petar’s affair with the movement began also same years earlier. Fascination and talent for movement, dance, movement synchronisation, body in motion. Body lines, turns, jumps, is about defying gravity – Petar, as a child, is already discovering the joy of overcoming and breaking physical laws.
As a teenager, this feeling drives him into various dance groups, folk groups, within which he naturally soon emerges as an exceptional talent.
And so at some point, he is found by a scouting agent and introduced to the official ballet school/Academy of the National Theatre in Sarajevo. The classical ballet technique taught at this school was strict Russian Vaganova technique. During his studies, he received additional master training aimed at forming future soloists – from prominent Russian and Romanian ballet teachers. After graduating from the academy, Petar joins the theatre ensemble for one season.
In our hermetic phase, these two elements (mask and movement) come in a miraculous (wondrous) symbiosis: ‘maska i pokret’.
Petar is initiated into the realm of masks, and I am initiated into the realm of movements. I start learning ballet technique and practice every day; practising together remains a constant for the next 40 plus years.
We also wrote a manifesto during this period.
More things have crystallised in this period that will become a constant IDENTITY of our style and work:
- We work and will always work together.
- In isolation, alone – not in a team.
- We create all the elements: from story and script, to masks and other visual elements, to choreography and to performance.
We also wrote a manifesto. Read the translation.