KULTURA | FENOMENI


Dalibor FORETIĆ, theatre critic

HOME MADE THEATRE

The married couple Iva and Petar Mandić from Sarajevo have been creating plays in their apartment for two years now, in which they create a fantastic, surreal, poetic stage reality by combining masks and their own bodies

Only the journalistic tendency to start the story with the most bizarre, most astonishing fact justifies this beginning of the story of one theatre: there were two young people, they loved each other, got married, and then they decided to dedicate themselves to theatre, to create their own theatre. They did not find any social support, and they had (unlike many other young people) a slightly larger apartment. And in one larger room, they started experimenting, making masks and puppets, making costumes themselves, choosing music…

The story has been going on for two years now, it is happening in Sarajevo, which did not flinch much at its unusual fellow citizens. The protagonists of the story are called Iva Kostović-Mandić and Petar Mandić. She is a theatrologist, he a ballet dancer. They named their theatre Maska i Pokret. Last year they performed at MESS. They did not receive the official award. This year they are stuffed into the informative section. We say Sarajevo doesn’t like them much, and maybe it doesn’t understand them, even though they are doing the most authentic theatre that has happened in that city in the last ten years. But that’s why they love them in Amsterdam. No one is a prophet in his village…

Two years of work, two plays. Forty minutes each. First, Somebody has killed the Play is ambiguous and hard to explain, like any real poetry. Through the character of the puppet Agava, the Mandić’s actually embody the eternal call of a poetic nature: sublime, beautiful, supple, plucked by people, beheaded, buried with all honours and then betrayed, poetry, seen through the ironic sidetracks of life and faced with death, remains what it is, spiritual, the metaphysical constant of every existence.

Already in that first play, the Mandić’s expressed their theatrical manifesto: a belief in the poetic essence of theatre, in the challenge of its eternal mystery, by not using a word but what is at the very core of theatrical origins – mask, music, movement.

If their first play is shrouded in a veil of metaphysics, if it follows what poetry was and is, their second play, Mme Leopoldine’s Memoires, focuses on a psychological descent into dramatic secrets of life: loneliness, a cruel lack of love, selfishness which leads the human being towards the ritualisation of his own life and towards ultimate plunge into his own ego.

The poetic weft of both plays is obvious, but they are eminently dramatic poetry: although they do not utter a single word in these two plays, they develop and complete a purely dramatic form with other, inexhaustible theatrical means.

This is how the Mandić couple with self-denial and from their theatrical home theatre achieves an autochthonous stage expression but also opens, not only on a Yugoslav scale, some new theatrical possibilities. The poeticity of the utterance and the consistency of the concept take them further than those often stuttering avant-garde attempts in which word avoidance was often a protruding dogma unsubstituted with anything else, more true, more vivid, more scenically relevant.

The formal perfection of Maska i Pokret theatre performances gives full dignity to their only seemingly modest and lapidary theatrical attempts. In the technique of their stage expression, fascinates in fact the most that at no point do they try to deceive the viewer with any illusion, and on stage these two people in the heat of the play still create a wonderful poetic world: neither mask, nor movement, nor music, nor puppets have semantic autonomy in their performances, only by intertwining their expressive possibilities, a new, uncopied from reality, but therefore exactly deeper stage reality is being realised.

With the Maska i Pokret Theatre, the theatre went in an unexplored direction beyond the touching simplicity of Peter Schumann and his “bread and puppet.” And in assembling a new stage reality, the two young Sarajevo theatre artists may be on the trail of that stage miracle that Craig once called an “Übermarionette”.

Dalibor Foretić

Photographer: Drago Šoštarić
Photo: Unbridled imagination Two scenes from the play Somebody has Killed the Play
Photo: Iva Kostović-Mandić and Petar Mandić at the end of the performance
Photo: Mme Leopoldine and her ego

KULTURA | FENOMENI


Dalibor FORETIĆ, theatre critic

KAZALIŠTE IZ KUĆNE RADINOSTI

Bračni par Iva i Petar Mandić iz Sarajeva već dvije godine u svom stanu stvaraju predstave u kojima spojem maski i vlastita tijela ostvaruju fantastičnu, nadrealnu, poetsku scensku stvarnost

Tek novinarska sklonost da se priča počne s najbizarnijim, najzačudnijim podatkom opravdava ovakav početak priče o jednom teatru: bilo dvoje mladih, voljeli se, uzeli se, a onda su odlučili da se posvete kazalištu, da stvaraju vlastiti teatar. Na neku društvenu podršku nisu naišli, a imali su (za razliku od mnogih drugih mladih) nešto veći stan. I u jednoj ovećoj sobi počeli su s pokusima, prave maske i lutke, sami šiju kostime, odabiru muziku…

Priča traje već dvije godine, dešava se u Sarajevu koje nije nešto mnogo trznulo na te svoje neobične sugrađane. Protagonisti priče se zovu Iva Kostović-Mandić i Petar Mandić. Ona je teatrolog, on baletan. Nazvali su svoje kazalište Maska i pokret. Prošle godine nastupili su na MES-u. Nagradu nisu dobili. Ove godine strpani su u informativnu sekciju. Kažemo Sarajevo ih mnogo ne voli, a možda ih ne razumije, iako rade najautentičnije kazalište koje se dogodilo u tom gradu u posljednjih desetak godina. Ali zato ih mnogo vole u Amsterdamu. Nitko nije prorok u svom selu…

Dvije godine rada, dvije predstave. Svaka od po četrdeset minuta. Prva, Netko je ubio pjesmu, višeznačna je i teško ju je objasniti, kao i svaku pravu poeziju. Kroz lik lutke Agave Mandići zapravo otjelovljavaju vječni zov poetske prirode: uzvišena, lijepa, podatna, očerupana od ljudi, obezglavljena, sahranjena sa svim počastima i onda izdana, poezija, sagledana kroz ironijske stranputice života i u suočenju sa smrću, ostaje ono što jest, duhovna, metafizička konstanta svakog opstojanja.

Već u toj prvoj predstavi, Mandići su činom izrazili svoj kazališni manifest: vjerovanje u poetsku suštinu teatra, u izazovu njegova vječnog tajanstva, ne koristiti se ni riječju već onim što je u samoj srži teatarskih iskona – maskom, glazbom, pokretom.

Ako je prva njihova predstava obavijena velom metafizike, ako se kreće za onim što je poezija bila i jest, druga njihova predstava, Ispovijest gospođice Leopoldine, okrenuta je psihološkom poniranju u dramatične tajne života: usamljenost, okrutni nedostatak ljubavi, samoživost vodi ljudsko biće prema ritualiziranju vlastita života i prema konačnom survavanju u vlastiti ego.

Poetska potka i jedne i druge predstave očigledna je, ali riječ je o eminentno dramskoj poeziji: iako ne izgovaraju u te dvije predstave ni jednu jedinu riječ, oni ostalim, neiscrpnim kazališnim sredstvima razvijaju i do kraja zaokružuju čisto dramsku formu.

Eto u čemu bračni par Mandić iz samozataje svoje teatarske kućne radinosti ostvaruje autohton scenski izraz, ali i otvara, ne samo u jugoslavenskim razmjerima, neke nove kazališne mogućnosti. Poetičnost iskaza i dosljednost koncepta vode ih dalje od onih često mucavih avangardnih pokušaja u kojima je izbjegavanje riječi često bila stršeća dogma nenadomještena bilo čime drugim, istinskijim, životnijim, scenski relevantnijim.

Formalno savršenstvo predstava kazališta Maska i pokret daje pun dignitet njihovim tek naizgled skromnim i lapidarnim kazališnim pokušajima. U tehnici njihova scenskog izražavanja zapravo najviše fascinira što ni u jednom trenutku ne pokušavaju gledaoca zavarati nikakvom iluzijom, a na sceni to dvoje ljudi u žaru igre ipak ostvaruju jedan čudesan poetski svijet: ni maska, ni pokret, ni glazba, ni lutke nemaju u njihovim predstavama semantičku autonomnost, tek prožimanjem njihovih izražajnih mogućnosti ostvaruje se jedna nova, iz stvarnosti nekopirana, ali zato upravo dublja scenska stvarnost.

S kazalištem Maska i pokret teatar je u jednom neistraženom smjeru otišao dalje od dirljive jednostavnosti Petera Schumanna i njegovih »kruha i lutaka«. A u sklapanju jedne nove scenske stvarnosti dvoje mladih sarajevskih kazališnih umjetnika možda su na tragu onog scenskog čuda koje je Craig svojevremeno nazvao »nadmarionetom«.

Dalibor Foretić

Fotografija: Drago Šoštarić
Photo: Neobuzdana mašta Dva prizora iz predstave Netko je ubio pjesmu
Photo: Iva Kostović-Mandić i Petar Mandić na kraju predstave
Photo: Gospođica Leopoldina i njezin ego