KULTURA | 22. MESS


Dalibor FORETIĆ, theatre critic

THE POETRY OF MASK

The play “Somebody has Killed the Play” performed by the group “Maska i Pokret” from Sarajevo reminds of the famous MESS research days

The only event at this year’s Festival of Small and Experimental Stages that reminded us of those great and glorious MESS days of passionate research into the essence of the theatre phenomenon and the limits of its possibilities as a medium – took place on Thursday at the Collegium Artisticum in Skenderija. It is even more surprising that the protagonists are from Sarajevo, which, despite being the seat of the most important Yugoslav festival of avant-garde theatrical aspirations, has not been very prominent in theatrical research so far, although there have been attempts. They are called Iva Kostović-Mandić and Petar Mandić, spouses and theatre lovers: their group is entitled “Maska i Pokret”, and the play “Somebody has killed the Play”.

This play, which lasts barely forty minutes, belongs to that dedicated, Craigian space of the theatre, in which, with the help of a mask and movement, in the rhythm of music, an attempt is made to stage a poetic image and metaphor, a living theatre. There are no words in their theatre. The two of them animate alternately a dozen large masks that cover only the head or the whole body. Music is the rhythmic driver of events, so although not a single word is uttered, the structure of the play is eminently dramatic: it is neither a musical nor a ballet theatre but above all a dramatic event.

In terms of animating the mask, their play bears some resemblance of research conducted by Peter Schumann and his group “Bread and Puppet”. In terms of exploring the possibilities of movement as a dramatic means of expression, their stage results are closer to the postulates of theatre advocated by the German Pina Bausch.

But, despite that, Iva and Petar Mandić are independent. Their play introduces us to a somewhat mystical sphere of theatre in which a pure, carefully crafted poetic symbol is the only value, with which the theatrical act in its ephemerality seeks to correspond with eternity. The story they evoke with their mask, movement and music is simple but full of emotions and poetic meanings. It talks about Agava, a noble puppet, perhaps a great goddess, perhaps the progenitor of the Dionysian cult of dance and song, and in any case a symbolic primordial of human instinct and the need for poetry, which is destroyed by her own children, but despite being mutilated, killed, tortured and buried she remains alive, even on the dump of the world.

The play does not want to produce any precise and literal meanings, it works on this mysterious fluid that flows between the performer and the spectator, passing on its meanings to decipher and interpret in his intimacy, and, most importantly, to experience. Iva and Petar Mandić evoked this unadulterated moment of stage poetry with the suggestiveness of their grotesque, large masks, their touchingly simple animation, strictly controlled, and yet more natural than ballet-rendered movement, amazing music that we were informed was a reconstruction of ancient Greek music which accompanied their theatre performance.

The main event of MESS on Thursday was to be the performance of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre from Belgrade with Ödön von Horváth’s play “Don Juan returns from the War”, directed by Paolo Magelli. We can’t say much about that play, because something happened to it that is unheard of in our theatrical practice – more than half of the text could not be heard even by those spectators who were sitting in the front rows.
We don’t know what happened to the actors, what was the real reason for such an unprecedented careless attitude towards the festival audience. Those who watched it in Belgrade claim that the performance is much better. But even from what could be discerned from such a performance, from her sluggish, dull, and limp play, she hardly needed a place at the festival.
I don’t remember when it happened that the otherwise patient and dedicated Sarajevo audience finally accompanied the performance with booing. Rightly, just as only an hour or two later, in the night program, she applauded the satirical “One Man Show” by Paja Ninćić, a genuine histrionic moment of a real actor and real theatre, who does not flirt with any modernism, but that’s why corresponds perfectly with the audience, feeding it what a person needs most – healthy and juicy laughter.

DALIBOR FORETIĆ

KULTURA | 22. MESS


Dalibor FORETIĆ, pozorišni kritičar

POEZIJA MASKE

Predstava »Netko je ubio pjesmu« u izvedbi grupe »Maska i pokret« iz Sarajeva podsjeća na slavne MESS-ovske dane istraživanja

Jedini događaj, koji nas je na ovogodišnjem Festivalu malih i eksperimentalnih scena podsjetio na one sjajne i slavne MESS-ovske dane strasnih istraživanja suštine fenomena kazališta i granica njegovih mogućnosti kao medija – dogodio se u četvrtak, u umjetničkom okupljalištu »Collegium Artisticum«, u Skenderiji. Iznenađenje je to veće što su protagonisti iz Sarajeva, koje se, unatoč tome što je sjedište najznačajnijeg jugoslavenskog festivala avangardnih kazališnih stremljenja, nije dosad baš previše isticalo u kazališnim istraživanjima, iako je na tom planu bilo pokušaja. Oni se zovu Iva Kostović-Mandić i Petar Mandić, supružnici i kazališni zaljubljenici: njihova grupa nosi naslov »Maska i pokret«, a predstava »Netko je ubio pjesmu«.

Ta predstava, koja traje jedva četrdesetak minuta, pripada onom posvećenom, kreigovskom prostoru kazališta, u kojem se s pomoću maske i pokreta, u ritmu glazbe pokušava scenski ostvariti pjesnička slika i metafora, živi teatar. U njihovu teatru nema riječi. Njih dvoje animiraju naizmjence desetak velikih maski koje prekrivaju samo glavu ili, pak, cijelo tijelo. Glazba je ritmički pokretač zbivanja, pa iako se ne izgovara ni jedna jedina riječ, struktura predstave je ipak eminentno dramska: ne radi se ni o glazbenom, ni o baletnom kazalištu, već prije svega o dramskom zbivanju.

Na planu animiranja maske njihova predstava ima neke sličnosti s istraživanjima koje provodi Petar Schumann i njegova grupa »Bread and Puppet«. Na planu istraživanja mogućnosti pokreta kao dramskog izražajnog sredstva njihovi se scenski rezultati približavaju postulatima teatra koje propovijeda Njemica Pina Bausch.

Ali, unatoč tome Iva i Petar Mandić su samosvojni. Njihova igra uvodi nas u pomalo mistične sfere teatra u kojoj je čist, brižljivo oblikovan poetski simbol jedina vrijednost, s pomoću koje kazališni čin u svojoj efemernosti želi korespondirati s vjećnošću. Priča koju maskom, pokretom i glazbom oni dočaravaju, jednostavna je, ali nabijena emocijama i pjesničkim značenjima. Ona govori o Agavi, plemenitoj lutki, možda velikoj božici, možda pramajci dionizijskog kulta plesa i pjesme, a u svakom slučaju simboličnom praiskonu ljudskog nagona i potrebe za poezijom, koja biva uništena od vlastite djece, ali unatoč unakažavanju, ubijanju, mučenju i sahranjivanju ona ostaje živa, makar i na smetlištu svijeta.

Predstava ne želi proizvoditi neka precizna i doslovna značenja, ona radi na ovom tajanstvenom fluidu što struji između izvođača i gledaoca, predajući mu svoja značenja da ih on sam u svom intimitetu dešifrira i protumači, i, što je najvažnije, doživi. Taj su nepatvoreni trenutak scenske poezije Iva i Petar Mandić dočarali sugestivnošću svojih grotesknih, velikih maski, njihovom dirljivo jednostavnom animacijom, strogo kontroliranim, a ipak više prirodnim nego baletno izvještaćenim pokretom, čudesnom glazbom za koju smo obaviješteni da je rekonstrukcija starogrčkih zapisa glazbe koja je pratila njihove kazališne predstave.

Glavni događaj MESS-a u četvrtak trebao je biti nastup Jugloslavenskog dramskog pozorišta iz Beograda s dramom Odona von Horvatha »Don Juan se vraća iz rata«, u režiji Pavla Magellija. Ne možemo mnogo reći o toj predstavi, jer se s njom dogodilo nešto što je nezapamćeno u našoj kazališnoj praksi – više od polovice teksta nisu mogli ćuti ni oni gledaoci koji su sjedili u prvim redovima.

Ne znamo što se dogodilo s njenim glumcima, što je bio pravi razlog tako nezapamćeno nebrižIjiva odnosa prema festivalskoj publici. Oni koji su je gledali u Beogradu, tvrde da je predstava inače znatno bolja. Ali i po onome što se iz takve izvedbe dalo razabrati, iz njene trome, mutave i mlitave igre teško da joj je trebalo biti mjesta na festivalu.

Ne pamtim kada se dogodilo da je inače strpljiva i predana sarajevska publika jednu predstavu na kraju ispratila zvižducima. S pravom, isto kao što je samo sat-dva kasnije, u noćnom programu, urnebesnim pljeskom na kraju pozdravila satirični »One Man show« Paje Ninćića, jedan nepatvoreni histrionski trenutak pravoga glumca i pravoga kazališta, koji ne koketira ni sa kakvim modernizmom, ali zato sjajno korespondira s publikom, hraneći je onim što je čovjeku najpotrebnije – zdravim i sočnim smijehom.

DALIBOR FORETIĆ