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INTERNATIONAL ART FORUM "ALTER EGO" 2015, 16-20 DECEMBER 2014



Theater and Maths don’t have much in common, do they? But when you give this extravagant idea a second thought you might just come round it. It turns out that just like a mathematical equasion in theater there exists a formula for creating a performance.

We have the stage.
We have the audience.
We have the actors.

There you go. But is this really enough for us to create theater?
No one can deny that we need actors and audience for a performative act. Without the audience theater would be pointless.
But the answer to the question we just raised is both yes and no. Yes, because we can simplify the equasion like that: the audience +the actor = you + me
And no, because having someone do something in front of someone is simply not enough for us to call it theater. Then what are we missing in our equasion? Probably there has to be something that happens between you and me. So it turns out we are searching for that initial connection between the actor and the audience. We try to reach a moment in which the body follow its own impulse in such a manner, that both the actor and the audience are surprised of the result. You know what happening in real life is. It may be a simple smile from a stranger on the street, or he way the wind blows in your ears when you’re not expecting it, it may be even a postcard from a long forgotten friend that you find in your cellar. This, in Alma Alter, we like to call, happening. It is something that we cannot predict. An element of the equasion that is simply uncalculatable, let’s say.
So now we have you (the audience), me and the happening. And still we have something else that’s missing. You are probably asking yourself: how does the happening happen?

The answer is: interaction.

In Alma Alter we strongly believe that in order for a performance to be what it is we need to involve the audience in the process of theatermaking. Every night we play a performance in front of a different set of audience. This means that every night the performance might go in a completely different direction. Through interaction we manage to abstract the important, the essence of the moment. Afterwards we incorporate what he have taken from you within the performance. So it turns out that through interaction we get you, the audience member to react to what we have just provoked and inspired you to and afterwards we both can substract the essence of it. It’s a two-way process. So where does this leave us with our equasion? We can narrow it down to:


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News

The 24 Hours Theatre Marathon in occasion of the World Theatre Day – March 27th



The marathon will go on constantly for 24 hours. The participants are not allowed to leave the theatre for 24 hours. Considering their physical and mental fitness, 100 participants will be selected to endure this experiment. The main idea behind this marathon is to obtain first hand intimacy and cohesion between the so called “actors” and the so called “audience”. The point is also to investigate the endless possibilities for relationship and interaction between them. The experiment will be a social one as well. Theatrical performances will take place (some of which with their own premiere during the marathon) as well as interactions and happenings between the participants - interactions expressed through arts (theatre, music, dance...) Discussions and open debates will also take place. The biggest challenge will be the creation of entirely new performance (text, choreography, acting) from its very beginning where all participants will take part.



International Art-Forum "Alter Ego" 2013



The International Art-Forum is an event which was first initiated in October 2008, when theorists and practicians of theatre in international aspect, began speaking on topic contemporary theatre - tendencies and practice. This trial edition filled up one niche in the Bulgarian cultural sphere and gave opportunity to many theatre followers to get closer to the ideas of contemporary theatre in one wider aspect.


We will open the space for one public debate on the problems of culture and theatre in particular. In it will participate art-creators from different parts of the world, whose artistic research is laid in the field of the so called "alternative theatre" - one concept, so many times emptied from its contents, that inevitably occurs the question: The alternative theatre - alternative of what? The alternative always predetermines one initial base from which to distinguish itself. Alternative theatre means different theatre. To understand that "difference" first we have to try and define "different", compared to what? And here naturally comes the question of the context of alternative theatre.


In Bulgaria, after the theatre reform appeared many different artistic organizations, trying to run away from the conventional and well-known theatre. That distinction from the convention - theatre, at one point enriched the cultural climate, and at the other sharpened the atmosphere between the conventional and its "alternative".


Most clearly that becomes visible in two aspects:


Aesthetic, in which the question of creation and the authors view on art lacks any control. The experimenting, freedom and independence in the research play their exclusive role.


Economic, which forced those organizations to seek flexible, alternative models of functioning and financing. The International Art-Forum has no commercial goals. The events - performances, discussions, film projections - will be admission free. This will give an opportunity for wider popularizing of the idea of alternative theater.


PROGRAM

4th Monday
19:30 – ‘Orpheus or go back to your Hell human’, Theatre Laboratory Alma Alter, Bulgaria
20:30 - Opening of the Forum and presenting the guests
21:00 - Cocktail

5th Tuesday
19:30 – ‘Don Juan’, ODOROKA VOLXTHEATER, Germany
21:00 – ‘Son of God-in’, Studio H.I.V pozitiv, Czech Republic

6th Wednesday
16:00 - Discussion panel on Alternative theatre, alternative of what?
19:30 – Variations N? 14: ‘Notes from underground’, Vladimir Tzekov Stage action laboratory, Spain
20:30 – “Neither Nor”, Rrodrigue de Ferluc, France

7th Thursday
19:30 - ‘Hamlet or three boys and one girl’, Theatre Laboratory Alma Alter, Bulgaria
21:00 – ‘Godot Versus Beckett’, Paul Jenkins, Wales

8th Friday
16:00 - Discussion panel on Alternative theatre, alternative of what?
19:30 – ‘Antiwords’, Spitfire Company, Czech Republic
20:30 - Closing Ceremony
21:00 – Cocktail

"Orpheus"(Theatre Laboratory Alma Alter, Bulgaria)

WHAT’S SEEN TO BE HEARD – WHAT’S HEARD TO BE SEEN
The human being is the only one who can settle and solve his human problems. In contrast to the plants and animals, man has the chance to be what he has decided to be. His existence is in the sense of his self-establishing. He is given a possibility to leave his own limits. He performs a leap – to the divine, to the cosmos – the one outside his own inside of him - to the world, to himself, to freedom. Thus he overgrows himself, untwining the orb of his possibilities. There’s no human being without a world, there’s no me without the others. The power of a man as an example for his own development and the development of others. That’s the message. To rise up to the top of your possibilities and with the rope of your experience to give a chance for the others to reach their own peak. Because only those achieved peaks are the way to the eternal striving of a man to the dreamt world, to the upper world, to the world of art – where we, the human beings, are that, what we want to be and can be. The movement of this performance, that runs away from the narrative field and aspires to run, to jump and fall into the field of the suggestive, of the spontaneous, of the particular emotions and happenings, free from circumstances, only capable of lighting up the “darkness” of our sub consciousness and to fill it with the “light” of our Spirit. The spectator’s eye travels impetuously and long to reach as much as it can deeper into the personal in the face of the actors, to the essence of their human beings. To the magic of meeting between people. Those, who create the world of art and those, who feel the need of that world. No matter if they realize or not this need. The music, this initial sound “speech”, with which we’re gifted by nature, is implacable. And unconquerable. Because it’s inside every one of us. The dynamic constructive feeling wouldn’t let the performance to remain in the captivity of the “cultural” – even with the price of crossing its boundaries. It’ll work with the limits, in the limits, to reach the vitality needed. Leap and flight. The “seizure” has to ensure the sympathy of the spectator, not the logic of his erudition. Not his preparedness or unpreparedness. How?
When this, what we see is heard and that, what we hear is seen.
Cast: Dimitar Dimitrov, Ivan Stoyanov, Valeriya Dimitrova, Neva Dimitrova, Romina Nikolova, Virginia Peynova , Petya Yosifova
Time: 19:30
Date: 04.11.2013

“Don Juan” by Moliere (ODOROKA VOLXTHEATER, Germany)

We will perform the play by Moliere in the Style of a contemporary commedia dell'arte, enriched with elements of break-dance, beat box, fencing and physical comedy. The actors in various parts: Karin Kroemer, Constanze Langhamer, Dimitar Dimitrow, Sven Djurovic, Geza Melczer-Lukacs
The director: Geza Melczer-Lukacs
The Music: Mozart: Don Giovanni
Clemencic Consort: Danses anciennes de Hongrie
Rene Clemencic: Moliere
Sweet Susie/Manni Montana: KV 2006
Time: 19:30
Date: 05.11.2013

‘Son of God-in’, Studio H.I.V pozitiv, Czech Republic


The extinct. The lost. The absent. The unexciting. Outside you.
Pieces… from somewhere, from someone, hidden pieces, pieces kept in secret. No one knows why, No one knows the reason. No one knows what they wait for. What, who, why? To be or…. to be. If it’s possible, if you can. Come on…ask for it…ask for it. Be son in.
Duration: 50min
Time: 21:00
Date: 05.11.2013

Variations N? 14: “Notes from underground” (Vladimir Tzekov Stage action laboratory, Spain)

Original Text : Fiodor Dostoyevski
Motto music: The maid freed from the Gallows, American folk song.
Adaptation, Dramaturgy and direction: Manuel Bonillo
Participants: Manuel Bonillo Lopez
Santiago del Hoyo Garcia
Raquel Cruz Monje
Francisco Muela Gimenez
Synopsis:
Have you brought gold?
Gold to pay this hangman’s fee.
Or did you come to see me swinging up from this hangman’s tree?
Time: 19:30
Date: 06.11.2013

Nito Nito / Neither Nor (Rodrigue de Ferluc, France)

One eternal dream trough the day.
The eye of the world closed in silence.
Only night and palm
and ash in the mouth.
Incredible dream which I dream whitout my head.
A Circle filled with the pointless words of the dreamers.
A Circle who cannot sleep.
Time: 20:30
Date: 06.11.2013

Hamlet Or Three Boys And One Girl (Theatre Laboratory Alma Alter, Bulgaria)

"Shakespeare - contemporary and cruel" - this is what the most eminent English playwright is to his most contemporary and most cruel interpreter - professor Jan Kott. And if he succeeds in stripping all the other Shakespearean heroes out of their skin and showing us their meat - naked, their blood - running, now in "Hamlet" his surgical intervention is even more cardinal.
Trepanation opens the notorious Shakespearean skull and denudes Hamlet's brain and we see this, I would like to call it, chaos of thoughts, "Tempest" of thoughts which has been raging for centuries.
Jan Kott does not exhibit the question "What is Hamlet", but "How you become Hamlet", "What is the Hamlet thing in Hamlet?", "What is that which makes hamlets from ones and non-hamlets from others?" and in an exceptionally vivid and readable scenic reading.
"Three Boys and One Girl" is the cruel line by Shakespeare formulated by Jan Kott and thrown as a glove in the face of our cruel "today", cruel scenic vision of the murder not of Hamlet but of "the Hamlet gene" - so that he disappears forever and never torments the human mankind again.
How close we are to the Holy Scripture and to the story about Christ and king Irod. Only the names are different...
Text: William Shakespeare, Heiner M?ller
Idea: prof. Jan Kott
Director: Nikolay Georgiev
Choreography: Petya Yosifova
Time: 19:30
Date: 07.11.2013

Godot Versus Beckett (Paul Jenkins, Wales)

The greatest literary creation never to appear on stage … never to have a voice, never to bring relief to the two idiots hopelessly waiting, never to supply the answers we crave, the unknown megastar of modern theatre … appears. In this piece of protest theatre Samuel Beckett’s absent hero Godot seeks revenge on the creator who exiled him for eternity and tests Beckett’s post-modernism by challenging the old nihilist to pull on his boots and fight. Will Godot be able to defeat his miserablist maker and bring some truth, some meaning, anything for humanity to hang onto in a universe devoid of purpose?
Paul Jenkins is a writer, actor and lecturer from Wales who discovered Alma Alter theatre company quite by chance and loved their work so much he stayed and worked with them for 2 years. He’s very happy to be back in Sofia for the International Art Forum.
Supported by Wales Arts International
Time: 21:00
Date: 07.11.2013

ANTIWORDS (Spitfire Company, Czech Republic)

Influenced by the works of Vaclav Havel, especially his play Audience and its legendary film adaptation, in which the role of the brewer was played by Landovsky with his ability to drink nine pints of beer while in character. Will Mirenka Cechova and Jindriska Krivankova outdo the legend? Will they reach a state on the edge, recalling Havel's motif of alienation and Hrabal's poetics of loneliness? Aside from the two actors, major roles are played by oversized heads authored by sculptor Paulina Skavova, and by Sivan Eldar's music composed specifically for this performance.
“Dancer-actors Mirenka Cechova and Jindriska Krivankova, along with director Petr Bohac, have made a radical contribution to the discussion about how to perform Havel's plays today.” (Marie Resslova, Hospodaeske noviny)
koncept/concept: Mirenka Cechovd, Sivan Eldar
rezie/directed by: Petr Bohac
hudba/music: Sivan Eldar
light design: Martin Spetlik, Robert Janc
masky/masks: Paulina Skavova
produkce/production: Spitfire Company
hraj?/cast: Jindriska Krivankova Tereza Havlickova — with SPITFIRE COMPANY.
Time: 19:30
Date: 08.11.2013

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