Your shows are aimed at an exclusive yet international audience; an audience ready to perceive abstract expression. How do audiences around the world compare? And how do international audiences differ to the Slovenian one?
I still believe that it is possible to create universal theatre. My mission of extensive international operations and communication with audiences of different cultures is aimed at achieving this ideal. This despite the fact that I know and it is becoming clear that in the contemporary world, full of fragmentary destinies, it is impossible to do theatre for all and meet the needs of the entire audience. Today, even the ambition to render the world in all its totality on stage is something so difficult to catch and hardly reachable. But we cannot overlook that, in spite of our unquestionable civilization progress, that day after day in this world we understand less and that at some point due to this the world we live in is becoming an abstraction for us. I was trying overcoming and escape from this antagonism between the exclusivity and abstraction through a series of performances in a progressive curve by shifting away from the notion of the theatre as the mirror of the world to the theatre as a gesture to the world – from the actor’s body on stage to body as a world.
We have experienced the strongest response in Greece, the womb of European theatrical culture. Here we presented our – I must admit – highly complexly constructed re-envisioned version of Medea’s myth to the “native” audience. This is an audience that still lives ancient myths and where mythological framework is not just a brief information from the educational process. Their enthusiastic reception and the depth of communication that was established during the performance is something that gives meaning to our doings and gives energy for further creation. And back to Slovenia, where I have noticed a gradual loss of basic curiosity from an audience that predominantly satisfies themselves in the spheres of entertainment and digestion. After all these theatrical expeditions, I think that in the final instance, the main creator of the theatre is not an actor but the audience with their needs. It was not only theatre makers that built Greek ancient theatres – the whole community took part in this mysterious act.
Is it difficult to promote yourself and get access to the festivals like Moscow one? How do you do that?
Moscow is a station on the way and it is also the result of the production and theatrical paths that I have described. From an inside view we are working as a theatre laboratory dedicated to developing new theatrical forms and on the other hand and seen from outside we are a normal theatrical production unit. As a producer I know that to meet the needs of an audience in the international scale you need to have a performance that is absolutely unique, special and different. As an artist I am also deeply aware that without the highest possible professionalism or even virtuosity that in the same time is covered with invention is not possible to meet their needs. But most important you have to have your vision of truth. In the language of economics it is supply and demand.
Russia has a great history in theatre, does that reflect in the attitude towards creators of theatre?
I noticed that there is still a rare professional enthusiasm and a passion for perfectionism, and belief that theatre is something important. All these factors are essential for making theatre. And most importantly they still have an audience, which means that the audience still needs theatre.
How is the Russian scene different from Slovenia?
Unlike the Slovenian theatre they still rely on professional discipline and keep highly professional. There, the idea of art is still alive and they are really in a state to fall in love with the artists. Such admiration later follow the compliance and build the relationship, for example, when an actor is accepted by applause already at the time of his arrival on stage. It is very easy and joyful to perform on stage in such conditions. On the other hand, of course, they are able to be pretty rough in disdain.
Nothing is free these days so how do you fund your theatre? Is it possible for your projects to live just on ticket sale?
The world is changing so rapidly that every year you have to invent new forms of financing. I am seriously working on it – to live only on the tickets sale but in reality this is possible only in big cities.
Can culture serve as a promotional tool for the economy? Is there an example you can tell about?
I can give you an example of understanding of this process. The power of art is the awakening of emotional communication. By reading Dostoevsky, for example, we discover deeper layers of a nation and its culture, and through this knowledge we create understanding and curiosity, which enables communication. When such a wide range of attention is established, many aspirations easily follow, resulting in the need for exchanges and in the language of economy – in trading. Economy with its will to power and exclusionary behavior often forgets these deep and sophisticated causes.
What are your future plans for the theatre?
In the next season we will conquer Rome, Paris and London among others.