Symposium: The Future of Ambiance

The Future of Ambiance Symposium is a project headed by the Dubrovnik Summer Festival on the 70th anniversary of its exploration of ambiance and site-specific performances, and as a part of the 2-year Future Epics project which is supported by the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme –Culture subprogramme. From 18 to 20 July, the Symposium will gather relevant European and domestic artists, scientists and experts in contemporary site-specific performance in a number of locations around Dubrovnik. A special emphasis will be put on the history of Dubrovnik’s ambiance, on the challenges of festivalization and of festivals as cultural destinations, and on new ambiance. The Artistic Director of the Festival Dora Ruždjak Podolski will open the three-day Symposium on Thursday July 18 at 10am, in the Palace located in the Brothers Andrijić (Braće Andrijića) Street, with an introductory lecture followed by conversations with Paolo Magelli, Ivica Kunčević and Ivica Prlender, and a video presentation on Dubrovnik as an ideal stage for performative examinations of the classics. The conversation on the topic of Dubrovnik-history of site specificl theatre: Culture as a driving force behind city development will be moderated by the Assistant Artistic Director for Theatre Saša Božić. The art programme on the first day will unveil the interactive sound installation Happy Place by Bojan Gagić in the Medieval foundry under the Minčeta fort, starting at 8pm.

The second day of the Symposium will begin at 10am with a lecture by the Rimini Protokoll dramaturge and expert in performance studies Imanuel Schipper, titled Citizens on Stage and Theatre at Home: On the City as Performance and Co-producing Audiences in Recent Productions of Rimini Protokoll. The Symposium will continue with the presentation Heritage and Movement held by the Programme Manager at the Centre des monuments nationaux Simon Pons Rotbardt. The evening programme will be in honour of the great theatre director Georgij Paro. In the 1970s, Paro directed the plays The Life of Edward II of England, Aretheus and Christopher Columbus at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. These three plays are considered to be turning points in the history of the Festival’s theatre productions, and, more broadly, in contemporary Croatian theatre, at least in regard to its ideas and achievements in the field of site-specific theatre. At 9.30pm, July 19, the book “Georgij Paro’s City-Stage” by Hrvoje Ivanković will be presented in the Sponza palace atrium. Along with the book presentation, the documentary “Georgij Paro – Cleaning up,” produced by Croatian Radiotelevision, written by Lada Džidić Barić and directed by Siniša Brajt will be shown.

The Symposium’s third day is dedicated to music at the Festival. A talk moderated by Iva Lovrec Štefanović will start at 12pm, and it will be based upon the conversations, commentaries and performances from the archives of the Croatian Radio. The sound that conquers space and the space that conquers sound is the topic that the moderator will open in conversation with the current figures on the music scene, together with notes from the archived history and new perspectives on the possibilities of site-specific art projects, future ambiences, audiences and musical performances. The art programme on the last evening of the Symposium, July 20, will offer two events. For the first one, the Festival crowd can enjoy the sound installation by Hrvoje Hiršl at 8pm on the Bokar fort. At 9.30pm the interactive event The City Recites Držić will start at the Libertina Caffe Bar, hosted by Nataša Dangubić and Doris Šarić Kukuljica.

The leading partner of the Future Epics project is the Heartefact Fund of Belgrade while the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, as the first co-organiser, is joined by other partners: the Vitlycke Centre for Performing Arts (Tanumshede, Sweden) and the civil society organisation Tasca (Barcelona, Spain).

The coproducer of the accompanying art programme is the Lazareti Art Workshop and their project The City is Dead. Long Live the City! The Dubrovnik Summer Festival also thanks the Caboga Stiftung Foundation on their help in achieving the programme.