Sterijino Pozorje Festival - Novi Sad / Belgrade - 16/09-20/09-2015

The 15th International Symposium of Theatre Critics and Theatre Scholars / Critic is Present Or: Towards the Embodied Criticism

Sterijino Pozorje, Novi Sad /
International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) /
Bitef, Belgrade

Novi Sad and Belgrade, Serbia, September 16th - 20th, 2015

The traditional International Symposium of Theatre Critics and Theatre Scholars will be held on September 17th and 18th 2015 in Novi Sad (Cultural Center of Novi Sad, big hall), organized by Sterijino Pozorje, the Festival of National Drama and Theatre, in collaboration with the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC/AICT) and Bitef (Belgrade)

Ass. Prof. Dr Ivan Medenica
University of Arts, Belgrade (Serbia), Director of Conferences of the IATC

Keynote speaker
Prof. Dr Christopher Balme
Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich (Germany),
President of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR/FIRT)


Does the critic have a body? Is he/she present? Is his activity an embodied (performing) practice? Is he/she just a voice coming from above and spreading "the truth”?

In some contemporary streams of theatre and performance studies – in the works of Erika Fischer-Lichte, among others – a performance is not seen as a piece made on/for the stage. This would rather be – staging (in German: inszenierung; in French: mise en scene). The notion of "performance” refers to the very "eventness” of theatre situation: to the idea that performance emerges not on the stage but "in between” stage and auditorium, as a result of the constant bodily, energetic, emotional, intellectual and spiritual exchange between spectators and actors/performers. There is no material "piece of art”, there is only an event – transient, fluid, changeable and susceptible to all physical and other sensations. It vanishes as soon as the performance is over, leaving only material traces of its already past existence. Seen in this theoretical perspective, a spectator is not a recipient of the performance any more, but its co-author.

What about the critic? Is his/her position changed in this perspective as well? It seems that it is. If a critic is supposed, like any other spectator, to experience a unique event rather than to understand (read, interpret…) an elaborated net of scenic signs, then this position influences the main task of theatre criticism. Is his task an interpretation and evaluation of a theatre piece, or rather a description and testimony of the experience in a particular event?

From the perspective of Erika Fishcer-Lichte, this kind of criticism is much more important for theatre and performance research and for historiography of theatre than the "classical one”. If performance is a shared experience, an event which emerges in the "now and here”, then the thoughtful, analytical insight into performance that could be used for further research is the one which describes and analyses this experience from a subjective position. But if this is true for theatre research, is it also true for the spectators’ expectations? Do they also need a competent and informed partner in experiencing theatre rather than an interpreter and judge of a particular theatre piece?

The experience of bodily co-presence is not only a material for further description, elaboration and analysis in criticism: it could be the very means or media of criticism. In other words, we can expend the notion of the critic’s bodily co-presence to the critical practice itself: to the practice which is not new at all – Georges Banu and Jovan Hristić have discussed it at this very Symposium a few decades ago – but is still rare and "alternative”: oral criticism. Although the first impression is that oral criticism is a random, improvised and spontaneous practice, it can be shaped as well: shaped in a form of public discussion just after the performance, with critics coming (and sitting) on the stage, spectators still in the auditorium, and artists joining critics on the stage or spectators in the auditorium.

That is how criticism literally becomes an embodied performing practice. Is this an advantage or disadvantage in comparison to the classical critical practice? One doesn’t have time to rethink and correct his/her analysis like in the process of writing; the direct emotional reaction is obviously more visible, and the analysis and evaluation doesn’t imply a position of security, objectivity and authority. Anybody could immediately interrupt him/her or reply to his/her arguments. Does this make the critic more vulnerable? Does this, on the contrary, provide him/her with a possibility to exert a much stronger influence and impact on his/her listeners? It is enough to stress the bodily, expressive strategies that can be used to make the oral presentation of one’s thoughts more efficient… Could this become a sustainable alternative way of practicing theatre criticism in situations/societies where criticism is suppressed by the media’s market laws or other different kinds of censorship?

We hope that the Symposium will provide answers to some of these questions.

T I M E T A B L E...

Thursday, 17th September 2015

Morning session

Moderators:Prof. Dr Christopher Balme, Associate Prof. Dr Ivan Medenica

I. Opening Ceremony (10:00-11:00)

Introduction and welcome speeches
- Associate Prof. Dr Ivan Medenica, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade (Serbia)
- Margareta Sörenson, President of the International Association of Theater Critics (IATC), Stockholm (Sweden)

Keynote speech
- Prof. Dr Christopher Balme, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich (Germany)

II. The Emancipated Spectator as a Critic, the Critic as an Emancipated Spectator: New Scene, New Economy, New (or Old?) Critic (11:00-12:45)

- Prof. Dr Aleksandra Jovićević, La Sapienza University, Rome (Italy), New Spectator as a Critic
- Claudia Provvedini, Theater Critic of Corriera della Sera, Milan (Italy), Witness, "theoros"
- Dr Nenad Jelesijević, Publicist and Researcher, Ljubljana (Slovenia), Collaging the Performative Situation: the Critic, the Performer and the Audience on Stage and Beyond it
- MA Swati Arora, Researcher, Delhi/Exeter (India/England), Reviewing the Critic’s Habitus
- Discussion

Coffee break: 12:45-13:00

III. "Theory Workshop": Presentation/Demonstration (13:00-14:00)

- Associate Prof. Dr Ata Unal, Okan University Conservatory, Istanbul (Turkey), "Theory Workshop”: Introduction
- Dr Ozlem Hemis, Lecturer at Kadir Has University, Istanbul (Turkey), Confronting Criticism
- MA Ayse Draz Orhon, Researcher, Istanbul (Turkey), Reflections and Questions on Written Criticism
- Discussion

Lunch break: 14:00-15:30

Afternoon session

Moderators: Margareta Sörenson, Prof. Dr Aleksandra Jovićević

IV. From Different Aspects of Embodied Criticism to the Absence of any Embodiment (in Criticism) (15:30-17:15)

- Associate Prof. Dorothy Chansky, PhD, Texas Tech University, Lubbock (USA), Lone body/Lone voice: Historicizing critic Wilella Waldorf
- Dr Rui Pina Coelho, Lecturer at the Theatre and Film School and University of Lisbon, Lisbon (Portugal), The Living Museum of my generation’s failure: On The Living Museum of Small, Forgotten and Unwanted Memories by Joana Craveiro/ Teatro do Vestido
- MA Tina Perić, Researcher, Belgrade (Serbia), The Critic and his Body: When the Mind Becomes Silent
- Dr Irina Antonova, Theater Critic and Researcher, Almaty (Kazakhstan), Reconstruction of History in Theatre Criticism
- Discussion

Friday, 18th September 2015

Morning session

Moderators: Assoc. Prof Dorothy Chansky, Claudia Provvedini

V. Oral Criticism and/or "Internal Criticism" and Their Manifestations at Theater Festivals (9:30-11:00)

- MA Diana Damian-Martin, Lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London (England), Deliberation, Embodiment and Oral Criticism: A Case Study on Spill Festival of Performance
- Dr Milivoje Mlađenović, Lecturer at the Pedagogical Faculty in Sombor (Serbia), The Round Table of Critics at Sterijino Pozorje Festival as an Alternative Form of Theater Criticism
Dr Ksenija Radulović, Lecturer at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade (Serbia), The Critic as an Outsider and as an Insider: the Phenomenon of Internal Criticism
- Discussion

Coffee break: 11:00-11:15

VI. Critic's Practice: Experiences, Challenges, Questions (11:15-13:00)

- Margareta Sörenson, Theater Critic of Expressen, President of IATC, Stockholm (Sweden), Criticism IRL: Dancing, Touching, Sharing or the Critic Goes Poet
- Dr Glenda Frank, Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York, New York (USA), The Critic Is Present
- Madhav Vaze, Actor, Director, Theater Critic, Pune (India), Embodied Theater Criticism/ Oral Criticism
Dr Milan Madjarev, Researcher, Belgrade (Serbia), Critic and Body: Or How I Learned to Write About Physical Theater
- Discussion

VII. Closure of the Symposium (13:00-13:30)

- Closing remarks: Prof. Dr Christopher Balme, Assoc. Prof. Dr Ivan Medenica

Lunch: 14:00
P A R T I C I P A N T S / P A P E R S...

Ms Irina ANTONOVA (Kazakhstan) - Reconstruction of the History in Theatre Criticism
Mme Irina ANTONOVA (Kazakhstan) - La reconstitution historique dans la critique théâtrale
Ms Diana DAMIAN MARTIN (UK) - Deliberation, Embodiment and Oral Criticism: A Case Study on Spill Festival of Performance
Ms Glenda FRANK (USA) - The Critic is Present
Mr Nenad JELESIJEVIĆ (Slovenia) - Collaging the Performative Situation : the Critic, the Performer, and the Audience on Stage and beyond It
Mr Ajay JOSHI (India) - The Critic - An Enigma?
Ms Aleksandra JOVIĆEVIĆ (Italy / Serbia) - The Fall and Rise of the Theatre Critic
Mr Milan MAĐAREV (Serbia) - A Critic and a Body Or How I have learned to write about the theatre of movement
Mr Milivoje MLAĐENOVIĆ (Serbia) - The Sterijino Pozorje Round Table of Critics as a Form of Alternative Theatre Criticizm
Mr Mehdi NASIRI (Iran) - The Criticism Connected to Performance - About Holding Oral Criticism in Theatre of Iran
Mr Rui PINA COELHO (Portugal) - The Living Museum of my generation’s failure : On The Living Museum of Small, Forgotten and Unwanted Memories by Joana Craveiro / Teatro do Vestido
Ms Tina PERIĆ (Serbia) - The critic and his body : when the mind becomes silent
Ms Claudia PROVVEDINI (Italy) - Witness, “Theoros"
Mme Claudia PROVVEDINI (Italie) - Le temoin, “Theoros"
Ms Ksenija RADULOVIĆ (Serbia) - The Critic as an Outsider and as an Insider (the phenomenon of internal criticism)
Ms Margareta SÖRENSON (Sweden) - Criticism IRL : dancing, touching, sharing or The Critic goes Poet
Mr Madhav VAZEV (India) - Embodied Theatre Criticism / Oral Criticism
THEORY WORKSHOP Ms Ayşe DRAZ ORHON (Turkey) - Reflections and Questions on Written Criticism

Ms Özlem HEMIŞ (Turkey) - Confronting Criticism
.The management preserves the right to change the schedule
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