S C E N A : časopis za pozorišnu umetnost
Novi Sad, 2004. broj 1 godina XL januar-mart YU ISSN 0036-5734



Is there a new sentimentalism in theatre and what could it refer to? Can its manifestations be labelled as a general tendency in the European context, a stylistic tone of certain national theatrical productions, a feature of a small number of playwrights or an emerging media-artistic trend whose proportions we have yet to assess?
The answers at the moment – as it is almost always the case with theatre – can only be conditional and fragmentary; a theatrical totality is never exhausted by an innovation limited to one level (the script, the director’s poetics, acting). However, in the past few years, within the context of Serbian theatrical production, we can notice certain shifts in genre but also in style which – in correlation with some trends in the European drama, but also independently from them – unequivocally point to an ever increasing presence of authors’ strategies of „critical melodrama”, „new intimism” or, yet more precisely, „new sentimentalism”.
We cannot, of course, overlook the fact that both the roots and the dynamics of such strategies within the Serbian theatrical production are conditioned by specific frameworks, in many respects disparate from those behind similar trends in other European countries. After all, the Serbian version of the European „new dramatic realism” (naturalism, „in-yer-face”) of the end of the last century – most effectively exemplified in the work of Biljana Srbljanovic (and, to a certain extent, Milena Markovic) – was also marked by original tonalities, often anthological but occasionally also anachronistic. Such experience demands additional attention in consideration of the outlined new tendencies: to notice the „quick” discontinuities and parallel developments of genre, the „slow” coexistences of thematic cores within stylistic turmoils, paradoxical cuts within an author’s work and similar. Thus it seems apt – at least as the first step in confronting some of the manifestations of the „new sentimentalism” in our country – to point to certain not so typical but exemplary works which, in a wider European context, harbinger, test or (partially or fully) materialize some of the features of this new sentimental Zeitgeist.

Prevela: Branka Arrivé

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