13th Dance & Non-verbal Theatre Festival San Vincenti
Sponsors & Media Patrons
Zagreb Dance Company
Hebrangova 36
10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Facebook Vimeo YouTube
Editorial 17th festival - Maja Đurinović

Editorial 17th festival - Maja Đurinović

„Savičenta“ or „San Vincenti“ – for me, this word always sparks a happy thought; it doesn't literally make me fly like Peter Pan (there is always something missing - fairy dust, for instance), but it definitely reminds me of Neverland.

In San Vincenti you could find the stairs into the sky, wall walkers who never heard of gravity, jumpers trying to reach the stars, either because they were inspired by the divine spark, or because they resorted to the physics of a trampoline. Under the striking starry sky od San Vincenti, some people were humble and fragile, others totally oblivious, wrapped up in their personal abysses, trying out the familiar patterns of living as a couple; some soaked the energy of the space and responded to it with rapturous exhilaration, others defied conventions, community, gravity (in short, various forms of restraints) or cleansed themselves through ritual... A big plush tiger fell on one performer, like from the Dali's painting.

San Vincenti Festival is the place where dance and non verbal, physical and ambiental theatre, multi-media and new circus, martial dance and various forms of corpography (physical expression of thoughts, feelings and stories) all meet. Started at the dawn of the third millenium of our civilization, it has grown into an exquisite cultural node, the meeting point of artists and spectators, nations and races, poetics and viewpoints, genres and styles. And all that in a summery playful, subtle, discreet and unpretentious way.

I thumb through my reviews of the Festival and write down the titles which strike me as revealing and significant (from the first review published in Vijenac on September 7, 2000, to the most recent one published at plesnascena.hr on September 7, 2015).

Dancing Istrian Beauty: this is how San Vincenti and I started our romance. I discovered a beautiful little town, and like many others I regularly meet here, accepted its „invitation to dance“.

In the Serene Rennaissance Spirit: as befits the harmonious, intimate and creative atmosphere of the town square and Grimani Castle, perfectly suitable to the poetics of contemporary dance. Which does not make them any less suitable for a capoeira performance, high-tech interactive installations or a hip hop version of Swan Lake.

Five Days of Dance-Polis: the awarenes that the Festival transforms San Vincenti into a city-state, the „promised land“ of dance and movement for the privileged nation of Utopians from all countries. Can it last longer, I wonder.

From trampoline to screensaver: I am fascinated by the range of human ludism. Unpredictable and unconventional, always meant differently, stemming from diverse sources and reasons.

Dance maneuvering (and) Under, Above and Across the Stage: these two titles blended into one spontaneously, bringing to mind the enchanting space of the town square with its different, unexpected viewpoints, so that the performances are staged in the loggia, in front of the ancient well or the Castle wall, or in the alleys by the church. And then of course, looking forward to the central event of the evening on the main stage within the Castle walls. And now the Mediterranean Centre as well!

Memento Mori Under the Starry Sky: fragile beings searching for knowledge, from the first bite into the forbidden apple, through the bliss of living with another and the loneliness of the end, to the secret of the transition beyond physical presence. And a requiem. One evening, we received the news about the death of Merce Cunningham, who died peacefully and in an advanced age. Not far from San Vincenti is Beram, or more precisely, the church of St. Mary of the Rocks with the amazing fresco called „Dance of the Dead“ painted in 1474 by master Vicent of Kastav. In this fresco, Death dances happily to the music played by the skeleton-piper. Was that the first illustration of dance in Croatian art?

Dorothy, Dorothy, Take Me to Oz: this poetic witty remark of the Croatian writer Ivan Slamnig came with the cold wind which tried to prevent us from watching the performances several times, but without success. We borrowed warm jackets from the local citizens, the Festival's artistic director Snježana Abramović Milković provided blankets and shots of brandy. We suffered casualties, but we did not admit defeat!

Promising Feet: it is impossible to remember everybody who danced in and with San Vincenti, so we don't even try to get acquainted with them all. What remains are the impressions, ideas, emotions, skills, images. And program booklets – for records and reminder. But in a small country like Croatia, we practically know all „our“ dancers and performers, and nothing beats the moment when, just when you thought that nothing could surprise you any longer, you discover a new pair of authentic, singular feet. And they make your day.

Maja Đurinović

« back
In collaboration with
With the support
Istarska županija Ministarstvo kulture RH Istarska županija Općina Svetvinčenat Ambasada Španjolske
TelepART The Arts Council of Uusimaa Wallonie-Bruxelles International Kultura nova Hrvatska turistička zajednica
TZ Istarske županije Geoing Perinić Sistemi
Media Patrons
Jutarnji list Glas Istre Radio Istra Radio Kastav Labin