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Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction


Janez Janša’s theatre reconstruction of the cult and - for the Slovenian theatre - groundbreaking neoavantgarde performance by Dušan Jovanović brings about the spirit of the 60s, while at the same time exposes the distance toward that time and the procedures of the reconstruction.

The reconstruction of the performance, which is impregnated with the spirit of experiment and resistance, is itself an experiment, since reconstructions of performances are not common in Slovenia. The emphasis is thus on theatrical speech as well as on its contextualization and recontextualization. The performance is furnished with conversations and interventions by the original cast and also with reproductions of the responses to it. It stresses the procedures used in the original performance, with the focus on openness and non-formality. The reconstructors put special interest in how to re-enact the following elements:
— commonness and unskilfulness
— non-spectacularity and extremity of execution
— open improvisation and folklore and military discipline
— collective mind and mindlessness
— open, non-aestheticized and non-linear language and political engagement. 

Pupilija's politicality was primarily in its resistance to all forms of authority and not in the direct expression of political protest. Pupilija distances itself, mocks and subverts authorities, from external (state, nation, party, church, market) to internal (theatre and aesthetic). With incredibly suggestive, yet almost innocent speech, it easily attracts today's viewer. The reconstruction also accentuates certain issues, adopting a polemic stance toward the thus far attempted interpretations of the performance. Namely, the majority of interpretations emphasize the rituality of the performance, although from today's distance it is clear that the actors' performance displays a certain distance to expressivity, characteristic of the ’60s. Herein also lies the essential difference between Pupilija and let us say Living Theatre. 

The next dimension that the performance attempts to lay open is the introduction of contemporary dance. Namely, it is typical of all the countries of socialism and communism to hinder the development of artistic dance. Dance therefore struggled through experimental performing formats. The reconstruction reactualizes also the question of collectives, circles and "the scene" in the societies of neoliberal capitalism. 


Reconstructed and directed by: Janez Janša
Created and performed by: Aleksandra Balmazović, Gregor Cvetko, Dražen Dragojevič, Lado Jakša, Alja Kapun, Boštjan Narat, Matjaž Pikalo, Dejan Srhoj, Ajda Toman, Irena Tomažin, Grega Zorc
Music: Gregor Cvetko, Lado Jakša, Boštjan Narat
Lead technician: Igor Remeta
Assistant director: Samo Gosarič
Projections: Samo Gosarič, Emil Hrvatin, Igor Štromajer
Camera operators: Gregor Lipičar, Iztok Sajdl
Montage: Gorazd Kernel
Makeup artist: Barbara Pavlin
Photography: Marcandrea Bragalini 

Executive producer: Barbara Hribar
Production: Maska
Co-production: Festival EX PONTO, Bunker Productions
Co-producer of video: Videoprodukcija Kregar

Sponsor: Elle magazine 


Thanks to: Center and Gallery P-74, Festival Ljubljana, RTV Slovenia.

Special thanks to all the members of the original cast of the performance Pupilija, papa Pupilo pa Pupilčki, especially to Dušan Jovanović, Ivo Svetina, Barbara Levstik and Goranka Kreačič.

The project is co-funded by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana.

Techincal rider:


— 04-04-2007 : Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction
Old factory, Ljubljana
Emil Hrvatin

— 13-04-2008 : Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction
Anton Podbevšek Theatre, Novo Mesto, Slovenia
Janez Janša

— 22-04-2008 : Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction
Centre for fine arts, Brussels
Janez Janša

— 15-05-2008 : Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction
IETM, Old municipal power station (Smeel), Ljubljana
Janez Janša

— 26-06-2008 : Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction
Centrul Nacional al Dansului Bucuresti, Bucharest, Romania
Janez Janša

— 24-07-2008 : Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction
Mittelfest Festival, Cividale del Friuli, Italy
Janez Janša

— 26-06-2010 : Pupilija, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks - reconstruction, 26.6.2010 at 20:00, Conference: The Idea of Communism, Philosophy and