Making Bolero: dramaturgies of remembrance

Pinchbeck, Michael (2018) Making Bolero: dramaturgies of remembrance. In: Staging loss: performance as commemoration. Palgrave Macmillan, London. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

This chapter reflects on Bolero, a multi-lingual, devised performance I directed in 2014 exploring war, conflict and music devised in the Balkans. I explore working in these contexts and weaving together dramaturgies of remembrance. I discuss the way narratives are interwoven to address the way the Bosnian war was somewhat overlooked in the West at the time. This conflict took place in a cultural and personal blindspot. Bolero is both a eulogy for lost lives and an apology for not knowing enough about them. We worked with the Bosnian artist, Haris Pasovic, as a dramaturg on the project who was involved in a number of projects at the time of the Bosnian War and since – including The Red Line (2012). His input ensured we were aware of historical and contemporaneous acts of remembrance that took place in Sarajevo. I highlight strategies we employed and draw on Dragan Klaic’s contribution to Theatre in Crisis (2002), where he writes about the vital role theatre plays in times of conflict.

This project sought to shine a light on the human tragedy that consumed Sarajevo and the Balkans and I invited its Bosnian cast members, who lived through the war, to share their autobiographical experiences of the siege as part of the piece. In doing so, we hoped to counter the notion that the conflict was an ‘act of memoricide’, erasing a collective cultural memory. The role I played was to seek ways in which our theatre-making might find a shared language and it is this role as director which underpins my chapter. Bolero was devised with an international cast, and toured to Bosnia & Herzegovina and Kosovo since its premiere at Nottingham Playhouse in May 2014. It was performed in Sarajevo on the centenary of the assassination and supported by the British Council and Arts Council England. In doing so, it marked 100 years since the start of one conflict in Sarajevo while commemorating another.

Keywords:dramaturgy, theatre, devising, narrative, commemoration, performance, interculturality, memory, memorialisation, Remembrance
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:29007
Deposited On:24 Oct 2017 13:38

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