Bitef, September 17-26
Bitef, an acronym for Belgrade international theater festival, is the key autumn cultural event in Belgrade. The Festival is bringing great international performances to Belgrade, including pieces from best European directors, as well as modern theater techniques, many of them still not in frequent use Serbian theaters.
This year, Bitef will raise the curtains for the 53rd time, opening on September 17th a closing nine days later. Bitef’s art director this year is Ivan Medenica, a renown theater critic and theorist. This year’s motto is “Let’s start love from the beginning”, sending an optimistic message, but a closer look shows that most of the pieces are, although of the highest quality, still very serious, and even tragic.
The main program
The festival’s main program will be staged at the National Theater, Yugoslav Drama Theater, Theater on Terazije square and a few other locations, still unconfirmed. One play will take place on Belgrade’s streets, during each day of the festival, inviting passersby to take put on the headphones and take their part in the performance by following instructions and walking through the city. This is the project of Rimini Protocol, a live play that changes name depending od which city it currently take place.
The most intriguing, and, as Medenica stressed, the corner play of the entire Bitef, is “Orestes in Mosul”. The play is a multimedia mix of classic Greek tragedy and tragic events from the modern times. It is placed in city of Mosul in Iraq, devastated both by IS and the offensive to liberate it by Iraqi and American forces.
Among the plays from Southeastern Europe, we must mention “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” by SNG Drama from Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is a new interpretation of famous Fassbinder’s movie from 1974, with a very current theme of love between older German woman and a migrant.
Ticket reservations from Aug 15th.
Among other play, the audience will also enjoy pieces from France, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Serbia, Nigeria and Brazil. Ticket reservation will start on Aug 15th and will last until the end of the month. Tickets will be sold from September, 1.
September is a great month for visiting Belgrade, as most of regular summer tourists are gone and you can book an apartment at Sky Apartments just few days in advance, with Bitef being an additional reason to come.