Handan Uzal Dündar on performances in the festival programme

Handan Uzal Dündar is visiting the Varna Summer Theatre Festival as programming manager of the Istanbul Theatre Festival. She shares with Dessislava Vassileva her comments about performances from the festival programme that she saw.

From the festival programme I saw NT Live’s ‘The Seagull’. We used to do the same kind of screenings. There were some interesting ideas. But I found it really long and filled with cliches. I was expecting more.

‘Freefall’ was interesting. I’m really interested in this kind of works, but we don’t often program such performances in our festival. We do program dance; we try to keep the balance. But our audience is not very familiar with dance performances. When we’re talking about dance, we don’t mean just ballet, but mostly contemporary big stage shows.

Today I saw Rabih Mroué’s ‘Riding on a cloud’. I’ve seen already a production by him, it was ‘33 rounds and a few seconds’. I know his way of staging. This one was of course very touching because of the real story of his brother. The idea of representation was really interesting. This time I think the story was too real, I find it a little bit strange to stage it at that level. While watching it, I was always thinking about the Bulgarian audience and the festival audience. I was wondering if the spectators found it interesting. I have no idea about the Bulgarian audience but as far as I understand from their reaction to ‘Silk’, they are more interested in traditional works.

‘Silk’ was an impressive production. Very traditional, of course. But all the elements were used in a very good, beautiful and delicate way. I liked it. The text is also special. I haven’t read the novel, but I know Alessandro Baricco’s work. I am glad that I saw this show.

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