JASEN BOKO about Russian Case

JASEN BOKO, a theatre critic, artistic director of International Festival of Small-scale Theatre, Rijeka, Croatia

Russian Case programme within the frame of the Golden Mask Festival for me has always been a perfect showcase of contemporary Russian theatre which enabled me to bring several Russian performances to Festivals in Croatia (International Festival of Small- Scale Theatre, Rijeka), Slovenia (Ex Ponto, Ljubljana) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (MESS, Sarajevo).

Russian Case programme has always been well-planned and offered different kinds of performances and a very wide view on a stage life in contemporary Russia. There were always performances by big classics (Fomenko, Dodin, Vasilyev, Ginkas..) and younger and emerging forces (Krymov, Karbauskis, Boyakov, just to mention few) which made an excellent introduction into contemporary stage life of Russia.

I have also - thanks to RC – been introduced to several contemporary Russian playwrights and brought several new plays translated into English back home. I am considering offering some of them to Croatian Theatre.

Another excellent thing was that RC helped me make a lot of contacts within Russian theatre. I was introduced to several important critics, producers, directors, managers and playwrights – and kept in touch with them - which kept my window into contemporary Russian stage wide open for new contacts and future co-operation.

Here are some of the performances that I brought to Croatian, Bosnian and Slovenian Festivals after I saw them (or sometimes heard about them) during Russian Case:

2007 The Catalogue of the Hero, by Yana Tumina, Akhe, at Festival EX Ponto, Ljubljana Slovenia

2005 Dreams of Exile by Kama Ginkas, at Festival EX Ponto, Ljubljana Slovenia

2004 Dreams of Exile by Kama Ginkas, at Festival MESS, Sarajevo

2000 Chronicles by Yuri Lyubimov at International Festival of Small Scale Theatre

These performances came to Croatia also through direct or indirect help of RC:

2007 Three sisters by Pyotr Fomenko, at The Festival of World Theatre, Zagreb

2006. Moscow's Choir by Lev Dodin, at The Festival of World Theatre, Zagreb

2004 War and peace by Pyotr Fomenko, at The Festival of World Theatre, Zagreb

I also published several articles about Russian Case and performances I saw there for Croatian newspaper and magazines, as well as interviews with several Russian directors …

I have one serious complaint considering my visits to RC, although it is not connected to friendly and helpful RC stuff and definitely NOT their fault. Several times I have had serious problems connecting to Russian theatres, those people who are supposed to be a tour manager or producer, or at any position that should help organizing tour of the Russian theatre abroad.

…. in the conclusion I want to say: Russian Case is extremely good way of presenting the best in Russian theatre and main reason why so many Russian performances is traveling abroad. It is a perfect way to promote Russian theatre, and no wonder more and more countries are following the same example. Keep going!