“The resistance to arts is simultaneously resistance to the new, the unpredictable.”
Orpheus is playing, but only few people are listening to him! Is the problem with him or with those who refuse to listen? If the characters of Orpheus are looked for on the ground of the Balkan theatre, it will certainly be difficult for us to identify all the faces of the recipients of Orpheus’ play. But what kind of play are we actually dealing with?
Orpheus’ theatre, which can be tantamount to that of Titus Andronicus1F, is a polygon inundated with clowns and actors. The clowns do not hide their attitude towards things and their play is more explicit, but actors are inclined to double play, and often to persiflage. According to this, is the overly-sensitivity of the actor’s being put on the verge of the tempestuous millenium upheaval leading to an escape from the real play and indulgence to a non-theatrical form of existence?! The response lies in the generation of actors born near the end of the sixties and the beginning of the seventies, at the time of the expansion of the anti-theatre.
“Man will be surprised by and angry at many sharp predictions: today, the same as yesterday, it is apparent that many things remain outwards of any predictions,” says Jacque Attali regarding the position of man in the new century, in his study “The Two-Thousand Years”2F. This ascertainment can also be taken into account in the analysis of the current general state of affairs in the theatre, which is a product of the chaos of living and the systems of living dictated by the state institutions. Democracy and pluralism have imposed a new recourse of comprehension of theatre. This manner is frequently vulgar. You may say, in life as well there is sufficient vulgarity. Yes, but theatre is at a disposal to everybody, even the youngest, the children. What could happen if without an author’s censure, the front pages of the majority of printed media (these include even some tending to be highly serious) continue to be overwhelmed with “modern” sexy-phone hotlines?! It seems to me that in this case it is related not to modernity but simply, to frustration. This term entails thereof the existence of misanthropy, hypocrisy, and eventually, mimicry. There is likelihood that in the last decade there are more and more “actors” in life and fewer Actors on the theater and fewer People on the life scenes. The countenance of the modern man, which unnaturally swiftly transforms itself every single moment, assumes a new value. For this face, Paul Valery, in his collection “Small Exercises” says, “The face is a carrier of all devices needed for reception of emissions whose source is not in contact with the body.”3F
At the end of the 19th century, a historic scene where Macedonian ups and downs were parading in front of the background of Ottoman turmoil reinforced by the appetites of the neighbours, Macedonia launches a number of devotees of the new European thought. One of them is Vojdan Cernodrinski, whose work has so far been only poorly and superfluously presented, bearing in mind the revolutionary purport (from theatre aspect) of his plays, a part of which have never been staged4F. The rise of Petar Mandzukov is worth mentioning too, who was a co-sufferer and collaborator of Cernodrinski and whose lines were published in a more complete edition a century afterwards. We must not forget Naum Manilov either, who paradoxically ascended to the poetic heights of the century. All these are characters of particular actors (Orpheuses), whose reflections ought to be memorised and perpetuated since these are not only characters from our alley, but characters of a worldwide format, whose presence in our cultural milieu should be elevated forever.
Oblivion is one of the most painful features of the homonovus, especially if it is imposed, forced, and calculated. History must not be forgotten. Just like the theatre play. They are acts that must not extinguish, even at the cost of whatsoever law. The repudiation of the time we have passed with all our being, no matter whether in the course of history or in the course of a theatre play, means playing with ourselves, creation of an actor or a clown out of man. Life is not a circus though, but God’s will. Everything else is a question of a personal choice and ineradicable part of our experience, i.e. a personal memory. Or – a style?!
However, the style is inflicted by time, not by people. The change of styles of life, play, behaviour, or rules, is a phenomenon to be examined also in the prosperity of clowns and actors at the home scene. “The illusion of reality, is reality of the illusion,” wrote Northrop Fray. And why to make life imagination out of theatre reality? The answer lies disclosed behind our faces.
Translated by: Kristina Zimbakova
1. See the scene between Titus and the Clown, scene 3, act 4: William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, Leipzig, Bernhard Tauchitz, 1868, p.55-56
2. Jacque Attali, Lines of the Horyzon (Lignes d’horizon, Fayard ,1990, Paris), translated by Blagoja Velkovski-Kras, Misla, Skopje, 1993, p.114
3. Paul Valery, Melange (Melange, Oeuvres, I, Biblioteque de la Pleiade, Editions Gallimard, 1957), translated by Mirjana trenceva, Makedonska kniga, Skopje, 1988, p.60
4. Naum Panovski, World is a stage of the revolution for freedom or when and where is played the drama story in: Theatre as Weapon (Naum Panovski, Svetot e scena na osloboditelnata revolucija ili koga i kade se odigruva dramskata prikazna vo: Teatarot kako oruzhje), Kultura, 1991, p. 9-21