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Festivals in Focus

Festivals in Focus

Dragan Klaic
Christopher Maughan
Franco Bianchini
Including The Future of European Festivals by Bernard Faivre d’Arcier
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    Festivals in Focus
    Book Description:

    The proliferation of festivals across the world has given birth to a new academic field: festival studies. Before his premature death Dragan Klaic was the greatest early authority of this discipline. Festivals in Focus contains the last essays which Klaic composed as introductory chapters for a collected volume on festivals. The four essays display the author’s sharp critical ability and raise stimulating questions about cultural festivals not just in Europe but worldwide. Klaic succinctly addresses the historical evolution of festivals, as well as their types, contents and settings.

    eISBN: 978-963-08-7941-5
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. ii-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xx)
    Christopher Maughan, Franco Bianchini and Robyn Archer

    Whilst Dragan Klaic was principally known as a theatre and cultural policy scholar his interest in festivals was long standing. The BelgradeInternational Theatre Festival (Bitef), which had been founded in 1967, clearly had a big influence upon him. As Michael Coveney writes in his obituary of Dragan: “Bitefbecame a crucible for the kind of cultural exchanges that Klaic relished ..... a bridge between the explosion in western counterculture and the reconsideration of Slavic and Russian classical traditions.”¹

    From 1978-1991 Dragan was Professor of Theatre History and Drama at the University of Arts in Belgrade and worked as theatre...

  4. Festivals in Focus

    • 1 A Historical Perspective
      (pp. 3-34)
      Dragan Klaic

      The origins of today’s festivals can be traced back to ancient feasts and celebrations of a ritual character, as societies and social groups sought to punctuate the flow of ordinary time with special occasions and endow them with meaning as symbolic affirmations of a community’s continuity and welfare. Whether they expressed allegiance to supernatural powers, their ancestors or current rulers, societies created a sequence of ritualised actions and deeds that symbolically reinforced their hierarchies, sense of the self and value systems. These festivals occurred at fixed times in the course of the year, marked by the changes of the seasons,...

    • 2 Facets of festivals
      (pp. 35-50)
      Dragan Klaic

      Every large European city seems to be sliding from one festival to another all year round. Without any fear of saturation, moreover, and with a belief that for every festival type, sort, concept and theme there is an audience to be found, the endless merry go round of festivals spins at increasing speed across Europe, making the usage of the word festival increasingly arbitrary. A HP festival turns out to be a promotional campaign to unload older models of Hewlett Packard printers for a discount price.Leiden Festivalis a student recruitment event at Leiden University.Bijenkorf Festivalis a...

    • 3 Programming Strategies
      (pp. 51-66)
      Dragan Klaic

      Most festivals seek to offer one coherent and condensed programme, but in the world of feature film festivals, where commercial interests tend to prevail and the availability of new productions is large, it is common to introduce several programme series that run in parallel during the festival, in addition to the main, ‘official’ programme. Those performing arts festivals that at some point decide to launch an ‘off’ or ‘alternative’ programme are probably seeking to demonstrate their openness to new/young talent and experimental tendencies, to be featured alongside established and more prestigious work, but run the risk of being accused of...

    • 4 The space of festivals
      (pp. 67-78)
      Dragan Klaic

      This essay considers the spatial dimension of festival activities, both in the city and in the countryside, the variants of the site used and the importance of the spatial context and a festival’s impact upon it.

      There is some debate about whether it is better for festivals to be concentrated in one place or dispersed in a larger urban zone. If all festival activities are concentrated in one space, a congress centre, a theatre venue, a concert hall, this can serve as a social hub for the festival, a place of socialisation, where participants will more easily be able to...

  5. Memories to Dragan Klaic

    • Kulturträger Dragan Klaic
      (pp. 81-96)
      Krzysztof Czyżewski

      The Polish edition of Mobility of Imaginationwas the first book by Dragan Klaic published in Poland¹³, although some of his articles and columns appeared in Polish periodicals and edited books. The modest amount of publications stands in contrast with the number of his friends, collaborators and disciples this indefatigable thinker, expert, lecturer and traveller had in Poland. The contrast is even bigger if we consider his imposing expertise in Polish culture concerning not only theatre, that he knew inside out, but also literature, history, Polish-Jewish relations, the traditions of the ParisianKultura¹⁴, KOR (Workers’ Defence Committee) and Solidarity, and...

    • Dragan Klaic’s legacy: Europe as a never ending conversation
      (pp. 97-100)
      Anne-Marie Autissier

      Before I met Dragan, I edited some of his articles forCulture Europe International. At that time, we were a small team devoted to a quarterly magazine (in French and English) Culture Europe International that was trying to offer readers a comparative view of cultural policies and practices throughout Europe. I was actively looking for a specialist on Eastern and Central Europe. Odile Chenal (European Cultural Foundation) told me: “I know whom you need”. That was in 1994. We started working together enthusiastically, and one day, finally, I met Dragan.

      Since then, we never stopped writing to each other, exchanging...

    • Dragan Klaic 1950-2011: A reflection
      (pp. 101-108)
      Rose Fenton and Lucy Neal

      It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Dragan Klaic, a passionate European, a great intellectual force, an inspiring teacher, and a delightful, if at times maddening friend, who kept you on your toes with his quick thinking, provocative statements and challenging questions.

      LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre)first encountered Dragan in 1993 the year after he had gone into voluntary exile following the bloody and traumatic breakup of Yugoslavia. In July 1993 the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo – Dragan’s birthplace - was on the verge of collapse, as the Serbian forces closed in from the surrounding...

  6. The Future of European Festivals
    (pp. 109-120)
    Bernard Faivre d’Arcier

    Even if we sometimes trace the word ‘festival’ back to its ancient root (calling to mind the traditional events of Bayreuth, Orange and Verona), the idea of the arts festival as we know it is relatively recent. The modern festival has evolved as part of the ‘leisure society’, with its extended summer holidays and its all-pervasive media. The theatre festival in Avignon, the oldest and best known of all the French festivals, was founded in 1947 by actor and director Jean Vilar. Yet Vilar would never have imagined the success and geographical expansion that the future would bring to the...

  7. List of European Festival Research Programme Workshops
    (pp. 121-124)
  8. Index of Names
    (pp. 125-128)
  9. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 129-131)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 132-132)