CONCERT “JEREMIAH’S TAVERN”, ASSOCIATION “DANICA” FROM AUSTRIA
Vocal-instrumental Company Danica Salzburg, Austria
Our people say that tavern is a traditional endowment, a place where people have a good time, with brandy and wine that are even better; a place one can come in knowing no one and leaving with four best friends.
The travelling programme Jeremija’s Tavern offers more than a story of an imaginary tavern, but attempts to draw attention to the function of an inn in the past through music, poetry and narration. It was not only the place to eat, drink and party, but to make important decisions. In taverns, among other things, parliaments held their sessions, peace treaties were negotiated, taverns sometimes served as courts and prisons.
Screenplay, choreography, music, texts and directed by Zoran ŠIJAKOVIĆ
Jeremija, the tavern owner: Stanko MILOŠEVIĆ
Waitress: Anica MILOŠEVIĆ
The tavern singer: Katarina PAVLOVIĆ
Narrators: Werner FORSTER
Vocal soloists: Izvorinka MILOŠEVIĆ and Miroslav Mika MARKOVIĆ
Zither soloist: Wilfried SCHARF
Dance and vocal-instrumental company Danica
More about Zoran Šijaković on: www.danica-salzburg.at/zoran-sijakovic
Audience at Jeremija’s until the Closing Time
The premiere of the play Jeremija’s Tavern, produced by the Association Danica from Salzburg in the Maestro theatre from Linz, exceeded all expectations by both the audience’s response and the performance as such. Through this interesting one-and-half-hour theatrical show, the members of Danica took the audience into the past, depicting by their virtuoso acting, poetry, music and dance a somewhat forgotten atmosphere of a Serbian tavern. The acting skills of the protagonists – the married couple Stanko and Anica Milošević in the roles of Jeremija and Waitress – earned them the audience’s appreciation and a well-deserved applause. The narrators, Emina Jevremović and Werner Forster, did their best to present some of the tavern culture typical of the Serbs in Serbian and German, describing the appearance of the first Serbian taverns in Austria and offering interesting historical facts and narrating events associated with them, mentioning figures such as Vuk Stefanović Karadžić and Petar Petrović Njegoš, among others. Featured as a guest, the instrumentalist and vocalist from Vienna – Života Žika Savić gave a virtuoso interpretation of gipsy songs, having been greeted on the stage by a round of applause. All of this was shaped by the dance troupe Danica to the musical accompaniment of the vocal-instrumental ensemble of the same name, presenting a repertoire of the most beautiful Serbian songs and dances that brought the audience to their feet.
The first Serbian taverns in Austria date back to the period of the Siege of Vienna and the expulsion of the Turks. They were located outside the city walls in the so called Ratzen town, named after the Rascians – as the Serbs were called back then in the Habsburg Monarchy. After the walls were removed, the Serbian population settled in the vicinity of the market called Fleischmarkt. The most popular tavern from that time was Serbischer Gasthof, located in the Rotenturmstraße Street. The tavern offered the first Serbian menu and Serbs used to celebrate many of their special occasions there.
The Vocal-instrumental Company DANICAe
Founded in 1999 in Salzburg, the Company is among the few who perform traditional Balkan folk and urban music in Austria. The first members of the ensemble were former students of Salzburg’s Mozarteum University who originally came from ex-Yugoslavia, now living and working all around the world. Since then the number of DANICA’s associates and members of the vocal-instrumental company has grown to more than 30.
Besides the instrumental virtuosity and polyphonic singing, the company’s distinctive feature is its linguistic diversity, which has influenced the company’s work in the last decade, and given it a unique authenticity. It has enabled the expansion of the existing repertoire and made way for numerous collaborations with various artists and performers.
The DANICA Company is proud of its successful participation in a number of festivals throughout Europe, as well as guest performances on the major European musical stages. This year, DANICA is going to appear, among numerous performances and concerts, on the stage of the world-famous Brucknerhaus in the Austrian town of Linz.
What are the leading programming paradigms in your theatre; what are the guiding ideas and how does your wider environment you live in and the linguistic-cultural narrower environment influence conceptualizing the place and role of your institution?
DANICA is an association founded in 1999 in Salzburg that gave birth to the vocal-instrumental and dance companies of the same name. The desire to hone culture and tradition, a certain dissatisfaction with the activities of the existing local associations, and certainly a response to what was going on in SR Yugoslavia at that time, resulted in the foundation of DANICA.
The first members of the ensemble were former students of Salzburg’s Mozarteum University who originally came from ex-Yugoslavia. Their musical background was not only a precondition for the very formation of the company, but it led to the rapid development of the vocal-instrumental ensemble. Besides the instrumental virtuosity and polyphonic singing, the company’s distinctive feature is its linguistic diversity, which has influenced the company’s work in the last decade and given it a unique authenticity. It has enabled the expansion of the existing repertoire and made way for numerous collaborations with various artists and performers.
Theatrical art and stage presentations come as a consequence or a result of the vocal-instrumental company’s success. That is how the plays such as Jelena and Josef; You, I and Vuk; Musical Duel; and Jeremija’s Tavern were created, as well as a number of full-length concert program with elements of acting. Among them are: Life as an Operetta – Berta von Sutner; Serbian Arias; and The Testament – Albert Nobel.
What is the influence of the theatrical life in your country on your theatre and what is the influence of your theatre on the development of the theatrical creativity as such in your widest creative environment?
We are creating in a German speaking environment and it was clear that our programming had to be adjusted accordingly, while trying to preserve our own identity. Rereading the interviews from the time of DANICA’s foundation, I have realized that we have exceeded our own objectives in regard to honing culture and tradition I mentioned earlier, and at the same time, we have made a grand entrance into the world of art. This fact is reflected not only in the large number of audiences who come to our shows, but the received recognition’s as well. Among them are: Fairness Award by the Austrian Ministry of Culture; Culture Connected by the Austrian Ministry of Culture; Florian by the State of Upper Austria; Golden Badge by the Ministry of Diaspora and the Cultural-educational Association of Serbia; and Kulturmedaille, the highest cultural distinction of the State of Upper Austria, among others.
Who are your audiences and how do you maintain your existence as a theatre; are you forced to compromise (we all are)? If yes, what kind of compromises do you face?
DANICA unfortunately has no stage of its own. For this reason its work has been focused, since the very start, on guest performances and a representational form of engagement. It was one of the first compromises. Other compromises followed. The given situation has additionally facilitated our sensibility and creativity. We belong to the group of creative artists who are capable of producing almost the impossible with limited funds and a simple infrastructure. The kindred spirits will immediately recognize themselves in this description, and I dare say that we are all members of a huge multinational family.
What does the participation in this festival mean for you?
DANICA is taking part in the Synergy Festival in Novi Sad and performing on the stage of the world-famous Brucknerhaus in Linz, also at a Festival, called the Music of the Peoples. Both cities are located on the banks of the River Danube, and the festivals are dedicated to a theme that is almost the same. I am looking forward to both of them, but as a native of Novi Sad, I prefer the one closer to Podbara neighbourhood.
The travelling programme Jeremija’s Tavern – Das Wirtshaus beim Jeremija, we are coming to Novi Sad with, was created in Linz in 2009. Ever since then, this imaginary tavern has been touring successfully all over Europe.
The main protagonist of the programme is the vocal-instrumental company DANICA, together with the vocal and instrumental soloists: Izvorinka Milošević, an unmatched interpreter of original-traditional songs and songs in the Vlach language, Professor Wilfried Schraf, an internationally recognised zither player, Professor at the Anton Bruckner University of Linz and the master of artistic guild, Miroslav Mika Marković, a vocal soloist and leader of the famous Belgrade-based ensemble for the Balkan traditional urban music Narakord, and respectfully yours.