UNIVERSAL HALL IN FLAME
Production: FRU & МОТ (MKD)
Performance design: Filip Jovanovski, Kristina Lelovac
Performers: Kristina Lelovac, Simona Dimkovska, Deniz Ajdarevic, Branko Atanasov, Ema Davceva, Nina Elzeser, Izabela Jakimova, Endzi Nikoloska, Jovana Spasic, Sandra Tanceva, Antonio Taskovski, Nenad Tonkin, RIB – Ivica Dimitrijevic, Jane Trajkovski, Dzano Kuc, Konstantin Loskov
Associate dramaturg: Boris Bakal
Curatorial consultation: Ivana Vaseva
Creative realization and music: Nenad Tonkin
Executive producer: Emilija Cockova
Researchers: Kristijan Karadzovski, Simona Dimkovska, Dragica Nikolovska
Video production: Kristijan Karadzovski
Photo: Dragica Nikolovska
Technical support: Ivanco Velkov, Marjanco Mitrovski, Saso Filipovski, Naum Aluloski, Jovan Maleski, Boban Todorov, Dejan Stojkovski, Aleksandar Atanasovski, Mitat Imeri
Production of scenographic elements: Vlado Dimoski*The project is realized within the cooperation of FR~U with UKIM Faculty of Dramatic Arts – Skopje
On 27th July 2020, a mere day after the 57th anniversary of the terrible Skopje earthquake, information about an imminent demolition of the Universal Hall began circling the public. This idea immediately sparked a social debate. What is the role of art when society is the one debating? Should it answer the dilemma, or ask itself the following question: what kind of a society has brought us to this position?
“Universal Hall in Flames” is a performance essay about Jean Cocteau walking the streets of Skopje, the poet who tried to save the fire from the flames and not the burning objects. The man wallowing in despair, the kind of despair that rose to popularity through the songs of Charles Aznavour. This is an essay about Aznavour as well, known to the people of Skopje for his song that was meant to be aired on Radio Skopje, the morning of 26th July 1963.
This is a story about the closed building of the Universal Hall, which has not been active for five years now. It is also a part of the memories of Universal Hall, among all other events in its long history. This is a performance about the new solidarity, desperately needed in these trying times. About the fire, the tragedy and catharsis which are meant to give birth to this new solidarity, much like the phoenix being born from the ashes, the ashes of Gramsci.