Dasha Krijanskaia

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Sustaining the Unsustainable: The Case of Sibiu International, Varna Summer International and Moscow NET: 

Sustaining the Unsustainable: The Case of Sibiu International, Varna Summer International and Moscow NET Dasha Krijanskaia Roosevelt Academy/Utrecht University (NL) European Festival Research Project Le Mans research workshop, 18 Nov 2006

Slide2: 

Moscow Sibiu Varna

Demographical situation: 

Demographical situation

Annual state spending on culture (in €) : 

Annual state spending on culture (in €)

Availability of spaces and potential for hosting specific types of cultural events : 

Availability of spaces and potential for hosting specific types of cultural events Sibiu (170,000) Plenty of Medieval and Baroque architectural and historic sites : • Medieval church/fortress Cisnadiora (20 minute drive away) Avrig summer palace Thalia Hall -- a new art centre built into the outer part of the medieval city wall Sibiu is a natural site for small scale street theatre, dance, and music festival.

Plus:: 

Plus: Traditional proscenium-arch stages at: • Radu Stanca National (300 seats) • The Gong theatre (100 seats) • The Union House (800 seats) No stage suitable for opera or a full scale production

Availability of spaces and potential for hosting specific types of cultural events: 

Availability of spaces and potential for hosting specific types of cultural events 2. Varna (345,000) • 2 medium-size stages of Drama theatre Stoyan Bychvarov Puppet theatre Art Gallery (non-traditional space) • No stage suitable for opera or a full scale production

Availability of spaces and potential for hosting specific types of cultural events: 

Availability of spaces and potential for hosting specific types of cultural events 3. Moscow (10.5 mln) Plenty of spaces, huge possibilities for each and every kind of a festival

Format and organization: 

Format and organization Sibiu 2006, May 25 -- June 4 2006, 11 days Managerial and artistic leadership – managing director Constantin Chiriac, driving force behind the festival 359 shows and other events (incl. street shows, site specific shows, dance theatre, stage readings, lectures, project presentations, workshops) participants from 71 countries 43 different locations in and around the city “Third largest in Europe”, after the Edinburgh festival and the Avignon festival (ref.: festival website, unclear in what sense 3rd largest) Impossible to attend all events

Sibiu, cont.: 

Sibiu, cont. number of spectators: 60.000 total up to 800 guests and participants daily free tickets to all shows total budget -- 7 200 000 euro (to be explained) inexpensive foreign theatre (site specific and street) traditional full scale shows from Romania only Inexpensive supermarket

Format and organization: 

Format and organization Varna Summer 2006, 31 May -- 11 June, 12 days 3 co-organizers: Ministry of Culture Municipality of Varna Bulgarian Theatre Association Artistic director – Tsvetana Maneva (somewhat invisible) Executive director -- Nikolay Iordanov format – somewhat fuzzy (the major part of the national program is selected by specially designated selectionists, the rest of the national program is put together by the artistic director, and the international program is put together by executive director)

Varna, cont.: 

Varna, cont. 30 shows, including 7 foreign pieces couple of stage readings (contemporary French plays) two discussions on play translation and stage interpretations of the classics 8 locations (for the shows, mainly, traditional proscenium-arch stage) number of spectators: 12 000 total

Varna budget: 

Varna budget • Ministry of Culture - 50%, Varna Municipality - 25 %, local private sponsors (such as Bulgarian Airlines) - 15 %, box office - 10 % Budget 100,000 euro -- highly insufficient, is not finalized until February Insufficient travel budget for the programmers – have to rely on someone's else recommendations Supermarket during the communist times (lots of pretense but half-empty shelves)

Format and organization: 

Format and organization Moscow NET 2006, 27 November— 6 December, 10 days artistic leadership -- two artistic co-directors, Marina Davydova and Roman Dolzhansky focus on the international theatre (NET: New European Theatre) • 8 shows, incl. 5 international special program: screenings, meetings with the directors, etc. 5 different locations, mainly black box and proscenium –arch stages such as Theatre Union hall, Small stage of Mossovet Theatre, big stage of Theatre of Nations as well as 2 non-traditional spaces (Vinzavod Art Centre and ПRОЕКТ_FAБRИКА Art Centre) Number of spectators: 2005-5,500 total 2006-3,500 total (projected) 150-200 daily

Moscow NET Budget: 

Moscow NET Budget • total amount unknown (€ 56.000 +) Federal Agency for Culture and Cinematography -- about 26.500 € private sponsors: Hennessy socio-cultural fund – 11.000 € Neskafe Gold – 11.000 € • ticket sales – about 11.000 € occasional targeted contributions from official cultural institutions and programs, e.g. 150 000 Euro from Goethe Institute to cover the costs of bringing Schaubuehne's Nora

NET, cont.: 

NET, cont. • Very good working relationship with the foreign cultural organizations • Artistic co-directors are prominent theatre critics/journalists, working as stuff writers for successful Moscow publications – their travel expenses are covered either by their newspapers, or through official art exchange programs. • Artistically solid program • NET targets educated, intellectual, and artistically open-minded part of the audience capable of accepting unconventional (for Russian taste) theatre works. Exclusive boutique

Conclusions 3 festivals, 3 reasons for sustainability: 

Conclusions 3 festivals, 3 reasons for sustainability Sibiu: managerial (rather than artistic) leadership: (i) the relationship with the territory, (ii) the skill in achieving connectivity with diverse partners and constituencies However: quantity at the expense of quality Varna: traditional designation by the official power structures (‘a national project’) Moscow: (i) success in finding a niche, (ii) strong artistic leadership and personal connections of the artistic directors to foreign official cultural institutions

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