the master and margarita

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first time i read the master and margarita i was 16. it was a hard start. i just could not get my head around the second chapter and pontius pilate. but once i got going, i just could not stop reading. it was so mesmerising, so exciting and by the end of the book, i could swear i was hallucinating. i guess i would not be the only one with the same experience. since then i read it another 4 times (both in english and croatian). it took the position on my dearest book ever.

then last year i went to see complicite’s play at barbican called shun-kin. i have to say i knew nothing about complicite at that point. i went because there was puppetry in it. that play, took my breath away. it was so cleverly done, so beautiful to watch and the puppetry was just magnificent.

so of course, when barbican announced complicite’s staging the master and margarita, it was no brainer. and on top of it, they were set to collaborate with the blind summit – the puppet theatre who so brilliantly did their job in shun-kin. i set the alarm for the day the tickets went on sale. i even bought a ticket for my husband – and i always go to theatre alone. i was so excited and i wanted to share this with him.

and so we went yesterday. to say that my expectations were great – it would be an understatement. i was so excited about it, that i actually put myself at a great risk of being disappointed. but none of it happened. the brilliant mind of simon mcburney kept the story very concise and lost no important detail at all. the stage design, solutions used were genius - especially the use of video. behemoth, the cat, was a puppet – a very scary puppet with red glowing eyes. as scary as in the book. great sense of humour too. i was a bit disappointed for it not to take a bow at the end ;-)

i got taken away on another journey. this time it was not a private affair. we shared it with full house!

what can i say! i left totally in love not only with the play but also with simon mcburney too. the play is on until 7th april. if you haven’t seen it, pelase do go. you will be part of a great moscow adventure and fool around with muscovites and a brilliant satan’s company.

as for me, i feel an urge to read the book again.

“cowardice is the most terrible of vices.”

japanese architecture

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i have always been a japan fan. a massive one – especially as i have never visited the country. and among all things japanese, i very much respect and admire japanese architects. they have a particular flair for airy, light, clean spaces because the country is an island, land is scarce and therefore space is a luxury.

their residential projects are something that instantly gets me daydreaming – a day when i get to build my own house. japanese simple clean aesthetic in combination with rugged coastal croatian landscape influence.

one practice in particular moves me – it is suppose design office. the imagination with which they turn the smallest of spaces into an interesting, natural light filled habitats is absolutely amazing. the wittiness and playfulness of the spaces reminds us of the more important aspects of our lives. to me they look like a perfect invitation away from the daily grind and stress with a handful of humour thrown into its shapes, walls and windows. closed to the outside and open to the inside. a shelter and a home.

we could all learn something from it.

image taken from dezeen’s profile on the practice – you can see it here

 

the devil and mr punch

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being a puppet-mad person, i had to go and see the devil and mr punch by improbable. this was a brilliant update of a very traditional puppet story upgraded with brilliant text, music and masks. a real treat – adult puppetry at its best! i am participating this weekend at the workshop lead by julian crouch – artistic director of improbable. very exciting!

here is a brief introduction from barbican

‘Witness a tragic comedy of manslaughter and love. It’s Punch and Judy but as presented by Messrs Harvey and Hovey, a pair of broken vaudevillians who are now in the gutter and have been reduced to presenting a puppet show that goes wildly off-course.

Featuring a lush score of bass fiddle, gin parlour piano, metronome and bells, this dark but hilarious show is performed on a gloriously theatrical wood-panelled set. Inside this shadowy world live a steaming crocodile, a parade of piggies, the devil and many other extraordinary characters.

Improbable’s innovative work ranges from small scale theatre, such as Panic at the Barbican in 2009, to large opera productions, including Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, co-produced with ENO and a sell-out hit in London and at The Metropolitan Opera, New York. ‘

interview with julian crouch can be read here

the devil and mr punch is at barbican until 25th Feb 2012

men in motion

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i went to see a beautiful production celebrating the role of the male dancers put together by one of todays formost balle dancers ivan putrov. the program consisted of 5 smaller numbers each representing a milestone in the history of male dancers on stage. one of the numbers called ithaka, inspired by the poem by c.p. cavafy, was choreographed by putrov.

below text is curtesy of sadler’s wells:

‘Former Royal Ballet Principal, Ivan Putrov, presents an evening of works exploring the beauty of the male form in motion. Joining him onstage will be Royal Ballet sensation Sergei Polunin*, Mariinsky Ballet Principal Igor Kolb, Critics’ Circle Award-winner Daniel Proietto, English National Ballet Senior Principal Elena Glurdjidze and South Bank Show Breakthrough Artist award-winner Aaron Sillis.

Accompanied by a live orchestra conducted by Richard Vernas, the evening will include Fokine’s legendary Le Spectre de la Rose, a solo fromGoleizovsky’s Narcisse danced by Polunin and Ithaca, a new work with set design by Turner Prize-nominated artist Gary Hume.

Continuing the theme is Gluck’s beautiful Dance of the Blessed Spirits. Originally choreographed by Ashton on Sir Anthony Dowell, it will be taught to Putrov by Sir Anthony; marking its first appearance in the UK for over 30 years. Completing the line-up is Russell Maliphant’s masterpiece, the Olivier Award nominated AfterLight (Part One).’

you can also listen a short interview with putrov and kolb.

* polunin has since resigned as the principal of the royal ballet

disegno.

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i have been following/ reading a brilliant new online magazine called disegno. best described by its author ‘Disegno is a magazine, website and salon dedicated to international architecture, design and fashion. it’s a unique concept that aims to encourage debate and acknowledge the interplay and cross-pollination of these disciplines.’

conceived and founded by johanna agermann ross, a former icon magazine journalist, it has launched in december and is full of delights taking you to some very interesting people, stories, events and a diary suggestions for your cultural education from the field of design.

‘twice a year, disegno releases a printed magazine. this biannual tome is dedicated to key events in architecture, design and fashion over the last six months. it is an essential read and flick for both laymen and professionals and gives a flavour of the current stylistic and intellectual preoccupations of architects, product and fashion designers. disegno employs the best writers and photographers to give in-depth reflections on new buildings, products and garments. the emphasis is on creating a well-crafted and well-researched product that is informative and inspiring. the first issue launched in december 2011.’

one interesting thing that disegno has introduced is ‘salon’ – a series of events that bring further insight into the workings of the industry. the first one organized was hosted at vitra showroom and it had an overview of the new designs for 2011.

the second one was a visit to sunbury workshops – a home to a community of product, furniture and graphic designers, jewelers, an illustrator and a shoe maker as per below:

more info here.

microbial home by philips design

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from time to time you see something that really appeals to you and – when speaking of objects – you just want it. well i just want this ‘home’

“dutch design week 2011 saw philips design in eindhoven present a conceptual self-sufficient  home that converts sewage and rubbish into power. he microbial home would function as a biological machine, using the waste from one area of the home to power another and creating a cyclical ecosystem. a bio-digester kitchen island would break down solid bathroom waste and vegetable peelings into methane, while plastic packaging would be broken down by fungus. Fresh food would be stored in an evaporative cooler and part of the dining table, while honey could be harvested from an urban beehive.”

all images courtesy of philips design. words by dezeen. the full article can be read here

 

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