Citit În is an interdisciplinary artistical laboratory created for the study of the sensorial poetic. Even before its own existence, the concepts of a Citit În performance worked in a post-contemporary way. The name Citit În (Read In in English) refers to the persistent intention of the founding members to read to the spectators possible harmonies between the content and the poetic context of the moment and the performative space. After the performance at Capitol Summer Theatre, we talked with Olga, Adrian and Răzvan to find out more about their project.
keywords: theatre, sensorial, interior, read
Imagination… is about imagination (Ola Berar)
What if it would be: a) mirror; b)fluffy screen, quantum; c) sky (Adrian Ciglenean)
It has a big life span.
A film that inspires us… Tideland (Olga Berar)
The interior film. (Adrian Ciglenean)
Orpheus – J. Cocteau (Răzvan Ropotan)
The first thing when we see each other again… we look at each other, we comprise ourselves, we don’t forget.
The key to the labyrinth… opens the door towards the interior to some and to the surface for others.
We’re grateful for… the occasions to be grateful.
A funny memory from repetitions… At the repetitions we’re usually serious, we save the funny stuff for the public. One time, Ștefan Huluba didn’t find the exit from the Japanese Garden and he continued the show alone for about an hour. For us it was funny. (Adrian Ciglenean).
And the cat at the Art Yourself Gallery which used to sit on the blind-folded spectator. (Răzvan Ropotan)
In a lab… there’s serious work.
Art will be… what it was before.
A necessary change in Romania… The bycicle lanes.
A necessary change in Romania would be banning the practice of finger-pointing. Or the banning of looking down. There should be some street signs for pedestrians with “finger-pointing not allowed; looking to the ground not allowed” (Răzvan Ropotan)
I think the reconciliation of the generational faults and I hope that the tectonic movements in this direction are the least spectacular possible. Otherwise, happy and beautiful sheep to everyone!
3 interesting plays that I saw in 2016…
“The poetry of dreaming” (atmospheric) at unteatru, “Ubuzdup!” (fun!) at National Theatre Cluj, “DON’T RECOGNISE ME” (WOW) at Wasp. (Olga Berar)
“Ubuzdup” at National Theatre Cluj, “The new tenant” at Nottara and “The dream of mister K.” at Odeon (Adrian Ciglenean)
Plays that I would love to see (because I didn’t get the chance to): “Freak Show”, “Lungs” & “89 The lost year” (Răzvan Ropotan)
Vlad Dumitrescu: Hello, Olga, Adrian, Răzvan! We’re happy to have the opportunity to talk to you in the feeder insider series. Citit În is an interdisciplinary artistical laboratory created for the study of the sensorial poetic. What do you want to accomplish with these performances? Where do you see yourselves in the future?
Adrian Ciglenean: Hello! With the presentations and the performances of the lab we want reconstruct the bond between exterior and interior. The visual, agressive and arrogant exterior meets the ever-present, vulnerable and huge interior. In the future, it is possible we’ll see more. If the interior agrees, that is.
Răzvan Ropotan: These performances are more like questioners. Some questions about yourself, about the spectators, about the space (sometimes about the time if you start to think about this side of the memories). Citit În started as a laboratory (and it still is), it changed its structure thousands of times precisely because it is pretty much alive.
Every show is this way, it has another theme and another atmosphere. It is not our final objective, but this questioning resides in the essence of the performance. And the questions are different from performance to performance.
Vlad Dumitrescu: The sensorial-labyrinth theatre came in Romania in 2007 through “Se-ducere Bucharest” with Antonella Cirigliano from Italy as a director and ten professional actors from Romania and the first show was The Lost Child, a collaboration between Adrian Ciglenean, Lucian Branea, Iwon Brioc and Musem of the Romanian Peasant. How was that experience? How is the sensorial theatre in Romania in 2016 comparing to 2007?
Adrian Ciglenean: For the theatrical context of the 2007 moment “Se-ducere Bucharest” was a premature project – all of the 10 participants were dreaming of the golden generation of the theatre. I was caught up in this project because of a previous experience of the immersive theatre with MAPA (Moving Academy for Performing Arts). Then Lucian Branea was decisive with The Lost Child proposal and there the basis for a team to explore the sensorial language which grew in the years after. Like any beginning, the experience was meaningful, a self-referential germ for the sensorial theatre made in Romania and for a group of people which would end up developing the method further. Nowadays, the sensorial theatre is trendy, especially in Bucharest and in Cluj – where we planted applications in the last 4 years. On the other hand, the sensorial labyrinth became, in Romania, a well-known way of non-formal educating and a form of presentation agreed on by multiple institutions from the educational domain or the conservation of the patrimony.
Răzvan Ropotan: I experienced this method back in 2008 – I was in the second year at college. It was a boom for me and for what my work as an artist meant. I thought it was an extraordinary domain. It’s a method that catches on, it’s contagious. That’s why, the people I worked with, put in some hard work for these types of performances. I think this is the difference from 2007 – the fact that more people are doing this thing. There have been discovered many layers. The sensorial theatre has so much to tell, that everybody took what they related to. There is the Labyrinth Theatre Company which handles the itinerary performance more, they made “La Țigănci” in a sensorial way. But we know each other, we were in the same boat sometime. There was no other way.
Vlad Dumitrescu: You performed shows in cities like Bucharest, Focșani, Slatina, Bîrlad, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Cluj-Napoca or Târgu-Mureș; surely you experimented with different and unique spaces in which you did your performances. What role does space play in your productions? What different spaces did you discover while travelling?
Olga Berar: For me, the space is like a reality check. The more you know it better, the more it is cooperant. An objective way to define a space is the air it contains and how it can be modulated. We worked with many uncomfortable spaces which I now enjoy.
Răzvan Ropotan: Many spaces come to mind, but being selective I would like to mention how we picked up people with a chair in Theatre from Focșani and the shows in Carol 53 where when we jumped, the floor was shaking as if it was liquid.
Vlad Dumitrescu: How do you build a Citit În performance? How much is it experimentation and what elements are absolutely necessary?
Olga Berar: We meet, talk, imagine, and separately everyone takes care of his square. We understood that a common place for meeting between musicians and actors is the kitchen.
Adrian Ciglenean: The Citit În performances are built from direct experiences. Their organisation depends on a continuity in the laboratory’s activities and simple game rules which are made by the elective afinities of the members. The present moment is absolutely necessary, together with the space that makes possible the coexistence of the public and the artists by themselves and in relation with one another.
We want to experiment only with what is necessary and for the performance be a Citit În authentic, it needs a special kind of poetic content to surface, to be read.
Vlad Dumitrescu: În trupa Citit În își găsesc locul oameni cu background-uri diferite: actori, muzicieni, fotografi. Cum a influențat această diversitate modul vostru de lucru împreună?
Vlad Dumitrescu: In the Citit În group we find people with different backgrounds: actors, musicians, photographers. How did this diversity influence your way of working together?
Olga Berar: I find it fun. At the beginning, we were very curious and we asked a lot of questions about the others’ domain. Now I realise that what we do is essentially the same thing.
Răzvan Ropotan: I think that people came to us to experiment. The musicians liked to leave their instrument and play with a poem, to recite it. Everyone wanted something to give them a new perspective as an artist. At one point, we named ourselves as an artistic playground. A place where the artists come to play.
Adrian Ciglenean. Exactly, the interdisciplinary element was present from the status. We think that the lab aspires to reform the dictatorship of the vision and to offer a democratic space for the sensorial existence. This reflects in the relationships between the artists: absolutely no fucks are given about the domain pride. More, for a blindfolded spectator it will matter very little who is managing the sounds or the lights, so we can leave the artists uniform at home.
Vlad Dumitrescu: You organised or participated in Citit În workshops in schools and high-schools. How do the very young appreciate the freedom of creativity and expression in theatre?
Citit În: Theatre was and is a method of education appreciated by teenagers and the growing number of festivals and theatre courses for high-school students is proof of this. Citit În is all about the openness of the young people for the sensorial education and interior theatre, an almost cool alternative for from the omnipresence of screens in the lives of teenagers. During 2007 and 2012, the sensorial movement in Romania depended pretty much on the collaboration between high schools, schools, local administrations and learning or educational institutions – despite what is believed, youngsters are big fans of the interior. Also, our experience has shown us that this type of non-formal education emphasises the group conscience, a beneficial experience for every generation.
Vlad Dumitrescu: In your shows, the public is directly involved in the performance. What advantages does a bigger interaction with the spectators bring?
Olga Berar: The interaction with the spectators goes as far as you have a real interest towards them. You don’t ask a question just because you can, but because you are genuinely interested in getting an answer. You support an exchange. Real.
Răzvan Ropotan: It must be understood that at these shows the spectators are included in the performance, not necessarily implicated. Many get scared by this concept of interactivity. There are many spectators that come to live, to get carried away, they don’t want to interact. We give them this freedom.
Vlad Dumitrescu: How many Citit În shows did you create until now? Which ones are your favourites?
Olga Berar: There are many, but that is probably because behind the scenes there is a permanent work in progress and the shows are like some windows of the laboratory. I like all of them and in the same time… I find them pretty hard.
Adrian Ciglenean: Over 150 unique presentations in the sensorial poetic format Citit În, over 30 unique shows in the format of labyrinth sensorial theatre and 6 shows with their own concepts that are in different stages of their development. These are our most loved ones because they have consistency and transparency.
Răzvan Ropotan: Every show is fair with itself, with the moment, context, the performers and the spectators that participated.
Vlad Dumitrescu: Citit În Poetic Space Capitol is an interior theatre show for 35 participants, an event which is part of awareness campaign towards the national patrimony Cinema / Summer Theatre Capitol. What do you think becomes visible in the eyes of anyone of us when we have our eyes closed?
Olga Berar: Poetic Space.
Răzvan Ropotan: At the show, we asked the spectators if they needed a renovation. We talked with them about architectural structures and some of them said that they were exposed to natural disasters etc.
Adrian Ciglenean: For us, the challenge was to extend the architectural perspective of Capitol Summer Theatre towards micro-spaces, towards micro and intimate spaces – where the cultural patrimony becomes personal wealth. When we have our eyes closed, we think that the glow of a content is seen better and the personal relationship gets better.
Răzvan Ropotan: I think this would be the gain, if there is any. A correlation with the interior, opening up a way to communicate with yourself.
Vlad Dumitrescu: Bucharest is running to become the European Capital of Culture in 2021. How do you see the cultural life in this moment in the Romanian capital? How could the contemporary theatre be extended towards the peripheries?
Citit În: When we are answering this, Timișoara has won, congratulations! We feel sorry for Bucharest, on the other hand, Cluj is going through a period of visible growth, when speaking of culture and events. Bucharest maybe would have deserved a serious boost in the area of cultural events which seem restrained to a small group of people. With our exotic and modest efforts, we hope to overcome this barrier in education and events. The contemporary theatre could be extended towards the peripheries if it really wants to. We don’t think that the periphery rejects the theatre.
It was a pleasure!
Words by Vlad Dumitrescu
Photos VJ VLC