- Assistant Artistic Director / Theatre
Saša Božić is a Croatian theatre director and dramaturge present in the field of European contemporary dance. His interests lie mainly in the widening of the performing arts field – working on a thin line between theatre, dance and performance, examining the porosity of their frames, and the position of the performer within the disparate modes of performing. His works rarely fit neatly into the category of choreography or directing. His distinctive combination of movement materials, visual imagery and texts follows the transformations between his multidisciplinary roles as: choreographer, director and dramaturge.
Recently his projects were presented and produced in Theater ITD in Zagreb, Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Zagreb Youth Theatre, Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Split Summer Festival in Croatia, while as a dramaturge he collaborates with European theatre houses such as Hebbel am Ufer (Germany), Kaaitheatre (Belgium), Pact Zollverein (Germany), Gessnerale (Switzerland), the National Dance Centre (Norway), among others.
Since 2009. residing in Theater ITD in Zagreb and ART workshop Lazareti in Dubrovnik, Saša Božić developed a series of performances (On friendship, Nosferatu, Gloria, Deserter, The Maids) grouped under the term: theatre essays. In the theatre essays series he started a research in the creation of hybrid forms, which surpass the limits of theatrical or dance performances. In those performances certain topic would be discussed and problematized within the work that often juxtaposed different medias, such as movies, or music in the context of theatre act. The direction style indicated the difference between the spectator’s perception in theatre and other media, exploring the focus and what is seen (what is depicted), adding to the spectator’s view, exploring the questions of transposition of realities mediated by the media, narrative paradigms, and strategies generated in the environments of different artistic expressions.
In 2015 Saša Božić started a multiannual (5 years) performance and research project titled On Entertainment. The project interest lies in the examination of the ontological status of a performer in the encounter with the audience. On Entertainment project will be developed in various formats and performance production forms, with an accent put on borderline types of genres positioned in line with the so-called on the edge aesthetics. As a project, On Entertainment was influenced by the performance titled Love Will Tear Us Apart by Petra Hrašćanec and Saša Božić, one of the most popular Croatian dance performances in the last years. Love Will Tear Us Apart raises the question of ownership of a performance at first within an abstract dance framework related to the engagement with the body and view policy only to expand to a broader artistic and social framework. Its genre sways between a rock-concert, avowal form and abstract dance. For her performance Petra Hrašćanec was awarded the prize of the Society of Croatian Theatre Artists in 2012.
Apart from his more experimental works in Theater ITD, Saša Božić recently started to collaborate with the leading Croatian institutional theatres, developing series of works around the topic of redesigning classics: Ibsen’s: Nora at Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, or the adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s notorious Madame Bovary for Zagreb leading drama theatre: Gavella. The particularity of this type of works lies in the affirmation of transformable potential of stage identities, while at the same time questioning the forces establishing conventional dramatic idea of those identities represented on the stage. For his directing of Ibsen’s A doll’s house, he was nominated for the best director at the annual Croatian society of theatre artists award in 2014.
He also frequently collaborates as a dramaturge with renowned European choreographers among which are Isabele Schaad (Germany), Simone Aughterloney (Germany/Switzerland), Francesco Scavetta (Norway), Barbara Matijevic /Giuseppe Chico (Croatia/Italy ), Martine Pisani (France), Dalija Aćin (Serbia/Sweden), Ksenija Zec (Croatia), Iztok Kovac (Slovenia). His works and collaborations were shown at variety of European festivals and production houses, such as: Theatre de Bastille-Paris, Recontre choreographiqe du Seine Saint-Denis – Paris, Geessnerallee – Zurich, Tanzwerkstatt Europa Festival – Munich, Theater Spektakel – Zurich, Teaterhuset Avant Garden – Trondheim, Chelsea Theatre - London, UOVO festival – Milano, Impuls Tanz - Vienna, Dampfzentrale – Bern, Kaserne – Basel, Mousonturm – Frankfurt, Opera Grande di Brescia – Brescia, Transeuropa festival – Hildesheim, Spider festival – Brussels, Roxy theater – Basel, Danses sus – Malmo, Eurokaz festival-Zagreb, BITEF festival – Belgrade, MESS festival –Sarajevo, among others. For the work Handle with a great care with Serbian artist Dalija Aćin, he won first prize Jardin d'Europe at Impulstanz festival 2008 in Wien. In 2014 he was awarded The best director of the year award in Croatia.
He works as an assistant at the Department for Stage movement at the Zagreb Drama Arts Academy and runs an independent theatre company de facto established in 2008 by Zagreb based dance and theatre artists Saša Božić and Zdravka Ivandija-Kirigin. Apart from acting as platform for the development of their respective works, de facto has engaged in collaborating and co-producing the works of international artists who share similar interests in the field of performing arts.
Saša Božić was appointed Assistant to Festival's Artistic Director for theatre programme on 10 October 2017, and again on 1 September 2019 for another four years.
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