Other side of the wind is a poetic performance of freshly graduated students from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Cetinje. It is loosely based on the poems of Serbian writer Miroslav Antic, such as An incredibly marine song and Other side of the wind, and dramatized and directed by Branko Ilic. It is a staged fairytale suitable for all generations, exploring the topics of adventure, first love, rivalry, parenthood, community, and life at sea. The performance opens with an intimate atmosphere, dimmed stage lights, and the gentle sounds of acoustic guitar played by the character of Captain’s daughter, Lara Dragovic, and The dangerous one, Pavle Bogojevic. The rest of the cast is singing along the rhymes of Mika Antic (loosely translated) – He who has not sailed, He who has hidden from the hurricane waves, As if he has been born only in half, and has lived half a life. Dragovic and Bogojevic are leaning against a wooden chest, and behind them is a couple of meters high white cloth sail that will be multiple times used throughout the performance, sometimes for painting the context and emphasizing the hierarchy at the ship, and other times in more intimate scenes, such as the no-boys-allowed-scene with Captain’s daughter and her best friend (Danica Rajkovic) discussing first love – With first love, comes first wrinkle, softly warns Rajkovic. The narrative revolves around a young pirate crew of 6 members led by a Captain played by Stefan Vukovic. The captain wears a mustache, there is a parrot on the ship, Deck boy (Mirjana Spaic) has a pirate eye patch, ship songs are sung and swords are drawn – there are a lot of common pirate motifs and tropes used, and the director Ilic’s vision does not diverge much from the stereotypical portrayal of life at the sea. We are acquainted with the micro-universe of this ship and its inhabitants through the eyes of the protagonist Kid, played by Marko Rajkovic, who is discovering what it means to be a sailor for the first time. The plot is relatively simple, it consists of several storylines, among them – a love story between the Captain’s daughter and Kid, the rivalry between Kid and The dangerous one, the friendship evolving into a love story between Drunkard and Deck boy; all the storylines are intertwined and happily resolved by the end. Live music, songs, and dance are frequently used, not just as a narrational tool moving the plot forward, but also as means of character building and development of relations between the characters. The characters played by the ensemble resemble a Commedia dell’Arte troupe of fixed stock characters, and some of the humorous scenes might have stemmed from improvisation. The acting style of every actor and actress is tuned into the rhythm of the group, but when it comes to individual performance, Stefan Vukovic, in the role of the Captain, left the strongest stage impression and built into his character corporeal quirks that gave his personality a unique expression. The performance is mostly comic, with some elements of tragedy, such as the death of Captain, but even that is tempered by a hopeful epilogue in which we see his smiling face on a video screen. The storyline of Deck boy hiding his/her identity through mask and costumes has elements of intrigue, as well as puppetry (the parrot) and shadow puppetry, and was, technically the most diverse. Ilic, along with the poetry of Miroslav Antic and the rest of the team, creates a world in which there is no place for sorrow, a world that insists on singing, celebrating life, and keeping a Peter-Panish childlike wonder, even at adult age.
AUTHOR: Ajla Medanhodzic