The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Taste the Time’.
Time as a phenomenon including our past, future, but most importantly present. We perceive the present as a point, from which we look back at our past and forward to our future. In the present we exist – here and now, in an effort of continuity and responsible approach to things past and things yet to come. We perceive arts as a playful, creative but also conscious and responsible handling of the present time and its contents. It is, therefore, also a challenge. A challenge of slowing down the perception of time flow, catching and deeply relishing the present moment. Festival SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER is a point of stopping ourselves and, therefore, also an invitation to self-reflection, but simultaneously an opportunity for all of us to fill and use this time exactly as we want to.
Not only is necessary to precisely know the past, but also to study it, to observe it from different angles and not to be afraid to learn one’s lesson from it. Due to the 30th anniversary of the festival, we are aware of the necessity of looking back, of a conscious creating of a continuity, necessity of a courteous linkage to the work of the previous generations and years of the festival. That goes hand in hand with (today unfortunately only a sporadic) effort of a generational linking and experience-passing, an effort of a mutual, ideally reciprocal, enrichment.
Performance arts work with the principle of the present – the unrepeatable moment, the power of the moment, the phenomenon of here and now – by which it consciously gets uncapturable and transient. The theatre itself is, therefore, a challenge up to a certain point. A challenge to use one’s time responsibly and maturely. Even though it is right to try to observe our contemporary world through arts, and by arts to express one’s self (also using today’s language), it is important to realize that also the contemporary works come into existence in the context of a conscious continuity and knowledge of the existing principles of creation.
Festival SETKÁNÍ/ENCOUNTER can offer a moment of stopping one’s self in the present moment and realizing the continuity of the past and the present, as well as the continuity of the present and the future – it is about relishing the mutual moments, which possess a flavor not only of what preceded but also of what is awaiting us all.
Time flies. Nevertheless, in the present we are already responsible for the state of the future by what we do and how we approach ourselves and others in our surroundings. Our goal is, hence, not only to observe and move the boundaries of arts, but it is a challenge of a mutual solving of the problems which are yet to come. We are responsible for what we leave behind and our task is to prepare convenient living conditions for the future generations.
The authors: Jana Uhýrková and Marek David