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GallopShadow performance, length 40 min

Foto Jaka Varmuž
Gallop follows the story of a boy living on a farm near the city, where, in addition to other domestic animals, they also have a young horse. One day, the boy and his family visit a fair, where he unexpectedly sees horse races. The winner receives a big gleaming trophy! This triggers in him an irresistible desire to win. Fostered by the ambition to lift the winner’s trophy one day, he starts training hard with his horse. The performance addresses the meaning of friendship in contrast with the irresistible desire to win. How much is it worth sacrificing to achieve your goal?

The performance employs shadow theatre techniques. The visual effects are created with flash lights illuminating the scenography and the carved parts of flat puppets, which is how the animators create moving images on the large screen. The play of light and shadows creates an atmosphere with powerful colour effects to help narrate this beautiful and devastating story. Sound is a vital part of this performance. There is a sound studio at one end of the stage, where the animator creates the sound image of the performance. He uses coconut shells to mimic galloping sounds, a leather belt for the cracking of a whip, and his voice to mimic the neigh of the tired horse. This enables the (young) spectators to see and understand how the sound of the performance is created.

The idea behind the performance is that of “following one’s dreams”—a mantra of this day and age that our children listen to from early childhood. What does it mean to “follow your dreams” today? What happens when children’s play turns into ambition, a desire to be successful and famous? At a time when society is facing the consequences of decades of celebrating individualism, this question is certainly becoming increasingly relevant—for children who are yet to face society, and also for everyone introducing them to it: parents, relatives, kindergarten and school teachers, in short, adults.

Premiere: 12 Septembre 2023, Small Stage

Tin Grabnar has been deeply involved in performing practices since his early years. His field of interest expands beyond classical theatre into alternative, puppet, and documentary theatre. A broad understanding of theatre practices and various performing processes enables him to combine elements of dance, improvisation, contemporary puppetry, magic, performance, and visual art. In the last few years, together with other creators, he has written dramatic texts for his performances. The texts are written by keeping in mind the final effect of the performance and putting the focus on the performance content. His performances address cooperation, community, group dynamics, and helplessness. Tin Grabar explores theatre communication, examines a wide range of different performing strategies, and establishes the group process of performance creation. He has received numerous Slovenian and international awards for his performances Somewhere Else and Still Life produced by the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre.
Ana Duša is a culture and pedagogy professional working as dramaturge, narrator, translator, songwriter, and educator. She is head of the Mlado Mladinsko youth programme at the Mladinsko Theatre, and assistant for puppet, theatre and film art at the Department of Preschool Education of the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana. She is a Comparative Literature graduate of the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. As for her theatre education, she attended the HÈLIKOS International School of Theatre Creation in Florence. Since 2016, she has been a dramaturge, songwriter, and a writer of theatre texts, while before that she mostly worked as a narrator. She started as a storyteller in 2002 in the Two Pennies' Worth of Fantasy show at Radio Študent. As an educator, she is involved in the development of pedagogical methods, which include storytelling and physical theatre. She has collaborated as a guest lecturer with the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Education, and the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television of the University of Ljubljana. In recent years, she has worked with the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre on several occasions and in various roles.

Authors: Tin Grabnar and Ana Duša
Director: Tin Grabnar
Art design: Eva Mlinar
Set designer: Sara Slivnik
Music: Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar
Costume designer: Tina Bonča
Lighting designer: Gregor Kuhar
Language consultant: Maja Cerar
Puppet engineers: Polona Černe and Zala Kalan
Assistant director: Jana Nunčič
Cast: Miha Arh, Maja Kunšič, Iztok Lužar and Gašper Malnar
Stage manager and sound designer: Luka Bernetič
Producer: Alja Cerar Mihajlović
Lighting technician: Gregor Kuhar
Set technician: Kemal Vrabac Kordiš
LGL workshops manager: Zoran Srdić
Puppets production: Polona Černe, Zala Kalan, Olga Milić, Iztok Bobić, Brina Fekonja, Nastja Miheljak, Sangara Perhaj, Laura Krajnc, Katarina Planinc, Klavdija Jeršinovec, Lina Oražem, Iza Ambrožič Simončič
Set production: David Klemenčič, ključavničarstvo Uroš Mehle s.p., Mateja Šušteršič, Gregor Kuhar, Artiko podjetje za digitalizacijo podob d.o.o.
Costume production: Marjetka Valjavec