An assassin raises his gun.
A conductor raises his baton.
A piece of music that lasts 17 minutes has begun.
In 1928, Maurice Ravel wrote Bolero in Paris. In 1984, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean danced to it at the Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. Eight years later the stadium where they won the Olympic Gold was bombarded. Taking the music as a bridge between these two stories, British Council, in collaboration with the Sarajevo War Theatre SARTR and the Nottingham Playhouse, presented a theatrical performance “Bolero” that made a journey from Paris to Sarajevo, from 1914 until 2014.
Instead of advocating a particular historical view of the 1914 assassination and the events that followed, the play focused on the link of the events with Europe as it was in 2014, the world as a whole and modern society, thus overcoming local divisions and tensions. The play traveled between Paris, Nottingham and Sarajevo, unravelling stories of the Archduke’s assassination, Olympic triumph of the UK’s ice-skating pair, recent war in BiH and the present. With four languages spoken and the international crew, the performance promoted multiculturalism and the idea of global future.
As a part of the Connecting Creatively project, the performance engaged young audiences through the integration with the Connecting Classrooms participants, creating space for creative development and debate. In addition, the participants of the youth theatre project “Fakat Drama” were given the opportunity to work with the international crew of Bolero.
The production engaged artists from UK, Kosovo, BiH and Germany, who had been developeing the piece throughout 2013. The play was perfomed in Sarajevo, Mostar, Zenica and Tuzla.