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In 2014, the Academy of Arts in Osijek celebrates its 10th anniversary and the cycle will continue this autumn. We have spoken to prof. dr. sc. Helena Sablić Tomić, the dean of the Academy of Arts in Osijek, about the achievements of the Academy; the plans for the second decade; puppetry as its unique strength; the position of the Academy in the town of Osijek, Croatia and abroad; about students being passive these days; and the lost urban character of the hometown.
1. Drama
Anna Karenina has set the bar high for future theatre performances. It seems that this performance has shifted the focus from the recent agonising attempts to elect the general manager of the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek to art and creativity which should be the only common goal to artists, audiences and other social groups.
2. Opera
The hard work of the people already mentioned has created something magnificent. Once again, it shows that it is possible to choose the repertoire wisely and Ero the Joker is just “the cherry on top”. Due to its simple, catchy melodies (from the unbridled “bećarac” to various mournful songs), this opera is kept in the hearts and ears of Osijek audiences. We believe that this staging of the opera will remain in the repertoire of the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek.
1. The International Dance Day
Students, professors, dancers, actors, amateurs, Osijek, Zagreb - all united by dance. Dancing bodies, dancing minds. The celebration of the Dance Day in Osijek prompted everybody and everything to dance, even words. As Edina Pličanić said in her message: “Open your eyes, take a look, everything is dancing around your, trees in the breeze, clouds with the sun, stars, the moon, every living creature... the whole universe is dancing. You are dancing. All in all, dance is in everything.”
“Push your luck, hold on tight to your good fortune, and take your risk. Watching you, they will get used to it. So try, fail, start all over again but above all, dance, never stop dancing!”
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, exhale, feel your pulse, its rhythm, feel the live energy of your body... the whole universe is dancing inside you.
2. The International Festival of Theatre Academies Dionysus - From play to oneself, the Academy of Arts in Osijek, 2014
The International Festival of Theatre Academies Dionysus, initiated by the Department of Theatre of the Academy of Arts in Osijek, has come to life as an event which has enabled the students and professors of European theatre academies to experience yet “another compact academic year within the regular academic year”.
This year, the town of Đakovo was the centre of cultural events as it had been for the last six years. It was a gathering of young people interested in the theatre and their mentors from all over Europe. During their five-day stay in Đakovo, they enjoyed the company of different people, getting to know different cultures and exchanging experiences and work methods.

Bailey,Brett The Croatian Message of the International Theatre Day

Are we, the artists of arenas and stages, conforming to the sanitized demands of the market, or seizing the power that we have: to clear a space in the hearts and minds of society, to gather people around us, to inspire, enchant and inform, and to create a world of hope and open-hearted collaboration?

3. The International Festival of Vocal Music InterVox, the Academy of Arts in Osijek, 2014
For a few days, vocal music was the centre of attention in the town of Osijek and the Academy of Arts. The second International Festival of Vocal Music InterVox 2014 was organised from May 8th to May 12th 2014. It included several significant musical events such as: the 2nd International Singing Competition Lav Mirski, the 1st festival of choirs and ensembles of the town of Osijek and a concert of the soloists of the Faculty of Music and Visual Arts in Pecs.
4. The International Student Fine Arts Workshop Jarčevac
The student workshop Jarčevac is a fine arts workshop on working with wood for the students of the Academy of Arts in Osijek and other art academies in the region. Since 2009, the workshop has been held for the fifth time. Some 80 students have participated in the workshop so far. Last year, the workshop attained an international status involving fifteen students of regional art academies including the academies of Pecs, Novi Sad, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Split and Zagreb.
1. Peričić, Denis: Pekel na zemli, mentors: Tamara Kučinović and Ljudmila Fedorova, final BA puppetry examination (3rd year students)
Somehow I feel that this trio has dared to do something as unusual as that because they study outside the centre, in Osijek, which gives them more freedom to do what they like. However, the success of that exam (which has turned into a highly acclaimed performance which everybody wants to see!) shows what our theatre, puppetry and art need, because social criticism is not enough, we also need affirmation! The first time I saw them, they reminded me of the group “Pozdravi”. There is that same sheer theatre energy and I am sure that “Pekel na zemli” will not be forgotten ten years from now!
In puppetry, anything is possible. There is always a way out, nothing is there yet everything exists. There is unbridled fantasy at work. Animation therefore means movement, creation, choice. It means maintaining a rhythm, adapting to the material, finding the essence. From such a position, everything is possible and theatre finally achieves its purpose.  Puppetry is everything and everything is puppetry. My answer, therefore, to the metaphysical question: “Why can’t we do what Peričić can?” is in the form of another question: “Are we afraid of ourselves?”
We knew the author and at first Nikša and I wanted to use the text by Denis Peričić to do a guignol puppet show, but the text suggested a different approach. The text was so interesting and suitable for puppetry. Although Denis had not written it for a puppet show, we found many elements of puppetry in it. Unfortunately, the text was never staged although it won the Marin Držić Award. It was a great text with an enormous potential and we recognised that. The text appealed to us and we set about our work with great enthusiasm.
2. Vasilyevich Gogol, Nikolay: The Overcoat, mentors Maja Lučić and assistant Katarina Arbanas, director Tamara Kučinović, final MA puppetry examination (5th year students)
The final MA exam play of the students of acting and puppetry of the Academy of Arts in Osijek is a witty, playful and superbly animated stage play which cleverly combined youth and adulthood, pessimism  content-wise and optimism performance-wise. At the same time, it points out the infinite possibilities of puppetry which has moved beyond screens, two-dimensional play and “barbecuing” with rod puppets long time ago. We can only hope that these possibilities will be recognised by our puppet theatres, opening their doors to puppeteers from Osijek who are not just the future, but the necessary present of the slumbering Croatian puppetry. 
Primarily a man of letters, Stojević has not been afraid of using or importing other media into literature in accordance with the open-ended postmodernism and its tendencies to even the high and the low, the past and the present as well as to question boundaries and abolish any type of hierarchy. Special focus on language and discursive effects is the main topic of his almost entire oeuvre and is the result of the intellectual climate during the decade of Stojević’s formative years as an author.
Although some primitive human being would probably recoil from characters dressed “à la Pynchon” such as Ruperta in a narrow black bengaline costume with a Medici collar and cuffs of bastard chinchilla or jazz musician Chester LeStreet in a luminous grey worsted suit, shirt and display handkerchief in the same vivid shade of fuchsia, ice-cream-coloured Homburg hat, hand-painted necktie and dark sunglasses with tortoise-shell frames, contemporary readers familiar with cultural achievements can enjoy the delights offered by the amazing tailoring skills of Thomas Pynchon.
Slavonian folklore music is significant for several reasons, one of them being the complex tone material which includes a lot of tone sequences. With their specific and quite different scales as well as with the broad range of tones they include, these sequences form the traditional Slavonian music, creating a valuable and recognisable musical identity. That identity is present and alive in classical music too, which is the topic that the author will explore in the future.
The former Jesuit and now the parish church of St Michael in Osijek represents the type of church whose Central European origin is suggested by its spatial organisation and its facade. That is, this is a Wandpfeiler church (a church with inner wall-piers) with an impressive twin-belfry facade. These findings are related to the interpretation of construction phases, that is, the specific conditions involving the construction of the former Jesuit church.
In that deep, dedicated and persistent search for the essence offered to us by this art, it is possible to identify fragments of our own longing, for a moment sink into the lost time and then wake up, purified, safe and strengthened by the imagination against the unbearable gravity of existence. On the other hand, it is also possible to abandon the rigid framework of the “pure” media expression and feel the excitement of layered boundaries, where it is no longer possible to recognise the first movement, colour or sound which started it all.
Thinking about sculpture in a public space means thinking about changing the transgressive identity of some place. There is a search for a shared symbol in that meeting of sculpture and space, the personal identity of the author and the collective identity or the identities of a community, the identity of the work and the identity of the town space to create a new identity. Sculpture, as a shared symbol, is the result and cause of the existing identity. Its historical role is to turn the image of a space into a sign of the place. As an identity mark, that is, territorial mark, it has a different role than as a work of art. The aim is to present (represent) a given space as a unique image that everyone will recognise.
Puppeteers, eternal globetrotters and moderate globalists (only in the sense of a global presence of the puppet and the desire to create relations, networks and communication without frontiers, but never without the respect for what is different) are restless researcher and wandering spirits. For its members, UNIMA provides contacts, friendship, a possibility of cooperation with people from all over the world involved in puppetry, information and publications about puppetry, courses, workshops and so much more.
Zdravko Drenjančević’s book extensively covers the characteristics of the traditional Slavonian music, developing a new approach to the research of traditional music in general, and should therefore be seen as the expression of a new generation of young researchers. This book contributes to the development of science and music theory as well as ethnomusicology. It is also valuable to future music teachers.