Antic Teatre is the place where four new creations from the Slovenian scene have landed, supported by Institut Ramon Llull and City Council’s Institut de Cultura. Under the name cav_a, Antic Teatre promotes its internationalization plan, through which Catalan companies El Conde de Torrefiel, Societat Doctor Alonso and artists Guillem Mount Palol and Jorge Dutor performed at the Glej Theatre in Ljubljana, the oldest independent theater in Slovenia, last December. In return, from June 25th to July 2nd Barcelona has known Boris Kadin, who led the workshop ‘Last Resort’ and presented the show ‘Scream’; Bratus Marko, who performed ‘Misterio Bufo’, and the puppets and objects play ‘As Jaromir looked for happiness’, by Ajda Roos, and Jasna Vastl and Brane Vižintin. Next October, the exchange program will continue under the name cav_a, Balearic & Catalan artists visiting Croatian artists, and will be held in the city of Zagreb, Croatia.
‘As Jaromir looked for happiness’ is a story of a seduction. Jaromir, a rod puppet manipulated by Brane Vižintin on a table, is an astronomer who spends sleepless nights and days without a break, take notes of his observations and wrotes important treatises —ha has plenty of work to discover the universe. So much as he hardly realizes that very close to him there is a star that shines with passion. Her maid, a shy girl, decides to take the plunge and set herself to be discovered by the scientist. Ajda Roos performs, moves puppets and, indeed, becomes the main character of the play.
Vižintin’s technique is accurate (Jaromir can take a pen from the inkwell and put it back again with no need of the manipulator to match it) and Roos shows a variety of samples of what the puppet and object theater may be. She plays shadows in a veil with the light of a candle or also on a turning umbrella. She moves as well a marionette of a kind of goose, made with a funnel, cups and cookware, hanging from a horizontal command stuck under the lid of a bucket. She uses toys, makes origami and manipulates a rod puppet too. None of these techniques has an abundant display, Roos does not insist in only one, but she makes a string by putting one after the other, putting on stage small situations to capture Jaromir’s attention —who finally discovers her and succumbs to the spell.
In itself, the play has no more substance than this, but the delicacy with which it is raised, the care of each action, the evocation of a time —considering ‘As Jaromir looked for happiness’ style, it has to be a past-time— in which Love was a fragile matter, and a stage built with natural materials and everyday objects make the show attractive. The It has the power of honesty and puts the audience in an intimate environment —not devoid of humor.