This year, we launched the LegendIN project with the aim of involving people with physical or other disabilities in creative activities through which they can express not only their artistic talents but also their own experience of the Croatian non-material heritage.
Here, we present to you our first collaboration with some interesting creators at LegendFest at Roški slap and Pićan, and on the LegendArt project.
We are extremely honored that this year’s LegendFest held in the National Park ‘Krka’ was enriched by the presence and work of the talented designer from Šibenik, Karmen Herceg.
Karmen’s dresses, which she made especially for LegendFest, revealed some of the mysterious secrets of fairies – a main inspiration for her fashion show. Here’s how she describes her view on the harmony of elements and colour that best represents the essence of these secretive fairy beings who blend with the environment so seamlessly:
“Fairies are the notion of something light and beautiful and I wanted to fit my creations into those frameworks. The secrets of fairies can be hidden in the lush greens and among waterfalls. The collection consists of 3 dresses for the fairies of water, 3 for the fairies of the forest and 3 for the creatures of waterfalls and forests. Fluttering fairy dresses, playful and intensive, each carries its own connection to the water or the greens around them.”
We would like to thank Mrs Ljiljani Stamenković who prepared the choreography for the models representing the fairies, as well as Nenad Tisaj who, in his elf attire, was the only elf among the 10 fairies. Nenad has thus affirmed legendary stories in which the beautiful young fairies take the handsome man into their dance circle and he then becomes an elf.
If you haven’t met Karmen Herceg yet, you don’t know what you are missing out on! Her fragile appearance can easily hide the fact that she is such a vibrant and energetic ‘little bomb’ that leaves no one indifferent to her attitudes, work ethic, determination and a lifestyle. If you haven’t met her yet, you can do so at Slavonski Brod on the 16th of August where she is invited to the 4th World Art Games. Among the 87 member countries of this project that delineates boundaries and differences between people and unites them with art, Karmen will be presenting a collection of 15 fairy-tale like dresses, named Living fairy tales.
More about Karmen Herceg can be found here.
“Weaving a waterfall one drop at a time” is the name of a creative workshop, held by members of the Association for Promoting Inclusion in a perfectly suitable environment – at Roški slap. The name of the workshop confirms that the contribution to the community of each one of us is unique and irreplaceable, including the contribution of people with intellectual disabilities.
Marko, Antonija, Helena, Marijana and Đurđica showed us how to make jewelry, ornamental lavender sachet bags with lavender they picked from the fields themselves, or how to decorate a bottle with rope and paint it…
This charming group has also shown us the art of embroidery – a skill that nowadays is only carried on by our grandmothers and old tales. They take it upon themselves to keep this skill alive, so they have decided to revive it at LegendFest by showing visitors how anyone with the needle and thread can contribute to shaping the motifs of LegendFest Fairy on canvas.
How people with intellectual disabilities create artistic, traditional and designer products, can be found at Association for Promoting Inclusion and Center for Inclusive Work Activities website – Shop with Heart.
Elina Petričec, head of the Šibenik branch, of their participation in LegendFest says: “We want to include people with intellectual disabilities in a way that they can pass on their creative work long-standing knowledge and skills to others. Thus, we convey to others a very important message about people with intellectual disabilities, not just as participants but also as those who are actively conducting activities in society.”
We couldn’t agree more. We hope we also contribute to the creation of a joint waterfall where every drop is unique and irreplaceable.
Some of you probably still remember the dark days of childhood spent in hospital due to most common operations or perhaps some more serious illness. You probably remember how special it was to have had a story read to you by a nurse (if you were lucky) or some of the family members who came to visit you.
Goran Čučković, a man who himself has difficulty walking, has decided to make a difference for the sick children by making their long days and solitary nights spent in hospitals more enjoyable. He transformed his creative energy into writing stories for children and launched the project ‘Angelo the dragon helps children’, named after Angelo the Dragon, the main character of one of his picture books.
We are exceptionally pleased to have started collaboration with Goran on our project LegendArt – a creative contest for school students in which they express their artistic talents inspired by various themes from Croatian legends, myths and stories. Goran was a main jury member for literary works at LegendArt, and the best ones were awarded with his picture books about stories designed to help children in hospitals and cups with the motifs of the characters from his picture books.
This is just the beginning! Apart from his talent for writing children’s stories, Goran has many more great ideas that we intend to realize in the near future. Most of these ideas concern the inclusion of people with disabilities in the LegendIN project, their empowerment in the field of art, and the encouragement of healthy people to better understand and accept people with disabilities.
With all the admirable traits that Goran has, we cannot imagine a better person for realization of those ideas. Watch this space…
Read more about Goran here.
“Sometimes we dream of something so nice that we don’t want to wake up, sometimes our dreams are telling us something important, and sometimes we are devoid of dreams as She takes our spirit and body. Mòra. Who is she, where does she come from and why is she here? Inhabitants of the village where Mòra decided to disrupt their dreams are seeking answers to these questions. Will they mange to drive Mòra away once and for all, or is their peaceful sleep lost forever? “
Choreographer Senka Baruška together with Marina Stanger, Zoran Josić, Marta Rak and Zvonimir Kvesić participated in this drama dance project titled “The Clarity of Illusion“. This site specific show was designed and performed by them at LegendFest in Pićan 2017.
A dramatic finale to this story was performed by a very special person – Tamara Bračun who finds meaning of life in dancing despite the fact she was born with cerebral palsy. She is a member of the professional dance group ‘Magija’ whose members are people with disabilities from the Association of persons with cerebral and paediatric paralysis Rijeka (PAL).
Collaboration between Tamara and PAL started through workshops held for the Dance Day in Opatija, and continued in the play “The Clarity of Illusion”. Thanks to this collaboration, Tamara has been introduced to the world of acting and hopes to continue her work with PAL in the future.
About her role in the play, Tamara says:
“This drama dance performance was a completely new experience for me because it took place on the streets and under street lighting, thus providing a very different type of dance floor. The uphill and downhill of the street was another challenge for me that I had to incorporate into dance moves, for example, I had to fasten and unfasten my wheelchair in a way that made it look like a part of the performance. I love these challenges because they push my dancing abilities to new limits.
My life is dancing. I love the movement. I like to explore. I love my body from which all these unique movements come out, just as it was demonstrated in the “The Clarity of Illusion”. We learn from each other and this is what makes art distinct.
People with disabilities are poorly represented in the art world. I believe that anyone who really wants to be part of this magical world can find a way. Everyone creates their own happiness and so do we, people with disabilities.
Participating in LegendFest was very interesting. The role of Mòra which I played was intriguing because of the negative connotation attached to it, but I believe I have managed to portray it successfully. We can dance in the streets and that’s wonderful. Uphills and downhills are no longer an obstacle. Only sky is the limit now.”
More about dance group ‘Magija’ can be found here.
You can watch Tamara surrendering to dancing on the stage here.
You can read about how Tamara became part of the Rijeka Ballet Ensemble here.