Ilina Angelovska, Scenographer: I Am Not Same Person Without Music and Theater
For theater lovers- a name often encountered behind the stage designs,costum design, yet for the fans of electro / underground music - a name that is regularly listed in Macedonia's top DJs. For those who have listened Channel 103 - recognizable voice of the radio show "Music for Youth."
Ilina Angelovska so far has produced about fifty scenographies / costume designs for theater, a profession which she says is actually hard and masculine.The theater is her natural environment where she spent her childhood, watching a children's plays at the Drama Theater in Skopje, along with her father Vladimir Angelovski - Dadi, who is one of the biggest actors in Macedonia.
Her Newest release in the theater that the audience could see is the scenography and costume design of "SilyanThe Stork is dancing," written by Dukovski and directed by Srdjan Janikievic.
Bellow is the full interview with Angelovska, which except for the theater, talked about the current situation in the Underground scene in Macedonia.
T: On the scene of "Silyan the Stork is Dancing" we saw a mottle of fairytail colors, though not too much...
The concept started with several talks with the director before to form the whole team, I met a few times with Srdjan, we discussed the topic. We make a pattern that is manipulated, it's just like playing chess. It starts from a starting point. We knew that we wanted to be modern and minimal approach that from one element we want to do more transformations because the story, "Silyan the Stork travels" has many scene changes that we had to reconsider. We were isolated from all the technical skills that one big scene has. No constructions, moving modules, here we have a classic stage, we`ve managed, actors throughout the game managed to transform the scenery from one image to another.
T: You worked the costume design also, is it easier to create the scenography while making the costumes at the same time? Or how does this process goes?
It is the same language. When I was studying theater design, we learned that it does not matter whether scenography or costumes when it comes to the visual image, visual narrative, a visual intelligence through which the story is told. The costumes are part of the same story, only they are technically performed in different manner.
T: Besides the theater, you have experienced the film, which is more attractive in your opinion?
I always say that these are two different sides of the same coin. Seemingly it comes to the same thing. On the one hand, if the theater requires symbolism, multilevel importance, in the film is required accurate and precise replica. It's about literally copying images from real life or from a decade and requires precision to the finest detail. But I must admit that the film is more exciting because it is about a certain period of time,always processed on a different theme, with people who had never been together, the work is created and then everyone goes in different directions. Everyone says that the film is the most exciting, but also the most difficult thing. And I support that. Theater is lighter process, more thoughtfull, where designers, directors, actors have equal influence and all this synergy creates the final piece.
T: How genes contributed to our work in theater, film ...?
I'm not sure if I inherited the genes of my father or my grandmother, who practiced theater from an early age, but definitely growing in such an environment is crucial to be engaged with this today. I still remember when i was very little when my father carried me to the theater, I've literally grown up in the Drama theater, on rehearsals, performances, recordings ... So theater, film, all that environment for me was normal and natural. It would be strange to work on something else when three generations of my family directly or indirectly were involved with theater and visual arts.
T: Do you remember the first play you watched?
I could not say with certainty, my memories are interlaced. But it is the children's performances at the Drama Theater, as "Captain John Peoplefox," "Shakespeare in stories", " Just Steel", then "Fishing quarrels", "Solunski Patrdii"( Thessaloniki Rattles) "A Flea in the Ear" ... But I remember that what attracted me the most to scene design and costume design is the magic that lies on the other side of the stage, not what the audience can see. From an early age I entered behind the scenes and what you see is how incorporated are all these elements, the backdrops, objects that should show the scenery or the world to the audience. For me it was always interesting, like a little child lost between objects, scenes. I admit that I had idolized that it is a romantic thing, but when I finally started to deal with set design as a designer, I realized that it is hard, heavy and men's work, because you are faced with masters, construction, technical specifications, which are not all romantic and easy as when you see the final show.
I realized that after returning from my graduate studies in London, where they taught us more how to explore, to form concept, not teaching us about the daily problems that we could face when we`ll come on the scene. When I came back, my first job was in the Turkish theater in Skopje and then for the first time i faced with the stage technique, performers, workers. I was a girl with pink hills, clouds,suns that should tell them what to do. It was my first shock and stress, but now I have 50 plays behind and the experience is doing it all.
T: Do you apply anything from what is practiced in London, because I guess that is very different from how things are done here ...
Completely different. It is unlike a decade or more. For theatrical exercises that we made more than ten years in London as students at this time in our country there was no such close technical capabilities in theaters. Irreplaceable treasure is the experience I got to the college "Saint Martins", in terms of how to investigate, how to use inspiration from the environment and how to use references and important things in a particular context or a certain play.
T: Aside from the scenery and costumes, many years you are part of the Macedonian electronic music scene as DJ. Which profession is your biggest vent, but at the end of the day satisfies you the most?
Music is love that follows me from the childhood. I have to mention again that in the family the visual arts and music have always been primary. I finished music school, six years I played keyboards and did not know if I wanted to go in Art or Music secondary school so at the end my parents said to me: Just go in Highschool.
I started buying records from the age of ten, so that developed and began to take space in my life. While I was in London, I was able to purchase records everyday, almost everywhere, for very affordable prices. I mustered a serious collection of music records that simply had to be shared anywhere, so I started from one birthday to another, from one cafe to another, so it appeard that I also deal with music seriosly. For 13 years I have my own radio program on Channel 103 and it's definitely an integral part of my life.
T: What is the situation of the underground scene in Skopje and wider in Macedonia since you performe in other cities?
When it comes to club music scene, I think that Skopje has never been better, never been more choices and never had so many different locations and teams to organize parties and bringing artists.
Crucially important is to bring different guests constantly, it broadens the horizons of the audience and creates a critical mass that knows how to recognize good music.
In the following period in Skopje we will have extremely influential musicians, starting from Anthony Rotter, which comes on "Cinedays", Aubrey in MCC, Tras'Mi, then Vin Music bring Heidi next week ... This is already a serious offer as one of the European cities.
15 years ago, there was only one group in Skopje that make parties, it`s PMG, and now we have a lot more groups that create co a healthy constructive competition that raises the level.
Unfortunately, in the other cities around the country the situation is very sad. Overall, one of the reasons for this is that young people are emigrating, some come in Skopje and the rest are leaving the state, so it can not create a critical audience that would attended these parties.
T: At the end, let`s go back to the theater. Do you dream of a particular play that you would like to set the scenography?
I love the plays of Shakespeare,that are always provocation for placement as "The Tempest" or "Midsummer Night's Dream." However, my greatest desire is to succeed professionally beyond the borders of our country.
Big dream for me to be well-prepared to succeed and to work abroad.
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