Miroslav Krleža’s most famous drama text, The Glembays, is set to receive its ballet version in the new season. The story begins with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Glembay Bank, in the palace of old Glembay, the head of the family and the founder of the bank. The entire family reunites after a long time, including the estranged son Leone, who decided not to take over the family business, and had instead become a painter. He returns to Zagreb after eleven years, and cannot resist sarcastically narrating the family’s history, which begins with a crime committed in 1790, when a Glembay robbed and murdered a goldsmith in the Vinica woods, and continues with illicit business and personal transactions, and theatrical means of degeneration: spasms, neuroses, sleeping aids and Browning weapons. During the first night, in the thunderstorm, Leone has a terrible fight with his father, accusing him of everything that led their family to the edge of survival, which results in the old banker having a heart attack. While the members of the family gather around him for a wake, the family’s business partners try to minimise the damage that the sudden death of the bank director will inevitably cause, and Leone draws a death mask of his father. When the fears of the loss of the company, and the family approaching bankruptcy are confirmed, in frenzied scenes that follow in a mad tempo, all of the long hidden secrets, adulteries, insanity, deceit, and thefts come out, and everything ends in blood.
The drama first premiered in 1929 in the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, and was an instant success, becoming one of the most performed Krleža’s dramas, both locally and internationally. Richly nuanced characters, intertwined relationships, emotional outbursts, confrontations and intrigues, meticulous analyses, and prophecies about the destiny of a small nation that are just as current today, are some of the characteristics of this text, which offers unthinkable possibilities of artistic expression. The ballet production of The Glembays, to the selected music of various local and world-known composers, represents a big challenge for the choreographer and his assistants, as well as for the entire ensemble that goes on a true artistic adventure, which will indubitably raise a lot of interest, especially from those who are well-acquainted with this choreographer’s work as well as with this famous literary family.
LEO MUJIĆ, choreographer, after attending Belgrade’s Ballet School Lujo Davičo, graduated from L’Ecole-atelier Rudra Béjart in Laussanne and immediately started performing as a very successful soloist in famous European dance theatres. Dedicating himself to choreography, he worked in big European and Croatian ballet theatres. In Zagreb’s Ballet, he choreographed a full-length ballet inspired by the poetry of Dobriša Cesarić, The Silence of my Murmur, as well as the extremely popular ballet Anna Karenina, based on Tolstoy’s famous novel and set to the music of Tchaikovsky, and is now once again reaching for Croatian literature to present his vision of the renowned Krleža’s drama.