Visiting the National Theater of Novi Sad. Photo by Giovanni Zazzera Discovering the Beauty of Novi Sad Tandem Cultural Capitals participants Milana Kvas (The Pavel Beljanski museum) and Rhiannon Morgan & Giovanni Zazzera (Lucoda) were in Novi Sad from 20 to 24 October 2019. They share insights from their trip in this photo story. Day 1 Sunday 20/10 Lucoda Collective from Luxembourg represented by its founders Rhiannon Morgan and Giovanni Zazzera arrived in Serbia and were greeted by their Tandem collaborator Milana Kvas from Pavle Beljanski museum at Belgrade airport. After a taxi ride through the mesmerising Serbian countryside they arrived in Novi Sad where Rhiannon and Giovanni settled into their city centre apartment. After a shot of traditional Raki alcohol as a welcome to Novi Sad, the party continued to dinner at the traditional Serbian restaurant Sozake where in a warm and relaxed atmosphere they discussed current and future developments of their project. Milana then gave a small tour around the city centre whereby first impressions and interactions with this unique and vibrant city were made. Spending time to explore the beautiful city of Novi Sad with Milana, Rhiannon and myself. Photo by Giovanni Zazzera. Day 2 Monday 21/10 After a good night rest, the Tandem team met at the Pavle Beljanski Museum where introductions were made to the whole staff of the Museum. Discovering the beautiful collection of the Pavel Beljanski Museum. Photo by Milana Kvas. A tour was made of the Museum’s collection whereby each painting was meticulously explained and brought to life by Milana’s indepth knowledge and passion for her art form. Then, followed a meeting with Tatania Grujic and Dijana Kozarski from the Academy of Fine Arts of Novi Sad where collaboration possibilities were explored so as to include students from the Academy in the ChoreoChroma project. Lunch followed at the beautiful Pasha Restaurant where we discussed and briefed about the morning’s meeting as well as making preparations for the evening performance in the context of the opening of the gallery in Irig curated by Ashakam Kvas. Eating Figs with Milana and Rhiannon. Photo by Giovanni Zazzera. The team then travelled by bus for a half hour trip through the Gora Forest to reach Irig where Rhiannon and Giovanni were shown around the (I unfortunately forgot the name of) monastery and then savoured home made lemonade and figs at Milana’s home with the company of her children. At 17:00 all travelled to one gallery in Irig where Rhiannon and Giovanni prepared for their performance and at 18:00 the opening of the gallery was launched. To an audience of 60 visitors Rhiannon and Giovanni presented a short duet which explored the relationship between the body, painting and image so as to offer an innovative perspective on how we experience art works in a gallery. Needless to say, this evening was a great success with positive feedback and an audience which wished to share with the artists their impressions and surprise to have embarked on such a journey. Filled with a day of encounters, sharing, creating and moving Rhiannon and Giovanni returned to Novi Sad and enjoyed a quiet evening at their apartment. Day 3 Tuesday 22/10 The morning started again at the Pavle Beljanski Museum whereby the morning’s meeting was with Ziva Stanojevic video designer editor and Jasmina Jaksic Subic to discuss the multi media aspect of the ChoreoChroma project. From this meeting emerged a common wish to propose this project as part of the Opening Ceremony of the Kaleidoscope pillar of Novi Sad 2021 and the team discussed the options around this proposal. ChoreoChroma future artistic team. Photo by Milana Kvas. Then followed a private tour around the National Theatre by Dijana Kozarski who showed us around the backstage areas of costume, rehearsal rooms and the main stage of the theatre as well as its adjacent theatre and studio theatre. After a quick lunch the team then went on a tour across the Danube to the Fortress of Petrovaradin where they were met by Katerina Dajc fellow Novi Sad-Esch 2022 collaborator who took care to show us around all the area. With unfortunately not enough time to explore all the hidden treasures of the immense cultural heritage of this area of the city, Rhiannon, Giovanni and Milana headed back to the city centre and to the Academy of Fine Arts where Rhiannon and Giovanni gave a workshop to the second and third year students. This was a unique opportunity to get to know the students through the medium of movement and establish a first connection with them. Through improvisational tasks, the students were encouraged to explore new physicalities and modes of expression. Through this exchange, Rhiannon and Giovanni were thrilled and excited to include such talented and passionate students to the ChoreoChroma project and discussed with their teacher Dijana Kozarski which framework could be created so as to include the maximum amount of students. Giving a dance class to the students of the Academy of fine Arts in Novi Sad. Photo by Milana Kvas. During this workshop, the team also met the composer and musician Ljubomir Nicolic who will take part in the project. To wrap up the day in true Serbian style, Rhiannon, Dijana, Giovanni and Ljubomir Nicolic conversed around a glass of Raki in a warm and sociable atmosphere. Day 4 Wednesday 23/10 The day started in the sunshine with a natural fruit juice in the buzzing Liberty Square where the team prepared for their Ecoc appointment. At 10:30 the team went to the ECoC headquarters and had a meeting to present ChoreoChroma. The project was received with enthusiasm and full support from ECoC Novi Sad and the following practical steps were discussed so as to complete the application procedure for the project to secure itself in the framework of the opening ceremony of the Kaleidoscope Pillar of Novi Sad 2021. The team left the headquarters elated and focused on what the project needed to meet the various deadlines. With the Novi Sad 2021 ECOC team. Photo by Milana Kvas. We then went to visit the ancient Silk Factory, the Svilara Cultural Centre as well as the Egyseg Cultural Station which will be hosting various activities of the ECoC so as to give us a greater insight into the immense community commitment Novi Sad has established. Rhiannon and Giovanni were moved by the humanity and effort put into making cultural centres accessible to all especially by projects such as open plan Japenese cooking exhibition, children activities, book loaning system, open plan shared working plans open to reservations to whoever is in need to name a few. Milana, Rhiannon and Giovanni then took a bus across the Danube to the picturesque town of Sremski Karlovic where they lunched and then went to visit the quirky Match Museum. After a quick visit around the premises of the Karlovic Gymnasium, the team proceeded to wrap of all information gathered during these days over coffee overlooking the Danube river. Thank you to Katarina for a great guide tour around the fortress. Photo by Milana Kvas. Day 5 Thursday 24/10 Sadly it is the time of departure! Milana came to say farewell and Rhiannon and Giovanni went to Belgrade airport, mind, heart and suitcase filled with inspiration and motivation to set into motion their Tandem partnership.