ballet to the music by Vojislav Voki Kostić

About Performance



It was way back in 2004 when the ballet performance Who is Singing Over There caused quite a commotion among the cultural public. The ballet show was based on the script for the film of the same name written by Dušan Kovačević, to the music of Vojislav Voki Kostić, choreographed and directed by Staša Zurovac. Attractive cast, in which there are no leading and supporting roles, marvellous music that gives the show that distinctive charm, excellent choreography and direction, are just some of the segments that have secured its iconic status, which is confirmed by the fact that it now reached its 200th performance on the National Theatre stage. At the very beginning, there was a certain trepidation of how the cultural public would accept the fact that someone dared stage Who is Singing Over There as a ballet form, especially because of the legendary film from 1980. However, already on the opening night, on December 22, 2004, all doubts were cleared. Ballet art lovers enthusiastically accepted the production, and it was not only journalists and critics, but also many others who had not attended ballet performances before, who expressed their fondness for the show. From the first bars, the audience breathes with the performers and becomes another passenger in that crazy ride. In an attempt to analyse the phenomenon of the success of Who is Singing Over There ballet, we come across many symbols that give it a special vibe and which the audience recognizes, one of them being the Bus presented as a box in which people are locked on their path of no return. Within this claustrophobic structure, different characters collide that represent our mentality, but also the paradigm of life that was never easy at the crossroads between East and West. The ballet is full of archetypal symbols that are woven into our beings and that is why we recognize and understand them so unmistakably. Our lives are made of opposite structures and we discover them in the iconic ballet scenes such as the Wedding and the Funeral, in the characters of Death and Angel and finally the Army, which is a symbol of many wars that, unfortunately, are remembered by many generations from this area. The skilful and lucid choreographic and directorial signature of Staša Zurovac brought this play closer to audience all around the world, as evidenced by numerous guest performances: Bogota (Colombia), Rome (Italy), Toronto and Ottawa (Canada), Cairo (Egypt), Budva and Tivat (Montenegro), Banja Luka (Republic of Srpska), Skopje (Macedonia), Timisoara (Romania) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The audience in Pančevo, Obrenovac, Negotin, Ruma, Čačak, Kruševac, Užice, Nis, Kragujevac, Valjevo, Požarevac, Lazarevac, Sombor and Leskovac also saw the play.  Who is Singing Over There is the first ballet performance in recent theatre history to be performed as a part of the prestigious International Theatre Festival BITEF (2005). This ballet won the Annual National Theatre Award for the Best Performance in the 2004/2005 season, the April Award of the City of Belgrade and the Dimitrije Parlić. Award of the Association of Ballet Artists of Serbia.

Brankica Knežević

Vojislav Voki Kostić (1931-2010)

I was born on the Day of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, on September 21st, 1931, in Belgrade. Father dr Aleksandar Dj. Kostić (1893), mother dr Smilja, born Joksić (1895), both born in Belgrade. I went to school in Belgrade. I wrote music for: 70 motion pictures, 410 theatrical shows, 25 TV series (450 episodes), 40 movies made for TV, 20 radio shows. I composed 93 independent works of serious music (vocal-instrumental, orchestral, music for the stage, choral, chamber and for soloists). I have fulfilled the command of the composer Enriko Josif to realize a top-level work for the ballet stage by composing music for the ballet WHO IS SINGING THERE. I wrote around 2000 songs and ballads. I wrote and published 33 independent LP records, 6 CD’s and an album with 3 CD’s as a complete author. I have written and published: 3 books, 35 scientific works, essays and papers. I have been awarded in the country and abroad 32 times. I was decorated in the country and abroad 3 times. I live and work in Belgrade. I wish to die in Belgrade.

In Belgrade, 2004.
(Translation by Kosta Carina)

Choreographer and Director

Former principal ballet dancer of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, where he has been engaged since 1989. He graduated from the Ballet High School in Zagreb. He continued his ballet education in St. Petersburg, where he graduated from the Vaganova Academy. In the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb he collaborated with the following choreographers: Milko Šparemblek, Martin Müller, Ted Brandsen, Vasco Vellenkamp, ​​Gagik Ismalian, Peter Breuer, Dinko Bogdanić, Patrick Delcroix and many others. He played the main roles in the following ballets: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, The Miraculous Mandarin, Faust, Triumph of Aphrodite, Cantata 66, Dear Life, Unknown Adventure. He has performed in Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Macedonia, Turkey, USA, Brazil and China. He was the creative director of the Croatian National Theatre Ballet in Rijeka from 2003 to 2012. He worked as a lecturer at the University of Rijeka within the specialist studies of Acting and Media. He has been actively engaged in choreography since 1996. He is a member of the Croatian Freelance Artists’ Association.

New Beginning, Cantara, The Fiancée’s Dream, Please, Wake Me Up!, Gods Are Angry, Circus Primitif Balet, Gods Are Not Angry, Give Me, Give Me, Purgatorio, Kiklos, Do You Like Brahms?, Who is Singing Over There, Marquezomania, Daissa – East of Paradise, The Divine Comedy, Dance Macabre, Song of Songs, Woyzeck, Process, Daphne and Chloe, Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Northern Fairy Tale, Mileva Einstein, Nychthemeron, Funeral in Theresienburg, Bluebeard, Lulu, Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, Swan Lake, White. He is also the author of numerous choreographies for dramatic and children’s plays.

- Oskar Harmoš Annual Award of the Croatian National Theatre for the best male performance in the following ballets: Dear Life (Müller), Unknown Adventure (Brandsen), Parallel Passengers (Ismalian) and Cantata 66 (Vellencamp)
- Croatian Actor Award for the work of a young artist in 2000 for the ballet Please, Wake Me Up!
- Croatian National Theatre Award for the role in the ballet The Miraculous Mandarin (Šparemblek)
- Grand Prix and Audience Award at the Festival of Choreographic Miniatures in Belgrade for the ballet The Fiancée’s Dream in 2001.
- Second prize at the 17th International Choreography Competition in Hannover for the same ballet
- Annual Award of the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka for the play Do You Like Brahms? for the best ballet in the 2004/2005 season
- Award of the Association of Professional Ballet Dancers, Choreographers and Ballet Teachers of Serbia and the City of Belgrade Award for the ballet Who’s Singin’ Over There
- City of Rijeka Award
- Peristil Award
- International Jury Award for the Best Ballet Performance at the World Music Day ISCM - Purgatorio, Kiklos
- Vladimir Nazor Award
- Best Choreography and Stage Movement Award at the 49th Prilep Festival


Premiere performance

Premiere, 22nd December 2004 / Main Stage

Based on Ljubivoje Tadić’s idea, the libretto for the production has been inspired by the screenplay for Dušan Kovačević’s film of the same name, directed by Slobodan Šijan

Choreography and Stage Directing Staša Zurovac  
Assistant Choreographer  Olja Jovanović Zurovac  
Costumes  Katarina Radošević Galić  
Sets  Žorž Draušnik  
Light Design  Staša Zurovac

Premiere Cast:

The Bus Aleksandar Ilić, Denis Kasatkin, Dejan Kolarov, Nikica Krluč, Duško Mihailović, Milan Rus, Goran Stanić, Mihajlo Stefanović, Dalija Imanić
Army Nenad Butorović, Miloš Dujaković, Miloš Kecman, Vladimir Panajotović, Ljubiša Peković, Nebojša Stanković
The Wedding - Women Silvija Džunja, Ida Ignjatović, Ana Ivančević, Tamara Ivanović, Milica Jević, Ivana Kozomara, Olga Olćan, Ljupka Stamenovski, Smiljana Stokić, Maja Varićak
The Funeral Tamara Antonijević, Vera Blagojević, Svetlana Marković, Tanja Popović, Ružica Selenić, Jovica Mitrović, Branislav Tojagić
Death Anđela Đaković
Angel Nada Stamatović

Director of Ballet  Konstantin Kostjukov
Ballet Associates Paša Musić
Organizers Brankica Knežević, Gojko Davidović
In Charge of Set Crew Zoran Mirić
Light Operator  Miodrag Milivojević
Sound Operator Miroslav Vuković
Make-Up  Dragoljub Jeremić
Stage Manager  Brankica Pljaskić