22. March 2022.





The City of Belgrade has published the list of candidates for the City of Belgrade Award – Despot Stefan Lazarević for 2021.

In the field of theater, Prof. Aleksandar Ilić was nominated for the choreography of the dance performance Grand Hotel.


The dance performance Grand Hotel premiered on April 1, 2021 on the Grand Stage of the Madlenianum Opera and Theater, choreographed by Prof. Aleksandar Ilić and directed by Prof. Aleksandar Nikolić.

The author’s music for the play was done by the composer Ana Krstajić, the scenography by the Croatian artist Žorž Draušnik, and the costume by Aleksandra Karović.

The play stars are Mojca Majcen (Slovenia), Branko Mitrović (BIH), Jakša Filipovac (Serbia) and Ognjen Vučinić (Croatia). In addition to the dancers in the play Grand Hotel, random guests who represent our subconscious or time are members of the Ladies’ Dance Theater: Nada Kecman, Mira Ivančević, Vesna Stipišić, Katarina Stojkov Slijepčević, Marina Maraš, Biljana Knežević and Milica Bezmarević.

The lighting designer is Vladimir Krunić, the music associate is Dušan Arskin, and the play is led by the director Vesna Petrović Ćurčić.



This unusual performance by the choreographer Aleksandar Ilić does not follow the illustrative film of the same name, but deals with time and re-examining the characters closed in the space of a hotel, which symbolically represents life itself.

The music for the play was done by Ana Krstajić (Serbia), the scenography by Žorž Draušnik (Croatia), and the costume by Aleksandar Karović (Serbia).

At the Grand Hotel, time has stopped in the astonishing intertwining of people and hotel guests, played brilliantly by dancers from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Also, there is a group of women on the stage all the time (Ladies’ Dance Theater) who represent both time itself and subconscious metaphysical actions and reactions of the actors themselves. In this hotel, the characters are presented a bit shifted and unusual in relation to the dramaturgy and characterization and the relationship to the very way of movement. Their relations are placed in a kind of seductive independent and collective action, in which their mutual influences produce upcoming actions. The seductive maid played by guest Ognjen Vučinić (Croatia), a displaced receptionist in the role of Branko Mitrović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and hotel guests, mother and son played by Mojca Majcen (Slovenia) and Jakša Filipovac (Serbia), delighted the audience with their height and deeply dedicated performances. The specific way of movement of these characters can be described as a mixture of modern movement and dance theater in which movements are moved to the physical capabilities of the body. The choreography of Aleksandar Ilić in this case derives from the work of the dramatic structure of the characters, and makes this piece different and more interesting in relation to classical contemporary dance productions.

The top technique lies in the imaginatively designed ways of movement, the body of each performer separately, and in the small details that bring each character to a high level. Their collective game shapes the overall displaced image and atmosphere of the Grand Hotel, in which time is both a judge and a friend, and a support and an executioner.

The overall feeling of closedness, displacement from the normal and strange microcosm in which it is increasingly difficult to breathe, reminds us of the situation we all found ourselves in the past year, and gives the show its relevance. In the end, the choreographer still gives us hope that there is a way out and that there is another life. The chosen style of play, both dramatic and choreographic, is reminiscent of the famous troupe Peeping Tom, whose creations have achieved great success in the world with this type of mystical and displaced creativity.

Milica Cerović, choreographer and critic, April 2, 2021. Radio Belgrade 2


The dance show Grand Hotel was a great success at festivals in Novi Sad, Tivat, Sarajevo, Skopje, and in 2022 new guest appearances are planned.

The project is a co-production of the Opera and Theater Madlenianum and the Association of Professional Ballet Dancers, Choreographers and Ballet Educators of Serbia, and was supported by the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia, the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Belgrade, the Velenje Festival. Slovenia for Cultural Activities and the Belgrade Dance Institute.


The list of candidates for the Belgrade City Awards for 2021 can be viewed here: https://www.beograd.rs/images/file/162de8e4b7d03282362ff8fb677b7923_5787972004.pdf


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