Culture of Slovenia
Among the modes of expression of the culture of Slovenia, a nation state in Central Europe, are music and dance, literature, visual arts, film and theatre. A number of festivals take place, showcasing music and literature.
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Pino Mlakar and Pia Mlakar were the most notable ballet dancers and members of the Ljubljana Opera and Ballet Company from 1946-1960. Pino Mlakar was also a full professor at the Academy for Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) of the University of Ljubljana.
Festivals, book fairs, and other events
A number of music, theater, film, book, and children's festivals takes place in Slovenia each year. In 2012, Maribor was the European Capital of Culture.
Music festivals include the Ljubljana Summer Festival and Lent Festival. Historically, among the most popular music festivals was the Slovenska popevka festival. Between 1981 and 2000 the Novi Rock festival was notable for bringing rock music across Iron curtain from the West to the Slovenian and then Yugoslav audience. In Titoist Yugoslavia, Jazz festival Ljubljana right after the World War II begun the long tradition of Jazz festivals in Slovenia.
The most knows stand up comedy festival is the Punch Festival in Ljubljana.
The children's festival celebrating the Pipi Longstocking character is Pikin festival in Velenje.
Slovene film actors and actresses historically include Ida Kravanja, who played her roles as Ita Rina in the early European films, and Metka Bučar. After the WW II, one of the most notable film actors was Polde Bibič, who played a number of roles in many films that were well received in Slovenia, including Don't Cry, Peter (1964), On Wings of Paper (1968), Kekec's Tricks (1968), Flowers in Autumn (1973), The Widowhood of Karolina Žašler (1976), Heritage (1986), Primož Trubar (1985), and My Dad, The Socialist Kulak (1987). Many of these were directed by Matjaž Klopčič. He also performed in television and radio drama. Altogether, Bibič played over 150 theatre and over 30 film roles.
Film in Slovenia historically includes Karol Grossmann, František Čap, France Štiglic, Igor Pretnar, Jože Pogačnik, Peter Zobec, Matjaž Klopčič, Boštjan Hladnik, Dušan Jovanović, Vitan Mal, Franci Slak, and Karpo Godina as its most established filmmakers. Contemporary film directors Filip Robar - Dorin, Jan Cvitkovič, Damjan Kozole, Janez Lapajne, Marko Okorn, and Marko Naberšnik are among the representatives of the so-called "Renaissance of Slovenian cinema". Slovene screenwriters, who are not film directors, include Saša Vuga and Miha Mazzini. Women film directors include Polona Sepe, Hanna A. W. Slak, and Maja Weiss.
Most notable documentaries made by Slovenian directors include the humanitarian films by Tomo Križnar on the Nuba people.
Literary fiction, poetry, essays, and criticism
Literature written in Slovene language was founded in the 16th century by Primož Trubar and other Protestant Reformers.
Poetry in Slovene language achieved its highest level with the Romantic poet France Prešeren (1800–1849). In the 20th century, the Slovene literary fiction went through several periods: the beginning of the century was marked by the authors of the Slovene Modernism, with the most influential Slovene writer and playwright, Ivan Cankar; it was then followed by expressionism (Srečko Kosovel), avantgardism (Anton Podbevšek, Ferdo Delak) and social realism (Ciril Kosmač, Prežihov Voranc) before World War II, the poetry of resistance and revolution (Karel Destovnik Kajuh, Matej Bor) during the war, and intimism (Poems of the Four, 1953), post-war modernism (Edvard Kocbek), and existentialism (Dane Zajc) after the war. Short stories became a popular genre after the 1990s. There are several Slovene literary magazines that publish prose, poetry, essays, and local literary criticism.
Children's literature and poetry
Music of Slovenia historically includes numerous musicians and composers, such as the Renaissance composer Jacobus Gallus (1550–1591), who greatly influenced Central European classical music and the Baroque composer Janez Krstnik Dolar (ca. 1620–1673).
During the medieval era, secular music was as popular as church music, including wandering minnesingers. By the time of Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, music was used to proselytize. The first Slovenian hymnal, Eni Psalmi, was published in 1567. This period saw the rise of musicians like Jacobus Gallus and Jurij Slatkonja.
In 1701, Johann Berthold von Höffer (1667–1718), a nobleman and amateur composer from Ljubljana, founded the Academia Philharmonicorum Labacensis, as one of the oldest such institutions in Europe, based on Italian models.
Composers of Slovenian Lieder and art songs include Emil Adamič (1877–1936), Fran Gerbič (1840–1917), Alojz Geržinič (1915–2008), Benjamin Ipavec (1829–1908), Davorin Jenko (1835–1914), Anton Lajovic (1878–1960), Kamilo Mašek (1831–1859), Josip Pavčič (1870–1949), Zorko Prelovec (1887–1939), and Lucijan Marija Škerjanc (1900–1973).
In the early 20th century, impressionism was spreading across Slovenia, which soon produced composers Marij Kogoj and Slavko Osterc. Avant-garde classical music arose in Slovenia in the 1960s, largely due to the work of Uroš Krek, Dane Škerl, Primož Ramovš and Ivo Petrić, who also conducted the Slavko Osterc Ensemble. Jakob Jež, Darijan Božič, Lojze Lebič and Vinko Globokar have since composed enduring works, especially Globokar's L'Armonia, an opera.
Modern composers include Uroš Rojko, Tomaž Svete, Brina Jež-Brezavšček, Božidar Kantušer and Aldo Kumar. Kumar's Sonata z igro 12 (A sonata with a play 12), a set of variations on a rising chromatic scale, is particularly notable.
The Slovene National Opera and Ballet Theatre serves as the national opera and ballet house.
Harmony singing is a deep rooted tradition in Slovenia, and is at least three-part singing (four voices), while in some regions even up to eight-part singing (nine voices). Slovenian folk songs, thus, usually resounds soft and harmonious, and are very seldom in minor.
Traditional Slovenian folk music is performed on Styrian harmonica (the oldest type of accordion), fiddle, clarinet, zithers, flute, and by brass bands of alpine type. In eastern Slovenia, fiddle and cimbalon bands are called velike goslarije.
Slovenian country music
From 1952 on, the Slavko Avsenik's band began to appear in broadcasts, movies, and concerts all over the West Germany, inventing the original "Oberkrainer" country sound that has become the primary vehicle of ethnic musical expression not only in Slovenia, but also in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and in the Benelux, spawning hundreds of Alpine orchestras in the process. The band produced nearly 1000 original compositions, an integral part of the Slovenian-style polka legacy. Avsenik's most popular instrumental composition is the polka that is titled "Na Golici" (in Slovene), or "Trompetenecho" (in German), and "Trumpet Echoes" (in English). Oberkrainer music, which the Avsenik Ensemble popularized, is always a strong candidate for country (folk) music awards in Slovenia and Austria.
Many musicians followed Avsenik's steps, one of the most famous being Lojze Slak.
A similarly high standing in Slovene culture, like the Sanremo Music Festival has had in Italian culture, was attributed to the Slovenska popevka, a specific genre of popular Slovene music.
Among pop, rock, industrial, and indie musicians the most popular in Slovenia include Laibach, an early 1980s industrial music group, and most recently the Slovenian pop a cappella band Perpetuum Jazzile.
Pop, rock, metal, and indie music
Other popular bands, most largely unknown outside the country, include Negligence (thrash metal), Elvis Jackson (ska punk), Lačni Franz, Bohem, Puppetz (Indie), Tabu, Društvo Mrtvih Pesnikov (pop-rock), Naio Ssaion (Gothic metal), Terrafolk, Leaf Fat (screamo), Avven, Perpetuum Jazzile, Carpe Diem, Šank Rock, Big Foot Mama, Yogurt, Levitan, Dan D, Time to time, Flirrt, Zablujena generacija, Slon in Sadež, Katalena, Rock Partyzani, Shyam, Eroika, Hic et Nunc, Devil Doll (experimental rock), Chateau, Posodi mi jürja, Rok'n'band, Čuki, Juliette Justine, Zaklonišče Prepeva, Psycho-Path, Dekadent (black metal) and Buldožer (progressive rock), and most recently Perpetuum Jazzile with more than 12 million views combined for the two a cappella "Africa" performance videos since their publishing on YouTube in May 2009 until September 2011, earning them kudos from the song's co-writer, David Paich.
Slovenian post-WWII singer-songwriters include Frane Milčinski (1914-1988), Tomaž Pengov whose 1973 album Odpotovanja is considered to be the first singer-songwriter album in former Yugoslavia, Tomaž Domicelj, Marko Brecelj, Andrej Šifrer, Eva Sršen, Neca Falk, and Jani Kovačič. After 1990, Adi Smolar, Iztok Mlakar, Vita Mavrič, Vlado Kreslin, Zoran Predin, Peter Lovšin, and Magnifico have been popular in Slovenia, as well.
The 1970s Bratko Bibič's band Begnagrad is considered one of the direct influences on modern world music. Bibič's unique accordion style, often solo, with no accompaniment, has also made him a solo star.
Slovenia was the center for punk rock in the Titoist Yugoslavia. The most famous representatives of this genre were Pankrti, Niet, Lublanski Psi, Čao Pičke, Via Ofenziva, Tožibabe, and Otroci Socializma.
Techno and tech-house
Slovenia has also produced two renowned DJs: DJ Umek and Valentino Kanzyani. Specialising in a frantic brand of party techno and tech-house, the pair co-founded the label Recycled Loops as well as having many releases on labels such as Novamute, Primate, Intec and Bassethound Records.
In addition to the main houses, which include Slovene National Theatre, Ljubljana and Maribor National Drama Theatre, a number of small producers are active in Slovenia, including physical theatre (e.g. Betontanc), street theatre (e.g. Ana Monró Theatre), theatresports championship Impro League, and improvisational theatre (e.g. IGLU Theatre). A popular form is puppetry, mainly performed in the Ljubljana Puppet Theatre. Theater has a rich tradition in Slovenia, starting with the 1867 first ever Slovene-language drama performance.
Visual arts, architecture and design
Slovenia's visual arts, architecture, and design are shaped by a number of architects, designers, painters, sculptors, photographers, graphics artists, as well as comics, illustration and conceptual artists. The most prestigious institutions exhibiting works of Slovene visual artists are the National Gallery of Slovenia and the Museum of Modern Art.
Modern architecture in Slovenia was introduced by Max Fabiani, and in the mid-war period, Jože Plečnik and Ivan Vurnik. In the second half of the 20th century, the national and universal style were merged by the architects Edvard Ravnikar and Marko Mušič.
Comics and animation
Milko Bambič is known for the first Slovene comic strip Little Negro Bu-ci-bu, an allegory of Mussolini's career, and as the creator of the Three Hearts (Tri srca) brand, still used today by Radenska. After the WW II, both the comics and animated advertisements drawn by Miki Muster gained popularity in Slovenia.
The first Slovenian animated feature film was the 1998 Socialization of a Bull, made by Zvonko Čoh and Milan Erič who together drew fifty thousand frames during the ten years of its making. The first entirely computer made animations are the 2003 Perkmandeljc and the 2008 Čikorja an' kafe, both made by Dušan Kastelic.
A number of conceptual visual art groups formed, including OHO, Group 69, and IRWIN. Nowadays, the Slovene visual arts are diverse, based on tradition, reflect the influence of neighbouring nations and are intertwinned with modern European movements.
The most known among Slovene interior designers is the designer of Scandinavian design-inspired 1952 Rex chair, Niko Kralj. His design is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art MOMA in New York City.
Elan SCX are one of the best industrial design items that changed the world ski industry. They were designed in the internationally known Slovenian Elan company. Elan skis were depicted, even before Elan SCX, in the 1985 James Bond film series part A View to a Kill with Roger Moore. In the romantic comedy film Working Girl, Katharine Parker (Sigourney Weaver) was depicted as skiing on the RC ELAN model skis and poles.
In 1917 Hinko Smrekar illustrated the notable Fran Levstik's Martin Krpan book about the Slovene folk hero. The children's books illustrators include a number of women illustrators, such as Marlenka Stupica, Marija Lucija Stupica, Ančka Gošnik Godec, Marjanca Jemec Božič, and Jelka Reichman.
Many generations of children have been educated by the technical and science illustrations created by Božo Kos and published in Slovenian children's magazines, such as Ciciban.
Historically, painting and sculpture in Slovenia was in the late 18th and the 19th century marked by Neoclassicism (Matevž Langus), Biedermeier (Giuseppe Tominz) and Romanticism (Mihael Stroj). The first art exhibition in Slovenia was organised in the late 19th century by Ivana Kobilica, a woman-painter who worked in realistic tradition. Impressionist artists include Matej Sternen, Matija Jama, Rihard Jakopič, Ivan Grohar whose The Sower (Slovene: Sejalec) was depicted on the €0.05 Slovenian euro coins, and Franc Berneker, who introduced the impressionism to Slovenia. Espressionist painters include Veno Pilon and Tone Kralj whose picture book, reprinted thirteen times, is now the most recognisable image of the folk hero Martin Krpan.
In 1841, Janez Puhar (1814–1864) invented a process for photography on glass, recognized on June 17, 1852 in Paris by the Académie Nationale Agricole, Manufacturière et Commerciale. Gojmir Anton Kos was a notable realist painter and photographer between First World War and WW II.
The first photographer from Slovenia whose work was published by National Geographic magazine is Arne Hodalič
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