Society | August 3, 2002, Saturday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

Margarita Dimitrova is Art Director of the Apolonia Art Foundation, which was established in 1991 succeeding the Academy of Art founded in 1984. One of the main activities of the foundation is organizing the Apolonia Autumn Festival of Arts hosted by the Black Sea resort Sozopol. The unique cultural event adopted the ancient name of the town - Apolonia, after Apollo, the God of poetry and music.

Mrs. Margarita Dimitrova met Milena Dinkova - reporter of novinite.com and The News.

Q: What is unique about this year's edition of the Apolonia Festival?

A: The Apolonia Festival is well past its juvenile years. This autumn artists and their admirers will meet in Sozopol for the eighteenth time. The festival already enjoys well-established tradition and there is an air of maturity everywhere.

This year the festival will start a bit earlier than usual - on August 30 so that we could enjoy the nice weather. As a very nice surprise on this year's program I would like to mention the US Paradox Trio. These musicians have already worked with the phenomenal Bulgarian carnet player Theodosii Spasov in the United States. Paradox Trio are so keen on Bulgarian rhythms that they prefer playing this type of music although they could have chosen a Western style.

Q: Interest in Apolonia is traditionally high. Could you describe the magic of the festival?

A: I think the festival's charm lies in its unique formula. Apolonia combines different art forms and displays various genres, styles and trends that all have their fans. Young people, for example, are very enthusiastic about pop singers and groups like Maria Ilieva, Donny and Netty, Beloslava, B.T.R. while jazz, world music and classical music fans also have the chance to see their favorite performances. Apolonia is the only cultural event of this type and significance in Bulgaria.

Q: What trends in the Bulgarian art and culture are manifested at the festival?

A: Bulgarian artists go back to their roots. This is a trend, which is getting more discernable every year. Although many artists prove very successful abroad and create art with universal appeal, they still have this original Bulgarian touch. The latest example is director Teddy Moskov who staged his recent play "Comedy of the Servants" in Avignon. The performance opened in France, the financing is also French but as the play comes to us it feels as Bulgarian as it could ever be.

Q: Many of the "Apolonians" come from abroad where they pursue highly successful careers. How do they contribute to the festival's atmosphere?

A: While we worked on the program of the festival, we were contacted by many Bulgarian artists who live abroad. They were really keen to present their work at home. The fact that these artists have been received so well abroad is important. It indicates that although originating from a small country, Bulgarian art has adopted very high standards. In fact, the nation's greatest achievements belong to the field of art and culture.

Q: How do you attract sponsors?

A: The festival sponsors get the prestigious opportunity to promote their activities through art. This conveys real value. Around the world art festivals enjoy great interest from sponsors. I don't see why the Apolonia festival has to be an exception. We try to make businessmen see that.

Q: What difficulties has Apolonia Art Foundation encountered while organizing this year's issue?

A: Getting the necessary funding is not at all easy. This is a common problem for all art festivals in Bulgaria. But this year's it was most difficult to prepare the program. There are so many artists, whose work is worth seeing. We had to choose the best for ten days. It was difficult for us but in terms of the country's culture it indicates very positive trends.

Q: Do you think that the media coverage of the Apolonia Festival is satisfactory?

A: Media coverage is broad enough but I think it lacks depth. For eighteen years I haven't read a single critical review that is written by an expert. I want to see a prominent critic's opinion expressed in a professional way. Plays, concerts, painting and books, presented at Apolonia, need this kind of coverage. A lot of journalists come to the festival but are usually after gossips and scandals, which in my opinion is not the main point of the event.
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