Friday, February 23, 2007

Dora 2007: Anything But Štikla, Including Peter Pan

The spirit of Natalija Verboten, or more precisely of her meticulously-rehearsed on-stage chaos, lived on in this year's Slovenian Eurovision selection and is likely to be revived yet again at the Croatian version (Dora), thanks to favourite (or 'favourite'?) Jelena Rozga promising Jutarnji list that she'll be escorted on stage by Peter Pan, Snow White and/or Little Red Riding Hood. (It's only thanks to the small matter of copyright that viewers were spared Harry Potter and Gandalf too.)

While Verboten's effort SOS owed a lot to the Swedish schlager school (perhaps an awful lot, for viewers who had already encountered Linda Bengtzing's Alla flickor), Rozga's is musically located closer to home. Ilko čulić's Dora preview article in Globus this week (headlined 'The crusade against nightclub-singers [cajki]'), confirming the impression of the 2007 line-up as an anything-but-Moja Štikla affair, saw Rozga's song Nemam (I haven't got) as 'some sort of Balkan folk-pop mix in which Thompson’s Dinaric pastorals rub up against the old hits of Neda Ukraden'.

There's surely more than a hint of the Lane moje-Lejla axis too - a technique which has resulted in second place for Serbia-Montenegro and third place for Bosnia-Herzegovina, both of whose delegations were sensible enough to opt for a minimalist performance with no interference whatsoever from the collected cast of classic Disney movies. (Eurovision rules restrict groups to six members - a rule which has already caused difficulties for some members of the twelve-piece Klapa Maslina in Dora - so audiences are at least unlikely to be treated to an entire complement of Lost Boys or Seven Dwarves.)

East Ethnia and, naturally enough, Anti Turbo Folk are both on top of the Folk revija story - with the latter pointing out that Croatian impressions of the genre, outside the folk subculture itself, are likely to be formed for the immediate future by whatever happens, or doesn't happen, at the Zagreb Velesajam in a couple of weeks' time. Just as the January 2006 nightclub shootings cemented the relationship between turbofolk and violence in the public imagination (in contrast, there was little sign of any impending moral panic when shots were fired at the Zagreb alternative club Gjuro on New Year's Eve), or Jutarnji list's poll of teenagers last March made it proverbial that '43% of teenagers listen to narodnjaci', expect another round of agenda-setting to come out of Zagreb's first non-nightclub folk concert in the history of independent Croatia.

For the moment, the fact that articles on Folk revija are appearing in the metro section rather than the showbusiness pages already seems to suggest that the ideal reader isn't necessarily supposed to be treating it as a source of enjoyment...

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At 12:58 pm, March 04, 2007, Anonymous Chig said...

She seemed to have found a way round the Harry Potter problem olast night; 'he' was definitely there on stage. Jelena came fifth in our house.

At 6:06 pm, March 04, 2007, Blogger Catherine said...

And Gandalf too, come to that! (Played by Zlatko Pejaković, an old partner in crime of Huljić's who's fallen out and back in with him at various times in the last 15 years...)


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