Stara Elektrarna - Old Power Station

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Contact info
Stara mestna elektrarna - Elektro Ljubljana (SMEEL)
http://www.bunker.si/slo/stara-elektrarna/
info@bunker.si
Slomškova 18, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 1 231 4492, 386 (0) 51 269 906
Fax386 (0) 1 230 8166
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RegionSI-1
Founded byElektro Ljubljana
 Ministry of Culture
 Municipality of Ljubljana
Managed byBunker Institute
Nevenka Koprivšek, Artistic Director of the Bunker Institute
nevenka.koprivsek@bunker.si
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Mojca Jug, Coordinator of The Old Power Station Programme
mojca.jug@bunker.si
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Mladi levi Festival - 04.JPG

Set in a former power plant, the aptly named Stara Elektrarna can be translated as The Old Power Station. One of the most important contemporary performing arts venues in Ljubljana, it is run by a non-governmental organisation, the Bunker Institute. The place is primarily used for theatre and dance performances, yet also frequently utilised as a rehearsal and residency space. Various workshops (ranging from cultural management to dance techniques), lectures, round tables, concerts and multimedia events are also held here.

Numerous Slovene festivals have been (or still are) hosted by Stara Elektrarna, among them the Mladi levi Festival, the City of Women International Festival of Contemporary Arts, the Gibanica Festival of Slovene Dance, the Exodos International Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, the Druga Godba Festival, etc.

The venues foyer features a small museum displaying some old power station equipment.

Background

Protected as an immovable cultural heritage of Slovenia, the brick building itself was built in 1898 as Ljubljana’s first power plant. When in 1940s its technology became obsolete it stopped its operations, but it got modernized in the 1960s and from then onwards the place still produces some of the city electricity.

However, in the mid-1980s the potential of the old industrial architecture was already being discovered by alternative artists. Ema Kugler's Mankurt I opened the space as a performance venue and during the 1990s several site-specific performances, for example the Enrique Vargas's piece, were staged here.

During the 1990s it came about that the city of Ljubljana lacks performing arts rehearsal spaces and the building was originally planned as a space for rehearsals. In 1998 the Ministry of Culture began the renovation works and in 2004 (together with the Ljubljana Urban Municipality) made it available for the independent performing arts scene. Following an open call for NGOs to run the space, the contract went to Bunker Institute.

Venue

Type of venue: black-box theatre; main use: contemporary theatre, dance, music, multimedia events, rehearsal space and space for workshops; seating: 300 seats total; performing area: 25m W x 15m D x 3.5m H to grid, floor suitable for dance; suspension equipment: overhead pipe grid for suspension of masking and lighting; forestage: dance floor; lighting: details on request; sound: details on request; stage equipment: details on request; backstage: 2 dressing rooms accommodating 15 persons total; climate control: air-conditioned.

Though leased to Bunker, the place is still owned by Elektro Ljubljana (Enterprise for Distribution of Electric Energy, Co.).

Stara Elektrarna - Old Power Station - 03.JPG

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