Meet the People: Vid Sodnik, Actor, Director, Presenter & Cultural Ambassador

By , 07 Oct 2018, 11:00 AM Meet the People
Meet the People: Vid Sodnik, Actor, Director, Presenter & Cultural Ambassador Vid Sodnik's Facebook

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We recently promoted the upcoming improv course being run by IGLU Theatre, and while researching that we got in touch with Vid Sodnik, a man you might recognize from stage, screen and numerous billboards around the country, making his way in the small but vibrant Slovene arts scene. Our interest thus aroused, we sent a few questions about his work, and about some Slovenian cultural products that he recommends, and he was kind enough the reply.

Can you introduce yourself to our readers, and let us know what you’re working on now?

First, I’m really happy to hear from you since we were recently been completely missed in Ljubljana City newspaper when they wrote about theatre companies in the capital. The whole impro community is probably one of the fastest growing in the city. There is a good number of other impro theatre companies and we try to stay as connected as possible.

I’m am a member and an artistic director of IGLU Theatre. The first professional improv theatre in Slovenia. We (Juš Milčinski, Peter Frankl and myself) started this company in 2013, but have been active in improvisational theatre for at least half our lives. I actually started in high school, since improvisational theatre has been around for more than 30 years and is an extra curriculum activity in a lot of Slovenian high schools.

In the last five years we have been active as performers and teachers all around Europe but also Canada, USA and Latin America. We have been invited to a lot of international festivals where we performed our shows. So far we visited 31 theaters in 14 different countries.

We do three shows a month at Menza pri koritu, Metelkova mesto, and in November we'll start a new show at SiTi Theatre BTC. We monthly have about 350 people in all the shows together. Once every month we also host a different artist from all around the world and share a stage with them. These shows are in English language and are viewed by Slovenian audiences as well as expats and visitors in Ljubljana. (Details here)

We also run a school of improvisational theater called IGLU Impro Theatre School. We grew from 10 to over 80 people in the last five years. We also teach classes in English for expats and Erasmus students.

We’re mostly focused in comedy, parody and improvised sketch shows but also try to involve other art forms. We’ve worked with music bands, music improvisers, poets, illustrators and even the whole orchestra.

Some recommendations from Vid

Places to eat

In Ljubljana love going to Falafel for meze, or Tabay Brothers for a burger. I also like Gostilnica 5-6kg and Sorbara for a good steak.

Places to drink

I like to have a drink where my friends are. My favorite are places in Šiška district like Godec Pub, Kino Šiška or Bobi. In the center I really like the coffee in Čokl.

Places to shop

I try to shop in the small shop next to my building in Šiška. It barely survives, prices might be a bit higher but I love to have it close. I avoid shopping centers. The only time I go close is to get a burger at Lars&Sven or Hood Burger. I think the wine shops in Ljubljana are good. My favorite is eVino as well as the beer shop Pivoljub.

Some museums and galleries

I’ve probably visited the Moderna galerija next to Tivoli the most. I like the Ethnological Museum a lot. Also goes well with SEM bar on the side. I also really like all the art small art galleries at Metelkova mesto. I like the idea of the smallest one in Channel Zero.

Some Slovenian writers

I think there are some very prominent writers and poets of my generation like Jasmin B. Frelih with a novel Na pol, Katja Perats poetry in general or the latest and first book of poems by Anja Cimerman, Fatamorgana.

A Slovenian movie or TV show

I really like the work of a Slovenian director Žiga Virc, who made the movie Huston, We Have a Problem. Slovenian film is so full of depressive social stories. I think those movies are great and the topic is really well explored.

But when it comes to comedy the market is very small. For that reason most of the projects have to be very simple and the comedy needs to be understood by most of the population. It doesn’t get the same support as other genres and needs to be very commercial. Since there is only two million Slovenians it’s hard to find enough people that would even be interested in a very specific type or genre. The same percentage of people that might be into a certain kind of comedy is obviously a much bigger crowd in Germany, France or English-speaking countries.

Some Slovenian music

My favorite comedians and musicians are the group Slon in Sadež. I really miss their music but as the market is small they make a much better living with writing comedy for others than creating their own music.

To feel the Primorska vibe you should listen to Iztok Mlakar.

When it comes to younger bands I like Koala Voice and Prismojeni Profesorji Bluesa.

My favorite trap experiment is Smrt boga in otrok. It is the most provocative artistic establishment after a long time. It is a group of artists that was able to present the spirit of our time through their music and videos. Their work reflects the youth of Ljubljana and their sense of meaninglessness. It wakes people up and it makes a lot of people angry.

Some Slovenian food and drink

I think my grandmother makes the second best pork roast on a Sunday, after my mother’s. Mine is third best.

I really like all the Slovenian wine and beer. When it comes to wine I prefer that from Primorska. Sorry, Štajerska, I love the red and Modra Frankinja is great, but I also love the fact that people still make their own small batches of schnapps in their homes and sell it to the neighbors. I buy them more often than I actually get to drink it. It’s not always very good.

An indoor and outdoor activity

My favorite indoor activity is Netflix, and theatre. For outdoors, Slovenia feels like it was created for hiking. I hiked with my parents as well as most of my friends since I could walk. I was on Triglav at the age of 6. For a short period of time I hated it just because I tried to be different and go against my parents. But ended up liking it even more in the end. While working at Na lepše, a TV show about tourism on RTV 1, I realized how little I know about Slovenia. I met a lot of foreigners living here that inspired me to explore it even more. It feels amazing to see people who moved here because they were so affected by the beauty of our nature.

A place or two you like to travel to outside Ljubljana.

From the well-known places I really like Bohinj region and everything around Soča river. But generally I like the regions that are not the main tourist attractions. There you will often find people who will do everything to make you feel great about their village or town. My favorite spots are Bloke with the lake, forests and wildlife, Radlje ob Dravi with the natural water park and sport activities, and Mežiška dolina with the biking and kayaking options in the old mine.

Where are you travelling next?

My next destinations are Belarus (for the last few years I explored some of the countries from the former Soviet Union, and their hope in tourism is amazing), Oman (for its remarkable nature and its culture that I’m often ignorant and know little about), Vietnam (a country I need to go back to and travel through on a motorbike).

What is a change you’d like to see happen to your hometown in the next few years?

After the developments Ljubljana has seen in the last few years, I think there is not a lot left to complain about. I love how it is going. But I hope the prices will stay affordable for locals to remain part of the city, and there will always be a place for the pearls of alternative culture like Metelkova and social projects like Rog. I think Ljubljana should keep in mind the small local businesses and not sell everything out to big corporations. It would be great to see plans on how to keep a healthy number of tourists and understand that the friendliness of the locals is one of the things that made this town such an attractive place to visit.

And if you'd like to keep up with Mr Sodnik's work, then perhaps the easiest way is to follow IGLU on Facebook.

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