STA, 15 February 2021 - Nevenka Koprivšek, a major player on the Slovenian scene of performing arts, has died while expressions of condolences are pouring in from around Slovenia and abroad.
She died suddenly at the age of 61 on Sunday, Bunker, a non-profit production company behind the Young Lions international performing arts festival, said on Sunday.
Koprivšek was an actress and theatre producer. In 1989 she became the first woman artistic director of Glej, an alternative Ljubljana theatre group.
She was credited with opening it up to international audiences with the production You the City the very next year.
"It was the international character that distinguished her stint as artistic director at the time of the break-up of Yugoslavia and the rise of nationalism," Glej said.
IN MEMORIAM: NEVENKA KOPRIVŠEK We were immeasurably saddened to learn of the demise of Nevenka Koprivšek, one of Glej’s...Posted by Gledališče Glej on Sunday, 14 February 2021
In 1997, she founded Bunker because she felt Slovenia was not familiar enough with contemporary trends in performing arts abroad.
She was also the director of the Young Lions (Mladi Levi) festival, and founder or co-founder of several international and local networks.
Koprivšek was born in 1959 in Ljubljana and graduated from the Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris in 1983, acting in various groups in Paris and New York after graduating.
In 2003 she was rewarded for her work by the city of Ljubljana with the Župančič Award for outstanding achievements.
She also received two French honours for promoting French culture, one in 2011 and the other in 2016.
Glej, Bunker and the city of Ljubljana praised her as "the first Slovenian independent theatre producer" and "the driving force behind Ljubljana's alternative culture".
More than 300 cultural figures from Slovenia and abroad expressed their pain at her death and the praise of her dedication, hard work and her personality on Bunker's Facebook profile.
Ellen Walraven, artistic director of a theatre in Rotterdam, wrote that Koprivšek was one of the first and important players in the field of international theatre exchange. "She was generous, she thought strategically, she was practical and always full of ideas."