1h 30' without intermission
Not a single word is uttered on stage; in fact there is no story-line. There is space, and there are bodies, gestures, movements and series of movements, sometimes sounds, music - especially the music of requiems. The bodies sway to the music or inner sounds heard only by them, they are shaking, rolling, climbing, stroking, hanging on, escaping, chasing, and finding each other. The performance is created by the dance and dance-like movements, which follow their own inner rhythm. Since Easter is approaching, the dance of death comes to mind. People of different ages, sexes, and outfits do the dance of life. Slowly they dance themselves out of life, regardless of whom and what they are, what they represent, what they like or what they hate. What takes place before us is not frightful, nor alarming, moreover at times what we see becomes outright amusing and ridiculous, however, it rushes relentlessly toward the inevitable end - as an individual, a group, a community, as does life itself. The life that we see being born and start to babble, learn to walk, grow, become smarter, love, hug, play, ends mercilessly, dancing into non-existence.
The audience of the Hungarian Theater of Cluj can view a theatrical weave based on the music of requiems. Under Dominique Serrand's direction, the ensemble created a performance to the music of Fauré, Bach, Mozart, Górecki, etc. Starting from general themes such as grief, our continuous and inevitable evanescence, along with that of the circle of life, the production also addresses present situations and concerns, like the immigrant crisis, for example. (…) The space was both dynamic and calm at the same time. The walls were fragmented by different sized doors that are practical and make it a more animated spectacle, while the subdued, fractioned pastel colors soothed it. The director - who was also the set designer - created an interior that has multiple roles: a dining room, a restaurant, a stage upon a stage, or even the route taken by refugees, etc. Mainly it works as a casual venue - also ensured by the low ceiling -, with chairs, tables, which also change their function during the performance. The tables covered with white tablecloths gave way for many associations: with eating, living, family, intersections, or even with a bier, mourning, with passing, with the shroud that covers all.
Certain scenes feature video projections (video: Peter Košir), this solution is very simple, expressive and has aptly complemented the movements and the tableau, definitely enhancing the production from both a visual and a dynamic standpoint.
We see ordinary people on stage. People like us. Young or old, fat or thin. People dressed like us who are sitting in the hall. They have "good" costumes, "Sunday bests", costumes for going to church and for attending life's great events. Baptisms, weddings, funerals. Only scarcely and when strictly needed do the clothes created by Carmencita Brojboiu carry hidden metaphors. The space of the play is the stage's box set. It's big, bright, colored in pastels. It is envisaged by Dominique Serrand himself, and is enriched when appropriate by the video projections created by Peter Košir. First we see the sea. The sea, the ocean as a symbol of Infinity. The Ocean as a symbol of the Great Beginning. But also as the symbol of the End. Of dual poles.
The idea of a room is then suggested. Either a waiting room or a dining room. The canteen. A place to eat and drink in remembrance of the departed. A place with a low ceiling. The performers bring ordinary wooden tables and chairs into the space. White tablecloths. Then they begin to recount stories. Stories from different worlds, stories from different times. Stories that we, the audience, have the right to interpret as we like or as we want. (…)
Nothing is fake, nothing is "dramatic", and nothing is "grandiloquent" in Dominique Serrand's performance. Nothing is disharmoniously shocking. If we can still refer to a certain shock, it stems from the special aesthetic and emotional impact of the performance. A stellar performance.
Date of the opening: march 23, 2016
For what seems like forever, since my early childhood, my agnostic but nonetheless spiritual ear is distracted by the overwhelming music of Requiems. This mass, celebrating the dead, exhorting them to repose, has inspired the greatest artists to create the most hauntingly beautiful compositions we still have with us.
I am fascinated by what motivated these artists to create some of their most extraordinary work:
Death, disappearance, things lost, inspire their ultimate gesture to celebrate a former existence.
And so, a few months ago, witnessing the chaotic journey our world is embarking on, it felt purposeful to create a piece about loss, about what is gone forever.
And jointly I feel that things hidden or disappeared create an inexorable need to search for them again. We will always be born, fall in love, die. But how do we live through it all? How do we celebrate the known and the unknown in one embrace?
That maybe what requiems evoke for me. The celebration of all that is gone and all that remains.
And so with the support of the great music from Fauré, Bach, Mozart, Gòrecki, and many more
Illustrious artists, we create a theatrical dance, moving, powerful, even funny at times, an ode to life and to things lost.