“Pirosmanic memoirs about the unshod flea” Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theatre from Tbilisi
- Kategorie: Aktuelles
“Pirosmanic memoirs about the unshod flea”
Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theatre from Tbilisi
Yesterday, under the auspicious welcome of Theatre A Parte and within the cultural framework of the Second International Theatre Festival “Klein Aber Fein” I watched the sparkling performance by the Youth Theatre named after Nodar Dumbadze. This theatrical team is from Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. And now I am narrating in the present tense.
The name of the play is “Der Floh und die Ameise” (in English language: “The flea and the ant”). Thespian moorage locus: Theatre A Parte, Annenstrasse 20A, 58453 Witten. Date: 09.07.2022. Number of actors, creating the play: four.
And I would like to thank all the four servants of Melpomene, one actress and three actors, from Tbilisi for this warming, sweetly nostalgic, humorous and creative matinee in Witten. Many positive epithets can be used to describe this performance.
“Innovative and inventive” might be just the two of them. For example, I liked very much the episode with the cow’s udder. How it was created, inflated and “milked” from the white resinous glove. And the whole acting tempo of this scene was very involving. The children and the adults alike in the audience laughed and were giving appreciating beholding applause. I wasn’t the exception!
The whole play did consist from seven, or eight mise-en-scènes. Actually, I was so carried away by the performance, that I stopped counting the alternating episodes. Also, the indication of the fact, that the acting on stage, its lyrics, does compel You forgetting about mundane matters.
The language of the “Der Floh und die Ameise” is Georgian. And in the dialogues, unrolling on stage, I was able to comprehend only two words “Gomarjoba” and “Batono” (“Hello!” and “my friend”, if I am correct). But not withstanding all these linguistical vicissitudes, of not being able to understand Georgian language, most of the spectators, undoubtedly, would be able to feel the atmosphere of this puppet, drama, chamber staging. To understand its intrinsic Georgian, quintessentially Pirosmanic aura. Observing the lights and the mild, soothing colours of several mise-en-scènes in “Der Floh und die Ameise” I recollected the paintings by Niko Pirosmani. The ones I saw in the Fine Arts Museum of Tbilisi and at the Sighnaghi National museum in Alazan valley. If You are in Georgia – Gruzia visiting these cultural establishments is the absolute MUST!
...And, again, attending this play, I reassertingly came to the conclusion, that the language of the staging is not necessary the key element of the dramatis medium. Although, of course, I like many other spectators was quite curious, what the actors were talking about. ...But.. the gestures, the mimics, the voice chords, sometimes comedian, sometimes even, probably, satirical did construct the crystally clear bridge of understanding between the odeum and the stage. These seventy plus minutes, marvellously directed by the theatrical maestros from Tbilisi, Dimitri Khvitisiashvili and Gia Margania, did establish the unmistakably mutually respectful understanding between the performance troop and the public in the chamber box. And I would not be afraid, probably, repeating myself: the warm, humorous, expressive aura of this play was truly amazing! And it was also very musical and very dancing!
I didn't enquire, but it quite might be, that part of this troop, probably are, or could have been, the professional dancers. The foot posture on stage and the professional foot wear of this Thespian ensemble did prompt me to think so.
By the way, I also liked quite a lot the eyes play by the actors.
And at this given moment of time I would allow myself to say several words about the music and the costumes of the “Der Floh and die Ameise” play.
I was so pleased to hear the tunes of Chardosh, also the melodies, which, probably, date themselves back to the times of Gruzia Film (“Грузия Фильм”) of the 1970s and 1980s. The times, when all of our Family, did wait with the great excitement and attention for the evening presentments of the Gruzia Film’s lovely, sweetly witty short films – featurettes. Comedies by Gruzia Film – these were very important and beloved televised events for the whole of our Family!
I hope, that the readers of this epistle of mine would allow me this lyrical digression. As the “Der Floh und die Ameise” personally for me were the transiently harmonious moments of nostalgic recollections about my Family in the 1970s and 1980s... When my Liebe Mutti and all my Grandmas and Grandpas were in this world, side by side with me. And for those minutes and seconds I also would like to express my indebtedness to this play and the whole theatrical team from Tbilisi! Thank You very much!
As I’ve mentioned already the theme of gestures, mimics, plasticity and dancing in this staging, I decided it would be appropriate to bring into the spotlight one more gesticulating detail of this performance. Namely, in one of the episodes the hand of one of the actors started purportedly and slightly shaking... And this Theatre came from Tbilisi, the birthplace of Georgij Aleksandrovich Tovstonogov. The city, where He commenced His theatrical way. And observing this slightly shaking hand in the “Der Floh und die Ameise” I started thinking about the very well-known play, called “Energetic People”, staged around the year 1984 at BDT, Большой Драматический Театр in Leningrad (nowadays Saint Petersburg). Georgij Tovstonogov was the Artistic Director of BDT at those times. “Was He ever creatively cooperating with the Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theatre from Tbilisi?” – I was pondering after observing about three seconds of this shaking hand. In the “Energetic People” Yevgeny Lebedev brilliantly and very humorously acted in this monologue in 1984. I remembered this scene very well; it became one of the most emblematic symbols of the Melpomene Art for me.
...My Dear Mama in the 1980s, when I was still at school gave me to read “thick” magazine with the story by Nodar Dumbadze. I read it really quickly and afterwards read several more works by this Author. Very warm, human, empathy filled literary creations, full of Sun and the wisdoms of everyday human relationships. Nodar Dumbadze lived in Tbilisi and created his works in Tbilisi. And this “sparkling performance” of this eponymous theatre, as I had characterized it in the aforementioned lines, is as sparkling and refreshing as the bubbles of Borjomi water, as the Logidze waters and Tarhun’s effervescent fizzing.
For Her Jubilee my Liebe Mutti wanted to make a trip to Tbilisi. These sweet memoirs of several years ago are still very fresh in my recollections. We together strolled the streets, went to museums, made some sightseeing trips, visited theatrical performances... It was a very lively and lovely journey. It was our last trip together...
Let The Soul of my Dear Mama be in Garden of Eden!
The root word “Tbeli” in Georgian language, if to translate it into the other tongues of the world, would mean “warm”. And the acting team from Tbilisi, Youth Theatre named after Nodar Dumbadze, indeed, made this slightly, cloudy, a little bit rainy time of the day welcoming and very warm for me. Not only theatrically, but, first of all, humanly warm! “Tbeli” means “warm” in Georgian language.
Highly Esteemed International Theatre Festival “Klein aber Fein”, thank You very much for accommodating me as Your guest. Your welcome is very gladdening and very warm too! I would like to express my big gratitude personally to Katja Beil and Boris Schwarzmann, who are the creative brain and engine of the Theatre A Parte in Witten in Annenstrasse 20A.
And, of course, to the stage directors of the “Der Floh and die Ameise”, Dimitri Khvtisiashvili and Gia Margania. It would be quite interesting to follow the stage oeuvre of these two regisseurs. Also from the view point that, probably, in the future scenic transfigurations of this play the flea might get shod. Id est get the horseshoe on its leg. As we all very well know, it was done by Cross-eyed Lefty arms craftsman from Tula! And, as for me, a Tulovite, it would be quite interesting to learn, when it can be done in Tbilisi?!
Yours Intrepid Thespian correspondent,
Highly Esteemed Readers of this essay:
As I mentioned earlier, the performance “Der Floh und die Ameise” by Nodar Dumbadze Youth Theater from Tbilisi did invoke numerous recollections about the artwork of Nico Pirosmani. And I have decided to bring to Your attention the Poem "Niko", written by Boris Abramovich Sluzkij. Quite many years ago I translated it into English language.
Sincerely Yours, Peter Friesen
“Niko”. Boris Abramovitch Sluzkij
translated by Pinkhas Friesen
He didn’t have to forget.
The gossips and conjectures were enough – “all right”.
But nails, the nails should have their heads pinned set,
So that the signs on taverns would be holding tight.
Unworried… shouldn’t be thought, that the sundown – afterglow
Like by Monnet, the famed sunsetter.
But order must be done, then “dough”…
And afterwards from client to receive the money.
(Being go – getter…)
For this wee money
ate and drank
Partook a little, drank in plenty.
The flabbiness in art was not his rank.
(Akin of being choosey dainty…)
Good Georgian was Pirosmani.
„Klein aber sehr fein!“ – Thespian Gazette News
- Kategorie: Aktuelles
On the evening of July 7th, 2022 I had the pleasure to witness a very elegant, very peculiar and very fascinating cultural event. Namely, the festive opening of the Second International Theater Festival “Klein aber fein” organized by the Theatre A Parte in Witten. And being conducted at the very cozy and cute premises of the aforementioned Theatre. Yes, with the capital letter “T”.
First of all, I would like to thank wholeheartedly the Theatre A Parte for this invitation. And, please, let me describe, in the chronological time line order the sequence of that evening. It was a very benevolent weather, thus, the welcoming words of Boris Schwarzmann, in German and Russian languages, were complemented by the pleasing Zephyr breeze of the Gulfstream. I sensed its soothing air born vibrations. In the hindsight I am asserting myself in this impression. And also would like to thank the interpreter. The words of the Theatre A Parte scenic director Boris Schwarzmann were parlayed with precision and in timbre, dignifying the aura of the stage.
After the greeting word by Boris Schwarzmann there took place the musical piano performance by Noah. I think that one of the scores in these sky-scraping jazz improvisations sequences did belong to George Gershwin. Next time I go to the performance or Festival at Theatre A Parte I would like to confirm my musical guess. Possibly, my theatrical moods and expectations were tuned to the rhapsody, oceanic rhapsody sentiments (Dortmund is a very big inland port connected with the ocean).
The musical part of the opening ceremony was lead into the drama stage performance, acted by two actresses Katya Beil and Jessica. With Katya Beil I had the chance to talk before the performance and during the play too! As she “appointed” me the guardian of her character's luggage! Two huge checkered bags! And for me, especially, during the performance, this was quite an involving dramatic task. Which fulfilled even more my sense of appreciation for being the spectator at this Thespian event.
...The story of two women, heading for the chef's competition from the two different parts of United Germany is very touching and very humorous. And the psychological portraits of the two major heroines of this story, painted on stage with the bright, humorous and refined acting colours, were idiosyncratic for the society dramatis personae from Germany of the 1990s and the migration fusion between United Germany and former USSR, experiencing agonizing pangs of disintegration. I think. And they were intrinsically connected with those turbulent times, humorously, brilliantly comedically enlivened on stage.
There were, indeed, the moments of stark laughter, of reminiscing not so far-fetched past, of warm nostalgia... and of the sadness too. Many moments to award actresses with the claps of ovations and vivant, recuperating thoughts!
These were the moments projected at the audience from the stage on the evening of July 7th, 2022 in Theatre A Parte in Witten.
It was also very nice to converse briefly with Katya Beil, Jessica and Noah during the après staging party. And express my gratitude for their acting, dramatic, musical contribution for the “Klein aber fein” of Theatre Festival. And, especially, to Katya Beil, who gregariously granted me the right to be the actor too. Even if just for the duration of several, very fleeting eloping instances. Yes, I am in love with the Theatre!
Special Thanks to the hostess of this Chamber Gala, to Julia Joswig who is daughter of Katya and Boris. The hospitable ambience and very nice treats were the integral congenial part of this convivial theatrical fête.
I would dare to think and guess that Melpomene would have been very pleased with the debut soiree of this elegantly boutique Theatre Festival. I did sense the Thespian spirit there. And do believe, that the standing ovations and exclamations “Encore - encore!” und “Bravo!” are to be resonating through the space of the Theatre a Parte, (through its invisible arching vaults of Theater history), many more times in the upcoming days and evenings of the Festival!
Klein aber sehr fein! Very much fine!
I hope to be asserting more and more in those first impressions of mine. Theatre A Parte in Witten has opened its doors for the audience. This July does promise to be quite dramatic in Witten and in North Rhine-Westphalia! In the Thespian sense, I mean.
Pinkhas – Peter Friesen
(in Israeli passport: Petr Frizen)
German Version of the Article: