East Shadow My team and myself have started working on a new production entitled “East Shadow”. About 18 months ago I was asked by Tetsuya Ozaki from the Triennale in Nagoya - Japan and by Tomoko Mukaiyama, a Japanese pianist living in the Netherlands to create an original work for this festival. The pre-première of this work will be on the 6th of September at the Korzo theatre in The Hague, and the premiere will be on September 6, 2013 in Nagoya, Japan. The themes of this years festival are: 1) The work of Samuel Beckett - 2) The help for the victims of the “tsunami” in Japan in 2011 - These two very powerful “building blocks” of this festival made my decision to participate in it very easy: 1) I admire the work of Samuel Beckett since I was a young boy - 2) The tsunami which struck Japan in 2011 left a huge impression on me and a desire to help - For this particular project I have decided to work with people either very close to me or people who would perfectly understand how to help creating a work of such delicacy and sensitivity - The story I want to tell is as simple and as banal as can be: “...Two people, a man and a woman meet and decide to move into an apartment, which they would like to call their home... soon, through some surreal, humorous and tragic circumstances, they realize that their happiness is only a wishful thinking - an utopia... finally they are washed away by an earthquake and a tsunami - only their hats are left behind - otherwise nothing, nothing at all. They were just “simple” people...” The title comes from Samuel Beckett himself. In his instructions for the play “But the clouds” he talks about the “east shadow” and the “west shadow”. Simply by stating that, Beckett creates a very strange and almost philosophical question to contemplate: The eastern sun casts a shadow lying westwards, the western sun casts a shadow lying eastwards... but it is impossible to determine which is the “East Shadow”! It is ambiguous: very simple and very complicated - as life is. The couple’s happy - unhappy relationship is told by film, live action, live piano music and by text by Beckett. The text I wish to use is Beckett’s poem “Neither”. Hopefully we will be able to create a work, which doesn’t only occupy our eyes and ears, but equally our hearts and brains... With all my love for the work of Samuel Beckett and with my grief for all the victims of all tsunamis, past and present - and anywhere in the world - I hope that we will be able to crate something worthwhile - something which will stimulate people's awareness of the preciousness of time, and maybe understand something about the similarity of the "small" and the "big" - the microcosmos and the macrocosmos. Of course Beckett, and his absurd theatre... But in equal measure, our eternal attempts to live together with somebody, or just even with ourselves... the difficulty (or impossibility) of it – The play of life and death (Film and life performance) all result in the most wonderful realization of all: Everything we do is total nonsense. But this simple fact gives us an enormous power to demonstrate this “nonsense” with the most furious conviction... All together it should be a “Tragicomical” experience. “We are still alive, and we want to experience it and let everyone know – no matter how useless it all is – or maybe – that is precisely why..!
Our team: Jiří Kylián - director and choreographer Sabine Kupferberg - actor, dancer (ex NDT III dancer) Gary Chryst - actor, dancer (ex NDT III dancer) Jason Akira Somma - video artist, sound scape Tomoko Mukayama - pianist Joke Visser - costume designer Jiří Kylián - set designer Loes Schakenbos - technical coordinator, lighting designer Carmen Thomas - manager Patrick Marin - assistant manager and stage manager Tina Tuit - dresser Samuel Beckett - "Neither" to and fro in shadow from inner to outer shadow from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself by way of neither as between two lit refuges whose doors once neared gently close, once away turned from gently part again beckoned back and forth and turned away heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam or the other unheard footfalls only sound till at last halt for good, absent for good from self and other then no sound then gently light unfading on that unheeded neither unspeakable home Jiří Kylián Den Haag 19. July 2013