What is the «Cafe Idiot»? It is a place, where the visitor may come having no thought of a famous Dostoevsky novel. A cafe, where he will be overtaken by the hidden mysteries of the place. A performance, in which the spectator follows every dancer’s emotion, thought and movement and watches the characters swapping from holy Myshkin to rabble-rouser Rogozhin. A scene, where the audience glances off the display, admires the freak-couture dresses and enjoys the unwonted hit songs.
It is a journey of falling and upraising in a search of balance, created with the methods of visual theatre. The journey both taken by the spectator and the dancer.
It is a performance determined to visualize the sensations hidden in the legendary Dostoevsky novel, uncovered in us while reading.
The characters of the novel will remain, but there will be few of them. Each dancer will try the famous Dostoevsky duality, asking oneself – «Am I Christ or AntiChrist?», «Am I an idiot or a holy creature?», «Should I take these roles or just remain an observer?».
This production is also a sign of respect to Pina Bausch for her anniversary, a reference to her performance «Cafe Muller» — visual theatre manifesto. What can describe the relationship between Nastassya Filippovna and prince Myshkin better than the blindfold girl taken with the impulsive dance, and a serving man, removing chairs from her way?
Alexander Pepelyaev announces on his new work:
«I can say that the performance is about how a person tortures himself, cuts his own happiness. But these are just shallow words. I want these feelings to occur in audience singly. I want the audience to leave the performance with unsolved thoughts and emotions, with a kind of after effect as if you were looking at a bright screen for a long time».
As Alexander defines, this production is based on «thoughts about thoughts of the novel» reeved through dance, sounds and video-art. The method is visual theatre, aiming to discover the spectator to himself.
«We don’t have a word from Dostoevsky. We can just use his themes. And we don’t want and can not tell the novel, it is useless. We can explain nothing at theatre. We can act out the plot, and it will become clear who are the protagonists and what they are doing. But the most important is not in the text. So, it is not a retelling or interpretation of Dostoevsky. These are some thoughts about thoughts told by dance, sound and video art. It is an attempt to reflect about atmosphere in the novel and protagonists’ emotions».
Having the advance of contemporary dance troupe flexibility and potential, Alexander constructs his work in such a way so that the audience would be able not only to get the esthetical satisfaction out of the body graphics and beauty, but also succeed in passing through catharsis of self-recognition.
The production is created in the framework of Russian Year of Literature 2015.
Production: Alexander Pepelyaev
Costume design: Sergey Illarionov