sunday 16 april 2017 | 11.00 | rotterdam | AHOY
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A javanese L’histoire du soldat
A collaboration with Kantor Pos-Music Stage Theatre Management
and Teater Salihara Jakarta
Music Igor Stravinsky | Original story Ferdinand Ramuz
Text Goenawan Mohamad
Director/choregrapher, light and costume design Gerard Mosterd
New arrangement and dramaturgical advice Bo Tarenskeen
Dramaturgical advice Marijn Lems
Introduction Frans Leijdelmeijer
Narrator Wieteke van Dort
Dancers and actors Rury Avianti, Siko Setyanto, Hendro Yuliyanto
Musicians New European Ensemble
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about a javanese L’histoire du soldat
Gerard Mosterd and New European Ensemble present a Javanese version of Igor Stravinsky’s L'Histoire du Soldat. Almost precisely one century after its premiere during the global crisis following the ending of WW1. Gerard Mosterd transforms this timeless classic into a fresh, new theatre piece. Merging humor, dance, mime, slapstick and music. Dutch actress Wieteke van Dort makes her comeback on stage. She narrates a present-day libretto, specifically written for this production by Indonesian playwright, poet and human rights activist Goenawan Mohamad. Three of Java’s leading traditional dancers perform this capriccious play, mime and choreography.
The performance is more or less inspired by the absurd and timeless story of L'Histoire du Soldat. A Faustian tale narrating a poor soldier who marches home while playing his violin. Suddenly the devil approaches him and seduces him into swapping his beloved instrument for a book which infallibly predicts future developments on the stock market. After the exchange the Soldier accumulates a fortune by faultless speculation as promised. But only then he realizes by gaining material wealth, he lost all that was dear to him. He lost his soul. He desires to return to his carefree, uncomplicated life and genuine friendships of the past.But the strangling contract with the Devil witholds him from doing this. Turning and twisting adventures lie ahead, next to sheer fun and deeper reflections. A surrealist work, denouncing the corruptive power of money in contemporary dialogues, gestures and poetic images referring to Interbellum art movements and ideas.
In L'Histoire du Soldat, Igor Stravinsky and playwright Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz composed a ground breaking interdisciplinary theatre piece under economically poor circumstances. Stravinsky challenged future theatre makers to adapt new editions to their own time and culture. Many theatre groups from all continents took up the challenge. L'Histoire du Soldat became since its conception instantly a historical gem of modernist innovation and interdisciplinary interaction. A historical highlight and pioneering example for a new and socio-political inspired way of making theatre. Gerard Mosterd created this first Indonesian L'Histoire du Soldat which toured Indonesia three subsequent years to great critical acclaim. The performance blends traditions from Europe and Asia in an original and imaginative way. Crossing borders in poetry, stand-up comedy, mime, generations, ages, cultures, philosophy,dance and music.
New European Ensemble is supported by Fonds Podiumkunsten (from 2017) and the city of The Hague