Welcome to the DON JUAN. KDO? / DON JUAN. WHO? blog

Our production was gestated in our "Cyber Studio", a virtual space that harnessed various programs to create a venue in which live encounter as well as archiving of all kinds was possible. Our topic was Men. We have explored gender relationships today, in our so-called post-feminist culture, when you remove the veil of political correctness. We explored our own psyches, fantasies, dreams, assumptions, experiences, etc. via the Don Juan archetype as manifest in so many literatures, movies and the millions of web hits in his name. Our weekly masquerades, live online, lasted 18 months. From 3 different countries, directed writing was produced. The Cyber Studio became a space of confession, of cheating, lying, pretence, cross-dressing, mimicry - in short, a highly theatrical location in which we all found immense freedom of expression. Our production was created by distilling what had culminated into 500 pages of text into a highly physicalised "dance theatre" work performed by an international ensemble of 7 actors and dancers.

Writing live together online means yielding individual authorship. It means allowing yourself to be interrupted. It means experiencing the joy (and frustration) of not being in control of the production of meaning. 

We invite you now, as our production at Riverside Studios in London in November approaches, to address our theme in your own words, here. We are interested in your own thoughts about that knotty issue of male-female relationships today, and most particularly, who is the Don Juan in your mind?

We love quotations, anecdotes, stories and reflections. We are sure you will stimulate each other and so, in the democratic spirit of our project, we now hand the reins over to you...

Friday, October 10, 2008

"I want to do something very important. Like fly into the past and make it come out right"

"For hundreds of years, people have tried to solve the enigma of Don Juan in a variety of ways, but the enigma is insoluble. The character has gone through the most disparate transformations, from the original view of him as adulterer, murderer and desecrator of the dead to the psychologically dissected weary cavalier. He lives on in tradition and legend as a violent criminal, like some force of nature, running riot against morality and justice. He is the great seducer, seduced again and again by women. They all succumb to him, but- and this may be the essential point - he is never really loved by any of them. (This is why the play does not have a single love scene.) So what is it that attracts women to Don Juan? It is not male sexuality alone, although no doubt he is its most powerful representative, but the particuarly ardent and exclusively distinct metaphysical implications of this sexuality which give him such inescapable power over women. Don Juan is forever in search of perfection, in other words something which does not exist in the world. And time and again women want to prove to him, and also to themselves, that it is possible for him to find in the world everything he is searching for. The misfortune of these women is that their horizons are wordly - only when they suspect, to their horror, that he is not searching for life but yearning for death, do they recoil from him"
Odon Von Horvath: preface to DON JUAN COMES BACK FROM THE WAR 1934

"If within the last century art conceived as an autonomous activity has come to be invested with an unprecendented stature - the nearest thing to a sacramental human activity acknowledged by secular society - it is because one of the tasks art has assumed is making forays into and taking up positions on the frontiers of consciousness (often very dangerous to the artist as a person) and reporting back what's there. Being a freelance explorer of spiritual dangers, the artist gains a certain license to behave differently from other people..his job is inventing trophies of his experiences - objects and gestures that fascinate and enthrall, not merely (as prescribed by older notions of the artist) edify or entertain. His principal means of fascinating is to advance one step further in the dialectic of outrage. He seeks to make his work repulsive, obscure, inaccessible; in short, to give what is, or seems to be NOT wanted. But however fierce may be the outrages the artist perpetrates upon his audience, his credentials and spiritual authority ultimately depend on the audience's sense (whether something is known or inferred) of the outrages he commits upon himself. The exemplary modern artist is a broker in madness."
Susan Sontag: THE PORNOGRAPHIC IMAGINATION, (in Styles of Radical Will) 1967

"Hell is other people."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Production programme notes 2007


directed by: Anna Furse

Damjana Černe
Željko Hrs
Marko Mlačnik
Tanya Myers
Matej Recer
Giovanna Rogante
Marie-Gabrielle Rotie

text written by: Damjana Černe, Anna Furse, Željko Hrs, Tibor Hrs Pandur, Marko Mlačnik, Tanya Myers, Matej Recer, Giovanna Rogante with contributions from Maruša Geymayer-Oblak and Ruth Posner

edited by: Anna Furse and Željko Hrs

translation to Slovene: Tibor Hrs Pandur

translation to Italian: Giovanna Rogante

dramaturg: Željko Hrs

language consultant (Slovene): Mateja Dermelj

scenography: Anna Furse

realised by: Sandi Mikluž

costume design: Mateja Benedetti

composer and sound design: Nick Parkin

lighting design: Mischa Twitchin

video: Janez Janša

executive producer (for Athletes of the Heart): Mik Flood

project manager: Diana Cezar

producer (for Mladinsko Theatre): Tina Malič

stage manager: Mitja Trampuš

lighting engineer: Matjaž Brišar

We would like to thank Matjaž Berger, Peter Hulton, John Kirby and Flowers Gallery, Dušan Ojdanič, Nataša Recer and Marjeta Skoberne

Don Juan. Who? A Working Manifesto
by Anna Furse
May 2007

• Theatre is poetry
• Physical theatre is a state of mind
• The terms ‘dance’ and ‘theatre’ become meaningless distinctions when the performer is embodied, expressive and
• We will thus call our work ‘theatre’ though to some it will seem more like dance or dance-theatre and we will not care for
the definitions
• The actor is a creative artist
• Language is visceral
• Characters are formed on stage in front of the audience
• We have to manifest our differences
• We have to manifest our similarities
• The Chorus is a perfect strategy for ensemble ethics
• The Chorus of individuals struggling for consensus is a model of democracy
• We are always representing and showing that we are playing at pretending
• No theatrical illusion that isn’t at the same time prepared to reveal it’s mechanisms
• No décor, only scenography
• From the functional and the essential the poetry of the theatre is forged
• Resist the literal. Look instead for how our minds are really working
• Be prepared to sweat, jump, run, fall, cry, be naked
• Love irony
• Strategy: Seduce the audience letting them know all the while that you know and they know what’s going on
• Let the body reveal the subtext
• Let the imagination run riot
• Find the passion
• Enjoy the joke
• Play the game
• Learn the cha-cha

The Don Juan Legend

Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been retold by authors of plays, poems, novels, operas, and films over five centuries. The name is used figuratively as a synonym for “womanizer”, and thousands of websites will attest to the idea of a Don Juan as a virile seducer. As an Existential anti-hero he represents Man for whom conventional morality and religious authority hold no sway, hence his irrepressible need to escape marriage and reproduction. Psychoanalytically he is the puer aeternus (eternal boy) who can never let intimacy mature into relationship and who has a compulsion to keep returning to the seduction game (repetition neurosis) where he can replay out his opening moves, always in control. He arguably survives most vigorously in contemporary popular culture as James Bond, a high-tech version of the swashbuckling hero – sexy, adventurous, invincible – and always on the move.

In the Don Juan legend, he seduced (or raped) a young noblewoman and killed her father. Later, he invites this man’s posthumous stone statue to dine with him. The statue/ghost father agrees, then appearing as the harbinger of Don Juan's death. The statue offers to shake Don Juan's hand, and thereupon drags him to Hell. There Don Juan meets The Devil who tells him that everyone in Hell is cast in a role, and presents him with a Jester's suit, telling him that he would make an excellent fool. Don Juan, insulted, protests that he is unrivalled as a man who has made a thousand sexual conquests. Intrigued by this claim, The Devil tells him that if he can correctly name one conquest, he would not have to wear the suit. Thus begins a parade of women not one of whom Don Juan can name one correctly. Finally, one woman stands before him in tears. Struck by her true love, he looks into her eyes, turns to The Devil and takes the suit.

The legend has spawned many versions over the centuries, too numerous to include all here. But to give some idea: most authorities agree that the first recorded tale of Don Juan is the play The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest by Tirso de Molina (publication date uncertain, 1615–1625). Molière’s comedy Dom Juan ou Le Festin de Pierre was written in 1665, and in 1736 Goldoni wrote Don Giovanni Tenorio, Ossia Il Dissoluto. Another famous eighteenth18th century version is of course Lorenzo da Ponte’s libretto for the Mozart opera Don Giovanni (1787). In the nineteenth19th century the Romantic poet Lord Byron’s famous epic version of Don Juan (1821) is considered his masterpiece, though it remained unfinished at his death. Other significant versions in that century include: Pushkin’s play The Stone Guest (1830) and Alexandre Dumas's play Don Juan de Maraña (1831). In 1843 the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard discusses Mozart's interpretation of Don Giovanni in Either/Or, in which he dialectically opposed ethics as boring and dull to the irresponsible bliss of aesthetics. In 1861 another poet takes up the theme: Baudelaire in his Don Juan Aux Enfers. At the dawn of the twentieth20th cCentury George Bernard Shaw's play Man and Superman (1903) includes a substantial text Don Juan in Hell in Act 3. In the same period we have Guillaume Apollinaire's novel Les Exploits d'un Jeune Don Juan (1907) and in 1910 Gaston Leroux's novel Phantom of the Opera, which includes an opera called Don Juan Triumphant. The Second World War period re-examines the figure in relation to war – Ödön von Horváth’s Don Juan Returns from the War (1936) – and existentially – Albert Camus representing Don Juan as an archetypical absurd man in the essay The Myth of Sisyphus (1942). Interestingly in this same period two women approached the theme, though lesser known: Sylvia Townsend Warner's novel After the Death of Don Juan (1938) and Suzanne Lilar’s play Le Burlador (1946). Ingmar Bergman's play Don Juan in 1955 was followed by his 1960 film The Devil's Eye. Other cinematic versions of note include: the 1926 silent film Don Juan starring John Barrymore, Adventures of Don Juan starring Errol Flynn (1949), and in 1934 The Private Life of Don Juan, Douglas Fairbanks Senior's last film, thatwhich we have quoted in this production. Other films include Jan Švankmajer's animation version Don Juan in 1969 and Roger Vadim’s gender-reversal If Don Juan Were a Woman starring Brigitte Bardot (1973). Contemporary film versions include Don Juan De Marco starring Johnny Depp in the title role and, also starring Marlon Brando (1995) and Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flowers (2005) in which the middle-aged, crumpled, Don Johnson protagonist, mooches on his couch watching the Douglas Fairbanks movie. Finally in this non-exhaustive list, we might cite among others Peter Handke’s 2004 novel Don Juan (As Told by Himself), Joni Mitchell's song and album Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (1977) and most recently in 2007: Douglas Carlton Abrams's novel The Lost Diary of Don Juan. All of which suggest that as an archetype, whether as macho rogue/seducer/careless lover/immoralist/free spirit/existential hero/marriage breaker/sex addict or just the stuff of erotic imagination, Don Juan remains in our minds …

Gledališkega lista 2007


koprodukcija Slovenskega mladinskega gledališča
in skupine Athletes of the Heart

režija: Anna Furse
dramaturgija: Željko Hrs

Damjana Černe
Željko Hrs
Marko Mlačnik
Tanya Myers
Matej Recer
Giovanna Rogante
Marie-Gabrielle Rotie

besedilo: Damjana Černe, Anna Furse, Željko Hrs, Tibor Hrs Pandur, Marko Mlačnik, Tanya Myers,
Matej Recer, Giovanna Rogante
s prispevki
Maruše Geymayer-Oblak in Ruth Posner
besedilo uredila: Anna Furse in Željko Hrs
prevod v slovenščino: Tibor Hrs Pandur
prevod v italijanščino: Giovanna Rogante
scenografija: Anna Furse
izvedba scenografije: Sandi Mikluž
kostumografija: Mateja Benedetti
glasba in oblikovanje zvoka: Nick Parkin
oblikovanje luči: Mischa Twitchin
video: Janez Janša
lektorica (slovenščina): Mateja Dermelj

izvršni producent (za Athletes of the Heart): Mik Flood
producentka (za SMG): Tina Malič
vodja predstave: Mitja Trampuš

Luč: Matjaž Brišar
Ton: Marijan Sajovic
Video tehnik: Dušan Ojdanič
Garderoberke: Nataša Recer, Andreja Kovač, Maja Švagelj, Slavica Janošević
Izdelava kostumov: Jože Koprivec, Marija Boruta
Maskerka in frizerka: Barbara Pavlin
Rekviziter: Dare Kragelj
Izdelava scenografije: delavnice SMG

Glasba na posnetkih: Matej Recer – harmonika, Marjeta Skoberne – violončelo
Avtor skladbe Mon dieu: Charles Dumont
Uporabili smo odlomke iz filmov Zasebno življenje Don Juana (1934, režija Alexander Korda) in Bela griva (1952, režija Albert Lamorisse)

Zahvaljujemo se Matjažu Bergerju, Barbri Egervary, Petru Hultonu, Johnu Kirbyju in galeriji Flowers, Dušanu Ojdaniču, Nataši Recer in Marjeti Skoberne

Don Juan. Kdo? Delovni manifest
napisala Anna Furse
maj 2007

• Gledališče je poezija.
• Fizično gledališče je stanje duha.
• Izraza »ples« in »gledališče« se pomensko ne razlikujeta, če je nastopajoči utelešen, ekspresiven in scenografski.
• Zato bomo svoje delo poimenovali »gledališče«. Čeprav se bo mogoče komu zdelo bolj kot ples ali plesno gledališče, nam ne
bo mar za definicije.
• Igralec je ustvarjalec.
• Jezik prihaja iz drobovja.
• Liki se oblikujejo na odru pred občinstvom.
• Jasno moramo pokazati razlike med nami.
• Jasno moramo pokazati podobnosti med nami.
• Zbor je odlična strategija ansambelske etike.
• Zbor posameznikov, ki se borijo za konsenz, je model demokracije.
• Vedno predstavljamo in kažemo, da se s pretvarjanjem samo igramo.
• Nobene gledališke iluzije, ki ni pripravljena razkriti svojih mehanizmov.
• Nobenega dekorja, samo scenografija.
• Iz funkcionalnega in bistvenega se kuje poezija gledališča.
• Upiraj se dobesednemu. Poglej raje, kako naša zavest dejansko deluje.
• Bodi pripravljen na znoj, skoke, tek, padce, jok in goloto.
• Ljubi ironijo.
• Strategija: zapelji gledalce, tako da bodo ves čas vedeli, da ti veš in da oni vedo, kaj se dogaja.
• Naj telo razkrije podtekst.
• Naj se domišljija razdivja.
• Odkrij strast.
• Uživaj v šali.
• Igraj igro.
• Nauči se čačača.

Anna Furse:
Legenda in besedila o Don Juanu

Don Juan je izmišljeni legendarni libertinec, o katerem so v zadnjih petih stoletjih vedno znova pripovedovali (in še pripovedujejo) dramatiki, pesniki, romanopisci, operni skladatelji in filmski umetniki. Njegovo ime v prenesenem pomenu uporabljamo kot sinonim za »ženskarja« in o podobi Don Juana kot možatega zapeljivca priča na tisoče spletnih strani. Kot eksistencialni antijunak predstavlja Moškega, nad katerim konvencionalne moralne in verske oblasti nimajo moči. Od tod izvira tudi njegova nezadržna potreba po tem, da bi ubežal zakonu in reprodukciji. S psihoanalitičnega vidika je puer aeternus (večni mladenič), ki ne pusti, da bi intimnost dozorela v razmerje, in se kompulzivno vrača k igri zapeljevanja (kompulzivno ponavljanje), v kateri lahko vedno znova povleče svoje otvoritvene poteze in ki jo lahko vedno nadzoruje. Verjetno je danes najmočneje navzoč v sodobni popularni kulturi kot James Bond – hi-tech inačica bahavega junaka: seksi, pustolovskega, nepremagljivega – in vedno v gibanju.

V legendi Don Juan zapelje (ali posili) mlado plemkinjo in ubije njenega očeta. Pozneje obišče očetov grob, da bi večerjal z njegovim spomenikom. Očetov kip/duh na to pristane, nato pa se prikaže kot glasnik Don Juanove smrti: Donu Juanu ponudi roko v pozdrav in ga nato odvleče v pekel. Tam se Don Juan sreča s hudičem, ki mu razloži, da v peklu vsakomur dodelijo posebno vlogo, in mu ponudi obleko dvornega norca, češ da bi mu odlično pristajala. Užaljeni Don Juan ugovarja, da se nihče ne more meriti z njim, saj je vendar zapeljal tisoč žensk. Hudiču ta trditev vzbudi zanimanje, zato mu dá možnost: če bo prav poimenoval le eno od teh, ki jih je osvojil, mu ne bo treba obleči norčevske obleke. Pred Don Juanom se zvrsti sprevod žensk, vendar niti za eno ne ve, kako ji je ime. Nazadnje se pred njim ustavi ženska s solznimi očmi. Pretresen nad njeno resnično ljubeznijo se ji zazre v oči, nato pa se obrne k hudiču in vzame obleko.

Legenda je v stoletjih navdihnila številne inačice, preštevilne, da bi lahko vse omenili. A zgolj za ilustracijo: večina strokovnjakov se strinja, da je prva zapisana zgodba o Don Juanu igra Seviljski burkež in kamniti gost (prva izdaja med 1615 in 1625). Molièrova igra Don Juan ali Kamnita gostija je bila napisana leta 1665, 1763 pa je Goldoni napisal komedijo Don Giovanni Tenorio, ossia il dissoluto (Don Giovanni Tenorio ali Razuzdanec). Druga znamenita verzija iz 18. stoletja je seveda libreto Lorenza da Ponteja za Mozartovo opero Don Giovanni (1787). Byronovo epsko različico Don Juana iz 19. stoletja (1821) imajo za mojstrovino, čeprav je ostala nedokončana. Med drugimi omembe vrednimi verzijami iz tega stoletja sta še Puškinova igra Kamniti gost (1830) in Don Juan de Maraña (1831) Alexandra Dumasa. Leta 1843 je Kierkegaard uporabil Mozartovo opero Don Giovanni v svojem delu Ali – ali, v katerem je etiki, ki naj bi bila dolgočasna in pusta, dialektično zoperstavil neodgovorno blaženost estetike, leta 1861 pa se je tematike lotil še en pesnik: Baudelaire v svojem Don Juan aux enfers (Don Juan v peklu). Na samem začetku 20. stoletja je George Bernard Shaw v 3. dejanje igre Človek in nadčlovek (1903) vključil tehtno besedilo Don Juan v peklu. Iz istega časa sta tudi romana Guillauma Apollinairja Podvigi mladega Don Juana (1907) in Gastona Lerouxa Fantom iz opere (1910), katerega del je tudi opera Zmagoviti Don Juan. Obdobje druge svetovne vojne lik redefinira v odnosu do vojne (Don Juan prihaja z vojske, 1936) in bivanjsko (Albert Camus v eseju Mit o Sizifu (1942) predstavi Don Juana kot arhetipskega človeka absurda). Zanimivo je, da sta se v tem obdobju teme lotili tudi dve ženski, čeprav je to manj znano: to sta Sylvia Townsend Warner v romanu After the Death of Don Juan (Po Don Juanovi smrti, 1938) in Suzanne Lilar v igri Le Burlador (Burkež, 1946). Drami Don Juan Ingmarja Bergmana iz leta 1955 je čez pet let sledil film Hudičevo oko. Druge filmske verzije, ki jih je vredno omeniti, so: nemi film Don Juan iz leta 1926 z Johnom Barrymorom v glavni vlogi, Dogodivščine Don Juana (1949) z Errolom Flynnom kot naslovnim junakom ter Zasebno življenje Don Juana (1934), zadnji film Douglasa Fairbanksa starejšega, ki smo ga citirali tudi v naši predstavi. Tu sta še animirani Don Juan Jana Švankmajerja (1969), in preobrnjena spolna perspektiva v Če bi bil Don Juan ženska (1973) Rogerja Vadima, v katerem je glavno vlogo odigrala Brigitte Bardot. Med sodobnejšimi filmskimi poskusi so Don Juan de Marco (1995) z Marlonom Brandom in Johnnyjem Deppom v naslovni vlogi ter Strti cvetovi Jima Jarmuscha (2005), v katerem postarani, zdelani protagonist Don Johnson poseda na kavču in si ogleduje Fairbanksov film. Nazadnje bi na tem neizčrpnem spisku lahko navedli tudi roman Petra Handkeja iz leta 2004 Don Juan (pripoveduje sam), pesem in album Joni Mitchell Don Juan's Reckless Daughter (1977), najnovejši pa je roman Douglasa Carltona Abramsa iz leta 2007 The Lost Diary of Don Juan (Don Juanov izgubljeni dnevnik). Vse to dokazuje, da je Don Juan kot arhetip, pa naj si bo to arhetip mačističnega falota/zapeljivca/brezobzirnega ljubimca/nemoralneža/svobodomisleca/eksistencialnega junaka/zakonolomca/spolnega odvisnika, ali zgolj kot snov za našo domišljijo preživel ...

Charente, avgust 2007