2018 Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet

The prophet is one of Gibran’s later writings and it encapsulates the peak of his philosophy. The Prophet is Gibran’s paraphrase of Biblical stories, his contemplation of life, everyday problems and fundamental questions that every person strives to answer from birth onwards. The central concept of the work is the thought on universal love, about the importance of the fact that human beings are defined by the ability to love. Spiritual love is the superior concept that should be leading and guiding human endeavours, especially towards a greater good, towards happiness and honest relationships.

 

How to approach words and thoughts, which are carefully selected, stemming from the depth of life and touching the most sensitive aspects of the human being? How to stage mystical poetry? Barbara Pia Jenič, the director and the pioneer of the sensorial theatre in Slovenia, tries to get in touch with the feelings, sensuousness and synergies in this performance. These are essential elements of Gibran’s subtle and sublime literature. The Prophet’s words challenge the void, the silence and the pause, they address the unspeakable and open the intermediate spaces to access the subconscious. This way they achieve a more comprehensive immersion of the audience in the plot of this artistic masterpiece.

 

Dates of repetitions and locations at coproducers’ venues:

Prešernovo gledališče Kranj

Slovensko Mladinsko gledališče

Slovensko stalno gledališče Trst

SOME IMPRESSIONS of the public and critics

 

“Uprizoritev v režiji Barbare Pie Jenič se osredotoči na nekatere tematske drobce preroka, kot so prijateljstvo, dar, otroci, revščina, smrt in ljubezen, ki jih odrsko razpira v umirjenem, upočasnjenem ritmu skozi simbolne in arhetipske slike, ter senzualno obogateno. Nastopajoča Maruša Oblak in Miha Rodman ob sugestivni zvočni podpori Petra Penka, Tineta Terlepa in Igorja Megliča, ter video projekcijah, subtilno sporočilo temeljne povezanosti nasprotij podajata govorno jasno in trezno, z učinkovito uporabo vonjav, rekvizitov in scene. Pomensko duhovno nabitost Preroka, ki je današnji dobi kar nekako tuja, predstava tako nagovarja in odpira skozi gledalko čutno dovzetnost in občutljivost, lastno efemernosti gledališkega trenutka, kar gledališki dogodek pravzaprav naredi edinstven in nepovratenROK BOZOVIČAR, Radio Slovenija 1, Dogodki in odmevi – 15:49, 14.10.2018

 

»To je bil tako poglobljen večer, da ga bom gotovo ponovila. Predstava me je prevzela kot celota. Vse je delovalo. Zvok, luč, scena je magična, igralca sta izjemna. Glede na besedilo bi lahko šla tudi v patetiko, pa sta nastopila s tako premišljenim občutkom, da človeka globoko gane.«  Prevajalka, igralka in režiserka Alenka Bole Vrabec, po premieri 13.10.2018

 

“Prerok je ena tistih predstav režiserke Barbare Pie Jenič, v katerih človek, gledalec, gledalka, občuti, da aplavz ob koncu kar nekako zmoti svečanost, globino, neizmernost besed, ki so izrečene na odru. Predstava na kranjskem odru je umetniško in duhovno doživetje, kakršnih danes na odrih zelo manjka.”  urednica portala Zdravo Slovenija Katerina Vidner Ferkov, izjava po premieri 13.10. 2018

 

»Predstava Prerok ni zgolj čutno, temveč je nadčutno doživetje /…/ Predstava Prerok je celostna umetnina, ki gledališču vrača dostojanstvo in celi. Celi tako slehernika, kot tudi ta zblazneli svet..«Poznavalka kulture in ustvarjalka Tina Hribar Dragar, izjava na FB, 6. november 2018

 

»…Dobro bi bilo, da bi bilo več takih milo lepih predstav, ki nagovarjajo srce in dušo. Potrebujemo tudi svetlobo, ne samo teme. Tukaj nocoj smo doživeli hvalnico življenju. Življenje je vredno hvaliti in živo živeti.«  Manca Košir, publicistka in kolumnistka, izjava po premieri 13.10.

 

Po takšni predstavi, kot je Prerok, je aplavz na koncu kot zvočna motnja, saj bi vsak na dlani rad odnesel vtise in jih v tišini držal pred oltarjem svojih oči. Predstava združuje moč besede in razsežnosti neizrekljivega, ki ga je pričarala brezhibna dovršenost video projekcije, kostumografije, scenografije, dramaturgije, luči in zvoka v celoto.”  KATERINA VIDNER FERKOV, Zdravo-slovenija.com, 16.10.2018

 

“Miha Rodman v vlogi Preroka in Maruša Oblak v vlogi Almitre ob Prerokovem glasu (Vladimir Jurc) in zvočni podpori (Peter Penko, Tine Terlep in Igor Meglič) ter video projekcijah v senzualni interakciji z gledalci (dotik, vonj, sluh …) pretanjeno, v umirejnem ritmu podajata Gibranovo besedilo. S simbolno govorico (jabolka, grozdje, vino, prst, drevo, zavesa, ladja …) popeljeta gledalca na »duhovno pot od rojstva do smrti«, oziroma natančneje z gore spremenitve prek evharistije, vrta trpljenja do zarje vstajenja.” KSENJA HOČEVAR, Družina, 21.10.2018

 

»Predstava je zelo estetska. Všeč mi je bilo, da so na odru kot scenski pripomočki prisotni vsi naravni elementi: ogenj, voda, zemlja in zrak. V predstavi spoznamo vse dobro in vse slabo, kar počne človek. Hkrati pa vidimo tudi, da ni vse tako črno, kot se nam včasih zdi, da lahko vedno posadimo novo drevo in gre življenje naprej.«  oblikovalec svetlobe Kristjan Vidner, izjava po premieri 13.10.

 

“Premierna publika je v popolnosti odprla vse čute in je vseskozi pozorno in v popolni tišini spremljala dogajanje na odru in ob njem ter v simbolnih potezah obeh akterjev, na primer »evharistiji« podajanja esenc vonja ob zaključku, tudi sodelovala. Lahko bi rekli – na ta način tudi sprejemala Prerokove nauke. Prestava Prerok bo v Prešernovo gledališče vsekakor privabila tudi novo publiko. Tisti, ki ste Preroka brali, si boste z zanimanjem ogledali tudi predstavo, tisti, ki ga niste, in ste videli predstavo, boste z veseljem posegli po knjigi.” Igor Kavčič, Gorenjski glas, 22.10.2018

Title of the original  The Prophet

Translator Lojze Bratina

Director, scenographer, video and scent designer Barbara Pia Jenič

CAST:

The Prophet  Miha Rodman

Almitra  Maruša Oblak

Voice of the Prophet (audio)  Vladimir Jurc (Slovenian), Adriano Giraldi (Italian)

 

Dramaturg Marinka Poštrak

Authors of sounds and music Peter Penko, Tine Terlep (vocal) and Igor Meglič (arabic balkan saz)

Costume designer Tina Kolenik

Photographer Nada Žgank and on this site also Barbara Pia Jenič (rehearsals)

Movement counsellor Jasna Knez

Proofreader Mateja Dermelj

Assistant of dramaturgy Kristina Mihelj

Light designer Bojan Hudernik, Igor Berginc

Make-up designer Matej Pajntar

Video editing Robert Obed

Stage manager Ciril Roblek

TECHNICAL STAFF: Propery man Ciril Roblek, Light Igor Berginc, Bojan Hudernik; Sound Robert Obed, Marko Koren, Hair and make-up Matej Pajntar, Dresser Bojana Fornazarič, Stagehands Robert Rajgelj, Boštjan Marčun, Marko Krajnc Kamberov, Ahmet Kurtović

PRESS on internet

Dnevnik kritika: Premišljeno zlitje elementov, 30. november

TVSLO Kultura, 20. november

Družina, Božji dih smo, 21. oktober

Zdravo Slovenija, Trust your dreams, 16. october

SI21, After the premiere of the Prophet, 15. october

Radio Slovenia First program, News, 14. october  (od 18’28”-20’25”)

Mmc Rtvslo The Prophet, … a cure for this era, 13. october

Ars Rtvslo Svet kulture  (od 9’50”- 12’57”), 12. oktober

Si21 Krstna uprizoritev kultnega dela Prerok, 8. oktober

Gorenjska TV Before the premiere of The Prophet , 2. october

 

FROM THE BOOKLET OF THE PLAY

Barbara Pia Jenič

About Gibran, the sensuous

 

It seems that authors such as Gibran have always been a part of my life, as they shaped and reinforced my world view and perception of existential questions. I started questioning myself about the meaning of life when I was very young, even before I reached puberty. I’ve been passionate about theatre since I was fifteen, but twenty years ago I entered the universe of the sensorial theatre. Sensorial theatre introduced me to the new dimensions of story-telling and creating. However, multi-sensory representation is not really a new thing in theatre.

 “The beginnings of Western theatre in ancient Greek festivals like the Eleusinian mysteries (in modern times considered the prototype of the modern Gesamtkunstwerk) were suffused with intense aromas of all kinds: including fruit, floral, grain, and animal offerings; blood and burning animal flesh; wine, honey, and oil libations; and the burning of incense and other material in sacred fires (Burkert 1985). In our times, the use of incense in Catholic churches constitutes a diminished survival of the ritual use of smell in religious performances. scented theatre programs and perfume fountains were only two of the nineteenth-century olfactory devices in Western theatres (Haill 1987), but during most of the twentieth century, the “fourth wall conventions  of realism generally divided the spectator from the mainstream stage and permitted only sight and sound to cross its divide.

Sally Banes: Olfactory performances; The senses in performance, edited by Sally Banes and Andre Lepecki, Routledge 2007 New York and London

 

Some solitary experiments of conceptual integration of fragrances, textures and touch into theatre shows in the previous century can be traced to Scheckner, Marinetti and Grotowski, however these were individual experiments, overridden by realism, which was predominant in theatre at the time. Sensorial theatre along with consistent use of all the senses was introduced in Europe by Enrique Vargas, a Columbian director, with whom I collaborated as a performer for eight years while I worked in the Spanish theatre, in more than 300 replays of several shows. I established Senzorium in order to continue developing sensorial poetics and enabling research and development of multy-sensory art in Slovenia.

Sensorial theatre actively involves the audience into the performance and uses language only when it is more important than silence. In Gibran’s The Prophet the words are the main storytelling instrument. Every sentence in the book is thoroughly thought out and every word is carefully selected. Poetry is very close to sensorial language with its refined meaning, especially when the words are rare and carefully selected. The sensorial approach, stemming from elements of the Eleusinian mysteries (ancient forms of multi-sensory interactive events), uses fragrances as the essential storytelling tools. Sensorial approaches enable a multifaceted and a multi-dimensional experience, which – at least I hope so – brings fragments of that heritage and a pinch of the magic potion.

Gibran is a poet, whose thought rose above all religions and beliefs, he got in touch with wisdom that floats in our collective unconscious, which is according to C. G. Jung a part of a process called individuation. He introduces one thought in several ways, from different perspectives, using different metaphors. This thought can thus enter through the perception filter of a larger group of people with different experiences, as we can only see and hear those things that are part of our cognitive maps. We’re able to recognize, understand and notice only those things that we have experienced in life. Our attention is selective and stunted by perception filters. That is why some sentences slip past us as if they have never been uttered. Words that are familiar to us are also efficient, as they immediately invoke images, thoughts, memories – because the word resounds with the experience.

For the performance I chose those texts that immediately managed to address me persuasively as an artist by invoking images. I try to rely on the archetypal language rather than on the intellectual or performative approach, which is more ubiquitous nowadays.  Gibran’s text is in fact a type of a Bible as it carries deep meanings, reflected in different forms. We use the language of symbols and archetypes because it addresses our subconscious, which is the key to sentience and consequently their better understanding.

I wish that we could experience Gibran’s words on a sensory level. The fragrances in the show open the way to the invisible dimension of the story. In some parts they are replenishing it, while in other they introduce a counterpoint of the plot by revealing new dimensions of the reality. We have to take time for fragrances, we have to indulge in them. The sense of smell has a direct access to our limbic system, so it has a stronger impact on our emotions than hearing and other senses. However, sound also affects our emotions, our bodies and our memories, so for this project I invited musicians, who resuscitate the tradition of the spiritual cultural heritage.

Gibran’s wisdoms are like prayers, striving for the higher purpose of existence and perception of life. In the past this role in communities was carried out by priests and shamans. Because religion does not have a strong role in the West anymore, new spiritual practices have been flourishing. However, these practices have been mushrooming in the last years, so it is quite difficult for the unexperienced eye to find real authenticity and quality among them. This is why art is in my opinion the best or – at least for me – the most familiar way to deliver higher knowledge.

Gibran’s The Prophet is the Bible for the present time. Since my Bible is the art, I asked him to come among us and speak out from the stage with all the senses. To stay as close as possible to the common tradition, in the language of images, archetypes, fragrances, textures and sounds, so we can rise above all religions, cultures and spiritual practices and unite in the simple meaning of being/essence.

 

English translation Miso Micic

***The author’s name and last name is spelled like the version used by the translator Lojze Bratina

***We used a photograph of Daniel Dancer in the performance (Willamette National Forest, Oregon) as well as the following videos:  Direct views of the sea and calm waves. Yaroslove_photo_VIDEO (ID: 26354324). Shutterstock.web. September 2018;Top View of the Giant Waves, Foaming and Splashing in the Ocean, Sunny Day, Slow Motion Video, Indonesia, Bali (ID: 27008998). Shutterstock.web. September 2018; An underwater scene with sunrays shining through the water’s glittering and moving surface (Looping). By Shutterstock.web. September 2018; Low flying aerial shot in the Sierra National Forest in California, just above and through the treetops. By Devin Kumar Shutterstock.web. September 2018.

Stage adaptation of The Prophet was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, City Municipality of Kranj and City Municipality of Ljubljana, Department of Culture.