Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech
with Taichi Yamagata, Mari Ando, Saho Ito, Kei Namba, Riki Takeda, Fumie Yokoo
Music Sinfonia di Mahler n. 9
Light Design Tomomi Ohira.
lighting operator Etsuko Tanahashi
Stage manager Ayumu Okubo
Producer Akane Nakamura/ precog Co,Ltg
Tour Manager Yukiko Nakajima
co-produced by Hebbel am Ufer
Supported by Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Saison Foundation, The Japan Foundation Fiscal 2009-2010
Running time 1h
The theatre company chelfitsch has been one of the most notable performing arts groups in Japan since its foundation by Toshiki Okada in 1997. Okada, the playwright/ director of the company, is acclaimed for his marvelous ability to carve out the elusive state of things in contemporary Japan. Both the slangy Japanese reminiscent of the speech of the nation’s youth and the so-called “noisy” corporeality—which sometimes seems to, and at other times does not, exaggerate our everyday gestures—are the trademarks of the company.
In 2005, Five Days in March (2004) won the 49th Kishida Drama Award. The judges praised Okada's work for the powerful questions it posed to the discourse of the theater and for the novel and unique ways through which the playwright turned the very sense of his dissatisfaction into a work of art.
Okada’s innovative methodology has gained a worldwide audience in the past few years. In 2008, chelfitsch successfully toured around 20 cities throughout Europe and North America.
This work was originally performed as a 30-minute duet in 2004 named Air Conditioner, and is reproduced as a one-hour piece this year. Stylishly and idiosyncratically representing the seemingly mundane conversation between two co-workers, Air Conditioner has been compared to dance by some critics due to the actors’ peculiar movement. Okada actually participated in "Toyota Choreography Award 2005: Discover the Choreographer for Next Generation" with Air Conditioner, where he made it to the finals. Taking the contemporary dance scene by storm with the piece, he eloquently articulated a unique concept of the body that defied the conventional idea of "choreography."
After its premiere in 2004, Air Conditioner was performed in seven cities in the United States and during UOVO Festival in Milan in 2008. In Italy, it was applauded for its style which, according to one review, “not only merges the two disciplines of dance and theater, but also exhausts all the potential methods of both, which enables it to stand above them in the end.” “The thoughtless, mechanic discourses—that never become veritable dialogues—and the compulsive gestures,” the review continued, “allude to an empty society, and to difficult human relationships.”
The new, one-hour version named Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and the Farewell Speech will be previewed in Modena prior to its world premiere (October 14, 2009 at Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin). Don’t miss the special preview of Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech by this remarkable company.