Photo by Lajos Somlosi
Büchner’s play “Woyzeck” attracted attention of quite a number of experimentalist artists, from Werner Herzog who made the movie with Klaus Kinski to Bob Wilson who staged the performance with the music of Tom Waits. Josef Nadj – French director and choreographer – suggested his own version of this unfinished play of early died play-writer. “Woyzeck, or the hint of vertigo”, staged by Nadj 20 years ago, hasn’t been yet taken off the repertoire and is still going on with great success. Such a long lifetime is an exceptional rarity for theatre performances. “Woyzeck” got an Audience Award at “BITEF” festival in Belgrade in 1998 and in 2002 got the award of “Golden Mask” festival as the best foreign performance presented in Russia. Last summer “Woyzeck” was shown with great success in Avignon. And finally this renowned performance will come to Voronezh.
According to Russian journal “Expert” Josef Nadj is “one of the most mysterious personalities of the modern theatre”. Critics still argue to what genre they should refer his performances as one can notice there both dance, pantomime and elements of drama theatre. Nadj got the Critics’ Award at “Mimos” festival in Périgueux (France), “Europe for theatre” Award in nomination “New Theatre Reality” and he is also the Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters.
Photo by Jean-Louise Fernandez
In his interpretation of the play one will see Büchner’s characters: small and haunted Woyzeck, his girlfriend and corporal… But Nadj’s work is too far from original source: this performance isn’t about jealousy, murder and suicide. The director transformed characters of “Woyzeck” into golems (people made of clay and sand). Energy of the play is the most important thing for Nadj, he explores the madness of the main character and the force which leads Woyzeck to cruelty.
“Every performance of Nadj is something medium between ballet, installation and traditional theatre… Nadj’s actors can say everything with one gesture, their body is much more expressive than language”.
Viktoriya Nikiforova, “Expert”
“Visual theatre of Nadj works with images rather than dramatic art. Nadj doesn’t try to tell a story, he organizes mise en scenes of a dream”.
Irina Kulik, “Kommersant”
"This truth, frst of all - known and recognized, but always forgotten: that Woyzeck is an unfnished tragedy, the state of a constantly evolving shape that the author’s death brought to an abrupt halt. Not a play in fragments, but a play in pieces : for the whole of pieces is not that of fragments, it is less noble, it has not lain in science and does not form itself into a network but piles itself up in a simple way, one stratum after another. Pieces displayed, piled up on the stage, here and there...
The voices talking in Woyzeck talk amidst the insanity that the law should not (or no longer) exist and that, for the poor, the place of the law should be taken by nature, but like an empty space: bottles drunk in cabarets, animals gleams in the night. Since it is written before «the poor» form themselves (or are formed) into revolutionary subjects - thus before they gather around a law or whatever can take the place of the law - the story of Woyzeck and Marie, although it is situated from a historical point of view, and even situation in the rat- hole of low sky Vormäz, in Germany, is beyond any heroic agitation, and beyond any biased or edifying recitation".
Woyzeck, wild with thought