AN HOMAGE TO DON QUIJOTE - Inspired by the novel of Miguel de Cervantes "Don Quijote de la Mancha"
The "Ensemble Quadrillong"
(composed of 2 musicians, 1 dancer, 2 actresses/figure players, and a fan) started this project based on improvisations with materials, sounds, and the human being who is manipulated, perceives, and is perceived within these explorations. From this, the theme of the Don Quixote character increasingly emerged. The way to a newly written, imaginative, witty production of this crazy and yet so likable "knight of the sad shape" was opening up. A Don Quixote who skates through the times in recent freshness (although he falls off his steed from time to time...), appealing to children, teenagers, as well as adults. The playful and funny realization illuminates the serious topic from crazy angles and creates mosaic-like images. A tragicomic production that entangles and interweaves the sonorous text and the effervescent music in lively discussions. Red moments arise that tickle Don Quixote's nose.
Written and directed by Lea Sakran in German
The theme of the play - Our understanding and approach
"I know who I am (...) and know that I can be not only any of the heroes imagined but also all the Pairs of France and even all the nine Sons of Glory; for all the great deeds they have done together and each for himself, mine will precede them." (from: Don Quixote, Cervantes)
"Don Quixote" - a name familiar to most of us (small or slightly larger) from films, hearsay, pictures, and not least Picasso's illustration. The scrawny man with the old steed, driven by tales of chivalry that he spends nights sucking into his brain, the fantasist who invents and discovers his own reality. And all his deeds our adventurer denies for a peasant girl from the neighboring village, who is chosen in his chivalrous heart as his hotly adored "Dulcinea of Toboso"; for a knight without a lady would be like a tree without leaves and the sun without splendor. Accompanied by his well-fed and devoted squire "Sancho Panza," who watches his master's goings-on with the greatest admiration and wonder, Don Quixote shrinks from nothing and faces the duel with the `giant` windmills in the most chivalrous manner...
In the important work of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, we certainly recognize biographical features. The author himself was constantly traveling and looking for odd jobs to survive as an impoverished nobleman. His journey was interrupted by a 10-year imprisonment in Algeria. With much idealism, he survived with the help of his imagination.
Don Quixote, too, lives in a 'state of exception' in a self-invented reality, and as part of it, in a way, even invents himself. A childlike, even human need, because curiosity, the urge to discover and invent are life-driving forces - engines to learn and grow, ingredients to nourish the potential of creativity. Don Quixote lives in his own world, where he acts according to his laws. Although Don Quixote's behavior is disruptive, and he literally falls on his face again and again, he is bursting with vitality and conviction, which the 'normal' people around him also feed on. Nevertheless, the 'normal' people, who live in the generally accepted reality, point their fingers at him and declare our hero-anti-hero to be a crank, even if only behind closed doors.
At the end of Cervantes' novel, Don Quixote lies on his deathbed. Sancho Panza is inconsolable about his master's condition and tries to convince him to please go on living, for what would become of him without him? Even though he is often the object of ridicule, no one will kill him for his foolishness, and no sorcerer (or any other of his imaginary creations) will try to kill him. And that is precisely why: after Don Quixote realizes his fantasy is an illusion and in no way even close to 'normal,' visible reality, there is no reason for him to live anymore. His life blossomed in his fantasy and faded through the realization of the universally valid reality. Sancho Pansa's life, on the other hand, blossomed because he was allowed to accompany his master as a spectator, as it were, without having to participate in the fantasies himself. With the departure of his master, his life would lose its color, and access to a powerful, untamed, and 'unseemly' fantasy world would be lost to him.
Purpose and goals
There is probably a little Don Quixote in all of us - somewhere. Don't we all think ourselves, to some extent, construct our own identity and re-invent ourselves in different moments in our lives? Creativity and imagination are means to express and translate our feelings and perceptions.
The theme of one's own creativity and letting one's imagination run free is the central point of the exploration for us, our main interest in the story. We look for the different possibilities of transformation and use of objects, sounds, movements, and actors. The stage thus becomes a `turntable` of versatile perspectives.
Many thanks again to our sponsors at the time: The Aargauer Kuratorium and the GGG Basel-Stadt.