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Kafka´s „The Trial“ as contemporary ballet is the season´s first premiere

In less than two weeks, on Friday 21st October, The State Theatre Košice will present first premiere of the season in its historical building, the contemporary balet „The Trial“ based on the world-famous novel of Franz Kafka. It is prepared by world-known Czech dancer and choreographer, Jiří Bubeníček with ballet ensemble on stage of his brother, Otto Bubeníček, and with the costume designes by his wife, Nadina Cojocaru.

The contemporary balet in two acts is inspired not only by Franz Kafka´s novel, but also by his personal life. The world premiere of ballet by Bubeníček´s brothers was more than three years ago, 17th May 2019, at The Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm.

“The trial” is a strange and disturbing story of Josef K, who is a banker and single man, who wakes up one morning in his room to find himself under arrest for unknown reasons. From that point his life is never going to be the same again. Through the story he meets many people, trying to find answers to his trial, why was he arrested, questions about the system, the law and his guilt. Josef K's quest for personal justice brings him up against the very complicated hierarchy of the judicial process. In Kafka’s “The Trial” we enter the confusing world of state law, where one can wait years for an uncertain outcome without ever knowing why.

Franz Kafka was born in old city of Prague, where I have as well grew up as a child and young man. We walked the same streets and went even to the same school in street call Mastná, only in different times. This has left since then a strong wish to one day research deeper about him, his life, his books and why is he so popular and unique in literature. Researching about the novel “The Trial” I came to the conclusion that most of Franz Kafka’s books ideas are strongly related to his personal life and the complicated relationship between his father and him. I was hooked by his deep messages about the rotten part of our society which immediately pushed me to get involved in this creation. I wanted to put on stage what he wanted to say through this book but not only. Kafka’s messages are still very present in our society, “ said Jiří Bubeníček. The idea of creators was to make „The Trial“ on stage as unrealistic as it is in the book. „ full of twisted fantasies as possible. With effective stage design and costumes. This piece was created in a similar labyrinth style with physical and psychological brutality and emotionally deep,“ adds Jiří Bubeníček.

The musical side of ballet is also interesting. The ballet is accompanied by music of several world composers of present time, as well as jewish folk songs arranged by Jiří Bubeníček and Koen Kessels, who conducted The Royal Swedish Orchestra at the world premiere in Stockholm. In this new ballet audience will see and especially hear, for the first time in Košice, the „choir of screamers“, which will bring an unique singing style known in Scandinavian countries to Košice´s theatre.

Soloist Genaro Sorbino will play the title character of Josef K. Other characters include Shoko Yamada, Klaudia Skopintsev, Su Tanaka and ballet ensemble. First premiere will take place in the historical building of State Theatre Košice on Friday, 21st October, second premiere on Saturday, 22nd October and first replay on Thursday, 27th October, the State Theatre Košice presents as part of the „Interscene“  project.