Direction, dramaturgy - Livija Pandur
Choreography - Ronald Savković
Composer - Miroslav Bako
PRODUCTION: National Theatre Belgrade and Opera and Theatre Madlenianum
Dictionary of the Khazars, the celebrated work by Milorad Pavić, has been described as “the first novel of the 21st century” and a “manuscript wherein the Universe is enciphered”. Thirty-seven years ago the Serbian poet, prose writer, literary historian and translator created an epic reminiscent of Homer’s Odyssey. The story of a semi-mystical Khazar tribe immediately became a global sensation, and was translated into twenty languages. Nearly thirty-five years after its appearance as a book, the Dictionary of the Khazars has acquired another form as a ballet. The director Livia Pandur and choreographer Ronald Savković are telling the story of the enigmatic “dream hunters” in the idiom of dance. This new stage adaptation of the novel is a tribute of commemoration and esteem to the famous Slovenian director Tomaž Pandur, who produced his own outstanding version of the Dictionary of the Khazars in 2002.
“Dream hunters – a sect of Khazar priests whose protectress was Princess Ateh. They could read other people’s dreams, live and make themselves at home in them, and through the dreams hunt the game that was their prey – a human, an object, or an animal… In dreams we feel like fish in the water. Occasionally we surface from a dream and skim an eye over the world on shore, but we again descend with yearning haste, for it is only in the depths that we feel good. During these brief sorties we notice on dry land a strange creature, more sluggish than ourselves, accustomed to breathing in a manner different from our own, and glued to the land with all its weight, but deprived of the passion that we inhabit like our own bodies… That creature out there, that too is us, but a million years from now, and between it and us, aside from the years, lies a terrible calamity that has befallen it, because that creature out there has separated the body from passion...”
Milorad Pavić, Dictionary of the Khazars