SAILING THROUGH DREAMS
A magnificent production by the great Slovenian director with a wonderful international team of actors delighted Belgraders.(...) The key to our life lies at the bottom of a dream. And "Dictionary of the Khazars" speaks exactly of this inner journey into the deepest darkness of our souls, where this key awaits each and every man.
(Marija Novakovic, Reporter, July 2, 2002, Belgrade)
KHAZAR DREAM HUNT
“I saw unforgettable images and an extraordinary atmosphere which also radiated an outpouring of verbal energy.” Theatre connoisseurs were finally able to enjoy themselves. The production of "Dictionary of the Khazars" entranced the Belgrade audience, leaving not a gram of hope for the doubting Thomases to make any objections.(...) Tomaz Pandur has managed to unite into one space, one time and one state of spirit a story which investigates, across three centuries, the fictional history of the Khazar nation who lost themselves, their language, state culture and history when converting to the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths.
(Mikojan Bezbradica, Beogradski zurnal, July 5, 2002, Belgrade)
MAGIC OF TOTAL THEATRE
The premiere of "Dictionary of the Khazars" has shown that, with the help of selected associates and an extraordinary cast, Tomaz Pandur has succeeded in creating a powerful piece.(...) There are very few theatre directors who would have the courage to approach, in such a radical manner, such complex literary, even philosophical material, and translate it into the language of the stage on which completely different laws apply from those typical of literary novels.
(Aleksandar Milosavljevic, Beogradski zurnal, July 5, 2002, Belgrade)
JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE DREAM
If we sought to define Pandur’s "Dictionary of the Khazars" with just one expression, it would be "total theatre", a theatre in which the director exposes the writer, the actors, himself, in order to expose the audience in the end, which is incredibly exciting, but disturbing. Pandur’s "Dictionary of the Khazars" is actually a quest for the lacunae in Pavic’s book, a reading of the burnt manuscripts which Pavic was unable to lay his hands on, while he was working on the novel, simply because there were none. One of the most interesting layers of Pandur’s piece is the birth, the development, the illness and the death of the archetype and the archetypal. Pandur’s "Dictionary of the Khazars" is actually a mirror in which each viewer will spot the locus of his own inner self – those who carry a seed of love within themselves will follow the line of passion in the play, those who carry within themselves political doubt will find both questions and answers, and those who carry nothing but their own selves will see the empty mirror of Princess Ateh. On the stage, the acting ensemble seemed like a chorus of great solo performers. brought to life before our eyes a lively and exciting story made of dreams, and in a dream which was more real than any reality.
(Sanja Domazet, Danas, July 1, 2002, Belgrade)
365 WANDERING SOULS
In line with the marketing slogan of the play – UNBELIEVABLE – five or six generations have lost their future in time and space. Pandur’s latest adventure, to the satisfaction of author Milorad Paviç, was received with general enthusiasm, as though bringing hope for all those who have lost their tomorrow because of things being the way they are.
(Peter Potocnik, Delo, July 3, 2002, Ljubljana)
A DREAM AND A BIT OF A POLEMIC
Tomaz Pandur and his associates construct the play as a sequence of images, dreams, which each history or narrative turns into in the end. In the strange and miraculous, everything touches and mixes, Hebrew, Arabic, Islamic, male and female, the erotic and the mortal, the mysterious and the political, the ancient and the still living, east and west, the tragic and the cynical, the winged and the bound, the beautiful and the monstrous, the gentle and the brutal, the germ and the giant, the underworld and the upper world, the bestial and the human. The dream and a bit of a discussion, a polemic. A play of ample metaphors and envious spectacle. (...) This play was created to be an event, which indeed it is.
(Muharem Pervic, Politika, July 3, 2002, Belgrade)
ETERNITY COMING LATE
What is it that is so superior in Pavic’s work, and what is it that makes this production of the Khazars so multi-layered, so rich in meaning and sensation that to describe it as creative would be an insult to good taste? It is not possible, nor logical to pick out one from the series of anthological scenes which make the play, to single out one of the sequences of images and dramatic conflicts which the play abounds in, just as it wouldn’t be sensible to pick out one of a whole series of actors’ achievements in this play which sets the imagination on fire, destroys the consciousness and raises the adrenalin in the blood of an audience which can dream.
(Zeljko Jovanovic, Blic, July 1, 2002, Belgrade)
MIGRATIONS, NO DEATH
"There are migrations. There is no death!" says Crnjanski, and this unspoken (on stage) thought of his echoes loudly throughout the play. Stories, people, emotions, migrate through space and time, through reality and dreams, throughout all the languages of Babylon and through the languages of birds, fish and the wind which erases and recreates the sand dunes, uncovering and then hiding, one after another, the traces of the past and making the deceitful and unreliable clepsydra in which all times are one time and in which all people are I, thus dream hunters, seekers of love, pilgrims to the Babylon library in search of cognition, "the devil and the lord". (...) Each actor plays up to three characters and each one of them performed this complex task enviably. Still, the acting of Dragan Micanovic is the absolute histrionic pinnacle of this production. With his perfect concentration of both mind and body, Micanovic is a true, lucid and reliable guide through all the semantic parts of the play, its vertical, while its parallel is Jelena Djokic (Ateh, Virginia Ateh), with her Khazar-like appearance, almost unreal, ethereal. Jelisaveta Sablic, Sonja Vukicevic and Livio Badurina are simply brilliant in the "Dubrovnik" scene.
(Darinka Nikolic, Dnevnik, July 1, 2002, Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro)