FRANZ KAFKA, “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 and I
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. Do we have individual rights or choice of our own life when we are battling against those systems.
Disintegration of human relationships where difference is seen as mistake. Kafka’s own life is a good example. He had very hard time to integrate himself in the family, at work or in the society itself. Man’s inability to understand the meaning of his own existence and disappointing man-woman relationship. Inspiration from Kafka’s life with his fiancés that he never accomplished to marry. Like in “The Trial” where Josef K has bizarre relationships with all the women present in the story. Josef K chooses the death as a single escape from the complicity of his life.
Our idea was to make The Trial on stage as unrealistic as it is in the book and 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.
A contemporary ballet in two acts based on Franz Kafka’s novel “The Trial” and his personal life.
Premiere 17.05.2019 at the Royal Swedish Opera, Stockholm.
Re-Staged / Premiere 21.10.2022 at the National Ballet Košice, Slovak Republic.
Music by Alfred Schnittke, Wim Henderickx, Hans Eisler/Heiner Goebbels, Arvo Pärt, Alva Noto (Ryuichi Sakamoto/Carsten Nicolai), Elliot Sharp, Walter Fähndrich, Anton Arensky, Caroline Shaw, Pteri Sirviö and Jewish folk songs.
Performers and screaming men Group “Mieskuoro Huutajat” Petri Sirviö and Jussi Kallio, Janne Törmänen, Heikki Raudaskoski, Hannu Koivula, Kyösti Rautio, Jukka Jokikokko, Jaakko Sohlo, J-P Salmi, Tapio Siniaalto, Raimo Juola-H.
Musical arrangement: Jiří Bubeníček
Conductor: Koen Kessels
The Royal Swedish Orchestra
Choreography: Jiří Bubeníček
Concept and Dramaturgy: Jiří Bubeníček with Nadina Cojocaru
Stage design: Otto Bubeníček
Costume design: Nadina Cojacaru
Lighting design: Jaka Šimenc, Jiří Bubeníček
Sound: Lars-Göran Ehn
Choreography assistent: Massimo Murro, Eva Nissen and Yuri Zhukov
Josef K and Franz Kafka: Arsen Mehrabyan
Leni: Minji Nam
Fräulein Bürstner: Desislava Stoeva
Frau Grubach: Madeline Woo (Jonna Savioja)
Woman in the Court: Daria Ivanova
Herr Huld, the Lawyer and Wipper: Pascal Jansson
Titorelli, the Painter and Prison Chaplain: Jérome Marchand
Uncle Albert Karl: Andrey Leonovitch, Hampus Gauffin, Hiroaki Ishida and Joakim Adeberg
Student Bertold: Samuele Ninci
Franz and Willem: Jonatan Davidsson and Otmar Klemann
Block, the Merchant: Frei Ruhl