Red Peter

Premiere 19 June 2016, Korzo Theater, Den Haag / Photo by Sareena Sattapon

“That, too, is human freedom […], self-controlled movement.
What a mockery of mother nature!
At such a sight, no structure would stand up to the laughter of the apes.”

Jitti Chompee is captivated by Franz Kafka’s Ein Bericht An Eine Akademie, in which the protagonist Red Peter describes his loss of true freedom in the midst of gaining acceptance and recognition in the human world. Animalism, absurdity, and evolution are corresponding concepts that prevail in both Chompee’s and Kafka’s works. Red Peter draws from many elements of the ape’s journey of learning to behave like a human.

This creation project 2016 with Korzo is made possible by the Kylián Foundation in the Netherlands.

Tour: 22-25 September 2016 at Bangkok CityCity Gallery, Thailand,  01 October 2016 at Ho Chi Minh Opera House, Vietnam, 11-12 February 2017 at CaDance Festival, The Netherlands, July 2017 at ChangMu International Performing Arts Festival, South Korea, 01-15 November 2017 at Unfolding Kafka Festival, Thailand, Kafka Symposium Sophia University Tokyo Japan 14 December 2019

“The present controversy about the misuse of the Khon to promote tourism becomes a triviality face to face with this remarkable feat of dance theatre. Whatever your artistic provenance, including our traditional Khon, if you can achieve what the choreographer and the 4 dancers could do tonight (22 September 16) in “Red Peter” at the Bangkok CityCity Gallery, you can very well speak (out of the original Wagnerian context) of an “apotheosis of the dance”. I had never realized that the human body could do so much and could be so expressive. What a stupendous display of the physicality of man. But the show contains a more succinct statement, inspired by Kafka. It is by aping the ape that we can exploit the full potential of our body and thereby create something innovative. Once you have learned to be humble, the door is open to all possibilities. The troupe has gone beyond the ironic Franz Kafka. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the philosophical message is amazingly relevant to present-day Thailand.”

Written by Chetana Nagavajara