Alexander Pepelyaev is a Russian dance theatre director who has earned notable attention during the last decade all over the world. Recently his and Peeter Jalakas’ “Swan Lake” in Von Krahl Theatre won the Bessie Award in the United States.
Pepelyaev’s earlier theatre work includes many Russian classics. In spring 2004 he staged Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” with the Higher Stage School students of the 2004 class. In year 2005 he directed a production titled “Idiots, After Dostoevsky” with the students of Theatre Academy of Finland. Pepelyaev has emphasised that with the classics he is interested in the way these can be staged in an unconventional manner and thus show that the texts include a great deal more than the established way of directing lets us believe.
The participants of Anton Chekhov’s play were the Higher Stage School final year students as well as Gert Raudsep, Kristjan Sarv and Jaak Prints from NO99.
The designer of the production was Eva-Maria Gramakovsky.
About “Cherry Orchard” in NO99 Pepelyaev has written the following:
As with every canonical text also with Chekhov’s plays the main task is in perceiving its precocious resonance. Naturally, the cause which generated “Cherry Orchard” is far from us, thus is not possible to reproduce the play’s original polemic energy. Already the idea of a revival is dead and hopless. Therefore the themes of the work will be purely professional – if such a definition is possible about the profession of an actor. For instance: is it feasible (allegorically) to invent a bike with a bike itself as a means of transportation? With the example of Fellini, can we take this vehicle as an appliance to create arousal? What do we see when we pedal – a form of primitive dance; the turning of a fantasy wheel; the realisation of an illusion about freedom of choice? The forthcoming meeting with “Cherry Orchard” will probably not be easy nor free of rebellion; it’s promising in respect of intensive work on the actors, and plenty of risk.