After 2011, when playwright Toshiki Okada made a shift of creative course in the direction of exploring fiction, chelfitsch appeared in a succession of weighty works, as Current Location in 2012 and Ground and Floor in 2013.
For his latest opus, in contrast, Okada is aspiring to a dance-oriented production that manages to be at once thoroughly light-hearted and humorous as well as biting and merciless. The setting is a convenience store, a place symbolizing contemporary Japanese society. The performance featuring seven distinctive characters unfolds to the accompaniment of all 48 preludes and fugues that make up J.S. Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” transmuted into cheap background music piped into the store.
After the premiere in May 2014, toured 18 cities and will be presented in Europe this year in November.
chelfitsch Theater Company was founded in 1997 by Toshiki Okada, who writes and directs all of the company’s productions. chelfitsch Theater Company began to refine its textual aesthetic as that of colloquial language representing contemporary youth culture. With Five Days in March (premiere in 2004 and awarded the prestigious Kunio Kishida Award for Best Script) the company began to juxtapose a noisy choreography derived from everyday mannerisms to the text. The company’s international debut took place in 2007 when Five Days in March was invited to the KUNSTENFESTIVALDESRARTS 2007 in Brussels. The works of chelfitsch have been presented to great acclaim at premier international theater festivals and venues throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia. In 2011, Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech received the critics’ award from the Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre for the 2010-2011 season. The troupe continues to update its methodology, which revolves around the relationship between speech and body. Since Current Location, which debuted in 2012, it has created works that are exploratory forays into the realm of fiction. Ground and Floor premiered as a play commissioned for the KUNSTENFESTIVALDESRARTS 2013 in May 2013 and Super Premium Soft Double Vanilla Rich commissioned for Theater der Welt 2014 in May 2014.
1F 2-17-16, Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0013
Media Center Lume, Helsinki
Sunflower Theater, Beirut
Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris, Paris