Milorad Pavić

Dictionary of the Khazars

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Dictionary of the Khazars of the writer Milorad Pavic is one of the novels that have marked Serbian literature. A story about the vanished tribe- Khazars, is not told through a typical novel form, but as a scientific paper or a lexicon.

Now, almost 35 years after the book was published, Dictionary of the Khazars gets its own ballet form as well and the interpretation of this cult novel of the contemporary Serbian literature has put great demands on the author and the team of the ballet performance.

After a numerous premieres of drama plays and operas in the season 2017/18, which is also the jubilee year- 20 years of the Opera & Theatre Madlenianum, we are now setting a ballet title in front of the audience presented by the Ballet of the National Theatre in Belgrade and Sonja Vukicevic as a guest. Contemporary and modern ballet is a natural continuation of careful selection of titles that Madlenianum has been cherishing for all these years.

The international team of authors - Livija Pandur, Ronald Savkovic, Miroslav Bako, Sven Jonke/Numen, Angelina Atlagic and Jasha Koceli, as well as an international ensemble, have created the ballet that is a world-class.

The ballet Dictionary of the Khazars is also a continuation of the successful collaboration with the National Theatre in Belgrade, which began with a joint staging of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni in 2017.

What illuminates our dreams, which take place in total darkness, behind our closed eyes?

The memory of light, which no longer exists, or the light of the future, which we take like an advance on tomorrow's day, even though it is not yet daybreak?"

Nothing happens in the flow of time, that the world does not change through the years but inside itself and through space simultaneously-it changes in countless forms, shuffling them like cards and assigning the past of some as lessons to the future or present of others. Here all of a person's recollections, remembrances, and overall present are lived in various places and in various people at one and the same time. One should not consider all those nights around us, as being one and the same night, for they are not: they are thousands upon hundreds of thousands of nights, which, instead of traveling through time, one after another, like birds, calendars, or clocks, evolve simultaneously.

Milorad Pavić

In the province of the sea depths and the sky infinity, we discover the encyclopaedic units of the novel by Milorad Pavic, Dictionary of the Khazars, which depict the dream hunters’ path, their immersion into others’ and their own worlds of dreams and visions. Khazars, the collectors of dreams, the white and black birds in the provinces of love, of fast and slow mirrors of the Khazar Princess Ateh, create their own dystopian alphabet. Through practicing beauty, they immerse into the labyrinth of the past and future, never knowing what piece of time their thought will fall into. There are no more Khazars today, or we do not know for them, they have scattered around the world as thousands and thousands of homeless people, looking for their lost home, for their lost language. We have not revealed the real secret yet, since coming back from the deepest sleep, where, according to Pavic, the God is, know just the ones, who have been pretty deep. 

L.P.

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