Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and the Farewell Speech

Theater? Dance? Chelfitsch’s controversial work tuned even bolder returns to Kyoto.

Chelfitsch has increasingly gained attention not only in the dramatic field, as shown among others by the director of this company, Toshiki Okada’s receving the Kenzaburo Oe Literary Prize for his work as a novelist. The forthcoming performance marks their comeback to Kyoto, after August 2004’s staging of Air Conditioner at Art Complex 1928. Air Conditioner, a thirty-minute piece considered by the critic as ‘dance’ because of the peculiar movements in it, was nominated in the final selection of the Toyota Choreography Award in 2005. Chelfitsch’s very particular corporeality presents a distinct concept toward coreography and has caused great impact in the world of contemporary dance. This work developed into seventy-minute piece composed by three shorter plays: Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner and The Farewell Speech. The story begins in an office, when a temporary employee, suffering the aftermath of today’s crisis, is told that she has been laid off… Premiered at Berlin’s HAU theater in autumn of 2009, this production has gained as much recognition as the masterpiece Five Days in March, and will end its world tour with its performance in Kyoto.

Yokohama, Japan

Toshiki Okada

Okada formed chelfitsch in 1997 and made Yokohama the base of their activities. The word “chelfitsch”, which gives name to the company, is formed from the child-like mispronounciation of the English word “selfish”, and seeks to evoke the peculiarities of today’s Japanese culture and society, particularly in Tokyo. In 2004 he received the 49th Kishida Drama Award for Five Days in March and in 2005 he participated as a choreographer in the final selection of the Toyota Choreography Award with Air Conditioner, a work which presents a unique corporeality that the critic evaluated as ‘dance’ because of the peculiar movements in it. In March 2008 he presented Freetime, an international co-production with festivals in Brussels, Vienna and Paris. In 2006 and 2007 Okada worked as the director of Agora Theater’s festival “Summit”. In February 2007 he published The End of the Special Time we were Allowed, which was awarded the Kenzaburo Oe Literary Prize on the following year.

Text, DirectionToshiki Okada
CastTaichi Yamagata, Mari Ando, Saho Ito, Kei Nanba, Riki Takeda, Fumie Yokoo
Stage Manager, SoundAyumu Okubo
LightingTomomi Ohira
Produced bychelfitsch
Co-Produced byHAU Theater (Berlin)
Supported byThe Saison Foundation
Co-Presented byART COMPLEX 1928
Co-Operated bySteep Slope Studio
Presented byKyoto Experiment


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