In the production, which premiered at the music house “Daile”, the actors – Vilis Dodiņš as Ojārs Vācietis and Kaspars Znotins as Imants Ziedonis – play lines of poetry written by both poets, recordings, lists of letters and greeting cards accompanied by Jēkabs Nimans’ musical part.
Henrieta Verhoustinska: How do you spend your day now, how is it going?
Vilis daugiņš: At the moment, Uldis Tīrons has given us a lot of homework. It seems that in April the process of rehearsals with Venedik Jerofeyev “Moscow – Roosters” will begin. And Tire is Tire. He has translated this work himself. He has studied it very deeply and provided us with all possible materials, so that when the time is right and you can no longer ski, you can start reading.
We have noticed here in “Kultūrdevā” that we regularly celebrate premieres that take place without spectators – at the Latvian National Theater, Daile Theater or Valmiera Theater… Their motivation is to keep the actors in shape so that at the moment when spectators are finally admitted, the theater can offer new performances. The new Riga Theater has so far chosen a different strategy…
Kaspars Znotins: Yes, we also prepare performances, but at a slower pace, with bigger breaks. This is related to morbidity rates. For example, we are now on holiday for a month in the hope that in March we may be able to resume face-to-face attempts, of course with masks, limiting the number involved.
The first work will be Jerofeyeva…
Vilis daugiņš: No, “Dubliners” directed by Peter Krillov…
Kaspars Znotins: “Dubliners on Miera Street” after [Džeimsa] Joyce’s work motives.
Vilis daugiņš: That was what got stuck. We started it before the pandemic, before all the dramatic events.
Kaspars Znotins: Our first desktop process took place through Zoom, where we first tried. In this way, the dramatization prepared by the screenwriters Matīss Gricmanis and Pēteris Krilovs was analyzed. Then there was a summer break with the “Agency”, then again in October, November we resumed field trials. Then we stopped again and now we hope to continue again…
“Agency”Caused a rather big whirl. You have radically different images in the Agency. You, Kaspar, are Boss’s boss…
Vilis daugiņš: He demanded treatment for himself for a long time, fought for subordination for a long time.
Kaspars Znotins: It is already a lifelong struggle. I will ask for a little respect for myself. But I have to thank my colleagues. At the moment, however, they noticed this subordination, and it was like day-to-night, how they treat me on a daily basis.
Will the series be a sequel? This caused a great stir.
Vilis daugiņš: Maybe this technique will continue. I don’t know if the series itself.
Kaspars Znotins: Nothing like that is planned at the moment.
You will jointly restore the production “Letter to a Friend”, in which one of you is Imants Ziedonis, the other – Ojārs Vācietis, and you read each other’s letters. Is there any particular reason why this particular production, made seven years ago, is being revived right now?
Kaspars Znotins: Well, you can say eight years ago. This could be the case when they say, “At repeated requests from viewers.” Now it is simply possible to film it so that it will remain in the future.
We will see the performance on March 8, online. Do you still remember who addressed you in this material?
Vilis daugiņš: Vita Mekša, who at that time worked at the Ojārs Vācietis Museum and was the curator of the wonderful exhibition “Poetry Beauties” about Ojārs Vācietis and Imants Ziedons, and the friendship and common sense that existed between these great, great poets, spoke directly. Ausma Ziedone-Kantāne had entrusted several letters to her. Vita Mekša, opening the exhibition, had decided that the letters should be read. It was clear that musical design was also needed. Jēkabs Nimmanis, who is a multi-artist and master of all kinds of sticks and nicknames, came to our aid. It quickly became clear what this electronic background might sound like in the correspondence between the two great people.
What do you have in mind from the writers’ correspondence that would best describe the Germans and Ziedons?
Kaspars Znotins: The heart is always refreshed by how they pull each other to the tooth. It’s instantly so invigorating and curly.
It also shows their level of trust.
How ironic they are about the official events that took place a lot for them at the time. Ziedonis’ enthusiasm, when the German laughs at him, Ziedonis slams him back, the German does not remain in debt. In the background of all this there is an undisguised tenderness and love for each other.
Vilis daugiņš: Unusually – no competition.
Do you “use” poetry on a daily basis?
Vilis daugiņš: I “use” the Christmas tree very much at Christmas. I mainly use Inese Zandere’s poetry.
Kaspars Znotins: I mostly “use” poetry for work. But realizing that in this way I would become a little richer myself. Otherwise I would probably miss poetry…
Otherwise you would not be able to play Ziedon in the show “Ziedonis and the Universe”.
Kaspars Znotins: It is interesting that I was more connected with Ziedonis and the Universe by Ziedonis’s journalism, because I had become attached to him through journalism. Of course, the show also features Ziedonis’ poems, but he put the emphasis on Ziedonis – a Latvian researcher, a researcher of Latvian people.
Another thing to do with poetry is to chant. Let it sound!
Not just in silence, but say, “Listen to a poem I read this morning,” and read to your spouse the poem that came to your mind.
I also used to harass family members with poems that came to my mind.
Kaspars Znotins: And the poem sounds loud at that moment.
Referring to Ziedoni, Olga Dreģe said that he did not like the way the actors read his poetry…
Kaspars Znotins: Yes, yes, also in our show “Letter to a Friend – Im. and Oj. ” Ziedonis says: “But poetry should not be given to the theater at all.” He says this after Peter Legerson’s legendary premiere of “Play, Gamblers” at the Youth Theater. After the premiere at night, they decided to go to the cemetery and pour a crack into Chuck’s grave.