‘Don Kixot’, the Kurdish stage play adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote, began its European tour on Saturday with a performance at Berlin Gorki Theatre in the German capital.
The plan was initially for the tour to begin on the 15 January, but it was postponed after Germany denied visas to the actors of the Amed Metropolitan Theatre, the major theatre company in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır (Amed).
The dengbej artist (a traditional Kurdish genre of storytelling by singing) and the actress of the stage play, Berfin Emektar, spoke to Fırat News Agency (ANF), commenting on the joyful reactions by the audience:
“To be here, performing in Berlin, is very pleasant for all of us. For us, without doubt the joy of the audience is extremely important. Today’s performance was the first one in our tour. We will continue with our performances in Hamburg, Cologne, and Essen. We hope that this joy will follow us throughout Europe. This is our third time in Berlin, and we are very happy about it. There is a large Kurdish audience in the city. They watched with great enthusiasm. This gave us an incredible energy.”
“We are experimenting with different forms of drama. When we adapt a classic, such as Don Quixote of Cervantes, it is not just that we are translating the text into Kurdish, but we are adapting many aspects into Kurdish culture. Don Quixote is a character that helps bring out the inner knight in men. There are similar cases in Kurdish culture as well.”
“We wanted to adapt the novel in the context of Kurdish mythology and the dengbej culture. Because dengbej is a form of storytelling.”
‘Don Kixot’ is to be performed in Hamburg on 10 April, in Essen on the 12th, in Cologne on the 14th, in Frankfurt on the 15th, in Antwerp on the 16th, and finally in Amsterdam on the 17th.