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Two actors travel around the world with the story of Yavorov

12 November 2014 / 20:11:09  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

The play "Nirvana" of theatre workshop "Sfumato" visited the Bulgarian community in Athens at the invitation of the Embassy of Bulgaria in Greece. The occasion was the celebration of the Day of National Revival Leaders and the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Bulgarian poet Peyo Yavorov.

The play is written by Konstantin Iliev and directed by Professor Ivan Dobchev; the music is composed by Assen Avramov.

Hours before the performance at Argo Theatre in Athens GRReporter is acquainting its readers with the actors who play the roles of Lora and Yavorov, Irmena Chichikova and Hristo Bonin, who talked with Maria S. Topalova and Anastasia Balezdrova.

The couple Lora Karavelova - Peyo Yavorov

Irmena Chichikova: At that time, they were one of the most curious and the most interesting couples. Both were extremely knowledgeable. Lora was one of the most advanced women at that time. Accordingly, this had provoked an internal clash between two strong natures.

The most important thing while I was working on the image of Lora was that the author of the play gave me her letters to read, because they show her nature. She was quite morose. It was interesting at that time that, both before and after this incident, society split in two: against Yavorov - for Yavorov, supporters of the theory that Lora committed suicide and those who believed he had killed her. For them, Lora was an open, bright, travelling person who would never have committed suicide.

But when you read her letters you see that the opposite is true. Lora had plunged into their relationship and into its development as she had imagined it. She had expected that when she became Yavorov’s wife she would become his muse as well. For me, one of the biggest blows for her was the fact that this did not happen. While Yavorov was with her, he wrote nothing, not to speak of something dedicated to her. This is strange, because I think he greatly needed that woman who was standing in his way at the same time.

Lora wanted too much from him. Yavorov wanted to be remembered for his heroism, not only for his poetry, whereas she wanted him to be constantly with her, she followed him and she was very jealous and highly obsessive.

At the same time, she was a very desired and sought after woman, although she might have been a burden for Yavorov at some point.

Not surprisingly, the main characters in "Nirvana" are called "man" and "woman." Time is the context. Lora and Yavorov are the inspirers of this play, but what happens between them can happen to any couple any time - today, 100 years ago ... The basic relationships, the quarrels and talks at cross purposes are so classic, archetypal and universal that people recognize themselves in them.

Hristo Bonin: During the rehearsals, we had concentrated on the things that happened between these two persons. The purpose of Ivan Dobchev was for them to really happen. That is not only to be transformed into Lora and Yavorov but also to show that a man and a woman come together and the relationship between them is true. And to make it clear, at the very end of the play, that it is about Lora and Yavorov. The basis is the "man and woman", which is why Konstantin Iliev has named the characters in this way.


Hristo Bonin: This is the title of a poem by Yavorov. In the play, at some point, Lora falls into a state in which she says that this text makes her feel some fear and anxiety. Through the words of this poem she explains why and how to get to this nirvana.

Irmena Chichikova: The poem is about bliss. It is a bit metaphysical. I think that the night is just the same. If you look at it from a different perspective, it seems almost surreal. Although those are very specific things, very concrete actions, the relationships between Lora and Yavorov deal with metaphysical things and they are not just ordinary relationships between a man and a woman. For me it is very important that despite all their doubts and requirements, Lora highly respected him as a poet and admired him. The main thing that attracted her to him was that he was a very great poet, the highest man in spiritual terms at that time.

The performance through the eyes of the Bulgarian Diaspora

Hristo Bonin: In Bulgaria, the play is regarded as "another show that we're going to see." However, when we perform the play somewhere abroad, we see in people's eyes nostalgia that takes them back to what is Bulgarian, to the memory of Bulgaria.

It is probably the part of history that they do not remember or do not know because there are a lot of young people in the audience who live abroad, not studying Bulgarian history as it is taught in Bulgaria.

The difference is that from a nostalgic point of view the Bulgarians abroad take the play from the heart and soul.

Tags: TheatreNirvanaTheatre workshop SfumatoPeyo YavorovLoraIrmena ChichikovaHristo BoninAthensDay of National Revival Leaders
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