The Jeans Revolution
Two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in White Russia (Belarus) Western gramophone records and jeans are still highly-desired ‘pieces of the free world’.
In 1994 Alexander Lukashenko took office as president of Belarus. In the protest against this ‘last dictator in Europe’ a special part was played by jeans: a denim shirt was raised as a protest flag during a demonstration on 16th September 2005. This signalled the start of the ‘Jeans Revolution’.
At the end of March 2005, Natalia Koliada and Nikolai Khalezin founded the Belarus Free Theatre. However, they have often clashed with the authorities and have been repeatedly jailed. In the meantime the company is enjoying increasing renown in the West and can count the late Harold Pinter and Vaclav Havel and Mick Jagger among their fans.
In Generation Jeans, Nikolai Khalezin tells his semi-autobiographical story of the Jeans Revolution in Minsk. He approaches it seriously, but with some self-mockery, and is assisted by DJ Lavr Berzhanin’s soundtrack. Theatre of great urgency, directness and wit.
22:00 - post-performance talk (in English)
The theatre critic Johan Thielemans will talk to Nikolai Khalezin, founder of the Belarus Free Theatre and actor in and director of Generation Jeans. You too can put questions to him.
text Nikolai Khalezin with the participation of Natalia Koliada | direction, performance Nikolai Khalezin | musical fusion dj Laurel (Lavr Berzhanin) | producers Natalia Koliada, Nikolai Khalezin | assistant managers Irina Yaroshevich, Maryia Vavokhina