Just went to see one of the most extraordinary pieces of theatre yet. Raoul was liberating, profound, beautiful and inspiring. I cried almost four times, stood up and shrieked at the end and found myself utterly moved and not wanting to leave my seat when the lights came back on.
This is why I create theatre. This man and his world that he created onstage is why I make the work I do. It connected on such a visceral level with the audience. Every element onstage was alive. Every prop, puppet, lighting state, lighting spot, sound, movement, the scrim, the ladder, even the backstage hands who came on at one point within the work, were there FOR a REASON. And it made complete sense even without words, without dialogue, without the need for any linear narrative whatsoever.
Just encountered Sascha Walt's choreographic dance theatre for the first time. An amazing surreal journey into a place that is both deeply uncomfortable but utterly absorbing. This two hour ride takes you through three different theatrical landscapes where dancers literally reconfigure the architecture in front of you. An immersive experience, which would be better suited to a space where the audience wasn't watching a proscenium arch theatre. But if it has to be done, BAM is your venue!
Being a part of the sound-scape, the smells of fire, the actual fire that had to be put out onstage, the floorboard being ripped up in front of you, dancers walking around with sticks inside their clothes and a cacophony of images, which put together began to make you feel like you were witnessing both Armageddon and some beautiful transformative moment, was such a treat.
It's not easy work to digest. And it's definitely not everyone's taste. But it reminds me of the visceral masterpieces of Castelluci and other prolific image makers who fearlessly give a public something less literal, less easy and less obvious. Amazing. So glad I went tonight.
raucous, mad, alive
a dance of water, fire, earth & wind
a mad, crazy, ecstatic celebration of joy
and its lows
earth, our connection, fascination, obsession
our interconnectedness with water, who we are, how we became, where we come from
of being child-like. of feeling. of jumping, falling, sliding, attracting, connecting, disconnecting, displacing, placing, framing, standing, falling, gliding, swimming.
of moments of stillness.
of being inside one loud bang and joyously shouting along with it.
of being alive. and living to the extreme.
of taking risks, onstage and in life. to not be afraid to make 'sense' all the time. to allow for disconnects and be comfortable with placing images out there without explanation. to trust that an audience can deduce what they will from the experience.
to feel excited by seeing BAM filled with adventurous audience willing to clap and stand for work that doesn't spell everything out! To spectacle done well and with heart.
And for choosing difference!
The AMAZINGLY inspiring Laurie Anderson - BAM
post show scribbles
"invisible on the couch except for a spotlight - the frame of her head floating on an object of light and motion
moments of stillness - angels and dandelions on a field with a lone violen. Beauty in simplicity -in wonder - in a search for detail amidst the undergrowth.
life, death, poignancy, innovation and experimentation
fearlessness to try something new
and an audience!"
And then Laurie came to our class!
excerpts from my debrief
fiery, open, attentive, energetic, slightly mad and enthusiastic, at times cautious with one lines that hold extreme power in their resonance. she took the time to ask everyone who they were and what they wanted to know. Immediately this set the tone for what she wanted the class time to be, a conversation. I appreciated the roundabout way she approached answering people's thoughts. It struck me as a similar way she approaches her work - without having the same sense of borders, allowing each thought, emotion, state to shift imperceptibly to the next.
Laurie spoke about the differences in how music, sight and text operate in terms of an audience response in her work. I was interested in the way she mentioned music as being a physical response. I find that images and ideas for performances often start (for me) after listening to music or playing music. It seems an obvious next step to begin thinking how I might depict the mood, feeling or progression both physically and spatially.
Her statement therefore makes complete sense.
But I found her comment on how text has the capacity to connect bodily, mentally and emotionally very interesting. I think writers forget how physical the act of speaking can be. When I write I find myself in rhythms that are very cognizant of breath. Taking in a breath, pausing, thinking, or running with a thought till there is no end to the sentence but one can only keep going until it finally stops.
Reading this out loud becomes an active step in figuring out the physical within the word. It's then really interesting when you start to think about how words combined with sound, being live music onstage or not, plus the use of visuals, such as when Laurie projects onto her various surfaces- how this then increases the potential for communicating within a piece. I guess the skill is being able to know when to allow each element to work on its own, support the other or sit in connection with the other. While I'm here, I want to build upon the visual worlds I create by exploring the use of text within it. I want my words to find meaning in relation to the imagery, the music, the space and the characters onstage.
notes from the city of stairs
I'm currently studying towards a MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) in play writing at Columbia in New York City. This page is for me to collect my thoughts, scribbles, images, ideas and inspirations over the next three years. Enjoy the rambling :-)