Monday, 18 October 2010

R & D : Day 2 : Alice

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretence
Our wanderings to guide.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,
Beneath such dreamy weather,
To beg a tale of breath too weak
To stir the tiniest feather!
Yet what can one poor voice avail
Against three tongues together?

Imperious Prima flashes forth
Her edict 'to begin it' –
In gentler tone Secunda hopes
'There will be nonsense in it!' –
While Tertia interrupts the tale
Not more than once a minute.

Anon, to sudden silence won,
In fancy they pursue
The dream-child moving through a land
Of wonders wild and new,
In friendly chat with bird or beast –
And half believe it true.

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:
Thus slowly, one by one,
Its quaint events were hammered out –
And now the tale is done,
And home we steer, a merry crew,
Beneath the setting sun.

Alice! a childish story take,
And with gentle hand
Lay it where Childhood's dreams are twined
In Memory's mystic band,
Like pilgrim's wither'd wreath of flowers
Pluck'd in a far-off land.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Makris Gialos

"That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere, and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past, nor the shadow of the future?"

Hermann Hesse | 1922
Translated from the German by Hilda Rosner
(Picador: London, 1998) p.172

Photos: Makris Gialos, Lassi, Kefalonia


Image: Siddhartha Guatama | Nyo | 2007

'When someone is seeking,’ said Siddhartha, ‘it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.'

Hermann Hesse | 1922
Translated from the German by Hilda Rosner
(Picador: London, 1998) p. 202

R & D : Day 1 : Dudendance

Dudendance Residency
15 October 2010
Jersey Arts Centre: St. James

The Dudendance Spaceman, with Paul Rous and Clea Wallis, is one of the most compelling performance experiences that you can expect to find this side of Mabou Mines, The Wooster Group or Grupo Corpo. The strong visual, physical and performative identity of each company engages, equally, on an emotional and intellectual level.

Spaceman compels your direct involvement because it allows its audience – perhaps even forces its audience – to become a part of its evolutionary physical process and, in so doing, breaks down any real or imagined barrier that may exist between them.

The piece draws inspiration from astronaut training procedures and NASA treaties, 50’s kitsch Sci-Fi, the natural world and its animal kingdom, and Darwinism.The pace of Paul Rous’s performance is phenomenal and, as a result, your own concentration, focus and being are aligned with the precision of his physical mutations.

The ‘silverback’ sequence: hissing, spitting, picking, touching, watching and rolling created a total belief in the transformation of human body and form into gorilla body and form – distinct but connected: and one of the same. Lips, eyes, knuckles and spine of both performer and gorilla sit in physical unity – harmony – and in this moment you understand the origin of species.There is meditative beauty and grace to this unity, this precision, this harmony – and this ability of observation – which allows an audience to become wholly connected with the hypnotic conviction and clarity of Spaceman’s journey.

This journey is a quest of exploration: ‘to boldly go…’

Spaceman arrives in our world – of the space, the place, the theatre – in ‘The White Dress’. The white dress is a fusion of the archaic, with its bonneted, floor-length, scullery-like contours and layers, and that of the high-spec. robustness, texture and sealed-and-suited nature of a NASA spacesuit: a 21st century design odyssey. Kubrick, Lang, Lucas and Roddenberry would be envious of its multi-levelled originality, wit and cinematic impact.

Pockets of light: ellipses, circles, shafts and sprays, the straw-like hue over the intimate arcs of some twenty-five chairs at the beginning, even the displaced parallelogram of the film projection of Spaceman washed up on a beach, signalled a prophetic anticipation of the quest to discover, to experience, to find light and to see: to evolve.

The subliminal level and subtlety of sounds used throughout: cicadas, church bells, Buddhist chimes, breathing and the sea; the music of the Spanish renaissance composer Thomas Luis de Victoria; Apollo mission countdowns and commentary; and the music of Fabiana Galante and Sammy Davis Junior conjured an atmosphere of the internal philosophical debate and scrutiny about the agony, ecstasy and sophistication of our existence, being and purpose.

This experience and debate is brought to a beautiful climax - an epiphany - when Spaceman silently exits from the now darkened universe – the theatre – through a door that, once opened, spills brilliant white light across the space from beyond: a place which, in this last moment of discovery and performance, becomes out of our reach. The dual sense of euphoria (conjured by the sensory impact of this moment) and the devastation (at not being able to follow) was overwhelming as the breeze of the natural world beyond brushed gently across our faces. Spaceman, with his brilliant-white dress bristling in brilliant-white light, continued on his journey: his evolutionary quest.

There is, throughout the Spaceman experience, an exploration of both the tension, and the unity, created between the opposition of the masculine and the feminine; between the natural world and scientific endeavour; between exploration and discovery; between ourselves and the performance.

Throughout: we feel that we are part of an experiment; an experiment of science and one of performance; of something new; of something secretive; of something private; of something that we should not, ordinarily, be a part of; but that we have nonetheless been privileged to have been witness to...

The Dudendance Spaceman is a hypnotic, compelling, and a phenomenally beautiful journey of discovery.

for: Paul & Clea ~ thank you.


Saturday, 16 October 2010

R & D : 8 days : 8 projects : Kefalonia

  • Spaceman - Dudendance
  • Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  • Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
  • Games - James Saunders
  • Equus - Peter Shaffer
  • Attempts On Her Life - Martin Crimp
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
  • The Blanket Play - Daniel Austin

Sunday, 3 October 2010

from wOnderland...

"At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her: she gave a little scream, half of fright and half of anger, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees upon her face."

Chapter 12: Alice's Evidence
  • 21
  • belief > awareness
  • industry > concentration
  • truth > focus
  • 21
 A beautiful play-day in wonderland...

to wOnderland...