Tuesday, December 12, 2006

One point five rehearsals to go

I'm flying back to Canada for Christmas; I can't wait to finally meet my niece and see everyone I haven't seen for two and a half years. Just a couple more rehearsals before I go, of course. Stuff I'd like to expand on:

The Projects
Today's rehearsal is for Kalevala dell'Arte, mixing the Finnish epic with the Commedia dell'Arte style. The poetry is beautiful but none of us has a very rigorous approach to poetry (with my Shakespeare background, I seem to be the poetic text expert in the group and that's scary since I'm a total tenderfoot in the field). A few of us have a strong-ish background in Commedia, so that's at least a start. We have a musician, a dancer/choreographer, an acrobat, and a bunch of mask actors. So basically it's ambitious as hell and the training is daunting, but it could be a real hit.

Here speaks Elektra continues in the new year. We had a good discussion about why this particular last workshop segment was so difficult and painful when we all like the project and we all like working with each other. In some ways the content is responsible; you can't do a piece about torture and humiliation and expect it to have no effect on your mood whatsoever. Also we're working very personally and we keep finding that we distance ourselves from the work rather automatically, as a kind of protection. It's very frustrating to watch yourself shut down creatively in order to avoid some discomfort--you can really see it happening and have no idea how to not do it. I'm taking this as material; as a phenomenon that should be worked into the performance itself.

And then Akseli and Juha and I met on Sunday to discuss our upcoming project, with the working title Katsoin kun sinä katosit / I watched you disappear, which, if it happens in front of an audience, will happen next fall. The basic idea is for the three of us to work without a director. We have a common experience, we three, of things like butoh, biomechanics, modern dance, improvisation, and working with directors like Eero-Tapio Vuori, Atro Kahiluoto, Davide Giovanzana, Jani-Petteri Olkkonen, and choreographer Ken Mai. In a sense, their work has a unique combination in us, even though the directors themselves have little to no common artistic dialogue. And we want to crystallise what it is, exactly, that we know. How, exactly, we work as a group of actors, analysing what we have in common without having anyone else come in with new styles or ideas. To begin with, we're just planning workshops where we each take responsibility for a method/style/question and work with it for a couple of hours, and then another one takes a couple of hours, and after a few sessions we can say "I want to combine what you did with this exercise I did the other day and see what happens," and that's our beginning. We also have lots of general interest questions, from application of Laban's movement theories to the relationship between concentration in the actor and concentration in the audience, and the relationship between control and non-control between the performer and the performance. I mean, that's a start. I'm also interested in how people start to "become" each other when they work together a lot or hang out a lot or whatever. So that, in a nutshell of a nutshell, is the starting point for a project. We start training and research in January.

But first, it's back home for a bit of turkey and TLC!


Anonymous said...

Hey Jo!

Its your cousin. Its so awesome to have you back here in Canada! Good times the other night at the dinner with everyone. Nice to see a couple more hours of sun shine isn't it?! Can't wait to see you on christmas and here more stories bout your acting and everything inbetween. Lots of love,

Anna MR said...

There is a *faaantastic* Tom Waits song called Watch Her Disappear, dear fish...

happeningfish said...

Indeed, Akseli suggested the työnimi based on that very song!

Anna MR said...

"Last night, I dreamt I was dreaming of you..."

It doesn't get much better than that, imho.

david santos said...