Saturday, May 20, 2017

missing


... it had never happened ... it could have happened in any one of the other times over the past thirty-three years ... a simple exercise ... face your partner ... one closes their eyes, raises arms & the other gently grabs hold of the wrists ... gently guide your partner ... backwards, forwards, around ... always demonstrated with a volunteer so others could observe ... had taken the class outside to the open field behind the education building just a hop & a skip away from the river ... it was a spring morning & I loved being outside ... we had finished the direction meditation followed by the blind running ... now the partner guide ...

... a large framed male volunteered ... after guiding him we switched ... he took hold of my wrists ... after a few seconds I was spinning around out of control ... could barely hang on ... asked him to slow down and he started to push me backward faster and faster ... I fell head slamming to the ground ... heard the whole class shout a huge "OH" then vaguely remember looking up with him standing over me questioning whether I was alright ... "Sure," I replied jumping up ...

... that was my last memory for the next thirty minutes or so ... next remember sitting in the stone canoe at the Sculpture park sharing the story of the way of the actor ... class dismissed ... a student came and handed me my keys and iphone ... didn't remember how we got to the sculpture park ...

... drove to my next teaching station all the while struggled to recollect what had happened ... taught two classes the rest of the afternoon with a slight headache ...

... grappled the entire evening to recall how the class had continued ... the next morning before class there was a student alone waiting in the hallway ... he comes early ... inquired what he remembered about the class after my fall ... he described the exercises ... class had gone as planned ... good - others could observe and bare witness to my missing memory ...

... it seems I had continued class with body memory taking over ... that half hour is gone ... no memory & I can't let it go ... in fact I obsessively look into that missing hole of time ... there is something exciting about that black hole ... I had obviously continued without consciousness ...

... the missing memory is like a tiny sliver ... it irritates ... it's there under the skin ... I can't see it ... no matter how much I dig it doesn't come out ... with a sliver I can wait it out & eventually, it emerges sometimes after a lot of squeezing ...

... things are real & not real ... they exist & they do not exist ... they can be remade in my mind with every new thought, every remembered detail & each time they are slightly different ... sometimes things are camouflage or disguises ... sometimes they are more truthful ... living in a kind of continuous dream till awakening because of some pinprick event that disturbs the edges of what is taken as reality ...

 ::Note:: ...  nothing to note ... just moments after posting found this: "they told him to write his way through the problem" ...

Saturday, May 06, 2017

make way


... the past two months have seen me watching opera on two continents ... both far from the source of their original cultural origin ... Wagner's GötterdĂ€mmerung performed by the Canadian Opera Company at The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto & La Traviata performed by the Korean-Russia Opera at the Sejong Center in Seoul  ...

... not really an innocent bystander ... daughter played Gutrune/Third Norn in GötterdĂ€mmerung & wife co-directed La Traviata ...

... I have been waiting to share the experience of watching Ileana ... Act III, Gutrune awaits Seigfried's return ... the stage is bare, only a dim twilight glow in the distant background ... a solitary figure, Gutrune, stands downstage right ... the epic music has stilled to a whisper ... into the hush, Ileana reaches out delicately ... she takes hold of the entire space sending us into that unforgettable place ... waiting for a lover ... a longing in all its forms ... a dull lingering ache in the soul fraught with added complexities of heavy guilt, suffering, injustice and persecution ... the tragic, existential exhaustion of extreme emotion in solitude ... holding my breath I stepped out of the moment to look around ... I witnessed thousands spellbound ... Ileana had us all in her grasp ... amazing ... the toddler who sat on my knee listening to Magic Flute was now on stage illuminating the depths of the human condition ... I marveled at her creative act ...


... on the Korean stage, it was wild to watch a chorus of forty with a dance company and singers faithfully presenting the19th-century operatic warhorse ... AeRan had been conscripted to co-direct ... she had only a month before returned to Seoul after a study sojourn ... a performance studies Masters Degree at NYU under Richard Schechner, the American founder of the discipline, through to a Phd. in Ethnoscology obtained in Paris under founder of the discipline Jean-Marie Pradier and his successor  ... all the time engaging as a performer with Eugenio Barba and workshops with Thomas Richards, Maud Robert and others at the cutting edge of performance ... now she was directing a cast of Korean singers ... she had skillfully created a performance full of vigor & delight with truly beautiful accents ... how could she so easily move from academic treatises to such conventional exacting craftsmanship with such virtuosity ...

... both performances were a joy to watch ... I find opera takes a lot of "assistance" ... there have been times in my life where I have joined many in calling out much of this art form a museum piece and dead ... yet somehow these two events folded into performed imaginaries - the way imagination structures reality ...

... on the plane traveling to the Korean peninsula, I read Peter Brook by Michael Kustow ... finished it (a long flight) & made a total of 10 highlights ... re-reading each highlight none quite caught the essence of what I felt during the performances ... except perhaps the final sentence of the book ... "'We must learn to believe without believing. Otherwise, belief is poison.' Making theatre has helped Peter Brook to be free, and we respond to his freedom." ...

... I was reminded of the 2017 World theatre message by Isabelle Huppert ...

Theatre is for me represents the other it is dialogue, and it is the absence of hatred. 'Friendship between peoples' - now, I do not know too much about what this means, but I believe in community, in friendship between spectators and actors in the lasting union between all the peoples theatre brings together - translators, educators, costume designers, stage artists, academics, practitioners and audiences. Theatre protects us; it shelters us ... I believe that theatre loves us ... as much as we love it ... I remember an old-fashioned stage director I worked for, who, before the nightly raising of the curtain would yell with full-throated firmness 'Make way for theatre!' - and these shall be my last words tonight.
 ::Note:: ...  Yes simply put ... Make way for theatre ... It helps us be free ...