samedi 26 février 2011

Do tell!

I attended an inspiring event tonight: an evening of storytelling. Two seasonned storytellers started the night off with "coming of age" stories, and then opened the floor to the audience. Anyone could sit on the blue stool and tell a 10 minute story. Many were shared. We were all enthused by the familiarity of other people's tales. We were also transported in different states, countries, epochs. There were so many moments of acute listening and sharing. It reminded me of dinner parties when our family friend, dear friend of my father's, Roland, would tell long, long, hilarious jokes.
We need moments like these in our lives; at least, I do. Times when one person (at a time) is allowed to share, without being cut off, or dismissed as chatty. When the experience, the wisdom, the awkwardness, the beauty, the sadness, the silliness of life are passed on.
 Storytelling isn't exactly theatre, because theatre almost inevitably creates distance between the performer and the audience. Storytelling is more a part of the every-day, an accepted interaction between people. We all tell so many stories. One could even consider any re-telling of a past event to be storytelling.
 Good conversations can have a similar cathartic effect to a good storytelling bash. Two or more people gather together and talk, going back and forth between experiences and anecdotes.
In this case, the framework of the event facilitated the telling. It opened up a space, creating "the space of the stool". You sat on that stool, and you were granted the permission to go on and spill the beans - whatever beans you felt should be spilled at that particular moment, with those particular people. And everyone was right behind you, lending their ear.
In some storytelling instances, the space is under a tree, or around a dinner table, or in a tent, or around a campfire, or in the dark, or on a roof, a balcony, a garden, a blank page...
Let's make more space for stories. Of the kind that uplift us, and that give us the impetus to live more fully.

jeudi 17 février 2011

Veille de première

Veille de première... on joue notre spectacle Fresh Voices: The Matter of Moments demain. J'ai hâte.
Je m'aperçois, avec chaque spectacle, de la chance que j'ai de faire du théâtre, d'avoir l'opportunité de créer des choses qui se dévoilent sur scène. Et ça me conduit à réfléchir de plus en plus à ce que c'est,  exactement qu'une opportunité. Un article là-dessus à venir sur ce blog, j'éspère.

En attendant un billet de blog plus fourni, voici un petit passage du Tiers Instruit de Michel Serres, que je cite directement (le deuxième paragraphe ici retranscrit) dans mon spectacle Where is this Place? :

Ailleurs alors n'est jamais comme ici, nulle pièce ne ressemble à aucune autre, aucune province ne saurait se comparer à telle ou telle et toutes les cultures diffèrent. La houppelande portulan dément ce que prétend le roi de la lune.
Voyez de tous vos yeux ce paysage zébré, tigré, nué, moiré, chamarré, chagriné, fouetté, lacunaire, ocellé, bariolé, déchiré, à lacets noués, à bonnets croisés, à franges mangées, partout inattendu, misérable, glorieux, magnifique à couper le souffle et faire battre le coeur.

mercredi 2 février 2011

Beautiful shadows

I am fascinated by puppetry. I always have, really. I vividly remember my 9th birthday spent on the plane ( journeying to the USA) when I opened my present on my folding table and it was a marionnette. I was thrilled.
For Christmas this year, I received a beautiful two sided nepalese marionnette representing the godesses of virginity and creation. And I made a whole set of shadow puppets for this year's Christmas City Follies at Touchstone. They ended up not being used, but they still exist and may make an appearance sonner than later. In fact, I am incorporating puppets for my Fresh Voices piece, and am turning to shadow puppetry.
I'm therefore sharing with you my two treasured  shadow sources. If anyone has more inspirational sources to share, please do!

 Michel Ocelot's Princes et Princes et Princesses made a strong visual impression on me when I saw it in the cinema (as did Ocelot's animation film Kirikou et la Sorcière which is one of my favorite movies).

I just discovered the first full-lenght animation film in History - Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed . Mesmerizing cinematography, and poetry with every frame.