REVIEW: DAY 1

Creative processes of Group 1 and Group 3

 

First day of Young Theatre Festival was all about creative process. While final performances are somewhat half-way done, there is nothing else to do, but to write about the process, that is both important and elusive. Writing about the process and understanding its complexity requires something more than bare description of intentions and ideas. Teams, that consist of nine people each, already displayed that single point of view is non-existent for the time being. Under such circumstances only hope to shed some light on often complicated creation of theatre pieces is to focus on singular moments, brilliant utterances and unsettled facial expressions, that might give a glimpse into seemingly mysterious creative process.
There is no point to talk about objectivity of writing at this point. I can only hope to render transient images and ideas, that emerged during the sporadic observation of Group 1 and Group 3.

 

Group 1 was given a quotation from the Bible:

“He that is without a sin among you let him first cast s stone at me” John 8 [1]

Structural approach is established as group splits into three parts and immediately immerse into production of ideas. Theatrical methodologies do wonders, but can we fall into the trap of predictability? If we know the pattern, we might foresee the destination to early.


Some initial ideas are developed. Have you ever been judged because of random hook-ups or because you had too many sexual partners? No? Then probably you’re a man. Women do
get judged on regular basis, some get stoned. So what is a sin after all? Women’s dress can become symbolic measure of morality. Eventually we reach the point when simple dress becomes too short, vulgar, immoral or sluty. Berlin, on other hand, is seen as city of freedom  where nobody cares about you. But in a positive way. Modern Babel with endless culture
production.

Group 3 felt the ambiguity of Aidas Marčėnas through his quote:

“If I will be jumping through the window, then I dance only a slow foxtrot”.

Less structural approach prevails on the second floor, creating situation of free-flowing discussion. Shared experiences range from dance to ayahuasca ceremonies. Exchange of ideas gradually starts to resemble verbal ritual or communal therapy. Talking about different performance is a performance itself, where gaze often says more than words. After just a few minutes I felt that I knew more about these people that I ever expected, yet my knowledge was distorted, subjectivized and “inaccurate”. However, at this point accuracy isn’t important, we are deemed to miss “the point” or “the main idea”, as such thing is just a comforting fantasy. One thing is clear – actors will dance and Aidas Marčėnas is responsible for that.

 

Group 1

 

steadily progresses. Stone remain a symbol and a tool of long standing oppression. Stone is a medium that interacts with women’s body in a world of masculine justice. Groups
searches of ways to interact with each other and with imaginative audience. Time starts to become burdensome. In the midst of discussions, a phrase is uttered:

“I’m holding a cup of men that I murdered”

 

truly a moment of brilliance.

Toilet becomes a space for an exercise. Improvised black box with the lights out. In the uncanny darkness we hear tension building up, until it reaches the point of verbal confrontation. Three different languages and three different characters quarrel, while others remain confined to their booths. It’s a way of exploring relations through tensions and conflict. Darkness provides subtle refuge and expands horizons of imagination. While we sit in toilet booths, our imagination rushes through the territories of unconscious, uncovering fears and angst.

Group 3

Free-flowing discussions are transformed into movement exercises. These exercises foster mellow contradiction within them – you have to create your unique pattern, yet to follow someone else, you have to move ceaselessly, but not to act. Can actor become a dancer in 48 hours?
Movement of self-expression disintegrate and lines of unexpected order are formed. It seems that eventually everybody does the same movement. Eight unique patters blend into one. How to maintain your individual movement under the desire of embracing soothing unity? What kind of deep layers of our unconscious revel these movements? Again I slowly learn about these people, whose names I don’t know, something new and revealing. Or maybe it’s the craft of imposing meaning upon others. Either way bodies talk as much as words, however meaning here fluctuate easily, leaving vast territories for interpretation. Sometimes it feels that discomfort linger in the air, but soon it vanishes as new situation develops, sprouting from previous doubts.

 

First day provided short glimpse into the process, that supposed to bond teams together and produce the performance within 48 hours. Seemingly (im)possible task opened layered
composition of theatre creation. Grasping small details, instead of big picture, allows to penetrate inner layers of creative process, that is never completely coherent or homogenous.

 

Tautvydas Urbelis

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