impulstanz – settlement… (perhaps day 9)

I saw Jan Fabre’s Another Sleepy Dusty Delta Day. It was unmemorable. Earlier I ate organic crunchy peanut butter and banana sandwiches. mmm…

This morning two tonnes of sand arrived. Actually two cubic meters of wet sand, so possibly somewhat heavier. I kept my hands clean by shoveling it into a wheelbarrow while others moved it inside and arranged it on the khaki groundsheet into a low embankment the length of the space, eventually to be filled with water. I do like simple repetitive things at the moment and the satisfying sshhhh of blade cutting sand and rasping as it flew off into barrow over and over was soothing and immanent blisters aside I could have done it for hours.

Cleaning up with a water blaster. Mopping the floor. Lunch. I bought the peanut butter then, and ate more cheese and tomato on bread, plus apricots in the third floor green room. It was suckily cold today, not as bad as yesterday, but I remember my time in Vienna was endless days above 30º and blue skies laced with a tapestry of contrails. Now it hangs disinterested, a grey nothingness, with frequent warmth-sucking bouts of rain.

We warm up. I’m feeling a lot more energetic than I have for months, since ADT, I think. Though each day eventually fatigue reaches me and pulls me under.

I think we started with the martial arts drills. I like Hans affinity for reducing things to simplicity or even absence, obviously that has much in common with my attitude to making theatre, why dance around a lot when what you really meant to do was walk from here to there? And also it’s uncommon to work with someone who indeed does the work themselves, not just deferring the manufacturing of content to performers.

So we reduced the fighting drills to repetitions of each of the three phrases in order, after a time one overtaken by the next. For some reason the three big guys start it. Of course it looks impressive, but there are some girls here who punch and attack like Durga. Or maybe it’s me getting picky over gender divisions.

Which of course was the big thing, the big disappointment, if somewhere in this an artificial delineation of male and female has appeared I would have lost all interest. Instead there is a strange lack of intimacy and binary relationships. How to imagine a closeness between people that does not automatically become about couples. For some this has been irritating or even frustrating, that there has been no real development of such relationships, as though this was the genuine and real definition of intimacy. I far prefer imagining other worlds and ways of relationships and whether or not this was Hans’ intention there is for me something more compelling in a suspension of the individual to the group, however much in need of therapy we are.

We are putting the scenes together, and went to the start, morning, emptiness, I go for a run. Highly, highly improbable. More likely I go for a chocolate croissant and return to snoozy oblivion. A body floats down the river. People wake and begin, and for some this morning os broken by the intrusion of the waterlogged and washed up newcomer.

I forget how much we do every day…

We have a line out, a public phone to make calls. I order much peanut butter, bread, bananas. It’s been weeks since my utter favourite meal has passed into my mouth. How to say, to elucidate without saying. How the brevity of words, pauses, silences, convey the entirety far more than if someone were to say it all. We’ve done several different versions of this, the ‘what to do with three euros’, others… again I forget, slippery memories already beyond capture.

The river reminds me of the storm-water culvert and flooded stream under rain in epidemic.

We go to sleep in our tents. I miss this all as I’m passed out. Both Johan my former tent companion and Estelle are secret polizei, who slip from their tents to capture the four who try to escape. Three or four times to run this part and I photograph the inside of my tent, and the outside through it.

And finally dancing girls to fighting to our theatre piece (which still needs a lot of work) to the possessed running. I for some reason started laughing in the fight part, like a brawl in a club, all my worst imaginings, vile hetero men like thuggish tanks, vacuous tiny girls, it’s like hallucinating with a raging fever. I can’t easily subsume myself into a role where there is this kind of violence. So I laugh while others pound each other, stalking for the next savage explosion. Maybe it’s like A Clockwork Orange.

We haul ourselves through the three act travesty and begin to run in darkness, and then to finish.

shoveling sand for the river
shoveling sand for the river