Gallery

the tying before parsifal unties

I saw the first Act. Well, parts of it I’d not seem before, while loitering side-stage from shortly after Nietzsche ascended. Not long enough there to see the electric spear of Parsifal, though I shall try and time my wig and rope attaching so I can see this on Sunday. And returning to discover for a time the stage is curtained and, Nicole, others wandering around, stripped of the forest. Also a moment of the brass section led by David in the alcove off beside jardin.

Opening eyes, I saw Gala’s foot scything for my nose and eyes. Or perhaps her foot was the object of my teeth’s orbit. There were a few eye-contacts tonight, the first in all the performances and rehearsals. Besides lurching at each other like fishing boats in the North Sea, little distracted from the usual eyes-unfocussed … closed, trance until settling on the floor which is my twenty minutes or so of performing.

It takes longer to both tie the ropes and remove the bird’s nest of them in the wings than it does to get through this scene. I retreat to the mechanic’s room while Titurel sings from the grave of backstage, spending some fifteen minutes getting thigh, ankle and waist loops placed — the latter taking the longest as I have a piece of padding between skin and rope to help with the makeup-induced lack of slidey-ness (which I think I’ll dispense with for the last performance).

Once Act 1 finishes, Jorgos begins the one-arm Takatekote, and while tying the hanging rope, Dasniya begins the torso decoration. The most time is spent between my legs, making knot patterns, but also placing the ropes carefully so that they don’t all pull to one side once I am hung. It’s all somewhat fragile, as lying on the stage at the start and moving around can cause everything to shift slightly, especially when we are trying to tie loosely.

And after … besides the four ropes that attach me to the ring, there is the long loose end from my chest harness wrapping everything together, under that one rope tying my leg heel to bum, and another five making up the entire torso figure. It takes Jorgos and Dasniya around another 20 minutes to extract me and for us to sort all the ropes ready for the next part.

A long time ago in rehearsals, Parsifal untied me from a wrapping of six ropes at the culmination of Act 2. This is what Andrew now unties from Tamara, finishing when Klingsor returns with, “Mit diesem Zeichen bann’ ich deinen Zauber.” Tonight I photographed Dasniya tying Tamara. There is a white, felt-ish carpet side-stage, and the reverse of the white walls of Act 2 are the mirror walls of Act 3. Around also are shrubs and foliage from the first Act. It is rather quiet here, so near the focus of the chaos. A mere ten centimeters or so and there is stage alight, but here, is calm and almost as if we are alone.

(A note for people who wonder about these things: My LX3 is rather good even in very low light, though obviously not comparable to a DSLR or a (my choice) MFT camera. Still … For low light, I shoot in Shutter Priority, ISO200 (because ISO400 in very low light is horrible) and keeping the shutter somewhere between 1/5 (the minimum I can get away with for hand-held) and 1/8. The anti-shake and (especially) noise reduction tend to blur out a lot of fine detail, which is something I should experiment more with. White balance is set to AWB, and even though I could shoot RAW, I use the highest resolution jpg.)