waiting for fat bird

One of the most enjoyable blogs to emerge from Guangdong Province, and one of my favourites for being an art-performance-archaeological-theoretical China dweller of many years is Shenzhen Fieldnotes, actually one of my favourite blogs all-round. Currently she’s rehearsing Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot with her theatre company, Fat Bird.

Shenzhen Fieldnotes – Fat Bird Rehearsal, August 25, 2006:

fat bird took the summer off, but reconvened to begin rehearsals for “waiting for godot”. it marks a move from the workshop format that we had been pursuing the past two years. however, it continues the fat bird tradition of adapting our performances to participants’ strengths; this time, we are taking our direction from judi moriarty. we hope to stage godot in mid november.

judi decided to work with fat bird in order to deepen her understanding of chinese people and culture. she believes that this happens through collaborative effort, specifically through the development of trust between all members of the group. accordingly, in addition to going over lines and blocking, rehearsals consist of exercises designed to increase trust. these exercises range from falling backward into someone’s arms and using two fingers to lift someone, to sitting on the truth chair and having to answer any question honestly. at the core of these techniques is the belief that what is true in a performance is the actors’ emotions and relationships; the performance builds out of and upon that base. it remains to be seen what each of us connects to in godot.

i have uploaded images of that emotional work.

— Shenzhen Fieldnotes

第三届广东现代舞周 3rd Guangdong Modern Dance Festival

Last year I was less than flattering about the dance I saw at the 第二届广东现代舞周 2nd Guangdong Modern Dance Festival, eviscerating the first work I saw, and thinking of killing myself after the second. The dancers of course were and are complete stars and I’m looking forward to seeing them perform again, including Congbin who was in bitches last year and now in the company proper.

The festival programme begins in a week, and looks bigger than last year, more smaller companies, which is an improvement I think over last year’s inclusion of stadium-rock ballet companies like Preljocaj. I dunno what I’ll make of Taipei Dance Circle, having seen far too much of the Martha-does-Taichi stuff for one lifetime, and then there’s headliners The Art Dance Theater Function (ADTF) from Japan whom I know nothing about, stuff from Italy that sounds like Momix or giant-sports-event-opening-spectacular stuff, Nadine Thouin from Montreal who’s also poster girl for the fest, but I do like the name of New Art Club, doing this is MODERN. I thought Pulp This is Hardcore meets Jonathan Burrows & Matteo Fargion Both Sitting Duet, one of the three transcendentally brilliant highlights from 2003’s Vienna ImPulsTanz.

Obviously my pick of the season already, but don’t let that influence you, I can’t stand dance, and like last year, will be drowning myself at Sleepywood in pitchers of Long Island Ice Tea, and then the nearest canal.