Sunday, November 18, 2012

The memory of the walls, the feel of the floor


Steve and Kimberley are meeting with Danielle to keep working on our social media development. 

Another day, another tour. Another school. 

Jamie has word from Nayelli that she’s reviewed the contract and will be sending back her changes. I call Martin and tell him to come over as soon as he can to finish the deal. 

Rachelle is flitting in and out talking at high speed about a holiday party she is planning that will bring all kinds of money to your church...

Matt and Theatre Dzieci have arrived and are at work preparing the chapel for their performance tomorrow night. They’ve swept the floor. Mopped it as well. Martin arrives and volunteers to do more work, anxious about how it looks. They’re OK, the way it is...they after all will be a band of gypsies....

So Jamie, Martin  and I are waiting. Danielle, too. Hoping to deposit a check. And her husband Nate, waiting for her.  Calls back and forth with Nayelli. A sticky issue.We get through it. It’s getting later. I’m feeling emotionally exhausted. Martin needs one final OK from Nayelli before he signs. So we wait. And wait. She finally calls. Needs to run it by her attorney one more time. Will try to call back soon. Martin says he’s going home. Will come back when the call comes. Danielle and Nate head home. Jamie and I head to the B. No call comes. 

As we’re about to leave, Hugo arrives with food. Steve and I help him unload. As always, it’s good to see him. 

I slowly walk the four flights up to the gym to see Miriam Ibrahim’s one woman theatre performance, Peace/Piece of Mine, inspired by German playwright Franz Xavier Kroetz’ Request Concert. Turns out Kroetz was Germany’s most popular contemporary dramatist of the ’70’s and early ’80’s. His plays often were wordless, characters rendered speechless by their social situation. Known as a communist, his openings were often disrupted by neofascists.

As an Ethiopian raised in Germany, I can understand Miriam’s connection with the sense of alienation so present in Kroetz’ work. She takes Kroetz’ play and makes it her own, with an original score by David Salazar and Carla Fabiani performed on solo viola. She’s transformed the gym into a totally black space with naked  light bulbs.  The set is not much more than a simple table and tape on the floor, buckets and glasses of water and a hanging bag of ice slowly dripping into another bucket. All will play a part in her performance.  The audience seated on black boxes of varying heights. She is brave in performance, vulnerable, eloquent in the silence. That last look it of expectation? Of peace? 

So I am thankful for her performance. And learning about Kroetz too. And couldn’t help but remember the Movement Research  Experience’s nightly performances in the same space. This was almost like an extension of that  festival. Something about that gym, it’s held memories of so many artists and their  late night creative explorations in gym and circus and performance....all in the memory of the walls, the feel of the floor....

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