Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Yellow Wall Paper in Greenwich

Yellow wallpaper in Greenwich1
©Gigi Giannella

Yellow wallpaper in Greenwich4
©Gigi Giannella

Yellow wallpaper in Greenwich3
©Gigi Giannella

The Yellow Wall Paper is a project I wrote about on 7th July, and the performance at Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich took place on 3rd August as part of the ICKL conference banquet.
Our leader Caroline has developed my costume for this day, and we had additional strong collaborators: Jairo and Nicola: they made a wall paper to be hanged on a window as you see on a picture above.
The performance was intended to be more like happening than presentation. We did not expect everyone to watch all the time because of the situation of a banquet. People would eat, talk, walk around etc. I thought our performance could enrich the evening together with other aspects of a banquet.
Based on this idea, we had three parts of performance: 1. When people came in to the place, 2. After the dinner, 3. Later after a while.
I was going to improvise in the environment I was given: the Victorian room with three big windows, the costume converted from lampshade, and the wallpaper, looked quite enough toys for me to play with. I was pretty sure that I could improvise without problems. And it was not a problem at all! Actually I had a problem with some tasks that I had to do to convey some story or to develop the relationship with Dorit, another dancer. If I tried to follow the tasks, it killed my imagination. No space to play. This started happening in Part2, and Part3 was completely ruined by that. I enjoyed improvising for 40 minutes in Part1 and quite many people stopped by and watched the performance. Towards Part 2, 3, less and less people. It was because of the light in the room that got darker as time passed, and the energy of people and the banquet as well. There are many aspects to think in advance in this kind of setting, but it is difficult to guess how it is going to be without trying out things. Ideally I wanted to rehearse properly with the costume and the wallpaper in the space. While three visual artists spent hundreds hours to create their work for this day, two dancers seemed to be lazy. But anyway it was a good try. Very unusual setting and I could see more possibilities of a performance like this.

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