Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Interaktionslabor, Germany

I am here in Gottelborn, Germany for Interaktionslabor. Interaktionslabor is an annual workshop for technology and performance. I came here two years ago too. This time, I am working with a group of 15 people(!) with different expertise such as fashion, textile, animation, motion graphics, music and performance. Suna no Onna is the title of the physical theatre we are making, which is based on a Japanese novel of the same title,the Woman in the Dunes in English. I am playing the role of the woman who lives deep in the dunes.

This novel can be described surreal, but to be honest, quite depressing. There are no one who I feel attracted in the story, and this woman is one of those types who I would avoid. Someone who does not question about their circumstances. She just accept and get on with it. (you probably want to know why she lives in the dunes, which no one knows including herself!).She does not show emotions, and waits and waits to get something she wants, for example a man. I almost disgust this woman. I cannot deny that there is some part of me like her. Is this typical nature of Japanese woman? Maybe ones in older generation? I have felt same irritation towards my mother before- why she cannot change the situation if she does not like it? Why she even does not make any struggle and just accept it?

Olu, a performer who plays the man who gets trapped by the woman, said "this woman is quite Zen, isn't she?". Ah, yes, you can say that. I like Zen generally. There is particular minimalistic beauty of being. I have studied a bit about Zen for my choreography several years ago, and I found that the key of Zen is acceptance. Rather than fighting against things and people you have, just accept them. OK, so this is what the woman is doing. Well, then I saw the negative side of Zen. I may not like it any longer.

But still, I have to work on the character since I have to perform her. This is hard. The project is also hard because there are so many involved, and so many technology and aspects to deal with. Hopefully after this intensive nine day work, I can connect everything and integrate them with the character.

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