«Ωδα κι εκεια» απο το Κεντρο Παραστατικων Τεχνων ΜΙΤΟΣ, στο πλαισιο του Διεθνους Φεστιβαλ Κυπρια 2017 της Νονας Μολεσκη
Το θέατρο του δρόμου φαντάζει ένα από τα πιο απελευθερωμένα από τους επιτακτικούς κανόνες θεατρικά είδη, λειτουργεί έξω από τους περιορισμούς των εσωτερικών χώρων, έξω από τη συνθήκη συμβάσεως του διαχωρισμού των δύο κόσμων, της σκηνής και της πλατείας. Όμως, όπως νομοτελειακά συμβαίνει σ’ όλους τους τομείς δραστηριοτήτων των ανθρώπων, η απελευθέρωση από κάποιους κανόνες αμέσως οδηγεί στην υποταγή σε καινούριο σύστημα συμβάσεων. Έτσι και στο είδος για το οποίο συζητάμε υπάρχουν συμβάσεις που ορίζουν το αισθητικό περίγραμμα του street theatre. Για παράδειγμα, η απουσία της ασφαλούς απόστασης από το κοινό, η φιλική και ανέμελη εγγύτητα, που σε μετάφραση στη γλώσσα επικοινωνίας σημαίνει αμοιβαία εμπιστοσύνη, σημαίνει συμμαχία με τους θεατές στην υλοποίηση του κοινού project. Αλήθεια, οποιαδήποτε «εσωτερικού χώρου» παράσταση υποφέρει αλλά μπορεί να υπάρξει με λίγους θεατές, ενώ μια παράσταση θεάτρου του δρόμου θέλει εύθυμα πλήθη γύρω της και δεν θα άντεχε με τίποτα τη μιζέρια της αδιαφορίας των περαστικών. Μια άλλη σύμβαση που πρέπει να τηρείται είναι η προχειρότητα της εικαστικής πτυχής του δρώμενου, αναγόμενη σε αισθητική, με τα σκηνικά να μεταφέρονται εύκολα και θεαματικά και να στήνονται σε χρόνο μηδέν και ως μέρος του παιχνιδιού. Τα κοστούμια πρέπει να φέρουν σημάδια προχειρότητας και να είναι φτιαγμένα με αδρές πινελιές, που φτάνουν σε υπερβολή. Όμοιες αδρές πινελιές με υπερβολική μεγέθυνση, όμοια παιχνιδιάρικη ανεμελιά στα όρια του αυτοσχεδιασμού και του φλερτ με την ομήγυρη των θεατών πρέπει να χαρακτηρίζουν την υποκριτική μανιέρα. Κοιτάξτε πόσα «πρέπει» βρέθηκαν να καθορίζουν αυτό το φαινομενικά ελεύθερο είδος. Όλες οι συμβάσεις του είδους τηρούνται στο «Ωδά κι εκειά» εις διπλούν, επειδή στην παραγωγή του Κέντρου Παραστατικών Τεχνών Μίτος η ομάδα υπό τη σκηνοθετική καθοδήγηση της Έλενας Αγαθοκλέους και του Λούκα Βαλέβσκι παριστάνει έναν περιοδεύοντα θίασο, ο οποίος με τη σειρά του στήνει τη βασισμένη στο «Χρονικό» του Μαχαιρά παράσταση. Διπλή υποκριτική υπερβολή, διπλό φλερτ με το κοινό, διπλή διάθεση αυτοσατιρισμού στα κοστούμια (Μυρτώ Σαρμά) και το μακιγιάζ, διπλή παιχνιδιάρικη προχειρότητα της σκηνικής κατασκευής και των αντικειμένων (Εύα Κοραή). Και ιδιάζουσα σχέση με το κείμενο, καθώς ο «θίασος» παρουσιάζει «τον ίδιο τον Μαχαιρά» (Μάριος Ιωάννου) και τις τρεις υπηρέτριές του (Έλενα Καλλινίκου, Μαρίνα Μακρή, Έλενα Αγαθοκλέους) να αναπαριστούν σκηνές από το «Χρονικό» σε μια κουζίνα, χρησιμοποιώντας ό,τι βρίσκεται γύρω τους, μπανάνες, κουτάλες, μαϊντανούς, κ.λπ. Η επιλογή των ιστοριών είναι, φυσικά, αυτή που μπορεί να προκαλέσει κουτσομπολίστικη διέγερση σε μια διαχρονική κουζίνα, μια και η πολυστρωματικότητα του κειμένου του Μαχαιρά δικαιώνει και μια τέτοια οπτική. Το κείμενο επικεντρώνεται στον βίο του Πέτρου Α', αλλά οι μπρος πίσω «ιστορικές» προεκτάσεις απλώνονται στην πολυαίωνη πορεία της Κύπρου. Η ουσία του θεατρικού εγχειρήματος έγκειται στην προσπάθεια να μεταδοθεί ο αυτοσαρκασμός των δημιουργών και στο κοινό τους. Για την παράσταση της Λευκωσίας η Φανερωμένη ήταν η πλέον κατάλληλη για τον σκοπό της ομάδας, με την πληθώρα των εθνικών μνημείων και συμβόλων να συνυπάρχει με το πολύχρωμο πλήθος, με τις γάτες και τα ποδήλατα των παιδιών να διασχίζουν τη «σκηνή», με τις λογιών λογιών ξένες γλώσσες να σμίγουν με τα κυπριακά. Συμπαθέστατη παράσταση.
Last Sunday, I took my eight-year old daughter for see the new creation by Lia Haraki at Rialto Theatre in Limassol. Having followed Haraki's work for years, I was curious to see how her approach to dance making would translate to a performance geared at children. Utilising her contemporary compositional methodologies, Haraki along with the highly skilled performers, Arianna Marcoulides, Rania Glymitsa, and Panayiotis Tofi, has successfully created a work that appeals to children's sensibilities of imagination, free expression, and humour whilst simultaneously introducing them to the wonderful opportunities contemporary art can offer. Haraki., s performance addresses children in a respectful manner without patronising them with an over-simplified performance or caricatured execution. The simple story of the dance play presents a shy girl on a journey of self-discovery of physical and aural expression. The performance starts with a birthday party in which Yakinthi, the main character expertly played by Marcoulides, receives a microphone that she appears too shy to use. The three characters jump around the furniture including sections of contact improvisation which reflects the physical explorations children perform so naturally. Rania Glymitsa's character, an exaggerated performance of an outgoing personality, is the necessary antidote to Marcoulides' carefully crafted awkwardness and an example of freedom of children, s imagination and expressivity. With musical references to well -known works of music, Glyrnitsa performs a dance that explores stereotypical performances in a humorous way. As Yakanthi enters a dream, the audience is transported into a visually stunning alterreality featuring two dancers in oversized monochrome unitards adorned with various geometric shapes which contrast the colourful scenery of boxes. Their dance duet carries Haraki1s signature dance style therefore showing the choreographer1s skill in adapting her artistic ideology for a younger audience. The most thrilling section follows in which Glymitsa playing a scientist who feeds Yakanthi various potions causing her to use her microphone. With use of technology, Christos Hadjicristou a long-time collaborator of Haraki, creates sounds that appear to stream out of Marcoulides1 mouth. Although, Haraki was careful to emphasise physical expression she was able to acknowledge the role of technology and mediate live performance to fit the demands of the twenty first century audience. By avoiding use of text, the performance appeals to children (and adults) of all languages. It also communicates didactic messages in a subtle manner rather than barking it at the audience. Perhaps the section that has the clearest message is the block building part in which Tofi appears as the policing character attempting to force Yakanthi to place blocks in a ascending order according to colour. His voice appears authoritative and instructional, yet Yakanthi continues to place blocks in her own manner creating a sculptural design that he eventually accepts. The message is clear: everyone creates in their own way. Haraki stimulates the children, and hopefully their parents, to view the world in a way that encourages children to explore and discover through play, which involves artistic experimentation. She posits that there is no right or wrong way to express oneself which is a key message to transfer to children. Although, as a dancer, I would have liked to see even more dance sections to create an awareness of children, as well as general audience, of this often under-appreciated art form, I greatly respect the ideas presented regarding contemporary art. The creative team has approached this performance with utmost professionalism which so often lacks in children ,s performances. The attention to the compositional methods, performance, and narrative development demonstrated artistic integrity which in turn demanded children's attention who watched it with full commitment. Share this:
Is it that? Is it that? Is it that? : Crossover-revamp of tools for body parts and tradition in Cypriot furniture design by Sevina Floridou
This excerpt tries to examine some personal thoughts provoked by Eva Korae’s work in contemporary furniture design, as recollected from the exhibition ‘Yes, there will be Vodka!, held on the 30th of May in Limassol, at the Vinegar Workshop. Τhe exhibition consisted of expressive artefacts, made of, by most standards, second-rate materials yet such that have become charged with subcultural meanings.
Examining these items as mainstream and recogniseable iconic design objects of desire, consisting mainly of chairs, tables, light fixtures and ashtrays, they have been produced not with the intent of changing the way they function. One also cannot talk of there being a single concept of approach but rather a range of wildly contradictory activities interventions, and re-placements through re-use.On strolling around the exhibition space, I could hear people milling around me talking to each other, exclaiming their recognition of disparate artefacts that, although recognisable in their re-used form, have disappeared, or else are widely treated as invisible debris. With each such exclamation one becomes aware that the designer has reconfigured the object by giving it a new use, often placing it in a postion which allows it to obtain a new connection to the human body part that it was never originally intended for.
This re-use and lateral reassesment of value seems to re-establish the boundaries between the actor and the role of the material, itemised and re- incorporated into the materiality of each individual piece.The collection is made up of loving cheeky parodies of set pieces. Yet this gleeful onslaught made from the excesses of often collateral consumer overproduction far from adding to it, acts as quite the opposite, a high comedy of playful disrespectfulness showing a love of the traditional which is at the same time sincere enough to stand the test of its own mockery. While many utilitarian original Cypriot- made traditional pieces of furniture aka chairs, three-legged tables, table-cum beds, bamboo-reed spoon holders – all minimal in their design, construction and their local use of materials at hand - speak of social deprivation as much as anything else, the glamour/ social awareness afforded these minimal cross-revamped artefacts on display, unavoidably also reflects the pragmatic difficulty in even talking about contemporary furniture design in Cyprus today. In this respect, the cultural references used and toyed with (such as painted turned carvings-to-be onto solid wood-block legs supporting a ‘Tea-for Two’ seesaw seating arrangement) become a political act in a different sense, a campaign to bring down to the street so to speak, an evolution of the forms and their uses, and to confront the often oppressive norms of cultural object worship that Cypriot society affords tradition when confronting furnishings, especially objects with lots of carving, but little else reflective of its past. Addressing with persistence the discredited elements, their disreputable aspect witnessed in stuff such as supermarket advertising flyers glued with flour and water to make a table top or loose glass marbles rolling about in a three legged table (reminiscent of loosing ones literal marbles in the schoolyard dirt, the village tavla), or else the dart-board table, the fruit-bowl lamp, the hand held egg-whisk candle sticks, all recogniseable items from our –pre contemorary yet not so distant past, these objects are made to question the disproportional acquiescent value of imported conveyor-belt designer pieces which the acquiring of, aims to model behavioural ‘knowhow’ separating the haves from have-nots. The abacus backed and seated baby chair reminided me of baby potty chairs of the sixties, complete with an educational abacus back rest, to keep the child occupied while performing its business, but also with the intent of keeping the child restricted for longer while the minder perfomed other duties. No wonder then, that the proposed design allows one the liberating freedom of rest (albeit perhaps not so comfortable) or else, if desired, of transient contact. The spectrum of furtive objects, or fleeting reminiscent items, is also tackled through a wry, wistful nostalgia in the making – a wryness that will be recognisable to anyone who doesn’t quite fit the middle-class institutional Cypriot cultural stereotype. Cement breeze block, aluminium soda cans, plastic ties and the clip shears, fitted snugly into the breeze block’s cavity, afford the user the power of controlling the tool in a hands on construction of an ashtray. By providing the tool, the item comes as a complete self construction design kit - the designer thus passes from the role of High Auteur to a new role that society beckons/yearns for from both professions that cater to space and taste, both design and architecture - a role that has yet to be invented, since ‘high’ design has waddled into the dead end of its demise in the west, one that has been orchestrated by the free market economies - catering for the mere wealthy 1% of the planet’s population that can afford its material inventions. The argument being that these oddly resilient objects of use, tables, chairs, lamps, ashtrays need to be looked at more closely, just as much as leaving room for thought about the stimuli of design production in a small economy instead of individual creativity being swept ‘under the carpet’ making room for imported ready made ‘designer’ consumerism. But also raising the question of the future of the profession, or vocation, who designs and for whom, and what is it that design is about, is it merely creating objects or suggesting ways of thought? The reuse of found objects does not deconstruct their function neither does their re-use mean moodily arranging them into something else. The ideas are carried through logically, dependent on the assumptions the mean to mock - the connection, for example, between the concrete crush-test cubes, residual items from the burst construction bubble of holiday housing, married to the empty wine bottles of booze binge tourism which the current financial crisis has all but halted on both fronts. Both industries all but halted, their discarded unnoticed consumer fallout material, contemplated in a way that these certain losses seem not to have yet warranted acknowledgment. Flotsam from the burst economy bubbles are reconfigured to serve as ashtrays for group-inhaled contemplation of the financial demise. The aged wood, stainless steel, with old coins tables – to me allude to discarded old hardwood (perhaps from Limassol pier) and the disposal of the Cypriot currency on adopting the Euro – concurrent flash micro events, in the constellation of macro effects, lending contemplative subjectivity to the sleek internationally recognised blueprint of a languid coffee table lifestyle of savoire faire. Yet how is a wider audience expected to pick up these distant references without their being explained? How are such links forged? The playful almost urban grafitti –like or cartoon quality of the designs’ simplicity makes the case rather well. The point being not merely on the inventive design qualities but on the responses they evoke, deriving their power from latent and not manifest content. Thus, finding your own meaning is not only the first step of an adventure but also the way to seeing a cultural reflection of a place in time which may or may not, become a recognisable template of aesthetic experience, even a dissident one, in opposition to official taste. And so, the exhibition at the Vinegar Workshop almost a year ago, far from acting as a display of objects, became an activity - a festive reconnection to and recognition of the dowdiness of found materials, and ones of memory, over the dubious prestige of sleek acquired glamour. A gentle mocking of design without disowning it, both a parody but also very much the real thing.