Month: April 2018

Arrows And Traps: A Charming Rendition Of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters”

“To Moscow, to Moscow…” The renowned lament in Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters still manages to conjure up some of the most fundamental issues that plague our quotidian lives today. Ross McGregor’s new version of this great classic evokes the Chekhovian existential essence that troubles the Prozorov sisters: Irina, Masha, and Olga respectively. But, it’s not all too dreary, however, as the Arrow & Traps’ interpretation generates a wonderful snapshot of life in provincial Russia in a time gone by. The performers act graciously and at times manage to genuinely capture elements of the Russian mentality and soul. This is most apparent when...

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Ballets Russes: Who Made The Russian Ballet World-Famous?

Celebrating 2018 as the Year of Ballet in Russia, it’s worth paying homage to the outstanding people who devoted their lives to the exceptional art of Russian ballet, and who spread its glory across the globe. Many Russian dancers, composers, artists, choreographers, and entrepreneurs worked for the Ballets Russes, the Russian enterprise that conquered Europe in the early 20th century. These immensely talented people spread the fame of the Russian ballet around the world, making Russian culture fashionable. Sergei Diaghilev, ballet impresario and founder of Ballets Russes Extremely talented as a ballet impresario, Sergei Diaghilev played the greatest role popularizing Russian...

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Macedonian Message For International Dance Day – By Ballet Dancer Marko Micov

The dance is an eternal expression of the human necessity and a wish to communicate, to express mutual feelings through movement of the body, and through the music. The dance, as well as the dancer, are inseparably integrated as one body. The dance is an inexhaustible river of emotions, love, positive energy. It has a soul that is incorporated with the dancer, and it knows nothing of boundaries. It knows nothing of race, age, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, religion; it simply has the power of magic, of the eternal fluid that connects and unifies. The dance gives meaning to life, it reflects inexhaustible energy, it motivates the creation of new deeds that generate...

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The Wooster Group’s “A Pink Chair” – Can You Ever Return?

The Wooster Group’s newest production, A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique) was commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Tadeusz Kantor centennial as a tribute to the famous Polish director. The show is based on Kantor’s 1988 piece, I Shall Never Return and his 1942 adaptation of Stanisław Wyspiański’s The Return of Odysseus. Although he began his career as a painter and worked as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, Tadeusz Kantor (1915-90) is currently considered one of the most important theatre artists of the twentieth century, and some...

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A Genre-Bending Pasifika Collaboration -“The Naked Samoans Do Magic”

The Naked Samoans Do Magic Commissioned by the Auckland Arts Festival and co-produced with The Conch. Directed by Nina Nawalowalo and Tom McCrory. The Naked Samoans Do Magic is a unique collaboration between two iconic yet highly contrasting Pasifika theatre companies. The Naked Samoans formed in 1998 and after a string of highly popular sketch-comedy stage shows, their animated series Bro’Town (2003-6) became New Zealand’s most successful television comedy. The Conch launched in 2002 with the critically acclaimed Vula, a stunningly beautiful devised piece that established Artistic Director Nina Nawalwalo’s expertise in composing elegant stage imagery based in her...

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“Fun Home” By The Musical Stage Company As Part Of The Off Mirvish Series

Emotionally moving for its’ superlative vocal work and outstanding individual performances The Story I must admit that I knew nothing about Fun Home, so I had to do some online research, scan the Mirvish press release, and read the program. Based on the graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home is the recipient of several awards including 5 New York Tony Awards (Best Musical in 2015). In 2006, The New York Times named Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic as one of the best books of the year. It was created from memories of Ms. Bechdel’s childhood and the detailed journals she kept since age 10...

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In Memory: Mikhail Yurievich Ugarov

Note from TTT: Mikhail Ugarov, co-founder of Moscow’s Teatr.doc and a leading figure of the contemporary Russian theatre, died unexpectedly on April 1, 2018. The following tribute was penned by Russian playwright Mikhail Durnenkov. Mikhail Yurievich Ugarov’s funeral took place on April 5. Of course, certain clichés immediately come to mind—“no one could have anticipated it,” “it was so sudden,” “he went quickly,” and so on. The main thing isn’t even his age—he was young for a thinker and “man of the theatre,” just 62 years old—but that he had so much left to do. The entire trajectory of...

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World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2018: Reaching Out To The World Through Theatre

World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2018 Shizuoka Performing Arts Center (SPAC) will hold its annual World Theatre Festival Shizuoka 2018 from April 28 to May 6, coinciding as usual with the national Golden Week holiday. In line with its slogan of “Fujinokuni (The Mt. Fuji region) and the world are connected through the performing arts,” SPAC will introduce a wide range of cutting-edge theatre programs from Japan and abroad at venues in Shizuoka City and the surrounding, wonderfully scenic area. Following on last year’s success, SPAC will also host its Open-air Performing Arts Festival under Mt. Fuji 2018 in the...

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When The Space Is The Protagonist

Mona el Gammal studied scenography, stage design, and exhibition design at Karlsruhe, Hochschule für Gestaltung ZKM. She started there in 2008, building narrative spaces, and since then creates with her team parallel worlds that incorporate the audience and turn them into protagonists. Lately, she also directed the Virtual Reality Experience RhizomatVR, commissioned by Arte and Berliner Festspiele, that takes a critical look at the new digital medium. How do you define the narrative space? I do not have a clear definition. I use it for 10 years, but it was used for very different kinds of work in the last few years. For me it...

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Global Shakespeare

Voodoo Macbeth? Heir apparent of the Denmark Corporation in Manhattan? A pair of star-crossed lovers from feuding families selling chicken rice in Singapore? In the past century, stage, film, and television adaptations of Shakespeare have emerged in the UK, US, Canada, and the performance cultures of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Asia/Pacific, Africa, Latin America, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and far-flung corners of the globe. Shakespeare’s plays often feature locations outside England, Scotland, and Wales, and characters from various parts of the world. In fact, the history of global performance dates back to Shakespeare’s lifetime. Since the sixteenth...

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Shizuoka Stage Festival Aims To Engage Its Audiences The Old-Fashioned Way

This hasn’t been a great year for social media.  Internet addiction has been a hot topic, as have privacy issues, and there has even been a movement to #DeleteFacebook. Last month, Satoshi Miyagi, artistic director of the Shizuoka Performing Arts Center, which runs World Theatre Festival Shizuoka, joined that chorus of critics. “Since SNS (social networking services) are often just used as a one-way monologue, I worry that our world needs to pay more attention to listening to other people’s voices,” he said at a press conference to announce the lineup of his annual festival. While noting that SNS...

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“La Cerisaie”: Chekhov’s “Cherry Orchard” With New Secrets

La Cérisaie (The Cherry Tree/The Cherry Orchard) presented by the Belgian company TG STAN (i.e. Stop Thinking About Names). The Flemish TG Stan collective from Antwerp chose to perform their version of Chekhov’s last play (1903-04), as a comedy where the tragedy was reduced to moments of pure pathos as the actors free themselves from the constraints of Chekhov’s theatrical conventions. The enclosed space of a dying society has flung open the windows and let fresh air flood into the theatre to produce a counter-discourse that brought this performance beyond past readings of the play. This reading was at time intriguing but at...

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The Role Theatre Can Play In The Emergence Of “Places Of Listening”

IETM will host its forthcoming Plenary meeting in Porto, Portugal, with a specific focus on “Other centres”: new and alternative perspectives and paths in the processes of producing and disseminating the arts. This series reveals how the Portuguese arts sector relates to the topic. Marielle Franco, city councilor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was shot dead on March 14. News reports said that thirteen bullets, which can be traced back to federal police (and were allegedly stolen from a post office), were fired at the car: four hit Marielle Franco’s body; others killed Anderson Gomes, the driver, and injured Fernanda Chaves, Franco’s assistant. On March...

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Metaphor At Play: New Theatre from Belgium, Poland and United States

Focusing on varied issues, three foreign plays staged at the 8th Theatre Olympics appealed with their presentation and performance. The Last One presented by Gema Galiana and Anthony Nikolchev’s The Useless Room, U.S., is a fine theatrical piece in terms of innovative presentational style as well as a severe indictment of mindless exploitation of nature in the name of development. Directed by Galiana and written by Nikolchev, there are three characters—one woman and two men. It is a physical theatre involving a lot of violent encounters between performers who appear to be trained in martial art and adept at the...

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D-CAF’s “Before The Revolution” Portrays All Roads To ‘Inevitable Eruption’

In a dimly lit room, where the surrounding black walls invaded one’s soul, leaving attendees alerted with frustration and apprehension, only two performers under bright yellow spotlights, standing still, welcoming attendees with emotionless faces and what looks like soulless bodies, started the journey of time travel to Egyptian daily lives before the January 25, 2011 revolution. Before The Revolution is a 40-minute show, which draws the lines of frustration, agony, and despair that Egypt had witnessed before the revolution, leaving the audience to connect and build between the events that had led to a mass uprising. The performance was...

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“Quiz” at Noël Coward Theatre: Towards Participatory Theatre

It’s been a golden week for James Graham, British theatre’s wonder boy. After winning an Olivier award for his comedy, Labour Of Love, he now has another show in the West End, this time a transfer from the Chichester Theatre, where it premiered last November. Always interested in historical stories that say something about our present preoccupations, this time his subject is the “coughing major” scandal that in 2001 affected ITV’s hit show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. And, like some of his other plays, Privacy and The Vote, this new one has an element of audience participation. Its subject, after all, is...

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Cell Phone Addiction Focus Of Opera Performance

Artists of the Ankara State Opera and Ballet (ADOB) will present the favorite arias of the most-performed operas in a show: NOMOFOBHIA 2018. Nomophobia is described as the phobia that concerns not having a mobile phone or being without phone contact. According to an ADOB statement, on April 23 at 08:00 p.m. on the Opera Stage they will present a performance based on a social reality that shows that the use of mobile phones has recently become crazy, an addiction and even an illness. The musical performance, directed by Aydın Buğra Güven, will make listeners experience the entertaining pleasure...

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Jacob Storms And “Tennessee Rising”

Jacob Storms is the recipient of the 2017 United Solo Award for Best One-Man Show after he performed his new one-man play Tennessee Rising in The United Solo Festival, the world’s largest solo play festival taking place annually in New York City. Storms is known for his recurring role, Serge, on Steven Soderbergh & Gregory Jacobs’ Amazon Original Series, Red Oaks.  He is also a member of the founding graduating class of actors at the T. Schreiber Studio’s first full-time conservatory.  Some of his performance experience ranges from singing in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall for Cole Porter’s 125th birthday celebration to being...

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“Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy Of…”: Docudrama Musical for Black Lives Matter

The Beginning Of A Most Important Dialogue Initiated By This striking and moving staging of rage! This docu-drama or docu-fiction, a form of musical theatre that ties together reality and fiction inspired by real-life tragedies, concerns events that took place in Montreal (the death of an unarmed Freddy Villanueva in 2008) and the shooting of unarmed Trayvon Martin in Florida (2013) which set off the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the US. We are immediately drawn back to Shakespeare’s work The Lamentable Tragedy Of Titus Andronicus (1623) whose ending is inspired by Seneca’s Thyestes. The Roman play concerns the horrific torture...

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“Blink” An Unblinking Look At The Pitfalls Of Electronic Romance

Blink by Phil Porter, A Plosive production. Directed by Teri Loretto-Valentik Back in another era, dramatist Harold Pinter used to contend that his often enigmatic plays were really about the breakdown of communications between human beings. But that was well before the dawning of a new electronic age, before the advent of smartphones and digital cameras, Twitter and Facebook. A play like Phil Porter’s Blink wouldn’t have been conceivable a couple of decades ago. Its vision of the way people choose to communicate would have seemed the stuff of science fiction. Yet the piece now on view in an...

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