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The Incredible Presence of a Remarkable Absence

Lila Dance.

Saturday 10th November, Peter Catmull Theatre, Hythe: instepdance.co.uk

Thursday 29th November, Pavilion Dance, Bournemouth: paviliondance.org.uk

 

The Incredible Presence of a Remarkable Absence is the wonderfully apt title of Lila Dance's new 50 minute re-imagining of the world created by Samuel Becket in Waiting For Godot.

Entering the black cube of Salisbury Arts Centre's Main Space after the interval, the semblance of low mist at early dawn swirled from the dust covered floor. Four characters entered in hats of the pork pie/trilby/tweedy type and carrying small hessian sacks that spoke to me more of migrant hopefuls than Becket's shabby-chic end-of-the-roaders.

But the patterns on the floor as these eloquent bodies moved through the space, drew me in. The dancers connected with individual audience members, growing an intimate sense of involvement as they each revealed their peculiar personalities. Solemn or sad faces and sudden mood shifts created the uncertain atmosphere, but the Hat Dance made me smile and soon I too was involved in the waiting.

Swung between fragmented text and incredibly fluid, connected bodies I was drawn ever further into the stillness that is my own personal mode of waiting. The burden of these four uneasy characters killing time before my eyes, became my burden. I felt somehow in danger of loosing myself under the weight of it.

Disability, interdependence, manipulation, tenderness - issues that fought for attention while I watched, waited and absorbed movements that bypassed any kind of reason or rational thought, linking directly to my instinct and emotions.

By the end it seemed I had journeyed somewhere precarious and was not sure I would find my way back, my headspace now haunted with supplementary images of Munch's Scream and Kierkegaard's slightly odd love-letters.

Heavier than the pre-show handouts indicated, it really needed single billing. I needed to create space around it and in so doing, risked loosing sight of the humorous and sensual 'Not About Love' duet that had entertained me before the 20minute interval.

 

 

I am changed

or am I? Is it

my love that

changes me,

or your love

that sees me

changed?

I am changed

or am I? No, or

Yes. And yes

I am changed

without knowledge

of how or why;

only certainty

of having

changed.

 

 

Posted by Gini, 10 November 2012

Last modified by Gini, 10 November 2012

Earthbowl 3, Fleet Lagoon

I could hardly sleep a wink last night. I might have been a little busy this week, but today has had big, bold, red pencil marks all over it for a while now. Depending on the weather, the tides, fate...Today is the day!

Today, in filming for 'Creating the Spectacle!' the underwater wheelchair takes what anyone could only describe as the absolute scariest part of it's journey.

I'm heading for Portland to be witness and part of the audience for this stage of the project. I shall be travelling with mixed feelings; I am looking forward to seeing Sue and the underwater wheelchair in the water again: that bit is positively magical.

But the underwater wheelchair cannot be confined to a pool, even one as deep as the Osprey Leisure Centre's.

Today Sue and the underwater wheelchair are going to be filmed disappearing into the sea.

 

 

A lagoon? Thats like South Seas or something?

Warm, clear water; it sounds so inviting,

not sure about the wheelchair though. Why not

just dive? The Fleet? Where's that, somewhere local?

Oh that changes everything. Bloody cold

off Portland. With bad tides round Chesil Beach,

plus that lurky, murky, muddy sea-bed...

I dunno why, but somehow the wheelchair

makes some kind of crazy sense; now I know.

Fleet Lagoon: that really is so awesome.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 27 June 2012

Last modified by Gini, 27 June 2012

Symbolic clothes, Kimono and Peter Pan

Discovering the imposing bronze statue behind Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa reminded me that I really do wish to attend a Kabuki performance. The traditional Japanese building of our local Kabuki theatre is controversially being replaced by a modern brick box and not due to reopen until next year. I'm hoping it will be amazingly accessible.

I checked out the alternative theatres and discovered that I had missed the May season. I had hoped to go to a morning performance as the event usually lasts around four hours. I would need a translation too!

The Kabuki stage has a 'catwalk' running from the deck to the back of the auditorium, where the hero of 'Shibaraku' appears to deliver his monologue. Unlike Shakespeare plays, this piece was conceived spontaneously in the middle of another play, by the actor whose family developed the drama and now seems to have exclusive rights to the role.

The hero wears an impressive padded costume to add height and width to his stature. I think Japanese people are perhaps more aware of the symbolic possibilities of clothes and they are fond of dressing up.

There are quite a few young people wearing kimono, but so many women in 'dolls clothes' one gets the impression there are almost no grown- ups in the country.

Outfits that look like mini, frilly nightwear and cute little- girl hairstyles make it seem like Japanese women pass from childhood to old age with no adult years between.

And indeed, a lot of them are reluctant to take on roles as wives and mothers, to the extent that the government is seriously worried about the shrinking population numbers.

Is our fascination with being/looking youthful leading humanity on the road to extinction? Is this particular Utopia a dead end?

 

 

Kimono: the hair

the style, the pins,

socks and shoes

as well as the

signature wrap

garments with

belts, all belong

together. Conspire

to make tiny steps

into a future

looking back

at somewhere

slower.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 31 May 2012

Last modified by Gini, 31 May 2012