10 September 2010

Breaking and, making a spectacle, of spectacles.

Breaking and, making a spectacle, of spectacles.

Lisa Sterne

“The Making of Spectacles” by the Swiss Foofwa d’ Imobilite dance company is aimed at being a collaborative process between the audience and the performers.

The audience voted on a number of: dance phrases, dramatic scenarios, music, lighting, design, theme of choreography and costume. Their audience’s choices last night (September 9) culminated in a piece called: “Previous Desires of the Balcony in Sugar”.

This performance is highly experimental. Though Theatre Sports is common to acting, it is an unconventional concept in theatre dance. What makes Theatre Sports so exciting is that it is meant to be completely improvised. This collaborative choreographic process could be likened to Theatre Sports. Therefore, I felt that the concept of improvisation was not used as well as it could have been. After we, the audience, had voted on all the elements of the performance, we waited with bated breath to observe our final creation.

There was some dissatisfaction when the final creation was viewed... The choices we had voted on were mixed with other choreographed pieces. Yet the pieces we did not choose were still used, however, the other dancers attempted to conceal the movements that we did not vote on, by creating a wall with their bodies.

The language of movement used was interesting and humorous. It made use of extended lines and angular movements, which is different to African contemporary which many Durban audiences are used to.

Halfway during the final section Foofwa, the choreographer, stopped and asked the audience what they felt. It was fascinating and entertaining to hear all the suggestions the extremely outspoken audience had. Usually in dance, the choreographer has a concept he wants to express and would not stop half way to ask the audience what lighting they would like to be used.

The process of voting for the choreographic elements of the performance was likened to voting for government. Therefore it could be said that this government had a good policy, voted by the people, but failed on its delivery.

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