INTERNATIONAL ART FORUM "ALTER EGO" 2015, 16-20 NOVEMBER 2015
Theater and Maths don’t have much in common, do they? But when you give this extravagant idea a second thought you might just come round it. It turns out that just like a mathematical equasion in theater there exists a formula for creating a performance.
We have the stage.
We have the audience.
We have the actors.
There you go. But is this really enough for us to create theater?
No one can deny that we need actors and audience for a performative act. Without the audience theater would be pointless.
But the answer to the question we just raised is both yes and no. Yes, because we can simplify the equasion like that: the audience +the actor = you + me
And no, because having someone do something in front of someone is simply not enough for us to call it theater. Then what are we missing in our equasion? Probably there has to be something that happens between you and me. So it turns out we are searching for that initial connection between the actor and the audience. We try to reach a moment in which the body follow its own impulse in such a manner, that both the actor and the audience are surprised of the result. You know what happening in real life is. It may be a simple smile from a stranger on the street, or he way the wind blows in your ears when you’re not expecting it, it may be even a postcard from a long forgotten friend that you find in your cellar. This, in Alma Alter, we like to call, happening. It is something that we cannot predict. An element of the equasion that is simply uncalculatable, let’s say.
So now we have you (the audience), me and the happening. And still we have something else that’s missing. You are probably asking yourself: how does the happening happen?
The answer is: interaction.
In Alma Alter we strongly believe that in order for a performance to be what it is we need to involve the audience in the process of theatermaking. Every night we play a performance in front of a different set of audience. This means that every night the performance might go in a completely different direction. Through interaction we manage to abstract the important, the essence of the moment. Afterwards we incorporate what he have taken from you within the performance. So it turns out that through interaction we get you, the audience member to react to what we have just provoked and inspired you to and afterwards we both can substract the essence of it. It’s a two-way process. So where does this leave us with our equasion? We can narrow it down to:
Pilat’s court of law is an enchanted, cruel triangle, whose penetrative angles inscribe into the routes, where Pilat, Kayafa and Jesus go. Crowds cross paths. The lines of the triangle bend its form and it becomes a circle, in which Pilat seeks for the origin, Kayafa – the limit, and Jesus – for the road, or at least for the trail. And again deconstruction. The circle becomes a desert, on which Claudia wanders alone, with only a candle in her hand, racing the mazes of her soul. The performance is a burst of shades and forms, perseptions and lines.
Claudia sets down in the desert, and the sun is firery and solitary.
In her eyes – collapsed stars, with which Pilat feeds the crowd.
Director: Nikolay Georgiev
Choreography: Petya Yosifova
Pilat: Stephan Popov
Kayafa: Georgy Djilianov
Claudia: Valerya Dimitrova, Vesela Radeva, Romina Nikolova
Jesus: Dimitar Dimitrov, Georgy Arsov
Mark: Dimitar Dimitrov, Georgy Arsov
Varava: Nikolay Andreev, Diliyan Dainovski
The jew: Violina Ivanova, Natali Aleksandrova
The project is realized with the financial support of: Ministry of culture, BULSTRAD, Manev&Prtners
Premieres 10th of October, 19:30 pm. Theatre – Laboratory Alma Alter, bul. “Tsar Osvoboditel” 15
Strangely but in our communication with one or another Shakespearian play, it is not evident at first glance that these are not simply plays in the ordinary sense of the word. These are dynamic structures, created in such a way that they can undergo an intervention in the sense of a relocation as well as inserting of new elements. As for the structure the main dynamic element in it is the time, here and now, at time of its creation as well as in any other realization, in any other time be it in any other here and now in whom the most important is the other for another generation. The substitution of this element in the structure is curtail, because it defines it as dynamic. And when the specifics of the characters in their interactions and relationships have been grasped and understood, do they change and new possibilities are opened. From a concrete one, the structure transforms to a model one, but with an open source, realizing it self with new elements: time, place, audience – the structure is filled with fresh life, dimensions and universal messages for the ages – a new time for a new people. And it recreates itself as a possible alternative to the original. It may sound strange but it seems that in Shakespeare there is nothing coincidental, nothing that is unforeseen or unexpectable. Every following realization of Shakespeare is an alternative to Shakespeare himself and there have the doors to Alive Theater wide open. And because of this Shakespeare neither in past nor future will ever cease to be alive.
The marathon will go on constantly for 24 hours. The participants are not allowed to leave the theatre for 24 hours. Considering their physical and mental fitness, 100 participants will be selected to endure this experiment. The main idea behind this marathon is to obtain first hand intimacy and cohesion between the so called “actors” and the so called “audience”. The point is also to investigate the endless possibilities for relationship and interaction between them. The experiment will be a social one as well. Theatrical performances will take place (some of which with their own premiere during the marathon) as well as interactions and happenings between the participants - interactions expressed through arts (theatre, music, dance...) Discussions and open debates will also take place. The biggest challenge will be the creation of entirely new performance (text, choreography, acting) from its very beginning where all participants will take part.
Theatre-Laboratory “Alma Alter” is always searching for the difference and the different, because according to us, this is what gives motion to life. Alternative are also the love marriages that the theatre hosts for the fifth year running. Church and civil marriage has become a sort of cultural conservative – something formal, that is carried out mechanically and can’t go beyond its intended function. And so marriage is downscaled, it is no longer a divine union.
It is precisely to this reason that the living theatre “Alma Alter” wants to breathe life into this ritual, so that it can regain its intended purpose. The marriages of “Alma Alter” are contracted for only one reason - love. And that is why there are no rules – everyone has the right to confirm his love to that special person, animal, idea, object. It is sad, but each year there are a few people who marry themselves, because that is the being that they love most. In today’s world, unfortunately, that is considered normal. The ritual lasts at about 15 minutes and begins in front of the main entrance of Theatre-Laboratory “Alma Alter” and ends in the Ceremonial Hall.
On the way the couple (or the threesome, or the foursome) lives their happening of love, helped on by our experienced “divine priests” of “Alma Alter”, who will use all their skills to render those moments unforgettable for love-weds. After preparing their bodies, cleansing their minds and activating their spirit the love-weds enter the Ceremonial Hall for the final ceremony after which they receive their official love-wed green-wild Yes-giving. The love marriages of “Alma Alter” are but an experience of letting love happen between people, because according to us it is the most charming and most magical event in a person’s life.
Requirements for contracting a marriage – the existence of the feeling of love.
Span of validity of said marriage – as long as the feeling of love lasts.
Restrictions – none.
Place of occurrence – here and now, at this place, with these people.
Time of occurrence – beyond precision, right now.
Priestesses – those doing the ritual. Secretive, magnetic, full of life, self confidence and strength. They are the ones that make things be. They are the ones calling things as they are. Priest – Him – the greatest liberator of the human spirit. He is here. He is always beside you. Always with you. The only one who knows the full range of the words: “I do.” The voice – your inner voice that whispers: Beauty is a form of genius. It is more than genius for it needs no proof. And the ritual begins: It begins with you, especially and only with you. You are not alone. You are sharing yourself with another and his otherness becomes your divinity. Your divinity – your unity. The two of you stand side by side. They – the Priestesses in front of you enter into their ritual clothing, they glow and whisper: We are tortured by beauty. Torture us, oh Beauty, torture us, more and higher, and deeper, more and most. Torture us, oh Beauty, torture us…
They are already next to you, they lead you. On the road you have to walk on to reach the end. The end which is but the beginning of your sharing.
Sharing means Happening.
Music. Rhythm. Tempo. Movement.
And you are on your knees. In front of the Priest.
He: The life of man is but an endless journey through time and space. And through people. The most beautiful, most magical moments in life are precisely those of people passing through people. Passing-through in which we give most and receive most.
A passing-trough we call LOVE.
Music. Rhythm. Tempo. Movement.
And then you are far from him, but close to your selves. The very moment of poetry.
A verse for her, a verse for him. Our gift for you. From Petrarch for Beatrice. From Yavorov for Lora. Or a sonnet from Shakespeare.
On your heads – crowns bejeweled with stars. Golden, silver, ruby…
The biggest delusion of man, here on Earth is that stars are in the sky.
Music. Rhythm. Tempo. Movement.
You are looking at each other. Maybe for the first time so pure, so true, so you. The Priestesses:
Let us exchange our tastes – salty, sweet, hot, and sour.
Let us cleanse our bodies.
Let us activate our spirit.
A pulse. Somebody’s pulse. In harmony with another. Enters one of the Priestesses with a glass of wine in her hand:
To love means to devote. To devote means to denounce. To love means to pledge. I love you and pledge myself to everything that is you. I love you and pledge in you (he drinks) the one (she drinks) I love. The Priest : Exchange rings.
A voice, a female voice starts to sing softly: “You are the essence of all the beauty in life. You are the essence of all, the love of my life. Secret one, source between and beyond.”
The Priest: The love-weds may now kiss.
A moment of unity. Total. Whole. Seemingly eternal. A moment of divinity and ecstasy.
Music. Rhythm. Tempo. Movement.
In the void sounds “Ave Maria” – a cappella.
I am a candle burning the fire lit by you. I am the fire splitting in twine so that I can be seen by you – transparent and pure (he repeats) transparent and pure (she repeats).
We are walking towards the end, so looked forward to, so desired.
What remains after two “I do”?
One “I do” giving!
"ALTER EGO 2013"
Nikolay Georgiev - Artistic director of International Art-Forum "Alter Ego" 2013
Jerzy Grotowski, the most influential reformer of the 20th Century theatre, rejected the term ‘actor’ and accepted the term ‘Holy actor’ consequently ‘Holy spectator’. Grotowski also defined the theatre as a ‘spiritual place where one meets the other’.
The International Forum Alter Ego is a workplace, laboratory for people who create theatre, moreover for people who live for the theatre. The Forum is not a competition, the results are not the important part. Alter Ego intends to portray the creative process, the explorations, ideas, philosophy, aesthetics, aspirations, beliefs and dreams of those theatre makers who although very different and far away from one another have common goals and interests that unite them, more precisely: seeking the authentic face of the Live Theatre, the Happening - the Event happening within us both individually and as a whole, because after all we’re like family members who meet each other to share their life commitment – the Theatre.
We meet in an attempt to happen what has been heard, watched and thought about.
One whole event that is a body which was and is still is...
A Body of movement, dynamics, rhythm … .
A Body that inhales and exhales, contracts and expands.
The Body has no in nor out, there is no beginning and no end.
The Body is Energy and Substance. Unity. Totality.
The Body is impulse. The Body is intensity. The Body is strife.
The Body is aspiration. It is expression.
The Body is a shout ot loud. Mine, Yours, Ours…
The Thought follows The Body, The Body talks, shares, expresses itself. The Body acts, thinks, observes. The Thought creates structures. The Body holds the thought. The Body makes the sign. The wholeness of the act. Here and now. Happening. Now.
Alma Alter and Sofia University ‘St. Klimet Ohridski’ warmly welcome you in this house where knowledge and art go hand in hand, because knowledge is power, but only art makes the human being complete.