Site Specific Theatre Workshop Week 6
Responding to participants’ requests and desire to go beyond a studio space, and to be able to improvise with more ‘real’ stimuli, we decided to host the workshop in public, precisely in the underground passage near Dogenzaka, Shibuya.
This opened so many opportunities to our improvisation work, which we have been developing over the few weeks. First of all, the quality, atmosphere, architecture, history of the space adds a whole new dynamic to our improv performance. Before we started improvisation work, we discussed about the social significance, its potential figurative/metamorphical meaning, and its literal use of this underground pathway. We also discussed about each of our personal experience walking through this public space paying close attention to the general feeling we experienced from it. Due to its long and narrow structure of the space, our performance was mainly based on walking through it, varying speed and tempo, as we took great care in how we pass by other people. A few of the participants remarked about the ‘creepy-ness’ and the eerie feeling we get when we walk through the underground pathway especially when we hear footsteps behind us. When we are walking in the street, we don’t care much about passing by other people, but in a narrow claustrophobic site like this, we are more aware of the people who pass by. We change the way we walk. There is even a slight feeling of awkwardness. We expanded on this personal response to the site and created a performance of it.
The physical work that we did in the space was mainly inspired by a German post-modern dancer/choreographer, Pina Bausch. The feeling of awkwardness and eerie feeling was translated through Bausch’s practical exercises that attempts to get to the essence of the feelingin a form of a succession of images. We tried to follow her motto: ‘Rather than showing how you feel, help me feel it’ (Pina Bausch: Roy Clemenga.) However, unlike Pina’s company, we did not have a set audience, so we tried expressing our images to each other and we mixed and combined these images, and hopefully, a random pedestrian will find this collective of image, somewhat reminiscent of how he/she once felt walking alone in this narrow tunnel in middle of chaotic city.
Another huge aspect that cannot be experienced in a studio is the presence of the public, ‘passing through our performance’, as an ‘audience’ and ‘site’ itself. In the beginning, as most of them have never experienced this type of performance, the participants were very worried how the pedestrian would react to them, how that would affect their confidence. However, as we started the workshop with a general walking exercise, the participants got used to the strange looks from the public and started enjoying the dynamics of influencing/communicating to the random pedestrians, happening to pass by our enthusiastic game of Daruma san ga koronda (What’s the time Mr. Wolf). This was a good way for the participants to work on their improvisation skills with their fellow performers as well as interacting with an involuntary random pedestrians. To our surprise, most of the Japanese pedestrians reacted amicably, despite being puzzled at first to see a very bizarre group of people doing very bizarre things in their usual pathway. This was the essence of a Happening Theatre, as we all discussed about works of Shuji Terayama in the 60s where he made a mixture of street, Happening, invisible, immersive, site-specific theatre performance in the city of Suginami, notoriously named “Knock’
脚本無し No Script
舞台公演場所未定 - No Venue
出演者未定 - No Cast
演出家＆脚本家完全参加型 - Open Class
可能性は無限大 - Possibility is absolutely infinite
構造的には Site Specific Theatre 特定現場劇 （選んだ場所から作品を作る、例えば放棄されている工場での作品）か Immersive Theatre 体験／没入型劇にチャレンジしたいと思います。両方取り入れる事も可能。
そして創作の前に必ず Actor Training 役者のための身体作り、コンディショニング、グループ感を上げるアンサンブルトレーニングも実行します。創作にあまり興味がない方も役者コンディショニングワークショップの参加だけも可能です。