Thursday, December 23, 2010

Enough to say



About the distance
to Paris, Saskatoon, Seoul &
Tokyo, whatever else,
it is enough to say it's far.

And the distance between
my love and me measured by
snowstorms and oil massages,
it is enough to say we're near.

We cannot see beyond
these worlds, pixels,
resolving
on flat white screens.
And because of our love
we have no other thought
than to sip this white wine.

- See: Personal Poetry Korean

:: note :: ... apologies to Twentieth-century Korean poet Pak Chaesam (1933-1997, also transliterated as Pak Jae-Sam) & poem Enough to Say It's Far ... good to have my love at home ...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

to link or not to link

Social networking is useful, imho, as a way to share links. I use Twitter almost exclusively for sharing. Excellent link-sharing tool.

Blogging is my way to explore writing. Before Twitter & FB I did use a blog for sharing links. Rarely now. Most aren't that interested in other people's experiments. Most of the time i don't anticipate misunderstandings and hardly self-edit. Result are comments in FB that are contentious or I misunderstand. So I question linking blog to FB/Twitter. My blog is primarily a halfalogue.

- See: Personal

:: note :: ... won't link this to social networking ... apologies to dave winer ...

Friday, December 17, 2010

trout mask replica

It is 2010, just after the leak.
Am I here that I am reduced
located inside the backspace &
I need your trout mask. You will find
me south of the snow drift, where
the trees collect hoarfrost especially
at night, where wind and cold rub
the edges. We burn memories to shape
one another; to stay the icefall that
it not shatter toe slope wells. We are
running out of shamanic time, pitch fork
and axe. Rattles stuffed in the willow
bowed roof and whistle lies wet with no
breath. We should be singing to one another,
grease and cedar. We should be fire,
rock and steam. We should be still,
or at least, bearing pain. Be in the
fourth round of thanks. The light
invisible except to the elder. We
will be whited out. Early tailings of
nothing behind the fence. One howls, screams.
No, we must first be fire. Be kindling. Be wood
Be embers.

- See: Writings Poetry

:: note :: ... an evening at Wanuskawin ... ramblings, riff raff ...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

SNTC survival

It was fun eavesdropping on the Temple rehearsals of Luff Actually directed by Curtis Peeteetuce. Simply a wall away I would often catch myself guffawing over the lines. To finally see the wonderful farce in performance was a joy. More joy was watching Lacey Eninew & Aaron Shingoose, actors I had taught as students. Seeing them move on in the theatre world is rewarding. Catch an excerpt on YouTube or read about it in Plenty of laughter and love in 'A Rez Christmas Story' By Andréa Ledding Sage Writer Saskatoon. ’

Also attended Drew Hayden Taylor's Toronto At Dreamer's Rock
produced by 4E Presentations from Saskatoon at Persephone Theatre's Youth Series with my high school students. Again to see students I previously taught was exciting. Lance LaRoque in particular has been forging a sustainable path in the theatre world. In fact all the artists of both productions where graduates of The Saskatoon Native Theatre Company (SNTC).

The importance of SNTC is indisputable and as a community we must rally to support the survival of this company.

- See: Theatre

:: note :: ... SNTC is looking for a new artistic director ... why I mark these events:
Things that have mattered emotionally, often for the quality of their pattern, their beauty, their emotional shape, things that are not necessarily traumas, lodge in the mind, becoming shadows until you sit at a desk and begin to work out a pattern of words and images and then they become substantial and they block the way of narrative progress until they are allowed onto the page, or they offer the narrative great body and substance until they become the secret subject of the book. - The artist’s reticence ...

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Skit Skit III


Skit Skit III (if you will) at Persephone Theatre's Backstage Stage December 2 - 5 created intense excitement for their March shows (for me at least) ...
"Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own"--Jonathan Swift
... not this company their cup runneth over as they ridicule their own foolishness with a disarming blend of humour, wit, nonsense, criticism, as well as some didactic intentions ... visit Facebook page to view some of the video clips: Mr. Groove, Tanorexia, School of Acting & more ...

... sketch comedy may sometimes be uneven ... not Skit Skit III ... the troupe (Ashton Francis, Tara Schoonbaert, Kristen Holfeuer, Ed Machete Mendez, Ashley Turner, Brent Mhic Pharthalain) tackles material with authority and a confidence that comes from experience and fearlessness ... to take time, endless time crossing the full length of the stage with gums flapping and crutch twitching or the sudden appearance of smashing Hulk (again and again) is a testament to brilliant pacing allowing us to simply enjoy the ride of vice & folly ...

... who needs New York Saturday Night Live ... add a celebrity Host: Henry Woolf and local musical guest: soso/Troy Gronsdahl & we have SasKatoon SKitSKit that easily challenges the rest of the best ...

... don't miss them both epic in scale and yet intimate in feel ...

- See: Review Theatre

:: note :: ... fyi: check the Twitter Hulks ...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Peer Gynt

Alison Croggon in her brilliantly informative blog : theatre notes - independent theatre reviews and commentary writes on Four Larks original adaptation of Ibsen's Peer Gynt ... maybe the strongest aspect of this company's theatre is its design..."

I was reminded of Greystone Theatre's own adaptation in March '10 ... here are Jim Guedo's directors notes ...

This is a contemporary take on the Norwegian classic.

Before writing the prose plays for which he would be universally acclaimed as the father of modern drama, Ibsen wrote one of the last great verse epics of the nineteenth century.

Based in part on Norwegian folk traditions, Peer Gynt is by turns comic, tragic, lyrical and fantastic. The play has been adapted to speak to contemporary audiences by replacing the 'folk tales' underpinnings [which spoke to audiences of his day] with modern pop culture references, which are ingrained in much the same manner in our minds. The original fluctuated between prose and verse; this has been updated to dialogue and song.

Peer Gynt, Ibsen's sprawling epic, ranges wildly across realms rustic, exotic and fantastic. A play about a man whose philosophy is to have no philosophy, Peer Gynt, a country bumpkin embarks on a series of adventures in the mundane and the metaphysical world. Ultimately, he realizes too late that in our world nobody can exist alone.

Though Ibsen himself regarded it as his play least likely to be understood outside of his country, it has become one of his most universal works. It is not an allegory, but a phantasmagoria that speaks on many levels.

As Ibsen himself wrote: "Everything that I have written is most minutely connected with what I have lived through, if not personally experienced; every new work has had for me the object of serving as a process of spiritual liberation and catharsis; for every man shares the responsibility and the guilt of the society to which he belongs. That was why I once inscribed in a copy of one of my books the following dedicatory lines:

To live is to war with trolls in heart and soul. To write is to sit in judgment on oneself."

Ibsen, in a letter to Ludwig Passarge, June 16, 1890

It's impossible for any translation of Peer Gynt to be entirely satisfactory. This one has not attempted rhymed verse, and has refused to be chained to verbal literalness or for' line for line' rendering. An attempt has been made to follow the shape of the original, in unrhymed verse, keeping as closely to the original's literal meaning as is compatible with intelligibility in another century and tongue. So its energy is modern; it's been updated, deconstructed and played with in order to be acted, not read as poetry. Ibsen wanted it fleet of foot, funny and audacious, That's the aim of this adaptation.

- Jim Guedo


... i would call the adaptation a mashup ... the show fuses contemporary pop culture, advertising aesthetic and tongue in cheek humour with epic symbolic imagery ... the language observes and locates the place of ancient religious symbolism and mythology into a world obsessed with capitalism, celebrity and marketing gimmicks ... Guedo created a culturally re-mixed piece incorporating conceptual links, visual and conceptual mixing of religious mythologies with his student's personal experience, pop culture and folklore( Norwegian Death Metal, Gold Top Milk & Buddha) ... and the staging was absolutely breath taking ... applauding his work he replied ... "Oh you liked the Ninjas at work" ... indeed the stage hands (students under the direction of Steven Wade) were invisible and magical ...

... i have always been obsessed with romanticised fables within religious history, exploring the enduring appeal of spirituality within our postmodern and largely secular society ... it was pure delight witnessing Peer Gynt ... so many associations are conjured between cult ritual, pop posing, mythical symbolism and advertising logos ... perhaps the power of the performance lies in the fact that the audience is left unsure whether Guedo is presenting a serious message or jokingly taking us for a ride ... a delightful ride it was ...

... one could quibble with the excessive length but even that was for the benefit of students to allow many of them to explore long monologues or give more breadth to minor roles ...

- See: Theater

:: note :: ... a stunning production ... many observations written by Croggon apply to this production by 3rd. & 4th year drama students ...

Friday, December 03, 2010

Movember


E.D. Feehan drama teacher Raymon Montalbetti loses it all Wednesday while participating in Movember charity festivitiesv
Photograph by: Greg Pender, The StarPhoenix, The StarPhoenix; with files from Postmedia News

E.D. Feehan High School Grade 11 student Taylor Arcand says she's thankful November is finally over.

Arcand sat near the back of the school's auditorium Tuesday laughing and wincing with the rest of the crowd as 14 mustachioed male students and staff paraded onstage.

"It's really weird. Guys with moustaches and beards are just ewww!" she said.

Fundraisers were held across North America last month, mostly to raise awareness for prostate cancer in a ritual that has become known as Movember. In Saskatoon, events were held at Louis' pub and other locations.

The Feehan event was in this spirit, although staff and students chose to raise funds for their year-long campaign for Pakistan flood victims instead.

Drama teacher Raymon Montalbetti sported a thick, red beard onstage and pledged to have it -- and his mane of curly hair -- shaved off for charity. His wife is studying in France, so he hasn't received any strange reactions from her, he said.

"But my mom gave me that silent, disapproving stare," he said with a laugh.

Read more: (expected to be linkrot soon)

- See: Personal

::note::... dyed my hair red in memory of younger sister Theresa who passed away at this time of year due to diabetes complications ... the event was a great spirit builder & lots of fun ...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Creative Drama Fall Session

Creative Drama Collective Tale:

Opens with the King (Morgan) and Evil Queen (Sonia) fighting, the Evil Queen hands the king a mask. The King takes it and then banishes her from the kingdom and throws the mask after her. End Scene.

Next: An old lady (Mary?) is walking along when all of a sudden a monster (Macy) attacks and captures her. While the monsters back is turned the old lady uses her magic to escape and attempts to run away. The monster sees her and a battle of magic begins between the two. The monster pushes the old women to the back of it's lair, when it seems the monster has won the old women grabs her cane and bashes the monster over the head. The monster falls down stunned, the old lady then uses her magic to remove the curse that has fallen on the monster. The monster wakes up and is transformed into a young girl. The old lady beckons the girl to follow her and the two begin their journey to the king by walking on water.

Meanwhile: The Evil Queen is bored and is playing with her servant, she tosses the mask and makes her servant bring it back. The Evil Queen then notices the Old Lady and Young girl on her river. She stops them and only lets them proceed when they take the mask and promise to bring it to the king. As they walk away the Evil Queen's servant tries to tell them something but is stopped by the Evil Queen. The Old Lady and Young Girl continue their journey until the end of the river where they stop to rest.

At the Kingdom: The princess goes to see her father to ask if she can Play with her 3 pet birds. Her father says no and sends her to her room, the princess runs away crying. The Princess best Friend gets up and is soon called by the king, she goes to him and he banishes her before she even gets the chance to bow. The girl runs away crying into the forest, where she is stabbed and killed by one of the Kings men. She lets out a terrifying scream as she dies.
The Princess hears her friend scream, she calls her birds and they go off running to the forest. They find her dead friend, the princess then uses her powers to bring her back to life. The girl and Princess run back to the castle while the birds shortly follow.

The Old lady and Young Girl then continue their journey to the king. They are greeted by the princess who presents them to the king. They present the king the mask and leave to the woods, he slowly puts it on and the second he does a change happens over the kingdom. The birds begin to fly anxiously, the princess runs to hide, and the king begins to change. The birds drop to the ground, lifeless.

Suddenly the Evil Queen's servant appears, she calms down the king and removes the mask. As soon as she has it she runs away and the Kings hands shoot to his face. The Princess comes from hiding, she calls her best friend and the birds back to life. The Old Lady and Young Girl follow the Princess, her friend, and the 5 birds to confront the Evil Queen. They strike her down with the help of her servant.

In Celebration of the Evil Queens defeat Everyone dances around the Princess.

The End

- See: Creative Drama, TheatreWork, Collaoration

:: note :: ... Recorded by Tara Desroches November 5, 2010 ... story developed by approx. 21 children in the fall community creative drama sessions conducted at Cardinal Leger School ... assistants Tara & Stefan ... this has been the second session of a energy generating experience ...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sleeper Awake


The Sleeper Awake

A Tale from 1001 Nights Adapted by Paul Sills
Cast
Caliph ….. Sage Chartrand
Abu ….. Ashley Zuniga
Slave ….. Crissy Tamosiunis
Singer ….. Kaitlyn Ledene
Mother ..... Larissa St. Onge

Sleeper Awake was presented to all our Feeder Schools in the month of October. We thank the Grade 3/4/5/6 classes of St. Edward, St. Goretti, St. John, St. Mary & St. Michael for their wonderful hospitality.

- See: Theater, Plays, Teens

:: note :: ... presented in Story Theatre style the players narrate their actions and create props by way of shaping & handling the space ... a special group of teens performing a valuable service ... it was our intention to increase awareness of the beautiful Islamic literary tradition ... it seemed to work ...

Monday, September 06, 2010

how many times

… how many times does your father have to die in your dreams?

… a couple of days ago I awoke in heart beating terror from a night dream … had been the front seat passenger in a car driven by my father … we were in a foreign, futuristic metropolis navigating endless freeways … had stopped at an intersection ... car ahead turning left … we waited till an opening finally came and he turned but we did not move … the light turned red … annoyed and bored I stared out the side window at concrete and cars … the light changed and still we remained motionless … turned to see my father slumped dead face up on the steering wheel … the face last seen in the casket many years ago …

… I awoke …

… this was not the first time dreamt of his death after his death …

… once before years ago … was leaving an Italian restaurant of my early youth when saw my father crossing the street … impossible I thought he's passed away … but it was him ... chased after the figure … he crossed the street into an oncoming truck and was killed instantly …

… I awoke …

… have dreamt of him often in situations where he doesn't die … yet how many deaths does it take?

- See: Writings Personal

::note::... impelled to write by White Apples by Donald Hall ... first line:
when my father had been dead a week

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

such sweet music

… a summer bracketed by Shakespeare … in early July attended Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan The Merchant of Venice performed by a seasoned cast of professionals in their large billowing white mainstage tent on the riverbank site … late August, the youthful Abridged City Players presented Romeo and Juliet on the small proscenium stage in the Father O'Donnell Auditorium of St. Thomas More College on the University of Saskatchewan Campus ...

… both companies, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan celebrating their 26th season and Abridged City Players with their 3rd annual Shakespeare summer production, first and foremost embrace clear, crisp language to create the scenography sharing these epic tales of the excessive character of love and revenge where interaction is driven by desires that overshadow all logic … both productions had hunger, urgency & were energy based …

… the evening in the tent packed with a sold out audience of 282 was occasionally overwhelmed by electrical storms which burst uncontrollably from time to time mirroring how we are not conditioned to weather these electrical brain storms of certain deeply wired racist reaction patterns … contrast the intimate audience of 31 in an auditorium … the hallowed silence penetratingly mediates the inner space of our familial relationships where love or lack of is experienced …

… each production had its unique visual brilliance … Merchant of Venice on the careful, detailed 1940's costuming of Beverly Kobelsky & Teri Morgan's R&J stage design where shooting star bolts of white scrim fell with every perilous portent and red scrim falling on every death …

… the emotional violence of each play shudders throughout … Catherine Harrison/Saleria spits contemptuously into Shylock's yarmulke … Grahame Kent/Capulet boorishly clenches and wrenches wife, daughter & nurse to submission … yet the shocking brutal climaxes are Henry Woolf /Shylock rushing to plunge his knife into the flesh of Ralph Blankenagel/Antonio, insanely exacting his pound & Stefan Montalbetti/Romeo viciously pummels Andrew Taylor/Tybalt insanely exacting his revenge …

… the delightful comedic performances of Joshua Beaudry/Clown Gobbo & Alana Pancyr/Nurse allow precious breath and pause to arrest attention on the deep poignancy of Jamie Lee Shebelski/Shylock's daughter caught in rueful reverie moments before the end and Danielle Spilchen/Juliet whose immensely tender journey of innocence to rash tragedy is compelling …

... each director was contentiously bold ... Mark von Eschen adds a final image of Shylock dragged in by SS uniformed soldiers … Shylock a black and grey striped, bewildered prisoner of the concentration camps ... slight, frail of frame, hollowed cheeks ... the timeless flow stops haunted by the Holocaust ... a long, bleak shadow demands the complete re-framing of all that has transpired ... we are in the spoken & unspoken underbelly of the whole history of The Merchant of Venice ... Charlie Peters in Romeo & Juliet melds a character named chorus ... a single, ever present changeling with intimations of coryphaeus ... Bethani Jade/Chorus recites prologue, plays prince, page, apothecary ... her vision moves beside, lifts souls silently with physical gesture … reveals the hidden cords which move the progress of events ... cautioning us to go warily ... steadies "katharsis" and sympathy ... these directorial craftings are the pinnacle of artistic creation when inventiveness emerges as if by itself ... fused with knowledge ...

… what had so stirred me in these two summer productions … the ensemble of energies … the rise & fall of emotions cascading & rescinding duelling soft & stormy, harmonious & discordant, distinct & overlapping … it was music … the rhythm & play of Shakespearian language, centuries away from the everyday acts in the same abstract way as music … to precisely pin down meaning is meaningless / to make complete sense is senseless … the characters alive & unpredictable when played with unabashed freedom yet disciplined to text sing textures of the human spirit … the young cast of Romeo & Juliet interweaving enthusiasm & zest wove an exuberant fresh remix of a spoken word hymn … the veterans of Merchant of Venice delivered an anthem with strength and authority …

… yes what had stirred me was the dynamic ensemble … the communities of 12 actors and the many designers & technicians layered upon one another within which and out of which people become/making themselves … a potent, active exchange that enables (creates) people … this is the image of creativity & herein lies the 'aura' of text based theatre …

… the vitality of an eighty year old Henry Woolf who speaks the words as if for the first time & whose presence has the freshness of youth … the twenty-five year old Jacob Yawarski/Friar whose tongue wraps around the words as of an actor speaking them from eighty years of confidentiality … the brilliance of Shakespeare plays … there is something authentically hopeful when we participate in the multitude of exchanges where we trust in one another to make a contribution, and we pledge ourselves to honour their contribution even if it wasn't the one we'd anticipated … where this friendship can lead to radical new ways of seeing …

… somewhat fortuitously was reading Ashley Kahn's book A Love Supreme/The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album … first purchased on vinyl over forty years ago now listened to digitalized … there was the articulation of what I was experiencing … actors laying down a line … responding to the phrasing … freely repeating motifs startling in their impromptu originality … lyrical … modulations … voicing in minor keys … melodic runs & harmonic emotional leaps twisting and frenetic toward heated summits … a sympathetic sonic blur … great text based theatre allows feeling riffs on great themes … the stuff that sticks with us are the pieces that say what few have the nerve, imagination, or critical vocabulary to voice spiritually ...

… as my son wrote on his Facebook page … "It's been an amazing summer with you man! I hope we meet again some day but if not I will never forget you! Take care! For the final time ... *** Exeunt: Bromeo ***"

- See: Theater Personal

::note::... want to write more but can't … just thanks to all the great artists …

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Louie Louie

have you ever gone
downstairs to a place

where vinyl & plastic
steel strings & code
surrender
to electric
feedback storyland soul

where a single mosquito
buzz thirsty resides

skillful & deft
heart in his ears
listening
for blood
pulsing warm beat

i have & i tell you
lifelines are sweet

the delight is gentle
the bliss & joy
bites
chord memories
ghostly future past

am going downstairs
before winter snows

blind grateful hope
restless & old
embracing
eternal comfort
most affectionate friend

play again & again & again ……… Louie Louie ……. amen.

- See: Writings Personal

::note::... each year we meet twice at most ... 25 years ago we met everyday a classroom away ... still the most creative musical educator anyone could meet ... thanks for the afternoon ... take them away jc ...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

no place

no place on earth
doomed temple vexing
the water stain islands
on carpet of green
prophesying ruin

random flakes drop from the cracked ceiling tracking decay

on the right
a row of windows
frame intimate gold twilight
concerning least of all
the late night pillar rope pull

all seek consolation in this summer repeating words of romeo


- See: Writings

::note::... summer of perpetual yearning ...

no place

no place on earth
doomed temple vexing
the water stain islands
on carpet of green
prophesying ruin

random flakes drop from the cracked ceiling tracking decay

on the right
a row of windows
frame intimate gold twilight
concerning least of all
the late night pillar rope pull

all seek consolation in this summer repeating words of romeo


Sunday, July 25, 2010

the faceless socialist


the faceless socialist
by stefan montalbetti
july'10
Uploaded by raYmon
"the faceless socialist'

is not faceless

the face is not blacked out but whitened out, it is in fact the face which boldly demands attention … a distinctive etched face, ghost-like obliterated, beckons behind the white mask of this agrarian worker behind what? A plough, a gate, a tombstone … holding what in the left hand? A pitchfork, a flag, a spear … a prophet's staff ...

are those fences? Flowing fences where the lone figure poses battle-ready protecting the furrowed earth … one-armed, one-eared, one-buttoned, half-rolled sleeve, the half-known icon, not full frontal, not fenced in, angled … resting, watching, waiting, retreating …

he … though slightly showing … eyeless, mouthless & legless … sees, speaks & stands in the tradition of brothers and sisters proud, strong & free … there is no balance, no justice, no reparation … no thing can heal the outrage done to …

the not faceless


- See: Writings, Art

::note:: ... my son gifted me this and another "father Gray" a couple of days ago ... brought it over with a meal he had made & some beer ... he's taking a summer print-making art class towards completion of a history degree & this summer he plays Romeo in a student R&J production ... i admire his intuitive powers ...

Friday, July 16, 2010

if only i feared

if only i feared death
the sky would not darken
if i had no word
the grass would brown
if i had thistles in my mouth
the wind blown seeds would land
if i had freedom in my heart
the great flood would not come
if i opened my eyes
the sky would darken

- See: Writings

:: note :: ... nothing to note ...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mortgaged Time


Korean East Coast
Originally uploaded by raYmon

The ocean water, one thousand and eight eyed,
opens its lids of white foam
to axe you, wide and deep
sixty years long.

fall my heart, from the temple of time
fall, you blossoms, from rain drenched branches
fall, as tears fall from the widened eye

Dark words, harder days are coming
where Korea's sky blackens the earth,
it's wounded tiger seeks a cave for its hate
handing you the monks bowl of rice water.

A handful of pain is lost in the sunken ships.
Only hope cowers blinded by the flame
Where Korea's earth blackens the sky,
a hand looks for solace and fills the plaza with yearning.

Before winter hears the call through the first sun
the unspeakable, said softly, steals over the land.


Korean East Coast

- See: Writings

::note:: ... the first anniversary of my visit to Korea ... an Ingeborg Bachmann In the Storm of Roses mashup ...

Monday, June 28, 2010

fall down

"They have given us war and we are going to give them war back."

Who doubts a worse world may fall down.
Together, not out of cowardice, nor provocation
with tears carving the cheek as if a funeral,
as if extinguished, whether at protests or among prisoners.
The hooded, the convergence and those who lowered their visors,
hoisted their shields dare. Isolated islands in the Han river dream
leaders and visitors will not return to dream armament.
Bear witness, for a moment, fear and force stopped.

- See: Writings

:: note :: ... attempting to see what cannot be seen ... how can one make any sense of Toronto & g20 ... too much was seen ...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Performance


Performance
Originally uploaded by raYmon
Performance disappears in the moment of its manifestation.
It is an expression of the potentiality of the past and of the way the past can shape the creative impulses and imaginative landscape of the present.
Performance is a restless visibility of imagination and embodies the invisible intensity for the sudden, epiphanic emergence of the genuinely unplanned unknown.
Performance sculpts space creating temporary bursts of ‘now’-ness inside a form constantly vanishing.
Performance negotiates action with breath, blood, bone & mind in fields structured by desire, power, gender, identity, narrative and memory in ways consciously deep & with nuanced understanding.
Performance dreams wakefulness.

- See: Writings Theater

:: note :: ... what is performance? ...

Monday, June 07, 2010

Zygmunt Molik


Received e-mail this afternoon
Dear colleagues: As many of you will have worked with him and many others will know much about him, this is just to let you know the sad news that Zygmunt Molik died last night at 6 pm in Wroclaw hospital.
... checked the The Grotowski Institute ... the words confirmed ... I had been told he had been bed ridden this past while and even last week had dreamt of a passing ... still for a moment time eternal stopped ... why must we suffer losses?
"The secret lies in the voice, sound as whole and pure as it’s possible. Its essence is to release and awake the middle part of the body. Different parts of the body are very often separated: the head is separated, the legs… We are blocked. As a result of combining vocal and body excersises we reach the point, where the whole organism is active in speaking and singing." (Zygmunt Molik)


... Zygmunt Molik's Voice and Body Work the Leagacy of Jerzy Grotowski was published eight days ago ... thirty five years ago (1975) during the University for the Exploration of a Theatre of Nations organized by Grotowski and the Laboratory Theatre I attended a session called Acting Therapy ... my movement from desire to practical research began at that moment ... a cultural, raison d'être explosion ... from Wroclaw, Vienna, Venice, to Toronto opportunities came to work with this master of wry humour and deliberate understatement ...

... once while I attempted a profound explanation of the voice/text I was exploring he responded: "I know nothing of that but please tilt your head to the side" ... he was right ... an oracle that confounded and comforted ... from then on, as much as my tendency was towards the sacred & holy, he urged the work to be deeply practical ... his gaze scrutinized your work with a dense silence belying the impish sparkle just beneath the calm, reserved exterior ... the precious few things I pass on came from him ... his was a gentle soul compressed into total concentration ... I know not where he now voices but for the time being I will tilt my head to the side & quietly honour his departed presence ...

... I will in each breath inhale the many hundred particles of his vibrational wisdom that will eventually be a new inch of topsoil & wash into the textwork ocean ... on a shore eight thousand waves break a day ... that is how we suffer loss ...

- See: Memorium

:: note :: ... he was my teacher/guide ... cannot miss him for he lives within me ... my wife shared a story of after watching him smoke at every workshop break only to search for foil or empty bottle or whatever to dispose of the butts she gifted him a simple ashtray ... he lovingly treasured the gift, washing it each day ... his foot was as light as that of a four-year-old ... my lasting image is him sprawled in a corner of the old work studio at Sonnenfelsgasse with eyes closed listening intently to the work & smiling ...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stoon West Powwow


Saskatoon West Intertribal Powwow “The Gathering of Communities”

9:15am Drum Roll Call
Dignitary Line-up
Opening Prayer and Drum Song

9:30am Grand Entry
Flag Song
Victory Song
Student Welcome Speeches
Introductions
Dignitary Shuffle and Round Dance
Intertribal Songs (Drum Contest to Begin)

10:30 Tiny Tot (ages up to 5) Exhibition
Intertribal Songs

11:00 Elementary School Exhibition
Intertribal Songs

Noon Giveaway
Honor Ceremony
Métis Fiddling- Dallas and Phil Boyer
Métis Jigging Contest (youth and adult)

1:00 High School Exhibition
Intertribal Songs

2:00 Adult Dance Specials
Drum Contest Announcements

3:00 Grand Exit
Dance Out of Eagle Staff and Flags


- Photo Jade Henderson


- See: Personal

:: note :: ... students danced the day away ... out of respect not a picture of the dancers but a moment during the day of the community ...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sound Mind - A Classical Music Blog



Ileana Montalbetti as Elettra in Canadian Opera Company performance of Mozart's Idomeneo.
(Photo Michael Cooper)
Last night, members of the Canadian Opera Company's Ensemble Studio -- an apprenticeship program for promising young singers and accompanists -- took over the non-chorus cast of the current production of Mozart's Idomeneo.

An announcement over the PA system said that last night was the result of 7 weeks of intensive work. It's labour that paid off, because everything on stage appeared to work as smoothly and seamlessly as with the professional cast on opening night two weeks ago.

In reality, the Ensemble Studio singers were already heavily involved in the production. Last night, several of them merely exchanged their roles for something more significant. If there were more than one performance with the Ensemble cast, I would have recommended it as highly as the original.

Although everyone's singing was fine, there were two particular stars on the stage last night: soprano Ileana Montalbetti, as Elettra, and tenor Michael Colvin, who traded his role of Arbace in the regular run for a chance to sing the title character.

Montalbetti is ready for a great career. Period. Her voice rings, her breath support is flawless, she can turn an elegant phrase and she has dramatic ability.

via Star Blog

:: note :: ... been her dream since three years old ... make it real Ily ...


Saturday, May 01, 2010

MayWorks



"The festival strives to bring together many divergent groups: artists, social movements, community groups, organized labour and non-unionized workers to work together to support each other’s struggles and issues. We believe in using the arts to do this."(MayWorks)


- See: Politics

:: note :: ... sadly a day full of apathy where i am ...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

a situation

listen
hear the rain
see a thousand dead umbrellas
frame drowsy past hero inspirations
crave the heart of hearts fake ideology
retrieve snapshots of blurry nervous love
kill a squalling homage to my flawed adult self
sing sarcastically the edge of haves and the have not
regret the worst kind of emotional mediocre promise
bite little everyday paranoia lurking just below
turn to extreme dark dirgey lyric mixes
negotiate a kind of tribal throbbing
mute the sigh to somehow lusher
embrace the latest buzz
use your discretion
resist fragments
marginalize

- See: Poetry

:: note :: ... april is the cruelest month ... Everywhere I go, I find a poet has been there before me. (Sigmund Freud) ...

Monday, April 05, 2010

9.

If I slip now
If my tongue is brash
If my thoughts betray
If my feet numb
If I fall
If my tongue
If the shell cracks
If our knees touch
If words fail
If our eyes meet
If my heart softens
If the sun
If tongue
If word
If numb
If heart skin tongue word embrace

Fall

I will deny it all

(from Slip. Poems by Sina Queyras)


- See: Writers Poetry

:: note :: ... reading this while writing previous post ... they were (to me) connected ...

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Drowning in what is there

"When someone is following the stream of transformation energy, doing it - performing - with the ancient vibratory songs, the resonators in the body can begin a very complex dialogue with themselves. A dialogue which is not at all guided consciously by the doer but led more by the "inner action" itself."(Thomas Richards Interviewer: Lisa Wolford. The Edge-Point of Performance)

Bent Out of Shape Productions' The Drowning Girls recent Saskatoon performances March 24 - April 5 at Backstage Stage Persephone Theater surfaced a thought frenzy that always lays close to the surface. What do I witness in a performance?

Daniela Vlaskalic, co-writer, actor and co-producer has stated "... we all ended up writing and creating the play together. That was 1999." The ten year journey has been mostly lauded throughout as hugely entertaining and visually mesmerizing with positively sparkling comments. "From conception to execution and performance, all the elements are gloriously realized." Some voices questioned the "Style in fact, totally triumphs over potentially deadly serious substance." & a script where "Unfortunately, there is no tension." Still clearly the function of enjoyment & fun is, as Helen Shaw writes on Upstaged, well ... important.

At the opening sold out performance the audience rose to its feet with an enthusiastic ovation. There was no denying the clean, clever imaginative action. The splashing, dripping, showering and drenching water was indeed the fourth character driving the gulping, spraying and breathless rhythm while both concealing and revealing the wedding dresses, viels, blue bouquets and newspaper props of play. The three white porcelain claw-footed tubs with functioning shower-heads gleamed stoically, silently & threateningly not only a murder object but more a metaphor for the historically rooted husband George Joseph Smith who was eventually hanged for the murders of the seven women he married, three of which he drowned in a bathtub.

Beth Graham and Natascha Girgis joined Vlaskalic with bold, confident and studied, sometimes stylized and other times poetic, eloquent movements. They flowed through the dark narrative, vaudevillian sketches and poses of women perched at the close of the Edwardian era with careful distance. Their delivery dazzled whether ironic church hymn singing (wish I knew the song for the middle aged couple next to me chuckled knowingly), mocking Scots brogue or court room antics. Their speech though earnest resonated with good humor. The lighting designed by Narda McCarroll was a counterpoint to the wild water ruthlessly sharp and precise pinning the actors to the black and white tiled stage floor. Often the spot and cross lighting exposed the vulnerable women caught in the social mores of the day yet eerily still contemporary.

What I experienced was a collaboration of artists fully engaged in smart, open-minded theatrical creativity. I felt an empowerment which explored an unwritten story of victim. The point I wish to examine is what did I witness.

Once I believed theatre was carved on body memory in the tangible space between actor & audience. That esoteric, strange and complicatedly compelling space where energy is exchanged. The invisible space within and without.
"Normally in theatre (that is to say, in theatre of performance, in Art as presentation), one works on the vision that should appear in the perception of the spectator. If all of the elements of the performance are elaborated and correctly assembled (the montage), an effect appears in the perception of the spectator, a vision, a certain story; to some degree the performance appears not on the stage but in the perception of the spectator. This is the nature of Art as presentation. At the other extremity of the long chain of the performing arts is Art as vehicle, which looks to create the montage not in the perception of the spectators, but in the artists who do. This has already existed in the past, in the ancient Mysteries." (From the Theatre Company to Art as Vehicle Jerzy Grotowski in At Work with Grotowski on Physical Actions. p. 120)

Now I witness energy transformation in artists themselves. A quality of active receptivity in the singingness and dancingness which allows a play-force. I witness a state of body resistance cultivating a flexible and empty acceptance to be a channel open to encounter. I witness the capacity to play in the conjunction between the rigors of all the raw material elements of craft and the flow of spontaneity. This happen stance occurs in an informal and discreet way. I witness how it rewrites my subjectivity and how it kicks my ass with its transformative power. I witness an uncontrollable quality.

In The Drowning Girls I witnessed a solid quality of a seeing what is there - controlled presentation fostering ultimately predictable effects.

- See: Theater


:: note :: ... whatever the performance opening up cannot be over calculated ... beg to open ... let dreaming adrift ... release wanting ... release expectation ... who knows how we experience ... open the soul and journey in a heartbeat ... cartoons found at Mimi and Eunice drawn by Nina Paley ...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

performing Thompson

The beginning of March offered Saskatoon audiences a rare sighting of two productions of plays by Judith Thompson. Recognized by some, “as one of the major playwrights in the English-speaking world ...", her profoundly dark and disturbing visions present challenges to mainstream companies. It is not surprising then both plays were performed by what may be described as outlier ensembles.

White Line Productions performed The Crackwalker at The Remai Arts Centre's BackStage Stage and Goat Songs Theatre performed Lion in the Streets at The Refinery Arts and Spirit Centre. Director Kristen Holfeuer assembled her Crackwalker cast from the creative firepower of recent University of Saskatchewan Drama Department graduates while Bethani Jade directed her young, fearless group of high-school and current university students in the fragmented and disruptive narrative Lion in the Streets. Does it really take gender to recognize the common condition of oppression with the will to powerfully confront that oppression? Or is it simply coincidence playwright and directors are female?

Seen together the performances complement each other. The actors Scott Gould, Alan Long, Aaron Naytowhow, Cherillyn Porter & Tara Schoonbaert unleashed studied, controlled and carefully crafted portrayals. Saija Shearer, Jeanine Thrasher, Charlie Peters, Danika Stecler, Alana Pancyr and Tristan Hills twisted and turned in the precarious and reckless types stretched beyond limits. All actors committed themselves with exhaustive energy and an undeniable nightmarish passionate journey of self-destruction accessing emancipation through self-construction. The Man in The Crackwalker daringly hinted & hovered beyond metaphor just as the child/youth Isobel vibrated in dreaming reality. One can only imagine the strength of purpose stage managers Cady Groat & Erin Crowley maintained during the harrowing rehearsal passage.

The simplicity of space and sound design whether a couch or pew or natural sounds or Soso songs or Johnny Cash NIN cover allowed the gritty & raw text to play with its richly layered poetics.

Seen together the text and images of psychological, sexual and physical violence assault the senses. Thompson has written on the role her epilepsy played in shaping her work:
"My seizures were horrifying, but I had so few that I think it's helped me as a writer. To be an artist, you have to have some of the advantages of being an insider and you also need the disadvantages of being an outsider. I've been marginalized by that, and I'm grateful to have suffered through it because, if you get through it, it can be a gift if you've also had the advantages I've had." (Behind the Mask)

Seen together the complex, risky emotional territory of Thompson's characters who so desperately seek love and Grace in the cruel and hateful terrain invite serious "work".
"Once you're in your late twenties and thirties if you don't do serious work on who you are, if you don't acknowledge and meet fatality, then there is such damage that can be done. You have to really work. You have to think and work on yourself." (Judith Thompson Interview by Judith Rudakoff in Fair play: 12 women speak: conversations with Canadian playwrights )

There can be found the outlier ensembles. Artists taking the courage to dig around - to dig around at their community, their family & their generation in all its economic/class splendour and to explore how strong the connection is between culture and the crashes. Kristen Holfeuer when asked what she had learned from her work answered: "To trust my instincts more."

Praise all outlier ensembles and to the mainstream & "indie" companies please take notice. Be brave. Strive for excellence. Reinvest in the daring experiment called theatre. Find the Monster.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Alterati Manifesto

Alterati –
The Other Culture

"This is a statement, not an appeal.
Most great art movements, like surrealism, dada, or situationism all started with a manifesto, a statement of position.
Here is our position:

We are already here.
The proscenium has been breached, disbanded and dismantled.
Information networks span the globe, and cultures, ideas, and realities are converging and being redefined minute-by-minute.
This revolution will not be broadcast, although it may be televised, on demand, portable and configurable — but it will be your choice.
Possibly, it will be your creation.
Remember the Future of “no future”?
Well, this is it.
That’s not a statement of doom.
It’s an expression of freedom.
Kill your clocks, burn your calendars, and hang out.
Alterati has built the platform. All you need do is show up."

Alterati

- See: Manifesto

:: note :: ... love a manifesto ...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lunar New Year






Passing on to All

New Year greetings
from Monk Dae Yo
Hwa Eom Sa
The 19th Branch Temple of Korean Buddhist Chogye Order

눈이 많이 오고 강추위도 잦았던
겨울이 지금도 기성을 부리네요

화엄사 향기님들 모두 평안하시지요

기축년이 어느덧 가고

경인년 신년이 시작이면서
민족 고유의 명절인 설날이 오네요

올해는 연휴가 짧아
고향에 머무시는 시간도 많지 않고
혹여 길이 막히지 않을까 싶은데
느긋한 마음으로 안전운전 하셔서
무사무탈하게 잘 다녀오세요

복 많이 지으시고 평안하시길 바랍니다

♬까치까치 설날은 ♬

♬ ♬ Magpie Magpie New Year is ♬ ♬

- See: Temple

:: note :: ... received this e-mail greeting ... the Temple Stay this summer was an emotional experience & Monk Dae Yo was an inspiring, generous, kind & benevolent director whose smile attracted compassion within all ...

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Sea Creature



The sea creature lurked silently at the bottom of the ocean. Mermaids played skipping games making bubbles outside their magic shell. Suddenly a splash sounds above them. Two Haenyo, skilled women divers who are known to be able to hold their breath for more than two minutes and dive to depths of 20 meters start their day foraging the ocean floor for octopus, abalone, sea urchins, sea slugs, cucumber and seaweed.

The sea creature curiously approaches the divers. They panic fearing an attack & call for help. A passing fisherman hauls the divers onto his boat and spears the sea creature. Mortally wounded the creature falls to the bottom of the ocean.

The mermaids mourn the loss of their companion & protector. They dance over him calling on spirits to bring the creature back to life. Joyously they succeed. Swimming to the boat they summon the divers coaxing them to climb on the creatures back. Together they are carried to the shell kingdom where the mermaids gift the divers with the drum of the ocean.

The divers return to shore. The mermaids realizing the divers had forgotten the drum stick swim and toss the stick to shore but as they swim away they get tangled in the fisherman's net. The sea creature hearing their plight swims to their rescue cutting the net & freeing the mermaids.

At that moment the magic drum sounds and all dance in celebration for harmony on earth & in the waters.

- See: Creative Drama

:: note :: ... story developed by the creative drama team @ Cardinal Leger School during the second session of community classes ... that night eight students between the ages of 8 - 12 ...

Sunday, February 07, 2010

due course

The eternities went
for his reveries and deeper

The blaze of intention
The dream lifeline design
Trekking introspection

Excavating the gap

At the abyss
the underly totem runes
buried again buried again shock

:: note :: ... a response to the night ...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Parcours

Live the Question
Becoming the answer

The journey I trace
The impulse I follow
The loneliness I assume

Reveals the way I am

In the silence I listen
to the forgotten question
Remembering to learn my way.

- ae ran
(Transliteration of Parcours by raymon)

:: note :: ... written for an acting course ...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

harrison & josipovici

... listening to Ted Harrison interview on The Next Chapter he explains ... simplify the shapes & add more colour ... gradually the colour takes over ... the colour was a discovery ...

... strikes me Gabriel Josipovici follows this aesthetic in his novels I've recently read: conversations in another Room & Everything Passes ...

... in the theatre render the action & deepen concentration ... wonder on the pedagogical application ...

- See: ArtistsSpeak

:: note :: ... ? ...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

66 events


66 Events


#six_events in 2008 was performed by hundreds in 29 countries across the globe over 6 days
#sixty_six_events is over a full 24 hour period and can be performed by anyone, anywhere.
#freely interpret and perform any number of the 66 events within the given time
#document your actions and send to info@sixtysixevents.com
(Crg Hill's poetry scorecard)

- See: events

:: note :: ... missed it ... next year? ...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

simply be faithful

what theatre really is or princesses of the new moon
they form a gentle circle on a darkened stage listening

faces so seriously still desiring this ones gift &
that ones voice they await the tone which releases them into the wild

lights fade, seats empty, doors open as the future slides in.

you'd think I'd tire of this endless seasonal come & go
experience is brutal, generous & expansive
a worthy loss.

simply be faithful to the eternal visionary tradition of unovertakeable,tender loss.


:: note :: ... end of term ...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

why write reviews

I am wary of performance and attend when obligated yet often am aroused to write.

I prefer description supported by action. I go looking, searching, asking, questioning, reacting to data, leaping in, constructing notes to [re]act on my responses instead of contemplating on them. I dislike a cursory summary of the narrative action and shy from offering judgemental impressions. I prefer to present details, referencing examples to illustrate an assembling attention. I try to situate the work within the context of the oeuvre of the playwright/director/ensemble or whatever seems appropriate: a close reading of content, form and working procedures, historical and biographical tidbits, the canonical vocabulary of theory, innovation or stated intention.

I require an intelligence of feeling and academic rigour parallel with associative linking to create a complexity that blurs serious and playful thinking. My wish is to stimulate questions that encourage a working manifesto for all types of practitioners. I look for a tone of passionate detachment infused with provocations. I value wit and insight. I recognize my knowledge is fragile, my certainty about anything has decreased and embrace the liquidity of reflection.

As theatre is one of the many "rivers" of culture I write about theatre to swim in its currents. I confess a huge reliance on the vast writings of others from diverse fields and hope my [re]views stimulate engagement on performance work.

Hope to meet you at a performance.

:: note :: ... part of a series of fragments on self ...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

self narrative

What are the artistic processes of performance & how to articulate how I witness the uncapturable in performance practice are questions that guide my exploration. I meditate on them from the vantage point of my own self-narrative, as a performance practitioner whose artistry, in many ways, relies on the willingness of others to disclose, to open themselves.

I left my home and theatre practices turning twenty to immerse myself in another tradition. After an extensive stay within the Grotowski and Grotowski diaspora I returned home to dwell in the perceived place of my creative center. The work inexplicably led to the vocation of education & specifically playing in the territory education of the imagination.

One of the frames through which I construct my research is a focus on the formal in practice: attention to the shapes of narratives, the physical intimacy that changes the time and space of an encounter, the fullness of the movements of touch and density (dancingness & singingness) and on the ways that formal experimentation can open up spaces beyond and beneath narratives that can sound so familiar - those moments of energetic connection that happen through the practice to discover traces of attention and to attain a sensibility towards the aura of vibration.

In time I learned, that my research aim, in all the meditation sequences mistakenly labelled teaching, was not to find essential truths about identity or establish a living, creative consciousness but to explore the limits of entwined ideological, aesthetic and cultural expression and create tools that enable recognition and hence communication. In a deeply practical way the path was to experience the imaginative world we all inhabit and to make that imaginative life experiential.

:: note :: ... taking myself very seriously & reading The Loser by Thomas Bernhard ... "In theory he became one of the greatest piano virtuosos in the world, one of the most famous artists of all time (even if not as famous as Glenn Gould!), in practice he accomplished nothing at the piano ...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

creative drama fall session

Opens with the King (Morgan) and Evil Queen (Sonia) fighting, the Evil Queen hands the king a mask. The King takes it and then banishes her from the kingdom and throws the mask after her. End Scene.

Next: An old lady (Mary?) is walking along when all of a sudden a monster (Macy) attacks and captures her. While the monsters back is turned the old lady uses her magic to escape and attempts to run away. The monster sees her and a battle of magic begins between the two. The monster pushes the old women to the back of it's lair, when it seems the monster has won the old women grabs her cane and bashes the monster over the head. The monster falls down stunned, the old lady then uses her magic to remove the curse that has fallen on the monster. The monster wakes up and is transformed into a young girl. The old lady beckons the girl to follow her and the two begin their journey to the king by walking on water.

Meanwhile: The Evil Queen is bored and is playing with her servant, she tosses the mask and makes her servant bring it back. The Evil Queen then notices the Old Lady and Young girl on her river. She stops them and only lets them proceed when they take the mask and promise to bring it to the king. As they walk away the Evil Queen's servant tries to tell them something but is stopped by the Evil Queen. The Old Lady and Young Girl continue their journey until the end of the river where they stop to rest.

At the Kingdom: The princess goes to see her father to ask if she can Play with her 3 pet birds. Her father says no and sends her to her room, the princess runs away crying. The Princess best Friend gets up and is soon called by the king, she goes to him and he banishes her before she even gets the chance to bow. The girl runs away crying into the forest, where she is stabbed and killed by one of the Kings men. She lets out a terrifying scream as she dies.
The Princess hears her friend scream, she calls her birds and they go off running to the forest. They find her dead friend, the princess then uses her powers to bring her back to life. The girl and Princess run back to the castle while the birds shortly follow.

The Old lady and Young Girl then continue their journey to the king. They are greeted by the princess who presents them to the king. They present the king the mask and leave to the woods, he slowly puts it on and the second he does a change happens over the kingdom. The birds begin to fly anxiously, the princess runs to hide, and the king begins to change. The birds drop to the ground, lifeless.

Suddenly the Evil Queen's servant appears, she calms down the king and removes the mask. As soon as she has it she runs away and the Kings hands shoot to his face. The Princess comes from hiding, she calls her best friend and the birds back to life. The Old Lady and Young Girl follow the Princess, her friend, and the 5 birds to confront the Evil Queen. They strike her down with the help of her servant.

In Celebration of the Evil Queens defeat Everyone dances around the Princess.

The End

- See: TheaterWork, TheaterWorkCreative Drama

:: note :: ... recorded by Tara Desroches hours after creative drama session ... this was second term of creative drama where I was assisted by Tara & Stefan ... 21 children this time ...

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year Greetings



Bonne annee 2010,
ouverte sur le monde,
chaleureuse et fraternelle.
Ouvrons nos fenetres
pour regarder et apprecier
la richesse et la diversite
de ceux que nous rencontrons.
Rejouissons nous
de cette lumiere
qui vient a nous.

:: note :: ... greeting from Cised Paris an international student service for University Paris 8 ...