|A retreat for the well-being of my mind from the insanity of the life that is mine.|
Sunday, June 06, 2004 0 comments
Mood: Why? WHY?!?!?!? *silent scream*
Currently listening to: Glory Box - Portishead
*sniff* I think i'm listening to too much Portishead... Why am i even studying? Argh!!!
A good evening to you, ladies and gentlemen! Pat's Sanitarium is proud to present the review of tonight's IxBE performance courtesy of Sneexe (feedback welcome! And be sure to visit her site! [shameless plug ;p])... Enjoy!
Just back from the show.
Pat has asked me to write a review. Which, I suddenly realise, is a disguised Initiation into Procrastination! Damn!
It's a Catch 22. Either I put off some other work to write this, or I put this off. Devious Pippin. Devious.
I told him it'll be late coming, but have decided it shouldn't take -that- long, and so have chosen the lesser of two tasks and the greater of two procrastinations and am writing the review, Now. Hah! (However, in the process, I am in fact un-procrastinating, because that's what procrastination is, right? Not doing things at once?)
So here it is. IxBE was a performance of creative juggling, choreographed with a sense of humour, in a visually dramatic production. Stark, simple lighting, and suitable, colourful music, neatly assembled for striking effect.
At least, that was the idea. The preparation. Original, creatively conceptualised, thoughtfully put together. A lot of hard work and sweat. Simple, but ingenious. I appreciate the effort, and enjoyed the potential of the show. Which is a rare occurrence.
Unfortunately, the performance itself fell short as our artiste was off form. Probably a combination of the climate and the Bad Beginning...
BSC is a fairly intimate performance venue, owing to the closeness of all seating to the stage, and as the opening chords reverberated through the darkness, we shared, performer and audience alike, a singular and unexpected sonic treat; the screaming of a genuinely tormented soul, freaking into terrified histronics (une pauvre petit fille, and no, I am not kidding, exaggerating, or embellishing) as the lights went out and the disembodied, rhythmic opening sequence got underway.
It would have thrown me, had I been onstage.
I got the feeling poor Simon was also thrown off by unfamiliar audience reaction patterns. Expecting laughter and finding an empty void is always deeply disturbing. Confidence crushing. Plus I'm not sure he was prepared for the Malaysian habit of applauding inside the pauses of a performance, rather than at the end of everything... something which no doubt affected the proper cycles of climax and lull.
As if he didn't have enough distractions to deal with, our man was clearly having a painful time with the humidity. He wasn't just hot and bothered, he was Drenched. Soaked. Sodden. Hard to concentrate under those circumstances. If you don't believe me, try taking an exam in a hot room without a fan. A full house and comfortably mild (for us) airconditioning didn't help.
The work itself had it's moments of brilliance, although (apart from some synching irregularities, and a few long-drawn-out bridging sequences) a basic flaw was the incongruity of pantomime humour. It wasn't there all the time, but when it surfaced, it just seemed too simplistic to work within the logic of a performance aiming for more sophistication?
Still, if you think about it, that dilemma was inherent in the very concept of the piece. It seems to have been conceived as performance art, a theatre rather too subtle, too adult for children (case in point: the opening sequence). And yet in our common frame of reference, juggling is largely... regarded as a childish entertainment.
Not that it was poorly implemented. Movements were crisp and precise, physical communique clear and detailed.
So we had physical theatre with finesse and a trace of circus vaudeville.
I enjoyed the show, although I did find something odd about the danced movements; and this is not so much a criticism as a truly strange observation peculiar to this reviewer alone. At some points, his movements were somehow not quite effeminate enough to create magnetism, yet not quite masculine enough to be dashing. But this only sporadically.
The performance scored points for trying hard though. It's awful losing your groove and somehow, just not being able to quite get it back. The worst thing is, you know you can do it, but you can?t seem to... your body betrays you at the most unexpected times.
So I clapped as enthusiastically as anyone at the encore. But I could see that our performer was embarrassed to receive the applause. Yes, he knew. He could have done better.
SUMMARY: A good concept, tarnished by the lack of polish and curiously undefined target audience. Might have benefited from a less intimate performance setup, say a circus-ring or old-fashioned long-throw theatre.
Name: Patrick Pincon
Studied at: Monash
Work: Business Development
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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