Text does strange things on the stage. For a trained actor, a bit of Chekhov can inaugurate an entire style of performance, with certain assumptions about what’s real, what kind of feeling is most powerful, how to get to that feeling. After turning away from text, towards gesture, task, state, other ways of articulating presence, we’ve been returning to our theatrical training to try to see what happens when a fiction is established on a stage. We’ve been trying to pause that process, to freeze it in action and look at it. We’ve been trying to introduce theatrical text onto the stage without having it establish a totalizing fiction. How to retain room for other kinds of meaning? For the body? For the logic of dream? For vision? For alternate fictions? How to use the text and let it use us, but without letting it become totalizing? A structural question to keep us occupied until fall…
In the studio we are researching the pathways through trauma. We are talking about suffering, grief and how and why people are motivated to move into a new state of being. One of the positive things about trauma is once we begin to climb out of it, I believe we become more open minded, more sensitive and more understanding.
To support this research for the show, I’ve been reading a lot of books about self help, transformation and the body. Here’s my book list for the project thus far:
-The Psoas Book by Liz Koch
-Bright Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich
-The Thinking Body by Mabel Todd
-Feelings Are Facts by Yvonne Rainer
-Awareness Through Movement by Moshe Feldenkrais
-The Confidence Code: The Art and Science of Self Assurance–What Women Should Know by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay
-The Mystic in the Theatre by Eva le Gallienne
-We Have Always Lived In a Castle by Shirley Jackson
-The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
I’d love to hear what books about self help or empowerment have been meaningful to you. Respond below in the comments if you’d like to share.
(pictured: Courtney Russell, notice the pools of light around her)
CP interviews Zürich arts curator, networker, and contexualizer, Marc Streit, for the (X)change micro-festivalby James Fleming ~ June 16th, 2015
CP: Marc, in one sentence,what is your story?
MS: I have a passion for contemporary dance and performance, based in Zurich, loving San Francisco and having a queer mindset!
CP: What was the genesis of Zürich Moves? Where did the inspiration to create the festival come from?
MS: I wanted to create a platform for boundary-crossing artistic engagement and create a network of artists, who collaborate and nurish their work even outside the given frame of zürich moves! festival.
CP: As an arts curator, what are some themes, or aesthetics, underlying your approach to art? Tell us about your artistic eye?
MS: My approach to art can be on many different levels. For me an artistic piece should be somehow disturbing, challenging or make me want to look twice. I m not necessarily interested in a specific aesthetics, but rather in a certain approach on how artists deal with the spectator and are able to create an experience. I am interested to see how artists change perspectives and grow throughout their artistic practice.
I see myself as a networker, organizer, funder and contextualizer.
CP: How do you envision the queer arts sister city relationship between Zürich and San Francisco evolving in the coming years?
MS: No matter how the (X)change will continue, I want it to leave an impression on the artists and people participating.
CP: What can we hope to experience over the next seven days at the (X)change festival?
MS: Fresh air form Switzerland and hopefully interesting encounters both on an artistic and personal level.
Click here to check out more about the upcoming (X)change: Zürich + San Francisco sister-city queer dialogue, check out the film screenings, cocktail gallery viewings, performances, and parties lined up for this weekend!
First, I have so enjoyed reading everyone’s posts so far.
So in my thinking about the next work I want to make, I am thinking a lot about layers, about simultaneity, and about holding conflict and opposition in one body mind. That which is ‘problematic’ sometimes enriches, that which is un-feminist sometimes empowers.
I just came out of a short run of my cabaret show, in which I premiered a few new stories and bits, many of which vaguely were about mothers: my mother, iconic mothers, drag mothers, and perhaps alternative ways of mothering and nurturing.
I also just finished Maggie Nelson’s superb little book ‘The Argonauts’ in which she practices a very personal and elegant kind of applied theoretics and talks a lot about queerness, sex, giving birth and parenting.
I have been thinking a lot again (again? always?) about my own choice not to give birth to children and I remain steadfast and content in it.
I will be coming to our (X)change work directly from the airport where I will have been in La Jolla (the very beautiful Northern beachfront part of San Diego – California’s Southernmost city) for the memorial of my maternal grandmother – my last and closest grandparent. I’ll arrive a little sad, tired and infused with legacy.
Let’s make some new, weird little art-babies!
Let’s get all California together!
I am a bit lost with the blog as I have very little time to read the messages of others and when I am trying to write it all goes queer I just finished a book by a swiss writer, long time dead by now, Blaise Cendrars “Sutter’s Gold”; The story of a swiss men who emigrates to the San fransisco bay area just a litlle time before the Gold Rush, makes a lot of money and looses everything once the Gold rush arrives and finally gets crazy. And working on a piece Dreamland which is base on the theme of the Taxi Dancer, and the first Taxi Dance Hall were in SF. Just that to say that somehow the the (X)change and the blog maybe(?) does already invades me and inconscienly I am all of a sudden reading things which are related to San Fransisco.
I am extremely excited about the meetings because I don’t know anything of what really will be made, that big hole, that full space of emptyness excite me. Expectation are always higher then what’s is happening, therefore I am just getting ready to share and nourrish myself from that unknown big fucking Hole. I think in dance we are to much fullfilling thing, as the body tells so much already by the only action of being, standing.
Sending love from Geneva where there was no gold rush but there is bloody to much fucking gold here.! See you soon!!!