The Present, Hgtomi Rosa, The Hague, 2019
The interactive performance focuses on two aspects of my research on the numinous experience: The ecstatic state and unity. The ecstatic state is a state somewhere in-between joy and uncontrolled almost violent expression. In rehearsal works I was working with two performers. We were using different techniques of movement, breath voice and language trying to generate the state in us. As the outcome we managed to develop a structure which could bring us into a state of high mental and physical excitement. This structure was then incorporated into a performance script. The aspect of unity, meaning the connection of the script and the experience of the performers with the audience was approached through elements of participation and interaction.
I was exploring possibilities if how a distant audience can feel more part of the action. Prior to the performance the performers we serving drinks and food to the audience and getting into personal conversations to create a stronger relationship with each other. Next to casual questions the performers were telling the visitors about the idea of the performance and presenting some elements of the rehearsal work. The final questions was related to the present, a huge box hanging on the sealing in the space, which was later used as an object of excitement in the performance. The audience had to make a wish about what they would like to be in it. The wishes were collected and incorporated into the script. Another attempt to create unity was the use of interactive elements during the actual performance, the performers were approaching the audience directly to take part in the action.
Overall the idea was to generate an excited state in the performers which transcends the ordinary reality and then invite the audience into this state.
In the end the present was opened and a paining was shortly presented to the visitors. The paining was made by an artist who is exploring emptiness in his work. It was meant to create a contrast to the highly energetic performance on one hand and on the other to give the painter an experimental context to present his paining which would receive a full communal attention for a short time.
The work was developed during a residency in Cloud/Danslab, The Hague.