Focusing on the famous Lepage’s Hamlet, seen in the National Theatre Festival, Bucharest, 2017, I try to discuss a few things about what appears to be a new “mythology” in making theatre: the myth of technology.
A performance is a common adventure, the result of the “confrontation” of several creators who meet, each of them bringing the perspective of their own domain, in order to decipher a play that is meant to be represented on stage. The musical satisfies the contemporary audience’s need for novelty and dynamism, as its main characteristic is the bringing together of arts: theatre – through acting, literature – through the libretto, music – through scores and vocal interpretation, dance, and painting – through scenography. The 13th edition of Gala Vedetelor – VedeTEatru, 2016, the Festival organized by George Ciprian Theatre in Buzău, had MUSIC as its main celebrity. The audiences could attend some of the best performances of dance theatre, concert-theatre, or musicals, such as: ArtOrchestra, directed by Horia Suru, Zic Zac, performed by its young creators Andrea Gavriliu and Ştefan Lupu, or West Side Story, created by the choreographer-director Răzvan Mazilu.
Along with literature, music, through the suggestiveness of the means of expression, manages to render in different compositional forms and genres the specific atmosphere and traits of the mythical universe. The Romanian musical creation has been dynamically asserted in an original manner over time, through the diversification of artistic means and a permanent adaptation of musical language to the aesthetic requirements of each compositional period. Skillfully wielding the processes of modern musical language, composers George Enescu, Aurel Stroe and Cornel Țăranu have given the contemporary public artistic masterpieces which impress by the personal manner of transposing into modernity the transcendent message of the myths of Oedipus and Orestes. The richness of the compositional means employed by the three composers creates bridges between antiquity and modernity, between the imaginary and the real universe.
Seduction doesn’t really refer to love. In fact, it isn’t at all directly related to love, but as the word’s etymology suggests, it is an intellectual act that means “to lead on a different path”, “to corrupt”. Starting from this point and considering it in regard to the theatre performance and audience, our main purpose in this paper is to identify the elements involved in the process of seduction that takes place in the performance space, but also the role of each one of these elements. We will make a series of approaches on a theoretical level, involving some exercises in semiotics, in an attempt to reformulate the relation between the performance and the audience. This paper asserts that the performance is acting the part of the seducer and the audience is the one being seduced, but also that there is a secret involved in this relation, enlarging the aesthetical notions related to the theatre performance, through the relevant functions of desire and intimacy.
The last fifty years of theatre have put us closer to one of the most spectacular facts of this art: every generation of theatre makers managed – we do not know if programmatically – to build its own repertoire based on its own reality. In other words, every new wave of stage directors claimed that the dramatic authors define a new formula for the stage text and the reverse. This new reality also acted on a revisiting of the classical text or of the modern text deemed classical.
Influenced by the Humanist movement, Shakespeare is preoccupied with time, illustrating it in his lyrics and dramaturgy. If in comedies time has a regenerative character, in the Shakespearean tragedies “the clock” ticks continuously, it is the soundtrack that fulfills the destiny of the character. And Macbeth is perhaps the best example in this respect. Macbeth is hypnotized and haunted by time. Hypnotized by the imagination of a possible future and haunted by a past full of blood and crimes. The hero lives between imagination and memory, and the main catalyst of the play is the tragic interaction between Macbeth and time, with all the psychological and physical tensions that derive from there. The main impact of time on Shakespeare’s tragic heroes is achieved by the actual actions of time that exposes and amplifies tragic defects of heroes (in Macbeth’s case - ambition). As in the Renaissance, myths, images and signs were used in poetics and literature to indicate a teaching, a moral, Shakespeare includes in his work symbols taken from the iconography and mythography available at that time, such as time’s tricephalous image around which Macbeth is “shaped”.
In modern days, new acting spaces have become popular through the artistic expression and diversity of means they offer to the actors so that they get closer to their audience, sometimes ignoring the dramatic text and using it more like a pretext in a given context. The act of creation is now motivated by the possibility it offers its creator to artistically acquire new knowledge and discover new forms of expression to render aspects of contemporary life. Art is not a product, it is a perpetually changing process in time and space. All the artistic research arises from unanswered questions, from an unrefrainable need to express oneself in the new context: cinema, artistic films, documentary films, modern and contemporary performances, visual culture and associated culture, body and space, public space, video editing/processing.
Beckett’s literary beginnings are undoubtedly linked to his friendship and worship of James Joyce, his fellow Irishman, also established in Paris, whose literary work he enjoys and thoroughly studies. There are many similarities between James Joyce’s work and Samuel Beckett’s, taking into account the fact that the latter has been, in his youth, a sort of literary apprentice, their friendship being one of the main reasons in the dialectical study of their creations. What interests us most is the critical aligning of some fractures from their writings, in order to find the junction of themes and structure, the way in which Beckett takes Joyce’s leitmotivs and transforms them, filtering them into personal marks of his style.
Although Beckett detaches himself, in a way, from the influence of his master, by adopting French as his primary language of creation, but also by channeling his efforts into playwright, instead of prose, there are recurrences from Joyce now and then, especially in his late writings. Theoretical studies emphasize a common preoccupation for limit in their maturity works, perceived as a climax of the author’s experience with his work.
That is to say these Irishmen’s creations are, in a way, complementary, becoming proof of the literary transgression of the first half of the XXth century, from the canonized form and structure of realism, existentialism or naturalism, to a personal and free way of seeing the world, materialized into postmodernism.
The stanislavskian system arises in full development of the realist current. Starting from the word, the actor expresses through gestures, intonations and mimics. The pre-stanislavskian actor is dominated by dilentatism and emotional “accidents”, the balance is tilted to an act full of clichés and crafts. Perhaps the most important lesson that Stanislavsky gives us is that for the actor in his work to reach a credible character, he must go through all states, sensations and feelings required in building a character. We cannot forget, however, that Stanislavsky devised a new method of representation also due to the emergence of Chekhovian texts. To give effect to the new ways of writing, the attention must focus on the actors, without neglecting the scenography. Stanislavsky wants to convince the actor that if he doesn’t want to use tricks to present truth, he should be just like a painter or musician, to devote his whole being, “body and soul especially” in the creative process.
The end of January in Iaşi is like the beginning of January. Meaning that it is also very cold. Director Radu Afrim is in rehearsals at Teatrul Naţional with Măcelăria lui Iov (Job’s Butchery) by Fausto Paravidino and he is accompanied by his scenographer, Irina Moscu. They are on the fifth collaboration after Naïve, Completely Frivolous Details in yhe Life and Death of the Audience (Teatrul Maghiar de Stat in Timişoara), Suntrack (Teatrul Maria Filotti in Brăila), Everything’s Alright between Us (Teatrul Naţional in Bucharest) and The Retro Bird Hits the Block and Falls on The Hot Sand (Teatrul Naţional in Târgu-Mureş).