Through this I intend to bring again to the attention of practitioners of stage, musical, choreographic and theatrical arts, Merce Cunningham’s contribution to the development of modern choreography. The constant searches of yesterday, today and tomorrow’s artists is and will be a priority for those who want to bring something new and revolutionize art. Today, we distinguish distinctly the phenomenon of transgression of borders between the stage genres, especially between theater, music and choreography. Choreography migrates towards theater and music and theater and music strongly infiltrate into choreography. This emulation intends to create a total show but can still give birth to some artistic experiments where the accent is placed on the very visual interpretation with an excess of body movement and with an acute absence of Thalia’s simple and natural truths. Cunningham’s proposal on the way of assuming the body, the space and the rhythm is another challenge for today’s choreographers. The way of using these aspects and of acknowledging the strange infinity of its possibilities of transcending the communication barriers, reconfigures the body of the dancer as a linguistic entity with values still unexploited. Initiator of the choreographic modernism, Merce Cunningham is still nowadays an important reference for young choreographers.
The contemporary choreographic movement of the 21st century may be viewed as a true patchwork of performance techniques and styles; a build-up of movements taken from established techniques, with elements of drama, ballet, improvisation and other connected disciplines. These challenges may be met only by a multi-technical and multi-stylistic approach in the training of future actors and choreographers. The transition from the everyday body to the theater body is the result of a process based on self-knowledge, documentation and practice.
One looks, on the one hand with a slight amazement, and on the other hand with the confidence of a temporary master of the European cultural thesaurus, at how tragic poem, more than two thousand years old, vibrates under the directorial wands in the present times. One analyses the Ancient verse, the plots of the founding mythologies or the figures that seem turned into stone by the passing of time and witnesses, through the scenic hypostasis of today, that the voices of the past, singular or united in a Chorus, reach them, generating, in a single spectator or in an entire wave of interception, the feeling of nexus. But also the inquisitiveness of encountering the peculiar. Due to the fact that cultural identity, and also the conducting threads of the universalis arise like a fascinating, rich, high terrain, and one cannot see them from afar, in this century. If, thematically speaking, The Suppliants, by Aeschylus resonated with directors such as Olivier Py, Silviu Purcărete, Ramin Gray or Jean-Luc Bansard, one can notice how cultural identity is reflected in the Ancient writings, which are also multiplied on the stages of the World in minimalist of theatrical (re)interpretations. The performance of one that becomes multiple and, eventually, restrains itself, closely looked at, becomes fascinating.
Monday on February 24th 2020, in the Auditorium of Mihai Eminescu Central University Library in Iaşi the show-recital entitled Dragobete Stories took place. Having the love theme, 4 teachers and 9 singer-actors from George Enescu National University of Arts present to the public arias and duets from the national and international repertoire, pages extracted from the genre of opera and operetta. The excursion on a route that included opera seria, comedy, historical opera, lyrical-dramatic legend, Viennese operetta, Romanian operetta, Russian operetta was coordinated by the presentation of Lecturer PhD Mrs. Consuela Radu-Ţaga. The interdisciplinary team set out to remove the boundaries between music and theater, among the subjects of canto, piano accompaniament, acting, scenic movement, opera class, and singer-actors proposed a scenic language dominated by lyrical-dramatic coordinates. The staging benefited from the fruitful collaboration with Lecturer PhD Mrs. Dumitriana Condurache (stage director), and the piano accompaniament was made by assistant professor PhD Raluca Ehupov and assistant professor PhD Laura Turtă-Timofte.
The International Festival of Puppet Theaters for Adults Lalka tez czlowiek, organized by the Una Teatr Niemozliwy in Warsaw is at the XIV edition. The festival, which takes place in the gold of autumn, captivates the theater audience by the fact that it always manages to bring together the most diverse theaters, as well as a varied selection of performances, which make use of the new technologies and experiments in the theatrical language. Here, at this festival, tradition meets modernity, provoking discussions about the problems of evolution, the trends of aesthetics, and the language of animation theater ... Each performed show has completed the calendar of events, having to say something new with more or less artistic mastery, directorial ingenuity, ideational message, etc.
When the purpose we aim at within the pedagogics of the Actor’s Art is to form and strengthen some of the student’s skills regarding the scenic composition of the character, we are in need of a few new coordinates referring to what we shall call the unity of interpretation in the Actor’s Art.
Firstly, we will make a parallel between the actor’s art and painting, even if this idea might seem somewhat strange. Every character has a general line, a direction it follows. The play represents, after all, only a fragment of the character’s lives. They have a past (before the start of the play), a present (visible on the stage during the play) and maybe even a future (after the curtain drops, as a possible conclusive continuation of the fragment of life which the spectators witnessed).
We will now make an analysis of the thought process. We have established that there is a unit of interpretation at the level of a whole role. This means that we can also talk about a unity at the level of any fragment of text – for example, in the case of a monologue.
Maybe there is something else we must add here: the fact that words are not that which initially stands at the root of thoughts. They are, usually, born from images. We can then conclude that, in order to interpret a text, the ideas it contains must firstly have an emotional impact on us. Hence, by way of analogy, the actor can have an enormous amount of references on which the naturalness of the interpretation is founded on, from all points of view.
Shakespeare does not introduce the Fool in his plays by accident or in order to entertain or to amuse. On the contrary, his lines are earnest, filled with undertones, his advices are witty, and their purpose is to amend the one they are aimed at, to point out their mistakes, to warn them, and even to intervene in the play’s plot. The journey of the Fool in King Lear shows that, without this character, the play would be situated somewhere at the border with the Irrational. All the characters seem to be lacking reason, they act without logic. By bringing in the Fool, one is presented the image of the “standstill” in which England’s Royalty was. All the irrationality is transferred to the King. The rest of the characters are, thus, “saved”, their actions being justified by affections that darken their minds and, obviously, accountable for those senseless actions is no one else but Lear.
The disappearing of the Fool in King Lear remains a mystery that directors have “deciphered” in many ways. Shakespeare inserted this character in the middle of the first act and kept him throughout the play until the third act; then, gradually, the king’s fool disappeared. The manner this happens is almost imperceptible.
The productions of this play are not numerous, King Lear, as critic Marina Constantinescu noticed, is, perhaps, one of the most difficult plays of Shakespeare, profoundly philosophical, linguistically complicated, filled with human nuances, sophisticatedly put on page.
The performances to which we will make reference for the monologue of the Fool from King Lear are by Andrei şerban (2008 and 2012, Bulandra Theater) and Tompa Gábor (2006, Cluj National Theater).
This article approaches the subject of theatrical language in mime, aiming to identify the mechanisms and resources of stage performance, referring itself to the silence/speech binomial. Can mime impose a valid theatrical language? Will a type of structuralism, through a reduction of complexities, manage to encompass the essence of the implications of stage acting within social structures? We will see the extent to which theater can trace a pattern of collective mime language socially and the extent to which such an approach will manage to encompass the interaction of the mind with an external reality, while also analysing the ability of the performer – when the latter understands their own mind or creates maps of their own mind or of the community – to create a sort of cognitive empathy, resulting in an extraction of a theory of collectivity, which is, most often, ignored in such a cultural performance as mime, and its protagonists may or may not find a place in a social mind.
In the work “Art and Visual Perception. A Psychology of the Author’s Creative Vision” by Rudolf Arnheim, following some researches/studies of Gestalt psychology applied in the field of visual arts and/or cinematography, the author states: “It is unlikely that any stroboscopic “short-circuit” will occur as long as objects appear on the screen at a sufficient distance from each other.” An observer-spectator only pays attention to what he/she receives. A speedy stream indicates unity. It is precisely for that reason that the vehement and effective ways are indispensable in order to render indisputably the intermittency-discontinuity. The stroboscopic dynamics overlooks the physical source of the visual tangible material. In that case, the visual identity does not start to be problematic as long as an element-object keeps staying in the same place without any inversion or transposition of its appearance - for example: the video camera that does not change its position but registers the building. For the same reason, we have the actor/actress who crosses the screen keeping his/her con-similarity (just walking down the path) without substantially changing his/her size or shape. The nature of the issues only appears under visual circumstances when they invoke/guide where it does not exist or vice versa. Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964): “In order to perform the movement, static painting must resort to symbols and conventions. It did not go beyond fixing a single “moment” in the sequence of moments that make up a movement; all other “moments” before and beyond the fixed movement are left to the imagination and fantasy of the spectator.”
Performance art has become over-represented in contemporary art museums, at art fairs, at major international exhibitions. In this context, I have proposed a brief overview of the history of performance in North America and Europe, to identify conceptual variations or continuities in post-1989 performing arts practices. What kind of queries caused the resort to the body? Which of the criticisms are still current and which new issues are formulated in the present geopolitical framework or in particular socio-political contexts? In order to answer these questions, I’ve selected a number of national and international male/ female artists whose practices illustrate the main directions in today’s performance art.