January 2010


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Week Three finished up strong and we’re into our last week before loading into the HERE Arts Center Mainstage for tech.  Check it out- Week in Review:

Friday, January 22

Okwui worked through the opening for Act III with Tal and Jane building cues madly through the course of the day.  These sequences are intricately designed in conjunction with script and acting discoveries on a daily basis.  The full cast joined in the afternoon to work through Act III.  Seeing the piece in larger chunks is beneficial and also raises contanst questions.

Saturday, January 23

Today we revisitied Act II, working through the end beat by beat before we ran the show from top to almost bottom!  We’re, um, a bit over time but, no worries… early stages…

Monday, January 25

Rudy and Irene.  Stephen and Ana.  There were sparks all day.

Tuesday, January 26

All I can remember from today was major conversation about the ending.  WHAT HAPPENS TO LEDA? is a question still debated in this rehearsal room; raising it effectively keeps everyone in the room at the emotional stakes we hope our audience will find during the performance.

Wednesday, January 27

Today we began work on our closing sequences for each act which  heavily involve video and sound similar to our opening sequences.  The past rehearsals have emphasized finding parallels, reflections, and echos between scenes and the video is clarifying these attempts throughout.  Oh, and we choreographed cake sex.

More rehearsal photos to come!

JK

We were working on the third song SACRIFICE and have decided to explore trance dance as a jumping off point for the physicality.

Voodoo Trance Dance

Dances of Ecstasy:

Clip from The Divine Horseman: The Living Gods of Haiti

And we’re moving along…

Slightly more than half-way through Week 3 of rehearsals and we’re on our way to a full work thru this Saturday!  As the scenes have begun to take shape we’re adding layers of nuance and connectivity among the actors who remain onstage through the whole piece.  Jenny Gibbs, our playwright, has kept our sights on the mythology of the piece and the emotional signposts that guide each act: terror, seduction, and sacrifice.  Elenna will be posting some really cool background on the mythology used in the play so keep your eyes peeled for that.  Here’s the week in review thus far:

Monday, January 18

We worked through Act II today.  Our gals worked out some choreography with a fabric portion of our set that serve as screens for projected video images.  While the track for the fabric was tenuous we discovered some beautiful imagery.  Check it out.

Tuesday, January 19

Today Jane and Tal worked the opening sequence for Act II while Okwui and Kristin played around to find choreography for Leda’s seductive duet.  Rudy came in to work on his monologue and found some amazing physicality while giving the stretched-thin production team a much needed crack-up.

Wednesday, January 20

Well-deserved day off!

Thursday, January 21

Jane and Tal repeated the magic today and created a lovely song sequence for the top of Act III.  Each sequence they create builds from its previous counterpart and the arc of the whole piece is really becoming apparent in the rehearsal room.

We’re working towards run throughs and the final week of rehearsals before we start teching, but for right now we are still discovering new things every day.  The script changes, the actors are making exciting choices, cues are being written, sequences being built and we’re glimpsing the fruits of our labor.  We have a long way to go but those glimpses are promising!

Analytic Couch:

-All patients imbue the couch with transference meaning. For patients, in the popular mind, the analytic couch is the quintessential symbol of psychoanalysis, with all its connotations, whether common or idiosyncratic.

– The couch has become the analyst’s trademark and logo. The conflation of analyst and couch into the sanctioned semblance of psychoanalytic treatment appears to have been accepted by psychoanalysts as much as by the public. It is exceedingly rare to see the routine use of the couch either challenged or affirmed in the psychoanalytic professional literature. The use of the couch seems to be taken for granted when psychoanalysis is the treatment of choice. To be sure, not every analyst does in fact position every patient on the couch regardless of other considerations. There are some psychoanalysts who occasionally, but rarely, will analyze their patients in a sit-up, face-to-face position when this seems indicated. Except for omitting the use of the couch, such analyses may be technically indistinguishable from the traditional analytic methods. From ¬¬Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, 1995

Pills:

Anti-anxiety drugs, also known as tranquilizers, are medications that relieve anxiety by slowing down the central nervous system. Their relaxing and calming effects have made them very popular: anti-anxiety drugs are the most widely prescribed type of medication for anxiety. They are also prescribed as sleeping pills and muscle relaxants. Benzodiazepines are the most common class of anti-anxiety drugs.

They include: Valium, Ativan, Xanax Benzodiazepines and are fast acting—typically bringing relief within thirty minutes to an hour. Because they work quickly, benzodiazepines are very effective when taken during a panic attack or another overwhelming anxiety episode. But despite their potent anti-anxiety effects, they have their drawbacks.

Common side-effects: Drowsiness, lack of energy. Clumsiness, slow reflexes. Slurred speech. Confusion and disorientation. Depression. Dizziness, lightheadedness. Impaired thinking and judgement. Memory loss, forgetfulness. Nausea, stomach upset. Blurred or double vision

Garden Hose:

-The image of a curled up garden hose readily prompts processing of a snake- linking it to male sexuality. Recalls snake imagery from the Garden of Eden, and recalls Eve’s temptation.

-The serpent is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols. Considerable overlap exists in the symbolic values that serpents represent in various cultures. Some such overlap is due to the common historical ancestry of contemporary symbols. Much of the overlap, however, is traceable to the common biological characteristics of snakes. In some instances, serpents serve as positive symbols with whom it is possible to identify or to sympathize; in other instances, serpents serve as negative symbols, representing opponents or antagonists of figures or principles with which it is possible to identify. Serpents also appear as ambivalent figures, neither wholly positive nor wholly negative in valence.

    

Wine:

The use of wine in religious ceremonies is common to many cultures and regions. Libations often included wine, and the religious mysteries of Dionysus used wine as a sacramental entheogen to induce a mind-altering state. In classical mythology, Dionysus is the god of wine, the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy, and a major figure of Greek mythology, he is not one of the twelve Olympians as it is mostly believed. The geographical origins of his cult were unknown to the classical Greeks, but all myths depicted him as having “foreign” origins; Dionysus is typical of the god of the epiphany, “the god that comes”. He was also known as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia. He is the patron deity of agriculture and the theater. He was also known as the Liberator freeing one from one’s normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine. The divine mission of Dionysus was to mingle the music of the aulos and to bring an end to care and worry.

        

-Posted by Elenna Mosoff

posted by Rie

Hello!

We had some amazing energy in the room this week; everyone came into the process ready to work and we’re discovering new things in the raw material every day.  Check out the week in review below:

Tuesday, Jan 12

We kept working in our fantastic rehearsal space as the week started, getting as much light and sound equipment set up as possible.  Kamala Sankaram, our composer, was here today to work songs with Okwui.  Then Okwui and Michael did some deep text work with Kristin and Jenny.  Parts of the script were recrafted on the spot.

Wednesday, Jan 13

Okwui and Rudy got to work today as well as  Rudy and Irene- and sparks flew.  We worked some tricky choreography with a garden hose…

Thursday, Jan 14

Today was all about getting our designers in on the mix.  Rie Ono, our lighting designer, came to help us create a look we could work with in rehearsal while Liz Bourgeois, our costume designer came to observe our actors in motion.

Friday, Jan 15

All hands on deck today as we worked through the first act.  We had our actors finding new physical moments in the scramble while Jane Shaw, our sound designer, joined the mix.  The video is coming along as Tal Yarden and his fabulous assistant, Taili, work through cues for nearly every scene and Jane was right there to complement those moments with her audio.  After a detailed production meeting, we can be sure the week coming up is going to bring even more discoveries as we work through the entire play.  Stay tuned for daily updates as we make our way to tech!

-Posted by Jennifer Kraus

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