Tag Archives: movement

A Good, Long, Grotesque, Ugly-Cry Is the Emotion We All Need Right Now #FringeFemmes

by Rasika Mathur

Disconnection is a horrendous plight that can leave us literally disfigured and old.

Connection is not a straight line.

A lot gets in the way.

Emotions are messy.

Change is hard. 

Transitions are hard. 

This has been a hard year for all. A busy year for me. So busy, I only had time to catch one show during the 2021 Hollywood Fringe Festival. My interest in all things Japanese led me to Ren Gyo Soh’s “Ikigai – A Purpose for Living.” [The hybrid show of film and live performances is a Winner of a Producer’s Encore Award.]

Now, I went in thinking it would be a seminar built into a show on how to figure out my life purpose at the intersection of What Am I Good At + What Can I Get Paid For + What Do I Love To Do + What Does The World Need.

Instead, I was treated to the rollercoaster of emotion that takes place in a human connection, as told by two fabulous physical performance art masters, Annie McCoy and Zak Ma, creator/director Saki Kawamura, sound designer Marlfaux, and stage managed by Veronica Ostroski. 

And the intersection was actually Butoh + Poetry + Zoom. 

In a quick wiki search, “common features of the [Butoh] art form include playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, extreme or absurd environments… traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper-controlled motion.”

The facial contortions performed must have been so much fun to rehearse. Nobody’s getting a double chin in this cast! When joy radiates out of the mouth, eyes and chest, we can see it! Even in non-Butoh life! And pain? I concluded that pain mostly lives in the betrayed chest and throat, unexpressed, primed to take over the heart.

And writers will appreciate how “Ikigai” creatively limited its dialogue to truncated versions of a Wordsworth quote. 

What this production managed to pull off with the Zoom platform was also extremely notable and is definitely worth seeing for that reason alone. I’ve been using Zoom for a year and a half and I didn’t know it could do that! 

Annie McCoy and Zak Ma

I cried at the end. I went on the journey with them. And the imagery indeed stayed with me after… in the DREAM I HAD LATER THAT NIGHT …… 

I’ve had a very difficult relationship with my mother my entire life. Now that her body is on the brink of her last years (Is she though? Still resilient enough to have Level 9 meltdowns, so….quite the fighter), getting her a proper diagnosis is the priority. I’ve ratcheted up the “how can I help’s” and done away with the “how can you be so insensitive to me’s.”

But in the dream I had, the night I watched this performance, several of my family members were holding up my mother. I believe my nephew was even holding up her head. Somebody delivered the news to her that a landlady had been sick, or injured, I’m not sure what quite happened. My mother took on such a grotesque, long face, contorting into such pain, just like what I’d witnessed, as she drew out the words… ”Ohhhh, is the Landlady going to be OK?” As she trumpeted out a long wail, it all became too heavy for those holding her up, and my nephew actually could no longer hold up her head. It flopped forward. And she died! 

Upon waking, I was really left with the notion that her last words described her life to a tee. Always so concerned about everybody else. Maybe to her own detriment. It was grotesque, but unforgettable. 

Thank you to the company players of Ren Gyo Soh and “Ikigai” for giving me new understanding of all of our emotions. Sometimes, they just need to work themselves… out.

Ikigai – A Purpose for Living” has an Encore virtual performance Saturday, September 25 at 6:30pm PT – Visit https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7158

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: Mask and Man

by Constance Strickland

Quick peeks at #HFF21’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Maria Hansson

WHAT: Mask and Man

WHERE: Virtual Performances as part of Hollywood Fringe and Gutenberg Fringe Festival

WHY: This was a beautiful, magical, fantastical show. Although Dance and Physical Theatre is my favorite category during Hollywood Fringe, this piece was a late discovery and, my goodness, I thank the theatre gods that I did not miss this exquisite show. It’s the kinda piece that elevates the entire category and changes everything.

As a performer, Maria is absolutely breathtaking. You’re instantly absorbed, taken on a visual journey but also immersed in an unexpected but much-needed sound experience. Maria uses sound as a revelation; it took me quite some time to realize where and how the sound was entering into the space, like a whole-body treatment for the spirit. She occupies the entire space and treats stillness as a rite; what we receive across the ethers is an astonishing, hypnotic, physical gift. I felt as though I was included in a sacred passage of human exploration.

HOW: Catch Performances September 10 & 12 https://billetto.se/e/mask-and-man-gothenburg-fringe-2021-biljetter-554711

Click Here to Find Hollywood Fringe Encores

#FringeFemmes Check-Ins: EGG

by Constance Strickland

Quick peeks at #HFF21’s “Women on the Fringe” by Fringe Femmes who are behind the scenes this year. Click Here for all Check-Ins

Fringe Femmes

WHO: Erin Fowler

WHAT: EGG

WHERE: Asylum @ Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre (SFS Theatre mainstage) 5636 Melrose Ave (+ Live-Stream)

WHY: EGG was a wild, ridiculous, unexpected ride! Erin investigates the age-old question that women in their thirties battle with, if we have not made a clear decision on motherhood: should I, will I, must I, can I give birth?! Erin undertakes this heavy topic with music, dancing, and absurdity that reveals a tendernerness in approaching a truly sensitive subject that differs and is personal for every woman. Erin’s boldness and bravery made me imagine I was having a real, grown ass conversation with a girlfriend who knows you, really knows you. This solo show really shines when Erin is in her element, moving with no sound. For it’s all there, and through her body we understand all that she could not say with words.

Learn more about Erin at https://www.erinfowlermovement.com

HOW: https://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/7185

Click Here to Find More “Women on the Fringe”

Riding the Air…

by Robin Byrd

Is it like riding the air?   movement…   

I seem to have forgotten – stuck here like I am in the hardly bearable heat of these walls and the “go nowhere” doors from sun up to moon down.  I tell myself that I am not going to faint or lose heart, that I am going to subdue this beast one hour at a time, one day at a time, by the Grace of God…

but I really want flight, I yearn for air… I want wings and I want wind to ride. I been looking for signs of movement, looking for a great big wind to come skip-to-my-lou all through this mess, dislodge some rivers for baptisms, root up healing herbs and toss some around for everybody to have.

I want to relax, I want to float like a leaf and land picturesquely on the grass showing off the beautiful colors of my whole self.  I don’t want to apologize for nothing not for floating, landing or seeking air.  If I push myself, I bet I can land far enough away from here so I can breathe new/fresh pockets of wind…bet I can land somewhere east of here, near appalachia, up where lavender lilies bloom, where rose of sharon sings… 

I can’t breathe here no more in this heavy porous atmosphere, it’s dropped down way too low, to the little grassy piece of earth I live on and I just can’t breathe.  I thought I was imagining it but it’s real – the air is thick; thick and sticky like a glob of peanut butter caught in the throat daring you to drink water, threatening to thicken regardless…

I need air and space and

God cracking the skies…

Oh, God, blow on us, shower us with rain and the latter rain, deliver us, heal this land…

Heal the land, Father… we humble ourselves and pray

we pray

we Pray

we PRAY

We dream of riding the night winds again, of sleeping well and waking rested

send Your wind, help us fly

lift us up high enough to catch hold

let us mount up with wings as eagles — send the wind, Lord, send the Wind…

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 King James Version (KJV)

Fringing With Form 3: Silken Veils

the poster we mention in first video

Leila Ghazvani has infectious energy. In the really awesome way.

I met her last May (also at Indy Convergence, which may be a coincidence or just proof at how awesome it is) and was sad to hear she didn’t still live in Los Angeles. She worked until the wee hours, waiting until the very last minute, literally, sometimes prying her work away from hands while staff had to lock the doors.

She explores stories and form with puppets. Don’t be fooled by the puppets that look familiar in this screenshot. She demos how materials and hands alone act out her stories.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a check-in I had with her last Monday on Silken Veils, which she’ll present at the Philly Fringe Festival in September.

Follow her in Facebook and at her website.

It Takes a Village

I love it when people ask me “How do you do this?!”

I love it even more when it is coming from someone who does something I can’t fathom or make sense of (firemen, doctors, people who run charity organizations or fly to Ghana to teach kids…)

There are so many people in the world doing so many amazing things, and yet… we wonder at one another’s ability to do the things we ourselves simply can’t.

And to me, this is the universal proof that we are each of us meant to follow our own path… in the hopes of arriving at (perhaps) some collective betterment of mankind.

Which is why, as when those very same people ask me about the theater process, I tell them that, much like any grand accomplishment, it takes a village.

It’s not enough to have an idea, you need the encouragement to pursue it.

It’s not enough to put words to page, you need the mentorship to help you sculpt it.

It’s not enough to write a thing, you need eyes and ears to experience it.

And then you sit down and get to work at making that thing better.

Because if you’re patient, if you’re tenacious, if you keep at it and keep at it and keep at it… that thing of yours just might come to life.

A painter might get an exhibition, a cellist might get a concert, and a playwright might get a production…

…Which is when all the other villagers truly roll up their sleeves; all believing in the magic of your imagination.  This is when they commit to helping deliver this egg of yours to the masses (be it twelve noble ticket holders or hordes of Broadway die-hards)

And you sit in awe and wonder of this living, breathing, writhing beast of theater taking shape before you – a beautiful exquisite beast…

Yes, it takes a friggin’ village.

And this is why I’m so excited to be a part of the LAFPI movement.

Yes..  Movement.

A word with implied resistance to stagnancy.   It infers, no in fact, demands change…

The LAFPI is an opportunity for revelation of thought, practice, and life…

But it will take the whole village…  can you hear the shirtsleeves rolling?

~Tiffany~