Saturday, September 18, 2010

T:BA:10 - my final performances

I went to a few less performances this year than I have in previous. Not because there weren't more good ones - but because I had limited time (work conflicts) and I didn't want to get over-stressed with running around.

I was going to go to the final The Works performances tonight - despite having to get up early tomorrow. But I decided that I really did need the sleep *and* I went to Mike Daisey's "Notes" and it was intense, moving, inspiring, and it felt like the perfect ending to my T:BA:10 since I couldn't go to anything on Sunday - the true final day.

 So I'll post my notes in reverse order, since I'm already talking about Mike Daisey. I won't give away the punchlines - this is a work in progress. I found it very moving. I believe what he said that this is still very much a work in progress. I love that. There is an intensity, a rawness, and energy that infuses works in progress that is rarely matched in well-worn performance. The hope is that they keep some of it there 
- but there is something about the thing still being formed. And Mike Daisey does that well. This is some material towards his dream of a 24-hour monologue. If anyone can pull that off, he is a top contender. There were some great quotes. "Why should there even be art in the afternoon? Save it for the accountants who need to do their taxes or some shit like that."  "We're [the performers/storytellers, the audience] just intelligent enough to be dangerous."  "Audiences are afraid, so performers don't come out and just say the thing ... you do your best to find that heart and and soul and show it - to bring it out."  "I speak and listen to the ting that you, the audience, become in this space --" "The magic of ritual, of festival - of theater - ... is that we change the space we're in."  "I come to carry the story, not to understand the story."  So many lines. So many stories. So much more in what he said and, again, the perfect final T:BA experience for me. I'll be watching for that 24-hour performance. I'd be willing to be his 24-hour performance go-for helper. Really.

Photo: Sylvio Dittrich
 Friday night I saw a wonderful dance performance. I'd say this was my favorite dance performance of what I saw. I didn't see all of the dance performances - sadly - but this one made me laugh, cry, feel, wonder, be amazed, and be transported. This was John Jasperse Company's Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies.  I often can't explain very well what and why I respond to in dance performances. I like them (or not, but most of them I like) and that's it. I feel connections, I feel moved, I feel emotional - I respond. But I don't know much about the technical language of dance technique and movement - it works for me or it doesn't. This one worked. Really well. I was with them throughout the performance and could have watched even more. I was glad I chose this one.

Nature Theater of Oklahoma's
 Romeo and Juliet
Friday I also went to Nature Theater of Oklahoma's Romeo and Juliet. This was a stunning performance in so many ways. I think it's funny and well done even if you don't know how they do it - are not familiar with their process and rehearsal. But knowing that makes it even better. This was great. If it comes to an area near you - see it. I was going to go back for a second helping tonight - but, as I already said, I wanted to leave with Mike Daisey's Notes on my mind, since I'd already seen this one. I love NTO, too.

This was a great T:BA festival. Next year I need to plan more time (and less work) into my schedule. I needed the slower pace this year - and I am confident in the selections I made. I haven't commented on everything - but only hit the highlights.

I am inspired. I am alive. I feel. I have received my creativity infusion for this season and ready to do more.