CLEFT NIGHT OR WHAT YOU DEAL (WITH)
As the title might indicate, we have created an adaptation of Shakesperae’s last cheerful and liberated play in the row of his comedies, with a certain political interpretation and in a very interactive way to be performed on a dance stage.
Twelfth night refers to the boundary of a new era just as Europe faces something similar nowadays.
This shows in many different ways, such as the declining participation rates of elections, political migration of entire communities towards the extreme right, the rebuilding of European borders, dwindling political cohesion between European countries, the handling of the so-called religious terrorism, as well as the endemic economic inequalities between people and between countries, spreading social disorientation and a sense of hopelessness for the future.
To approach these problems emerging in western societies we thus invited a theatre classic, Shakespeare, but in the same time in a very contemporary form of involving by involving the spectators (as called in the past), or now rather the members of the audience as partners seated on stage during the performance.
The chosen comedy of Shakespeare seems to be a perfect medium as long as the plot is in accordance with the recent news about refugees somewhere in the Mediterranean: some folks – men and women – landing on the shore after a shipwreck in Illyria (that is by the coasts of modern-day Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania) which is the very Western Balkan Migration Route. Just as we see nowadays, these men and women are making their best efforts to fit in and integrate into the local society yet facing and battling all kinds of difficulties and harassments.
We have put on stage an interdisciplinary performance by integrating dance, music, visual art and excerpts from the original script (augmented by additional dialogues) though we aimed to reduce the verbal channel to the minimum.
We have also set aside the concept of using an extensive cast as in the original play, but were mainly focusing on the various harassment acts and gender problems articulated mostly in form of duos.
In order to provide a more personal experience and deeper involvement of our audience during the play, we replaced the traditional frontal arrangement of the stage facing the podium by creating a shared space and seating audiences right on stage (in simple realistic scenery elements). Certain choreographed acts thus can be experienced within intimate distance from the performers, even some speeches are addressed to them and further interactions and movements (sometimes even grim) are part of the game.
We use video projection from two directions: from above and from the front. From above we shoot an illusionary natural ambience (sea) on the floor, while from the front, we project contemporary fictional and documentary content, memorable and iconic photographs and video footages well-known from news broadcasts and clips from pop-culture myths. The projected video footages once pose counterpoints to the live performance, or provide a wider context to the scenes performed live another time. The result is an ambiguous, perplexing yet funny substance of beyond-Shakespearean (21st Century) comedy evolving from the mixed contemporary myths of Europe, America and the Third World that are brought together by the story of migration.
Choreography: Kata Juhász
Music: Alexis Cuadrado and Ákos Zságer-Varga
Light: Miklós Mervel
Video footage: Tamás Herczeg, Zóra Pataki
Performed by: Csenger K. Szabó, Tamás Rétfalvi, Judit Takács, Lacek Takács
Concept: Tamás Lóky
Supported by Hungarian National Cultural Fund, Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary, Műhely Alapítvány (Workshop Foundation), European Union Culture Program/ Life Long Burning
Declaration of Independence (in the frame of dunapArt5 international showcase)
Location: Trafo studio (Budapest, Liliom u. 41, 1094)
Declaration of Independence
Location: Három Holló/ Drei Raben Café underground theatre venue (Budapest, Piarista köz 1, 1052, entrance from Szabadsajtó út))
Location: Jurányi Ház, Grabo studio (Budapest, Jurányi u. 1., 1027, 4th floor)