Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Watched Tina & co performing tonight. Must say that performance discipline, the attention to form and line, and the patience of execution were visually very interesting. On the whole, movement was clean; simple clarity works everytime. However, at times the storytelling did get fuzzy, losing itself in a little too much detail. It's good that the company did focus on detail, but here and there we lost the stylized minimalism when certain movements became fussily realistic. It's a fine line.

Stories ranged from the bizarre supernatural to whimsical portrayals of human relationships and break-ups. The final item, "Re:cycling," is nostalgic for us alumni-types. Most of us have performed in this ensemble piece at some point of our stint with Tina. Competition, compassion, constancy, continuity; these main themes haven't changed from way back when.

There was the usual "audience participation" routine where random members of the audience were shown character portrayals within particular scenarios and then had to reenact them to tell the story, in this instance, "Romeo and Juliet." Nothing "random" about Fran being the choice of male lead -- after all, he's an old friend of the company and this might as well be his swan-song performance before he returns home to Winnipeg (for good) in the next couple of months. The woman selected for the role of Juliet was chosen at random, and as it turned out, she was a performer with another local theatre company though Tina, who did the selecting, didn't know it at the time. So we had fraternity performing as "clueless" audience participants, and they did their best not to look too "professional" as they were performing the antics Tina got them to do as the ill-fated couple.

It was nice to see old friends again too. William on sound, and performing were Caleb, Charlotte, Serena, Keng Shin and surprise, surprise, Flo, whom I haven't seen in years! It's great that continuity flows in the company with founding blood mixing with the new talent (so new to me I don't even know their names). I'd love to play again too, but time-wise and responsibility-wise it's going to take a lot better time management than I can cope with.

Still, in my capacity I am exploring interesting directions for closer ties between MU and NYeDC and, hopefully, the NYeDC programme will become an even more credible training ground for young stage talents to grow and cut their teeth on. Well, perhaps that's a little too early to say, so watch this space for further developments. There, now I've said it, I'd better do something about it.

Hope the four NYeDC members I brought with me enjoyed themselves this evening. If you're reading this, feed back, ok?

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