Friday, April 17, 2009

For one night only

The annual Chinese drama night has taken a big step forward this year in terms of staging choices and overall presentation.

Tonight, in the first play, we saw a more efficient use of performance space, sectioning off different parts of the stage to represent different locations, thus avoiding long, unnecessary blackouts while transitioning between scenes.

The second play was more stylized. The set utilized movable blocks of different sizes for a versatile set that easily transformed to create different moods and locations. Movement in this piece was more tightly choreographed than the previous piece, which tended towards a more realistic presentation. The second piece also made good use of heights and levels, a little dance movement, and also delivered an interesting, textured soundscape -- a combination of music and rhythms -- that worked for both realistic and abstract scenes.

The plots were straightforward enough for me to understand most of what was going on, at least through observing the situation. The dialogue was not simple TV-grade Mandarin, but rather some higher level language that went clear over my head. Must thank Amy and B-lo for helping me past the more esoteric bits, though there weren't really that many.

Apart from watching the performance, I was also taking note of the lighting equipment and the effectiveness of the condensers. It'll be NYeDC's turn to go up on stage in only a month's time. Panic stations!

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