28 April 2012

Last chance for Theatre Exchange program

Watching something in a different language can be alienating or liberating.

Local company Eagle's Nest Theatre have been collaborating with Theater in der Westentasche from Ulm in Germany and are presenting the company in Melbourne this weekend.

Last night I saw the astonishing Thomas Dentler perform Heinrich Böll's 1963 novel Ansichten eines Clowns (The Clown).

With no more German than counting to 10 (make that 5...), I was hesitant (even with the promise of some translation), but us writers have to let go of our dependence on words.

With a stunning use of the warehouse space at Revolt, it was a performance I won't forget. Without language, the emotional tone of a performance is all there is – and it was more than enough to bring me through his story. Based on the reaction of the German speakers around me, the words were pretty good too.

Without the language, I feel inadequate to comment, but this is what Eagle's Nests James Adler had to say late last night on Facebook.

"Today was one of the greatest experiences of my short creative life – watching Herr Dentler perform tonight was the first timeI have ever imagined wanting to apprentice myself to someone – and I mean in the real old fahion way where you learn the form your master has performed and don't change it – you perfect the form as it was exactly and then one day maybe you add the tinniest detail before passing it on to the next generation."

Sadly, this was a one-night-only chance BUT, tonight they are presenting two world premieres:

Dialog with Buñuel by Federico Garcia Lorca. The text is a homage to Lorca´s friends like  Dalí, Buñuel, Centeno and Alberti.

Chernobyl  by Annette Neulist, a German writer and senator. The reading will include live music by Nela Trifovic.

There's more info here.

A version of this appears on AussieTheatre.com

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