Friday, March 25, 2011

"Focus-Pocus" at Kinitiras Studio, Athens

A short while ago I applied for a performance contest organised by Kinitiras Studio, Athens, with he theme 'What I like about the crisis'. I ended up in the group of eight selected pieces, to present at the studio.
So here I am, in one of my favourite cities, presenting 'Focus-Pocus' for six nights, where a valid ticket for all eight performances gives the right to voting two of the works. 
Concept, development and performance: Milka Panayotova
Sound design: Giacomo Natali

The idea behind 'Focus-Pocus', as stated in my application:

Economic crisis is a time to be creative, a time to reflect, a time where you appreciate the little things and value what you have. I happened to spend my early childhood in the late eighties/ early nineties in a country of great economic difficulty. With recurrent electricity curfews, water shortages and general scarcity for everything, making the simplest the most precious, I couldn't think of a better way to have grown up into the creative and free adult I am now. True, I am still pretty moneyless, so my life is always in a state of crisis, but probably this is exactly what I need to keep it all going.

As a performance maker, working with movement and interested in audience participation, my idea for a short performance (estimated to 15 minutes) with the title
''Τι μ΄αρέσει στην κρίση'':

I like it that we all make more conscious choices and also focus on what really matters. So I am going to give that choice to the audience. They can view the performance with the help of little torches, while the performance space saves on electricity, why not? Low electricity bill and you still get to see a peformance. The audience gets the choice of seeing, not seeing , what to see and how to see it. They can focus on one part and forget about the rest, unite as a community and decide how the performance is to be viewed.

What happens on stage? The performer (myself), will execute a short choreography, inspired by the movement techniques of Butoh, around the idea of focus and concentration by using single body part movements and controlled breathing. Playing with the speed and pace of the shifting body from one point to another in space, responding to the interplay of lights coming from the torches used by the audience, the performer alternates movement and stillness, again to stress moments of spontaneity as opposed to concentration and focus.

The reciprocal influence between performer and audience within the space reflects the need, especially in time of crisis, to communicate with others in order to obtain what we want. On the other hand, we are also free to make choices individually, according to our needs and possibilities.

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