Posts Tagged ‘ecosystem

26
May
12

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO

OVO

Cirque du Soleil holds a pretty prominent position in my family’s conversations.

My sister has just returned with her little family from a year’s stint overseas with the Saltimbanco troupe. She’s been calling the show (that’s theatreese for what the Stage Manager does) all through Europe and the Middle East. Her husband will re-join the company next week (in Italy!), after his short tour break here, to continue his role in the tech department until the show closes, after 20 sell-out years, in December.

I should mention that they’ve toured 27 countries with 3 young children!

We all want to run off and join the circus but this family actually did it!

(PROPS TO THE PARENTS WHO TRAVEL INTERNATIONALLY WITH KIDS). 

Speaking of family, I know that my dad will absolutely love Cirque’s newest Australian touring production, OVO. He’s an Entomologist. And quite the Drama King. A presentation he gave at a conference in New Zealand was titled:

Managing avocado pests with romance, intrigue and war –

integrating pheromones, assassins and weapons of mass destruction

Who knew the enemies of the avocados could be so fascinating?

He does love a good eco-drama. And the circus. But then, who doesn’t?!

THIS circus – Cirque du Soleil –  is for everyone! The whole family!

And Queenslanders get to experience it first. Brisbane will host the Australian premiere season of the critically-acclaimed and family-friendly big top production OVO, under the trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (big top) at Northshore Hamilton, with the 2012-2013 national tour then moving to Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.

Portuguese for “egg”, OVO is a headlong rush into a colourful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.  When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object, which represents the enigma and cycles of their lives.

When a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye it’s love at first sight!

The cast of OVO is comprised of 55 performing artists from 14 countries specialising in many acrobatic acts. A highlight of OVO is the stunning Flying Act in which a group of scarabs soar high above the stage, from both edges to the middle landing on a platform. This breathtaking act combines many circus disciplines: banquine, Russian swing and swinging chair.

The Creative Team behind the world of OVO is:  Artistic Guides Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix; Writer, Director and Choreographer Deborah Colker (first female director at Cirque du Soleil); Director of Creation Chantal Tremblay; Set and props Designer Gringo Cardia; Costume Designer Liz Vandal; Composer and Musical Director Berna Ceppas; Lighting Designer Éric Champoux; Sound Designer Jonathan Deans; Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer hting Designer éclairagesa creative team for the first time at Cirque du Soleilerms of distance between stations.Fred Gérard;  Acrobatic Performance Designer Philippe Aubertin; and Makeup Designer Julie Bégin. 

Cirque du Soleil

From a group of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organisation providing high-quality artistic entertainment.

The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – OVO – 2012/2013 AUSTRALIAN TOUR

Brisbane – From July 14 2012, Northshore Hamilton

BOOK NOW

HOT TIP: book the VIP Rouge Experience – especially if it’s your first time – which offers you premium seating and the complete VIP experience.

I wouldn’t see a Cirque show any other way!

08
Mar
12

QTC Forum: What Does the State Theatre of the Future Look Like?

We’ll find out in just a few hours! Well, we’ll certainly have a clearer picture of what it MIGHT look like. We’ll be live-tweeting from the forum but I thought I’d give you some pre-forum reading matter, courtesy of QTC.

THE FORUM PLAN

Luke Jaaniste:

Read his paper Liveliness: Conditions of a Lively Ecosystem (and state theatre) here

In a nutshell: We need to foster the five qualities required for liveliness: diversity, connectivity, flexibility, reflexivity and capacity.

How could a state theatre company be part of this?

EXCELLENT QUESTION.

IT’S A FORUM. LET US KNOW YOUR IDEAS, PEOPLE.

Lucas Stibbard, of boy girl wall phenomenon, offered a vision yesterday via Facebook, which I think is worth noting here. It’s a longer note but then, if you’ve had time to watch and share and debate KONY 2012 you can read this and process what you will.
“Me, I’m very fond of that image of the vase that becomes two faces when you look at it long enough. To me it’s always symbolised that by looking at the negative space around something you may be able to infer its shape, or to put it another way – if you work out what you don’t want something to be then, by a process of elimination you can start to understand the shape you desire.

So let’s look at what the state theatre company of the future shouldn’t be and by that same process of elimination we may begin to infer a shape:

It’s 2020 and the season is entirely composed of 7 one-person, co-pros and buy-ins that allow for costs to be met. The upstairs of the company is staffed at 50 and the shows at 3. The works are, for the most part, traditional fare with any risks being minimised into smaller runs in smaller venues. There’s a Williamson or Murray-Smith always. The gap between locally produced works (which are shown separately to the main season and included with education and youth programs) has widened now to being undertaken by what amounts to a different company. The staff is, for the most part, uninvolved in the workings of the downstairs where the one show that the company of the future is producing themselves this year, rehearses. Marketing is done with little consultation as to the actual project and locked in for the whole season before casting has been resolved and the creatives have started discussions. The creatives continue to work in a standard Writer, Director, Designers paradigm and collaboratively devised work continues to be met with a combination of fascination and fear as it doesn’t fit neatly into the systems in place. “Season of the stars” casting to bolster audiences has meant that the 7 one-person shows from the season are performed predominantly by celebrities or musical theatre performers. The audience turn up see their show and go home having been told again that this is what theatre is. Ticket prices are extortionate to cover the fact that subscriptions are much lower due to the fact that the generations that do subscribe continue their decline.

So that’s the darkest of all possible futures – the faces from the face/vase picture, the negative. So let’s not do that.

Now let’s look at the vase.

It’s 2020. The season is broad and varied – there’s an amazing show from overseas that everyone should see once before they die. There’s an insane experiment by a local group that only has one audience member. They’re both programmed and marketed as part of the same season. There’s a golden oldie – there always will be. There’s a pair of shows running in rep that are companion pieces – they compliments and comment on each other via contrast. There’s a musical and a blistering physical theatre piece, there’s a geo-locative city game/promenade thing. The company’s annual must-sees are the Christmas show and the local spotlight that takes a small company and lets them do what they do with a real budget and infrastructure but without interference. The marketing and promotion of the season is artful and true to the productions – this is partly because the consultations between the workers in all areas of the office and the artistic teams are fluid and constant. The venues, which are of all sizes and shapes have well appointed bars and food and act as places to go and spend time as well as see shows: destinations rather than venues. The season’s performers are drawn from the best the country has to offer as well as the company’s ensemble program, and one or two personalities (that bit is inevitable).

Bi-monthly talks like Improbable Theatre’s D&D’s in England allow for lots of discussion with the community and the well-managed online presence of the company of the future allows for dialogue with anyone willing to get involved. The “education” shows, now referred to as part of the season, are made at the same budget and managed by the same workers. As such the demand for arts workers and producers has meant that the project teams in the office are full of passionate and committed artists whose skills in making work extend into management and production allowing a permeability between time spent managing projects and time spent in projects. The company’s first response is “let’s see how we can make this happen” with a default position of “Ok so we can’t do that, however here are 3 other options”. At the center of every consideration is the work.

Subscription has fallen away as a generation that doesn’t do that comes to its prime. However, it is a generation that values live-ness and experiences and as such will come to what it perceives as worth its time and as such the range and quality of the season appeals (as it has to). Ticket prices have come to represent value for money, not an investment in a night of entertainment.
There are a mixture of creative paradigms in play in the rehearsal rooms of the company – one project is made under the traditional auteur/director, designer, writer model, another involves a collaboratively devised work, another somewhere in between and the company is flexible enough to be able to accommodate and adapt to the rhythms and styles of process undertaken.

The company’s ensemble program allows for young and emerging artists to continue to develop their skills and get vital contacts and time onstage as they train and work on the season in capacities that include stage-hand and office work, ushering, time spent in classes and observation of the processes of shows that are in rehearsal and development and in roles in the season. This work is backed by the opportunities afforded young makers, directors and facilitators who are also part of this ensemble and whose late in the year group work is another vital piece of the company’s yearly programming.

The company’s programming is applauded for it’s breadth, it’s depth and most importantly, it’s daring. It has no time for “creative industry” as art making is not an industry and no time for “cultural capital” as culture is priceless – it believes risk is it’s own reward. It undertakes to showcase talent, grow and nurture local creation and innovation and create experiences that cannot be replicated in any other medium as well as continually expanding the notion of what performance can be for both itself and it’s audience.

Now this is without offering solutions or budgets and with full knowledge that the future will probably be as much the faces as it is the vase. But it’s what I dream of.”

What’s terrific about this post, in addition to Lucas’s passion about the future (thank you, Lucas) is that Wesley Enoch got onto it, after sitting with us at Poe’s table last night at opening night of The Raven and commented:

“How exciting to read these thoughts…..that’s what we should be doing. Imagining the State Theatre Company of the future…together. It fact the future doesn’t have to be that far away. Love W”

When the Artistic Director of the company invests so much into ongoing public discussion about what the state theatre company of the future looks like, I’m pretty confident that it won’t look too shabby at all. What do you think? What are you hoping to see?