Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Review of the Year

I pull myself away from the seductions of solitaire, to the sound of partying in the adjacent flats. Facebook has awakened me to the knowledge that what the world wants is a post about the things I have learnt in the past year - either how I have grown, or how high I placed in the suffering Olympics. 

Instead, here's a bit from The Emancipated Spectator, discussing ways to escape from Plato's condemnation of the spectator.

This reasoning distance that must itself be abolished. The spectator must be removed from the position of observer calmly examining the spectacle offered to her. She must be dispossessed of this illusory mastery, drawn into the magic circle of theatrical action where she will exchange the privilege of rational observer for that of the being in possession of all her vital energies.

That's a good summary of what immersive theatre is all about, and Black Mirror (five minutes rational analysis, and it falls apart). Let's be all about the emotions, and fuck thinking.

Such are the basic attitudes encapsulated in... Artaud’s theatre of cruelty... the spectator must .. forego any distance... he must abdicate the very position of viewer. Modern attempts to reform theatre have constantly oscillated between these two poles of distanced investigation (Brecht's epic theatre) and vital participation, when not combining their principles and their effects.

They have claimed to transform theatre on the basis of a diagnosis that led to its abolition. 

Plato wanted to replace the democratic, ignorant community of theatre with a different community, encapsulated in a different performance of bodies. To it he counter-posed the choreographic community, where no one remains a static spectator, where everyone must move in accordance with the community rhythm fixed by mathematical proportion, even if that requires getting old people reluctant to take part in the community dance drunk.

Wait a minute: does this mean that Plato's ideal theatre was represented, sorry, performed, in Euripides' Bacchae

And that was my 2014!

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