the way you look tonight brings the process of ‘looking’ to our attention and asks how, as an audience, we listen and project meaning onto what we are watching.
Confronted with the effect of the gaze Murray explores the notion that, ‘as spectators we are as implicated in the creation of performance as the performers’.
To do this, the work inverts the theater setting, placing the audience onstage. It is from here, the performers conduct a rehearsal of the spectators, drawing attention to the power of their watching.
Furthermore, a game of associations is played with the audience in an attempt to find a language for this now shared responsibility of the performance. The performers attempt to actualize the perceived desires of their audience, eventually removing language and moving in response to their gaze. Murray invites us to consider performance a result of how we experience ourselves in relation to others and the spaces we inhabit.
The performers efforts to challenge perceived modes of watching leads to a performed inquiry into the semiotics of the theater space and the convention of the curtains. The two performers use the curtain as a threshold from which to play physical games of hiding and revealing, of disguise and discovering, of changing characters and de/constructing identity.
Their interaction with the curtain provide the performers with a playground in which to experiment with image, fragments, fantasy and peeping holes. Their surprising and irreverent treatment of the curtain allows them to dress up, blur perspectives and tease us with all the possible shows contained behind it.
Artistic direction, Concept and Performance: Emma Murray / Performance: Marius Schaffter / Concept, Dramaturgy: Oded Littman / Concept, Direction and Production Assistance: Johanna Hilari / Stage Design, Costume: Valeria Felder / Sound: Till Hillbrecht / Light design: Jonas Bühler / Choreographic Advisor: Elisabeth Waterhouse / Dramaturgical Advisor: Guy Cools («Danse et Dramaturgie 14-15») / Production: Eliane Keller, Jana Zingg.
A Co-production with Dampfzentrale Bern.
the way you look tonight is a project developed within the frame of «Danse et Dramaturgie 14-15». A platform from Théâtre Sévelin 36 in Lausanne and in partnership with Dampfzentrale Bern, Tanzhaus Zürich and Théâtre de l’Usine Geneva.
Supported by: Kulturförderung Stadt Bern, SWISSLOS/Kultur Kanton Bern, Burgergemeinde Bern, Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung, Schweizer Tanzarchiv – Prize for Video Documentation, Verein Marcel Leemann, Residenz Tanz Leuk.
With thanks to: Steve Walker und Voltafilm, Brigitte Frey, Joëlle Valterio, Lukas Beyeler, Andrea Baumann, RESO-Workshop ‚Feedback-Formate für kreative Settings’.