The Creative Hub, The Storey Meeting House Lane Lancaster, LA1 1TH

Being in Brazil – a 10 day workshop residency

16th October 2018 by Morven Macbeth

Hello, my name’s Marco Turcich and along with my colleague Morven Macbeth I’ve recently had the pleasure of working in Porto Alegre, Brazil as part of the annual international festival Porto Alegre Em Cena. imitating the dog had been asked to hold a 10 day workshop residency ‘Redux – Night of the Living Dead’, culminating in a performance. Essentially, the group is tasked with recreating shot by shot, in real time live on stage, a 30 minute version of the zombie classic. More about the structure of the workshop can be found on the learning page.

My background lies between performance making and designing for performance, by researching how the two can be informed by each other and be shaped visually into creating narratives.

As a practitioner I mainly work as a designer over different means of expression: theatre, film, multimedia art installations. By embracing interdisciplinary work, mixed media, promenade, and environmentally tailored practice methods, I’m interested in the use of technology and in researching how this might shape live performance and narrative – researching possibilities in which the language of film and cinema can inform and interact with live audience based work and within the tradition of theatre.

A great part of the ‘Redux’ workshop relies entirely on the response of the participants as they wrestle with the idea of merging the language of theatre and cinema together on stage. It is always very exciting to be working with a new group as it’s creatively hugely challenging finding effective solutions in terms of form: blocking, designing and outlining the performance space, as well as performing live something which would be originally considered ‘filmic’.

Being part of the Festival gives us the opportunity to achieve something unique. It offers a level of exchange between creatives which genuinely works both ways. Both us as facilitators and workshop participants learn from one another by practicing and creating a new piece of work together over an intense 10 day period.

What struck me most about working in Porto Alegre was the openness with which the group picked up each other’s ideas and together turned them into action. The skill level of each individual and the willingness to be challenged by experimenting with something new was extremely exciting to see. The workshop sparks creativity in the room which not only looks at devising a performance as a canonic theatrical piece but also encourages the group to fragment the scene and the theatrical image into multiple layers running alongside each other, allowing space for experimentation and layering in terms of reading an image or action.

This constant tension between the filmic element and the live element on stage becomes the motor generating and moving the piece forward with a constant tension between creation and collapse. It makes us reflect on our relationship with the silver screen and with theatre itself on how we can read a narrative through juxtaposition of both medium and of images. The audience response to the final performance was fantastic and the feedback we’ve received from the participants has been incredibly positive. We’re delighted the process was such a success.

You can watch Morven and I talking about the residency here

Photograph courtesy of Pedro Mendes

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