Viewing single post of blog Rules and Regs: Yokohama 2013

Some things about not being in the studio:

• Today I heard somebody use their car horn for the first time (we have been in Japan for over a week).
• At some underground stations bird song is played on the platforms or escalators.
• Everybody waits for the green man at road crossings, even at the smallest roads. A symptom of a polite and respectful culture.
• But you have to negotiate sharing the pavement with bicycles.
• There is no clear way to say ‘no’ in Japanese. ‘Iie’ seems to be a polite way of declining or disagreeing, but is not the same as ‘no’ in English.
• Almost everything I purchase at the supermarket is not what I think it is.
• I saw a watermelon that cost the equivalent of £14.

Some things about being in the studio:

• I have acquired some wings!
• The title ‘Desire / Disaster’ is floating through my mind as possible for the piece. I have been thinking about aeroplane crashes and death and violence and a need to be loved, and this seems apt.
• The space I think I have chosen at the theatre we are performing in is a traverse stage. I have not made a work with the audience on both sides before. I like the sense of length this gives to the space, and it seems to heighten my awareness of how I am using the ‘stage’ space, how I am mentally laying out material.
• I asked for some lights and a data projector to experiment with in the studio. Ironically, I feel like these technologies that are ‘conventions’ of a theatre space are making it harder for me to continue experimenting. They seem to want me to commit to things, to set them.
• We are going to have to deal with a language barrier when we present our work here. We might have a translator, or surtitles, or a written hand-out. I thought about displacement and belonging (or not-belonging), and about a show that is deliberately performed in a language that is not the primary language spoken. So here, I perform it in English, back in the UK I could perform it in German.
• Over the last two days I have done a lot of dancing. There is a point in almost every process where I make a dance, and I never know if it is actually good as a moment of performance, or if I am just being hoodwinked by enjoying dancing. I usually take the dance out. Maybe this will be the piece where I don’t.

Ira Brand