What if, Prague

What if performance was made with mobility in mind. So it was possible to put most of the scenography in one big box, one simple costume on a hanger and therefore on Saturday we could travel with a car up over Austria and Czech republic to Prague without any difficulties. Despite warnings of possible helicopter rescue action from snow by worried parents the trip was easy and lazy drive into the heart of central-eastern Europe.

We got settled into a Duncan centre residential appartment. Duncan centre conservatory is currently the only state school in the Czech Republic systematically orientated towards education in a sphere of contemporary stage dance and dance theatre. Despite a long drive behind us we drove to the center of Prague, to the amazing Alfred ve dvoře venue – well, it’s a theatre built in a courtyard – virtually, where we met with Motus program director (umělecký ředitel) Ewan McLaren. He turned out to be a witty and communicative canadian (are all canadians communicative? well, as a program director, you should be I guess), a pleasure to be his guest. We left our scenography and costumes there, met with technicians and drank a obligatory beer (non-alcoholic for me) and drove back.

Sunday was a setting up day, and we worked from 9 am. Despite the simplicity of lights it took quite some hours to cover the white wash of the stage under the supervision of our light-maister Urška Vohar. In the meantime I prepared all the sound (using Pure Data patches, SuperCollider code and a track in Renoise).

It was a pleasure to setup everything (or most of it) one day before. So much less stress! However M. was pretty nervous as she was doing the show almost completely in English for the first time (and this is after the solo was made in Slovene and later done completely in French in Marseille)! However U. and myself had a classical but harmless teasing – M. imagined it resembles a kindergarten situation – and so it made nervousness much more endurable.

The show next day went smooth, pretty much without glitches. I used a different configuration of speakers – using two of them behind the audience, which created a better – more confusing – spatial image, at times. Software was obeying perfectly and without a hiccup. I only wish I would find time to optimize everything into one SuperCollider patch (instead of two PureData patches, two SuperCollider patches and a Renoise track. There was almost full hall, many young people (students from Duncan centre) and some other people. The reception seemed very positive. The after-show feedback again included somebody telling of shedding tears here and there during the show (as in Marseille), and that’s quite  heart-warming!

In the meantime news from Slovenia reached us, that everything is covered in ice and that trees and electrical grid is getting broken. 10.000 people without electricity, roads closed, schools’ off and so on.

After the show U. and myself got everything into a box in about an hour. We left Prague next day in early afternoon, after we bough some beer for ‘families’ at home. The drive was not that difficult – easy traffic, weather was mostly easy – but it was long and we were all tired. It also seems like I’ve more and more difficulties driving at night (night-vision). We stopped in Brno for a tea, sat down with Adam and Dora for a really quick catch-up. We arrived to Ljubljana at 1 in the morning.

This touring included slightly more hours of actually being in the city (although we didn’t see anything much from Prague), making few contacts, getting the feel of coffee places, however I would love to have more time, more interaction, more zero-time, more socializing with local artists. I guess there’s never enough of that.