Magnetic North Blog
For the past week in Rough Mix 2 I’ve been investigating in two main concepts. First of all, darkness, second, us. The first one questions what happens when you put out the lights in a performance, in a theatre, in a room. The second thinks on how do we tell the story of ourselves nowadays.
Each day, all the team of RM, has met as the work time comes to an end in the T4 space of Tramway to jump into the darkness. It has, in a way, become a sort of ritual, day after day, meeting each other as a last action, and spending some time together deep in obscurity.
There is something compelling in a community of people inhabiting a space where they can’t really see each other, reaching to one another, trying to stay together in a place where solitude is extolled by the surrounding and thick darkness.
Darkness, as I see it, has two main characteristics related to the individual and the community. On one side, it makes oneself more aware of himself, his physicality, his loneliness, his voice, his thoughts, his actions. On the other hand, it equalises everyone, sharing a common reality where we are blinded, dissolving our outlines into a sort of totality where we are one, where our edges can`t be really defined.
It is this duality that links for me darkness with the story of ourselves nowadays. Where we need particular stories, private anecdotes, confessions, dreams, that touch our individual being next to songs, events, facts that define a common background, history. A place where what is told has this dual characteristic, it has a personal link, told by a voice, attached to a personal life, but belongs to no-one, as there is not a body to link it with, it flies through the darkness and hangs there, like vibrating, resonating in all the bodies. Saying it belongs to no one is also saying it belongs to everybody, it has no owner or it is owned by all of us, to the community. We are free to feel addressed, identified, with it, as it doesn’t belong to anyone.
This path from individuality into community provoked by darkness and worked through storytelling takes roots in a long ritual tradition that can be traced into tribal feasts and shamanic events and somehow, in a society where this apparently doesn’t exist, still echos in us.
This year's Rough Mix will take place at Tramway as part of the Rip It Up season. The residency runs from 11th March and there'll be a public showing at 7.30 on Friday 22nd March - more info here.
The artists at this year's residency are:
- Christine Devaney (choreographer)
- Linda McLean (playwright)
- Janie Nicoll (visual artist)
- Miguel Rojo (director/theatremaker)
- Kate Temple (visual artist)
- Bill Thompson (composer)
They'll be joined by emerging artist Sarah Bradley and a group of performers. The residency is led by Nicholas Bone.