Saturday, 26 September 2020 | 7pm to 8.30pm IST
- How does performance connect the social, the political, and the human?
- Why do we need it?
“Theatre goes back to being the legitimate and unreplaceable expression of deeprooted collective emotions, an interactive place between stage and audience, between spectator and performer. A theatre which is living, to be lived and not simply consumed.”
~ Firenza Guidi, Theatre Without a Stage: ten years in Fucecchio
The live performance experience is a unique manifestation of the human desire to gather together. The living, feeling organism created by the intricate relationships and energies between performers, the performance space, and audiences touches a primal and visceral chord. It binds us together as a temporary community, transports us to realms of imagination, self-reflection, and collective empathy, and perhaps even transforms us in thought, word, and action.
What is it about this experience that is so special, irreplaceable and transformative? What can connect the performative, the social, the political, and the human? What brings it all together – performance, space, performers, audiences – in one magical, ephemeral experience? And why do we all need it?
Nina Tecklenburg is a performance maker and a professor of theatre and performance at Bard College Berlin. Since 2002, as a performer, co-director and dramaturge, she has realized a host of projects with diverse artists and performance groups, amongst others Interrobang (of which she is a founding member), She She Pop, Gob Squad, Lone Twin Theatre, Baktruppen, Rabih Mroué. Works she has (co-)created have been shown at Public Theatre NYC, Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, The Barbican London, Wiener Festwochen, Esplanade Singapore, Heidelberger Stückemarkt, Kunsten Festival des Arts Brussels, Theatre de la Ville Paris, Sophiensaele Berlin, Volksbühne Berlin and many more. From 2017-18 she was a guest professor at Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts, Berlin. She has taught at the Free University of Berlin, University of Hildesheim, Bern University of the Arts and Berlin University of the Arts (UdK). She received her Ph.D. in Theatre Studies at Freie Universität Berlin in 2012 and has published, amongst others, in The Drama Review, Theatre Research International, Performance Research. The English edition of her book Performing Stories: Narrative as Performance will be published this year in Seagull Books’ Enactments series, edited by Richard Schechner.
Milan-born Firenza Guidi is an independent theatre/circus creator and director, writer and filmmaker, actress and visual artist who has helped place NoFit State Circus on the international map. Firenza has developed the company’s style of performance through all incarnations of Immortal, Tabú, Bianco and more recently, Lexicon. Her work and interview feature in the recent book by Jon Burtt, Katie Lavers and Patrick Leroux Contemporary Circus (Routledge, 2019).
Firenza trained as a performer with international masters such as Ludwik Flaszen, Dario Fo, Philippe Gaulier, Enrique Pardo and Ida Kelarova; and as an actress/singer at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff (UK).
In 1989 she founded Elan (European Live Arts Network) and since 2004, she’s been running her Creative Centre housed in an old olive press in Tuscany, Italy where she’s been writing, directing, designing countless events, performances, plays.
Firenza’s concept of “theatre without a stage” is an all-encompassing methodological approach and ongoing research based on two fundamental beliefs. Firstly, that the performer is an all-round, time-based persona with body and voice, memory and desire, vulnerability and strength, self-irony and sense of humour. Secondly, that the space and the spectator are co-players in the artistic process: her shows are worlds which the spectators enter and not simply watch from afar.
Samik Bandyopadhyay (b.1940) is a scholar, teacher, editor-publisher, translator, lexicographer, bibliophile, critic of the Arts.
Rabindranath Tagore National Fellow at the School for Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi (June 2015-May 2017); Visiting Professor, SAA, JNU, New Delhi (2005-2012, 2014); Visiting Professor: ICCR Chair at the Department of Theatre Studies, Freie Universität, Berlin (April-July 2014); delivered the Donald Charlton Lecture, Warwick University, November 2010; Visiting Faculty, Annual Film Appreciation Course organized by FTII of India and the NFAI, Pune, 1985-2011, 2016; Vice-Chairman, National School of Drama (2006-2010); Member National School of Drama Society (2005-May 2014). Has lectured in the USA, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England; gave a series of lectures on Indian cinema, Pittsburgh University 1988, Brown University, Providence 1990.
Regional Editor, Oxford University Press, Calcutta, 1973-82; Founder-Editor, Seagull Books, 1982-88; Founding Editor THEMA, (1988 to the present); Founder-Trustee and Chairman, Boi-Baibhav Foundation, Producer Emeritus, All India Radio and Doordarshan, 1989-92. Research Professor, Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1995-97. Member, General Council, Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, 1983-93 and Central Board of Film Certification, 1970-80. Contributed several essays in numerous film and theatre periodicals in English and Bengali.