Upasana Papadopoulos

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I attended the Open Rehearsal for Xavier Le Roy’s Temporary Title yesterday afternoon at Carriageworks.

I found it to be an experience that left me feeling open, inspired and satisfied.

There was throughout, a balance between the performers and the audience that I haven’t experienced before. A balance in the transformations taking place, in the power between us and in our immersion into the experience.

I was able to monitor, not only what was happening around me in the room, but also my own responses, moment by moment:

-The shock of walking alone into the room. Placing myself once, and then re-locating to be closer to the ‘pride’.

-The confrontation of eye-contact (as I blinked into the afternoon light coming in through the windows of a usually darkened venue) with one, and later another performer, as they gently requested to come closer.

-The comfort I felt with the nudity in front of me, and with my own place in the room; with my own body; with the familiarity of my dress; with my position on the carpet.

-The sheer beauty and primal familiarity of the actions and movements of the performers.

-The embarrassment and then delight at finding that I had unconsciously embodied lionesque qualities in my own way of sitting, resting and stretching.

What I cherish most of the experience were the discussions. My words entered the performance and blurred it into non-performance. I was surprised to hear my responses to the questions and to feel my responses to the ones speaking with me. I became a performer or she became a non-performer. I was taken by the grace in which our final words became silence and then became an effortless re-emergence into our own places within the space. There was a seamless, unself-conscious transition from feline to expressive-human, and an ease of release between us.

After the performance, during discussion time, an audience member asked the performers what use they would make of the conversations from our rehearsal. The answer was that there would be no tangible use made of the information, but that their understanding of the question would be touched by each interaction.

I feel the same. I have woken up today feeling like I had the opportunity to enter into a performance space, not as a passive observer, but as an active principle in the work. Both subject and object.


- Upasana Papadopoulos, visitor to the open rehearsal 18 November, 2015