07 May 2011

'The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise' and 'Stadium/Stadion #3'

Tonight Jury group #3 saw two shows in one night! 'The Sonic Life of a Giant Tortoise' by Toshiki Okada was a minimalist play performed in Japanese and subtitled in Dutch and French. I was able to follow most of the French subtitles, so I think I caught most of the story, which was about some 40-somethings going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. Sometimes it was hard to read the complicated text and watch the performers at the same time because my French isn't great. I liked the part where they're talking at the party, and the actor with the frizzy hair. He gave the audience big hearts at the end. The Jury got to meet Toshiki backstage, and asked him some questions about the show.

Posing with the 'cheval au saucisson' (sausage-horse) in the lobby of the Raffinerie theatre before 'Sonic Life'

Talking to Toshiki Okada

Toshiki's autograph!

BIG Hearts!

Then the Jury ate some dinner together, and went on to see an installation in the city centre called 'Stadium/Stadion #3' by Jozef Wouters and Menno Vandevelde. The installation changes every day, but tonight they had built a big box around a larger structure that you could go inside. It was dark, and in the middle there was a long ladder to climb down into an enclosed room that had thick mattresses on the ground. It was a lot of fun- we hung out there for a bit and the artists talked to the Jury, asked them questions, and answered questions. They were curious whether the Jury thought their installation was more like a show or a performance...the kids' response was mixed, but I think 'performance' prevailed, according to one Jury member, because "performance has a certain quality."

Meeting the artists before going in

Me and Jeanne-Renee inside the box. She's our awesome volunteer who's also Canadian! She's from Montreal :)

Business: Evaluation time

C'est du Chinois, Edith Kaldor

So, like Darren said, yesterday Jury group #1 went to dinner and then saw C'est du Chinois. We learned some Chinese- some Jury members were pros! They spoke to the cast after the show, and convinced them to give us some giant chocolate bars to share (which were props from the show). YUMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm delicious props.

The Jury having dinner at the Ritz, the Festival bar/restaurant.
Behind the kids: Pascal Smet, Minister of Education (for Flemish schools); An, Local CCA Project Manager; Christophe Slagmuylder, Artistic Director Kunstenfestivaldesarts

Darren's Socks

They're red. They make his feet hot.

The Fine Art of Flyering

at the opening in Brux

what's your name

opening night

Opening night was last night. Christophe, the director, introduced us and then most of us took off back home, while Jury 1 (there are five juries) had some food, though we couldn't get any info if the meat was halal so the muslim kids had to make due with vegetarian. Hopefully, we'll be able to request halal in the future, though as a vegetarian, I say: long live the animals!

we saw Edit Kaldor's show, which had a good start but faltered a bit. There was some suspicion that she wanted us to experience what it's like to not understand something, which is always better on paper than in practice.

Anyway, we had lots of fun. Prevailing challenge: get the french speakers and the dutch speakers to mix! a challenge that is made even more difficult because we've also got a cultural divide with muslim kids on the dutch side and christian kids on the other. But, if we didn't have a challenge we wouldn't be allowed to call it art, now would we...? We have to call it 'hanging out with the kids' and, while that might be fun, you're not going to get any grants to do that. And with good reason!!

vive la difference!