Hole in the Wall + Sometimes We Look.

I had quite a creative extravaganza yesterday! It was one of the more fruitful Saturday's of mine, I must admit. It's up there with the walk up Snowdon over a year ago... But that's beside the point. The two are nay related and the latter is irrelevant... On to the point.

My morning began scrolling (some say Trolling) the Online World looking for creative outlets and opportunities until I gave up all pursuits of an artistic nature and ended up playing the same level of Lemming's approximately 20 times. Then my watched bleeped, and I made my way to UWN City Campus for an afternoon of workshopping with the folk at Hole In The Wall Theatre. They've began (with support from NTW) a four month creation period of r&d, specific site searching, writing, creating, devising and all of the etc's required, for their newest piece Home.

Home explores (as is to my understanding) not so much the concept of the individual and the individuals experience of "home", but the elements of that idea which correlate amongst us all. 

The workshop began with an introduction, as most do, with a handshake and name state after a roam about the room with the added suggestion of beginning to open up a dialogue about "home". What do we like about our home? What do we dislike about our home? These where the initial questions that were later elaborated on, and they quickly became less succinct and the definition became more and more blurred...
What is Home?
Is Home the place we live?
Is home defined by the place we were brought up?
Can home be taken with us?
Must home be left behind?
Is it about the house it's self?
Is it a moveable, changeable aspect of our life... Can it ever be re-created, or is it simply destined to be set in stone, once lived, never forgotten?
Home sickness can't be defined, it's not a medical condition, but people who have suffered from it won't deny it exists.

Hole In The Wall may have started out with a firm idea and concept of what exactly home is and what they want Home to be, but perhaps at the end of a four hour session with about 18 peoples different ideas and opinions on the subject it may have been totally altered.

It was an exciting introduction to the company (Christina Handke and Ryan Nolan) and I'm waiting with baited breath.



I also went to CHAPTER Arts, Cardiff and enjoyed the astounding, etherial, vunderment of Marega Palser'sSometimes We Look. Although dance is not a strong suit of mine (as both an observer and definitely more so as a participant) I found beauty and enjoyment in it at almost every-point. 
When I'm confronted by something like Sometimes We Look I view it through my Dad's eyes. A man who has nothing to do with performance art in any way (other than the stuff he's forced to come and watch with me) and I always wonder "Would he enjoy it?" and I think in this instance he almost certainly would have.

It's concept was hung on the idea of how dance choreography is created and recorded and in turn misinterpreted and changed through attempted re-creation. It was about Merega's process in that respect, because as I learnt last night she's not only an amazing dancer but a f**king great artist! Around the space it's self where hung awesomely chaotic drawings, some darkly comical, some patently brilliant works of artistry and print works and the occasionally book of rough sketches which had dance and the themes of the body and it's movement shot through the core of them all.

Merega didn't dance alone however. She was accompanied by three others; Catherine Bennett, Rosalind Brookes and Belinda Neave. Who went into the fold with a semi translucent theme coveting the whole piece there were moments of confusion, moments of amazement, moments of uncertainty and moments of pure pleasure as I attached myself to certain parts in search of meaning and allowed other parts to just inhabit me. Like I said, I'm not a dancer nor an art critic so describing each sensation is difficult for me.

Overall the whole thing left me with an altered state of relaxation and gave me a bit of a heady buzz! Ultimately (and if anything) I left with a pure appreciation of a life dedicated to maintaining a body which can express it's self in this way. The ballet sequence literally made my jaw drop as she made the walls look like the floor and for seconds in time gravity didn't seem to exist!

I haven't even mentioned the amazing techno-injection and multi-textured elements this piece had. With moments drawn and captured in charcoal, live, a quite startling lighting design and set up (which felt a bit like teleportation at times!) that helped moved it's promenade audience around the big ol' space, and the use of live projection and drawing and simultaneous projection and live filming which created a double mirror effect which blew me away... All this with some awesomely dirty music almost conducting the piece through it's dark and light times.

I'd say see it whilst you can, because as far as I'm aware it's only got one more outing at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

I've never been a big fan of dance, but I'd definitely see it again.