|George Bernard Shaw|
"Live performance in a defined public space is our last bulwark against two-dimensional images taking over reality. Theater may turn out to have been only a brief interlude between ritual and electronics; be glad you're here to see it." — Erika Munk
As I wrote in my last post, I was excited when I saw that the London Guardian was live streaming the latest production from Circkus Cirkör. I wasn't in London to see it, but now with the click of a button I could watch the entire 74-minute piece at home, and for free no less.
Is this a good thing?
Part of the philosophy behind nouveau cirque, especially in France, gives primacy to live performance. People need to get out of their house and engage living, breathing performers, sharing the same time and space.
I agree with this, and I've loved most of the nouveau cirque productions I've seen in my trips to Europe, yet there are dozens and dozens I've missed and wish were available on DVD or online in high-quality versions. By and large they are not — unlike, say, the work of Cirque du Soleil.
Which brings me to this piece I wrote 25 years ago loudly extolling the many virtues of live (physical) performance over "artificial" technology-aided media.
Confession: the hot head who wrote this polemic a quarter-century ago subsequently got hooked on digital this and that, including VFX (visual effects). I still agree with most of this, though these days I can't imagine me writing anything so damn preachy. In those days, I was into manifestoes!
This piece first appeared in a special 1987/88 double edition of Mime Journal edited by Tom Leabhart and featuring the photography of Jim Moore.
With Your Brains