iCoDaCo rehearsals

iCoDaCo rehearsals

We encourage you to read the text written by Natalia Wilk, who accompanied the artists of iCoDaCo during the process of making the performance “it will come later”.

iCoDaCo

rehearsals//observations//report

The art of togetherness? How to be together and not necessarily liking each other still manage to act as a team?

Observing of the it will come later creation process provokes a thousand questions. Starting from production means, funds, human relationships… Simply everything is triggering a doubts and reflection. How did they all end up in this group? Is the final product simply a fulfilment of the grant requirements? How to – in the group of six decisive participants, in the lider’s group – create something common, something that all of team members would like to represent by his/hers surname?

From the very beginning of observing the rehearsals (short before the final ‚premiere’) I notice contrasts, contradictive situations and behaviors. I have a hard time understanding how it affects me as an observer and what is actually my role of an outside eye?

However, on the day that I watch the full trial run through for the first time I’m mainly focused on the most striking contradiction that frames perception of a whole piece. The contrast between human and mechanism.

The name of it is Frank. Frank is a sort of transparent curtain turning around its own axis and hanging from the very central top of the stage, exactly in its middle. Its ampleness creates a barrier in the space, dividing it into two parts.

However, pretty delusive barrier as Frank is fully transparent. Frank can be easily crossed through. Its touch won’t hurt neither the one who touches nor Frank.

Frank is attached to a motor and therefore is turning with a constant speed, no changes, no fast forwards, no backwards. Frank’s turns are inevitable. He is huge, so you cannot miss him. At the same time its matter is subtle, with no trace of imposing.

The repetitive mode of Frank’s turns, constant factor of its action often makes me forget about him. And within all that Frank is independently relentless. The blow of air or human passing by will not disrupt the trajectory of Frank’s route. Flexibility of his tales perfectly adapts to all possible meetings, obstacles or interruption attempts. Frank is undisturbed, stubborn in his subtlety. Calmly flows downwards, indifferent, stable.

What does  Frank symbolize except from the fact that he is everything that humans are not? He doesn’t burst into tears or laughter, doesn’t push nor falls, doesn’t bother, doesn’t stop, doesn’t give up.

Frank is a wall if we call him a wall or if we treat him like a wall. He will become everything we want him to be. Frank means a division – if we call him a division. Because Frank is an object, and object is defined by its functionality. Functionality that depends on human usage.

I like to treat Frank as a metaphor of divisions and borders in general. This is exactly what we deal with looking at the group of six – from different countries, traditions, with different desires and wishes. It’s dependent on that group whether what divides them will put into vein the trials of creating something together. Or the opposite – will it help to create an authentic statement, without pretending that there are no differences between them, but differences which don’t however hinder attempts of dialogue.

It is for the group to decide if the transparent wall is impossible to be crossed or is it an illusionary border that in fact doesn’t prevent us from seeing, being, touching, meeting each other.

Objects don’t mean anything.

But they exists in our reality and shape our statements.

The contradiction between human and mechanism is also noticeable in the movement material itself. Pushes and pulls and pushes, pushes, pushes. In both – mechanism and human – we notice the same designation – the inevitability of pushing forward. As Frank turns constantly – same way human pushes through with no break, through the whole performance, whole rehearsals, whole life…

They push against, push towards, push through… Unlike Frank’s – the human’s pushing is unpredictable and problematic. It’s not certain if pushing of someone else is helpful or disturbing. From time to time performers slide on each other, try to give more or less weight, they push with all possible body parts. While pushing they generate effort. By making effort they sweat. And the effort and sweat seems like the only products of it will come later. We don’t know the further results of their push and struggle. We don’t know where the push will lead us, how much we will manage to push forward, where we will get? The aim of a push remains unknown. Maybe that will come as undefined later as well.

And it’s not the goal to catch the rabbit but to chase it! We know it’s necessary to push! Performers are determined to push! As the world is pulled by gravity pull. The way we walk and two legs standing posture are already a fight against it. Here we discover the most dominant contradiction between humans and Frank! Frank denies gravity. Frank levitates. It floats above and around the stage. Franks appearance doesn’t follow the laws of physics and therefore doesn’t meet turbulence.

I like to observe this contradiction and wonder about the ultimate spasmodic gesture of tensing all the muscles, the total act of contraction after which the only possible result is an unconditional release. Shall we then keep pushing? Maybe we do so only to reach a blissful moment of not trying hard? For the moment when the sweat trickles down like tears and at last we stand still, and we don’t need to strain ourselves anymore?

– Natalia Wilk