Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sadari Movement Laboratory to reinterpret 'The Maids'




Renowned for advancing a new language in physical theater through “Woyzeck,” “Between Two Gates” and “The Cherry Orchard,” the Sadari Movement Laboratory will next stage “The Maids” by French dramatist Jean Genet.

After making its premiere in Paris in 1947, the play revolves around two maids, Solange and Claire, who hate their mistress (Madame) and plot to kill her. Whenever Madame is out, the maids wear her dresses and act like her, unleashing their egos and falling into fantasy in which they become her. Their plot to kill her first results in failure, and they indulge in role-playing again. Finally, the mistress is killed after drinking poisoned tea prepared by the maids. But there is no change in reality for the two maids and they are trapped in their egos.

The drama will infuse visual art and sound technology with the unique movement of the Sadari troupe’s physical theater.

The play will bring together artists from the United States, Austria and Macao. Matthias Eiran, an Austrian sound designer, and Robin Bargar from the New York City College of Technology, will join the production along with the Korean creative team.

The company will reinterpret the play into object theater using a closet to symbolize the psychological space of the female protagonists in the play. It will transform the psychological space into a metaphor with new language along with the physical movements of actors.

“I chose the word ‘defragment’ for Genet’s ‘The Maids’ because I found the pieces of psychological movements and metaphorical images scattered and hidden in the play and want to rediscover and reassemble them for a new tone and dramatic language,” Im Do-wan, director of the laboratory, said in a press release.

Im said that he wants to portray the play from a different perspective from the previous productions and to uniquely reinterpret the work. The drama will be free from a text-oriented structure, fusing visual images and theatrical language, according to the company.

The director said that he doesn’t accept the exact words of the script and instead seeks to find hidden metaphors and reinvigorate them on stage. He doesn’t see the play portraying the jealousy and desires of the maids toward the mistress, which represents lower-class anger toward the upper tier. Rather, he understands the play as a work transforming the inner world of human desire. The space depicted in the script is just a medium for representing the inner psychological states.

The director said that in the theatrical space, both the maids and the mistress coexist and they fight to find their egos. The play reveals the identity of the ego deeply rooted inside human beings.

“When these elements are properly expressed on stage, other metaphors can be revealed,” Im said.

After being staged in Seoul, the play will move to the Oz-Asia Festival in Australia from Sept. 2 to 17.

The play will be onstage from Aug. 27 to Sept. 10 at Space 111, Doosan Art Center, Seoul. Tickets cost 15,000 won for students and 30,000 won for adults. For more information, call (02) 765-6582.

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