Juanita Mora

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

“What has been your approach on the material so far and how have you been developing your piece until now? What resources or techniques do you use? Basically, how do you define your work and how do you do it?”

The approach to the material so far has been creation through devising by using techniques/methodologies such as improvisation, Anne Bogart’s viewpoints, imagination, miming, Meisner techniques, and clowning. From the very start, the approach was nourished by articles I read and footage I did on runaways, e.g. clowning children performing at traffic lights in Mexico City and at the border of Tijuana and the US. The first day of rehearsal started off with theatre games, but quickly moved on to clowning and miming. With clowning and miming, the performers created their new personas and played around with scenarios, before gradually adding and improvising text. The piece is like a movie trailer with backdrops of pictures projected and audience members completing the world of the clown’s performance.

Props and physicality were utilized as the first layer of the payaso. This is where the language and emotion live, then the words filter through. The most unusual part of the process though was to take the rehearsal into the actual, real-life environment of the characters, that is to rehearse around a set of traffic lights on a busy street in London.

Music is a significant element of my piece because it structures the emotion behind the story. The humming in the beginning tells the story of a child’s innocence. It is carried on throughout the piece as it is accompanied by the movements that were created by the actors while using Anne Bogart’s technique called viewpoints. The dance was choreographed using repetition and combining different repetitive movements. One actor begins with one repetition then changes it into another. These movements from different sessions were first isolated and then strung together again to deliver an actual structured dance. The created sequence delivers a story when performed while humming the nursery rhyme “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. The choreography tells a story that is enlivened with deep emotional content, including the main character’s internal monologue. This story deals with escapism from one’s parents and children facing certain circumstances and developing coping mechanisms.

Another layer in creating this piece is using the actor’s impulses during the delivery of text. This text is used along with the physical tension of breaking the forth wall. The audience is used as part of the world that is created as an aside, or to complete the circle that is where the clown performs. After developing the script through improvisation by using images and scenarios, it is then transformed into actual spoken text and written down. Additionally, emotional landscape and pace of the journey are looked at closely. The intonation of language and voice with all its physical components is used with and without text, which gives it its emotional journey through the piece. These elements are then combined and flushed out to be performed.

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