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The performance «Aurelia's Oratorio» is distributed in space like an electronic cloud around an atom. Its geographical location, or rather the absence of one, is a precise representation of the art of the circus that Chaplin’s granddaughter Aurelia has been devoted to since her childhood. Her biggest project at this point continually travels around the world; it may be seen in New York, Paris, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London - depending on the season. In May, 2009, it will be performed in Moscow and in July it will be back in Cambridge. The performance seems to be staged free in space – the director Victoria Thierree Chaplin («Le Cirque Invisible») works for the most past with time – the time in a woman’s life.
Фотография © 2009 «Aurelia's Oratorio». Paris.
Игра в карты
Робер Лепаж отказывается от технологий на фестивале Луминато в Торонто

Based on the French and Canadian theater techniques, the show is focused on the character’s life rather than acrobatics and tricks. Theater that creatively uses dialogues with the pantomime, clownery, the Puppet Theater, tricks, dancing and air acrobatics is referred to as the new circus. Such a synthetic form immediately involves the audience in a manageable chaos of illusion and disappointment. Nonetheless the rational spectator’s thought still manages to catch the semantics of the actor’s transformation until the mind is guided by the unconscious, and fantasy takes over reality like a flitting bird.

Copy © 2009 «Aurelia's Oratorio». Paris.

The red curtains, rising, dropping or drawing apart have secret “pockets” and long slits that serve as the entries for the actress. They are like a character in the performance. They live in space with the dynamic of the light fabric, transforming the performance images from one metaphor to another, stitching them together into a patch-work quilt in the audience’s imagination. This quilt will shelter one from fears, keep one warm or can even be used for a picnic. It can also be a screen concealing the charming world of a little box full of surrealistic images.

Victoria Chaplin, the mother of Aurelia Thiérrée Chaplin, is an American actress – the daughter of Charlie Chaplin and Oona Chaplin O’Neill and the granddaughter of Eugene O'Neill. She was born in Santa Monica, California in 1951. She and her husband Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée played in the film «I Clowns», directed by Federico Fellini.

Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée created «Le cirque bonjour», followed by «Le cirque imaginaire» and «Le cirque invisible». These modern traveling circuses anticipated «Cirque du Soleil» in some ways. Their daughter, Aurelia traveled with them, performing on the circus stage along with her brother - today an outstanding clown James Thiérrée (2008 Otto Griebling Award for Solo Clown).

The Chaplins’ circus genealogy starts with their grandfather Charlie and the adventures of “a tramp” who suddenly joins a traveling circus in the film “The Circus” (1928).

Mother Victoria (née Chaplin) wanted to be a ballet dancer but her love for her husband Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée in 1969 made her dedicate her life to the circus. Together they invented a new kind of circus which took part in one of the most important drama festivals in Avignon in 1971.

Aurelia, Victoria’s daughter and Charlie’s granddaughter, who grew up in the circus, together with her mother creates a performance where the world is defined through the theatre, and reality is divided between the stage and the backstage.

At the beginning of the show a big wooden cabinet is brought to the front of the stage. One of the drawers opens and smoke comes out of it. Another drawer opens revealing a woman’s exquisite leg. An arm, with a red shoe in its hand, comes out of the next drawer and puts the shoe onto the leg’s foot. A women’s head emerges with wide open eyes and the hand caresses it. The drawers open and close so quickly that the cabinet looks like a mechanical instrument playing with objects instead of tones.

Suddenly a girl in a black French dress jumps out of the cabinet and effortlessly climbs up the red curtain whose bottom edge is lying on the stage. From the top of the stage, by the strip lights, she wraps herself in the curtain, turning it into a cradle, and starts rocking it like a naughty child. In “Corteo”, a performance by another “new circus” “Cirque Du Soleil”, there is also a story about a man’s life told in reverse order. This is the point where those two performances meet. But the very next moment they separate and take different courses, because Aurelia’s performance, unlike “Corteo” is very individual and intimate. This solitary action reveals the happy sadness of life, where in the end the woman turns into an hourglass. A train horn blares, as it did in the beginning, but this time not as a metaphor of life but as a symbol of its end – and a toy train races along the tracks, passing through a tunnel in the woman’s body.

Copy © 2009 «Aurelia's Oratorio». Paris.

In-between the beginning and the ending, Aurelia’s life is presented like a race in which everything she does is “contrary to” not “because of”: the ice cream that she likes burns her, the bed sheets that she has washed are about to get wet from a watering can, the shoes are hanging from a coat’s hanger. The coat represents something more than just a warming object. It takes form and starts its own life apart from its mistress.

This surrealistic girl is followed by a man (Jaime Martinez, Julio Monge) but she constantly slips away from him. She joins him in a dance but the next moment pulls away and hides behind a curtain screen. When alone, the man starts dancing with the girl’s shoes and clothes. The game with the objects becomes threatening - in chasing the girl even his own clothes get in the way by starting a fight.

Times and seasons change until a dream interrupts them. Monsters emerge; so ferocious that they could bite your leg off. But in the dream one can immediately sew it back on with white thread and return the world to harmony – as if in a Brussels lace shop.

Who are the characters in the performance? Both people and puppets and even hybrids like the wooden boy by Carlo Collodi. In one of the scenes the woman-puppeteer performs before the puppets, as if they were her audience. She is holding a male puppet that is supposedly in love with her and is trying to seduce the woman in whose hands “he” has been very often. When turned down, the puppet begins to torture the woman. Tied up and exhausted she is lying on the ground like Gulliver among the Lilliputians. Gathering her last strength, she manages to get up and start running away but the man captures her with his lasso. The movements of the man and the woman are coordinated resembling both a dance and a bullfight.

Copy © 2009 «Aurelia's Oratorio». Paris.

The color range in the performance is based on the contrast of white, red and black. This permanent trio of color is symbolic in the four main elements in many ancient cultures. The musical score, based on Astor Piazzolla and Jacques Martin’s composition from the «Tiger Lillies», with whom Victoria Thierrée Chaplin performed two tricks, also produces metaphorical associations. These two tricks were the first “shreds” creating the «texture» of the performance. The «shred» principle, stitched together by the actress’s life history, remained in «Aurelia's Oratorio».

Copy © 2009 «Aurelia's Oratorio». Paris.
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Суббота, 19 Января 2019
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