Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Cow Says...

This morning we started out with dance class… and we continue to be convinced that this guy hates us for not being better dancers.  I know he was crazy pissed when some of our group members were late this morning.  Granted, they shouldn’t have been late, but it was understandable, since the class started half an hour earlier than we’re used to.  Anyway, ballet with my gimpy ankle was frustrating, since I can’t point as well, and I can’t do any of the jumps or anything.  And I had to sit out some of the Russian folk dance too (lots of stomping and something that resembles the Watoosie).  The afternoon had us back with everyone’s favorite Russian imp, Misha!  As part of our warm-up today we played a game I had played in Girl Scouts, but let me tell you, you have not lived until you hear this white-haired, bright-eyed Russian chant, “I said a boom-a-chick-a-rock-a-chick-a-rock-a-chick-a-boom!”  Possibly the highlight of the trip so far.  Then we started to more in depth about Michael Chekhov’s process and he got to about 2/3 of us talking about our monologues from Three Sisters.  I was a little disappointed that he didn’t get to me today… it doesn’t involve my stupid ankle, and I was really prepared!  <sigh>  Oh well.  I can be even more prepared the next time we see him, which I think is not until Thursday!  BOOHOO! Tonight’s theatrical offering was just for me, the other PhD student (Aaron) and our professor (JT).  We went back to the theatre where we had seen the mind-blowing, life-changing production ofDemon to see another piece by the same director called Cow.  It’s based on a well-known Russian children’s story or folk tale or something, but of course we knew nothing about it.  Instead of the round space we were in last time, we were ushered into a long rectangular space that was completely white.  As we entered we had to walk along a trail of newspapers.  At the far end were the seats which were covered by a giant image of grass and sky.  Approaching the seats, we were met with a giant pile of rubber galoshes – not the big ones, just overshoes.  And we were all instructed to put them on before taking our seats on the grassy hillside.  The play started… and I really can’t tell you what the hell happened.  There was a boy who loved a cow and the cow was hit by a train while he was away at college… I think.  But there was a father on stilts, and there was a projection of a giraffe with a severed head, and there was a shadow play strip tease performed by the woman playing the cow, and there was “Old Man River,” and there was a hammer and sickle and I think possibly a nuclear explosion.  A lot of the visuals of the performance were fascinating and very clever, but we were totally stymied by what we saw.  This was not the universally applicable uber-work of Demon.  But it was interesting.  And we’ll be heading out for another piece by the same director tomorrow… so there ya go. Doppleganger Update – The woman who played the cow tonight really looked a lot like a Russian Sara Kosmer.

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