What a real crazy time I had at the Bard Summer Theater Intensive! In the span of a month in Berlin, we students watched experimental theater, learned from theater and dance workshops, and composed original works. I'm quite proud of what my group came up with, so here it is!
(Photographs by Vera Yung)
The really crazy thing about this work is that we had originally planned out this entire epic storyline about a young boy who got abducted by aliens and the alien empire he eventually built. However, for various reasons we decided to scrap the entire thing and start from scratch, with just one week left before showtime.
I eventually convinced my teammates to make the twisted history of our composition the subject of our piece. The title "Space Ballet" comes from one of the dance segments that we had planned in our original narrative; we used that to open our final composition. Then a tremendous disruption occurs... and how do we respond to it?
My team was particularly inspired by physical theater work directed by Herbert Fritsch that we watched in Berlin, namely Zeppelin, NULL and especially the dada-inspired der die mann. That informed the slapstick that went into Space Ballet.
For visual style, we locked on to a retro rock/sci-fi kind of aesthetic pretty early on. I love team member Elise's costume design and "space makeup"—who knew that glitter on vaseline could look so good on your face?
Thank you to my teammates Miles, Gabby and Elise for your ideas and experience, which were especially crucial when fleshing out our work on short notice! To our workshop instructors and overall mentors Jonathan and Dawn, for guiding us and providing the resources we needed. Of course, thank you to Bard College Berlin for making all of this possible!