Making Roza

A blog based on a performance based on the letters of Rosa Luxemburg

The Band (A Banda)

Each week we have extra rehearsals for the band: the brainchild of Edson and fronted by Lúcia and me. We have a proper catchy pop song.

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Dance Floor (Chão de Dança)

Making a special post for a special floor. It is silver! Reflections from projections are beautiful. It is disconcerting and stunning. Like a pool from space. The set, our tent, down to this floor, helps make this play about Rosa Luxemburg, about us.

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Lights, Camera, Action! (Luz, Câmera, Ação!)

Shading (and lighting) the piece. The main sound and lights are going to come from outside the performance space, and project inwards, creating an interesting relationship between outside/inside, personal/political.

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The light source from inside will come from the 3 projectors we are using in the space, including the trusty OHP.

Playing with words:

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And projections:

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Like an Installation (Como um Instalação)

All the scenes we make are like pictures. The scenery like an installation.

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Dramaturgy on Paper (Dramaturgia em papel)

The weeks of choosing letters, experimenting with them has led to an exciting new development: a script! Dramaturg Roberto Taddei has been busy shaping and framing the scenes.

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It is always a relief when after weeks of grasping at air and ideas, suddenly in breezes an actual material thing, put onto paper. Things are taking form.

Filmed Rehearsals (Os Ensaios Filmados)

We have documented a lot of the rehearsals through photos, notes and videos. This week we watched an hour and a half of one of our improvisations.

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Once you get over yourself, it is very useful.

All those unexpected moments that an improvisation throws up, in quick succession can be easily lost amongst the sheer number of moments that get made. The time has passed along with the viewpoint of the camera help clarify what is special and worthy of revisiting. Improvising can be a bit like churning out reams of non-moments, mistakes, but every now and then a gem of revelation, beauty or momentness turns up. And you might miss it in the midst of a scene, but a film acts as a filter and catches what you need.

After watching I came up with these thoughts (in Portuguese)

Coisas eu gostei muito:

o luz- começa mais claro, e termina mais escuro, devagar, me sinto tempo passando…
depois a festa- bagunça, balãoes, frangas brilhantes, tudo mundo um pouco exaustiva, calma depois o caos- a verdade de madrugada, sabe?
contando nossas historias- escutando, sem ordem, quieta, falando, sentadas-mas realmente pensando, escutando
escrevendo ROZA com nossos corpos- no inicio- assistindo e copiando, organicamente, nos concentramos bem
jogando os livros, o impossibilidade de Lucia não conseguindo carregar eles, um jogo, uma violência
usando os moveis num jeito estranho- atravessando o armário, soltando na cama, empurrando a cadeira- uma casa ou um prisão mas esta subvertido, um outro mundo, maior
o fim, esperando pra tudo mundo, tudo juntos e individual, com plantas, simples e e forte- nos três nos concordamos quietamente, poderosas
o som, tudo parece muito orgânico, responsivo .

em geral gosto muitas coisas- momentos com movimento juntos, tudo nos três fazendo o mesmo atividade. tudo quando tem um razão -mesmo quando e um loucura, adoro o caos quando temos um propósito , uma tarefa, um desafio…

enfim. que bom gravar e assistir esse dia. ate amanha!!

Shadows (Sombras)

Playing with outlines and shadows is simple and spectacular. I like how they play with scale.

“One should not overestimate the impact or effect that one individual can have” R.L. April 15, 1917

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Scraps (Restos)

As the process is steaming ahead, I am gathering a collection of cryptic and fascinating notes made in rehearsals. I like their serious and scatty intention, which has now mostly been forgotten.

Our Tent, Our Set (Nossa Barraca, Nosso Cenário)

Today we arrived at our rehearsal room and we found this:

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Normally it looks like this:

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Or this:

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Or even this:

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But now our designer, Renato Bolelli Reboucas, a genius and great friend, has constructed our set, a tent like structure, to contain our performance. I like the temporary, warlike, flimsy, hard, prison, den qualities it has. Is it keeping us in or keeping the world out? There is something both protective and threatening about it’s presence. It has revived the rehearsals, helping us envisage the end product. I like the idea that it will travel and tour like tents are supposed to.

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My Mixing Desk (Minha Mesa de Mistura)

In one letter Rosa Luxemburg was less than impressed with London: “In a foul mood I travelled through the endless stations of the dark Underground and emerged both depressed and lost in a strange and wild part of the city” 13 May 1907.

I have been working with the text of this letter (in Portuguese!) using sounds and a loop pedal. My mixing desk looks like this:

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What is interesting about this letter is Rosa as a foreigner, as am I. Rosa was forever finding herself in difficult, alien situations. And here I am battling with the Portuguese language, a long way from home asking similar questions.

“Why am I plunging again into dangers and frightening new situations in which I am sure to be lost?” R.L. May 13, 1907

Perhaps the answer lies here, in the same letter:

“But suddenly inside me now some gypsy blood has been awakened. The shrill chords of night in the big city, with it’s demonic magic, have touched certain strings in the soul of the children of the great city. Somewhere in the depths an indistinct desire to plunge into this whirlpool…”

I can understand that.