Tuesday, January 17, 2006


It's fascinating, complex and difficult work. I can't begin to chronicle it all - and anyway that's not what this blog is for (though there may be other avenues later on). But two things have really hit me.

The first was when Haili worked with the students on Yueju movement. It turned out that they found the male movement much easier than the female, even though most of them are girls. Haili thinks it's because in our modern way of living, we are expected to be "male".

The second was tonight, when two of the students stayed behind to talk to me. They were finding the improvised material very disturbing - mainly because the sexual content seemed very haphazard - as if we were just presenting that aspect of life without any sense of its emotional content. I could have hugged them - well, I did actually. This desire for a spiritual dimension in theatre and in life is so crucial to our work - and so difficult to achieve. But if the longing is there, then we will find something. The question they are asking is itself our subject.

A big break-through today when we find out that some of the students have trained in classical ballet. This form might take on the job which baroque opera did in the first play. We tried a scene in which somebody breaks into dance - and it opens up the possibility of real communication.

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