Mapping the Heart: Tapping Multi-Arts – Tropical Writer’s Festival Part 2

mapping the heart signA Program

There was a lot to take in, as the sign above indicates. But it was not just a poet spouting the words on the page and seeking only the treasury of words and metaphor.  She chose to enlist others talents and add dimensions of dance, song, photographic imagery.

Of the performance I remember of the photography backdrops an image of aerial landscape and river groove, a bunch of hearts. There was much more but I didn’t always remember to look – perhaps with a larger  screen I would have taken in more of the photographs, but the space offered some limitations as well as benefits to the performers.  The benefits being ‘pull in the audience from the shops and mesmerize them with art. ‘ Take art to the people.

Of the words I remember that the poet’s persona or is it the poet Helen Ramoutsaki ‘doesn’t do domestic’ but she does a lot of dancing, and a lot about a mirror of being.

DSC_0571Helen Ramoutsaki ‘not doing domestic’

DSC_0610 ‘Mirror’ performed by Marilyn Davidson

I am laughing because in a cow girl country western song, a woman finds a man she once desired when he was with a wife is no longer so desirable when he has left her.  She realises he is not what she really wants.

DSC_0556Karen White – ‘One of Those Days’

I see the girl in the green dress dancing with something that mimics the flow of sand and wind.  She is mapping the heart in the air?  I don’t remember words or images when she was on stage because she has created an audience entrancement.

mapping space2bAnna Whiting performing during, Stumbled’

mapping space.......

The actor with his undertaker/sorry marriage suit is centre stage a few times.  For later he is mesmerising when he with a basket, full of loveheart lollipops, selling us on the desirability of food.

mapping the heart song4Karen White & Shaun Cramm perform ‘One of Those Days’

The staging was varied, with actors/singers taking on solo roles as well as group performances. Some even more traditional reading of poetry (but with four voices instead of one).

DSC_0614The singing ranged from lyrical, celtic kind of feel to country and Western to soft rock. The whole performance ended with a chorus backing Omid in his song setting of a poem by Ramoutsaki . Omid is a musician /song writer in Port Douglas who has a number of records, for this performance he performed two songs written by the poet but with his music, ‘Anywhere on this Earth’ and ‘Daintree Dancing.’

mapping the heart performanceFrank Frikker, Upsana ? & Co Performing Song in Mapping the Heart

still to lable this one checking with cast (:

DSC_0635Frank Frikker and Omid Master performing ‘Anywhere on This Earth’

Also photographed, Shaun Cramm, Helen Ramoutsaki, Anna Whiting

My overall impression of the piece was that is was very attractive compared to a straight reading of poetry and was indeed a piece of theatre.  The only minor things I think were that the screens of the photographs were not small enough (limitation of the space) and that occasionally too much was going on stage- that is the dancers could have been without words or images without poets (just a couple of times).  occasionally there was clapping between pieces which meant the pieces prerecorded and playing on the loudspeakers I couldn’t hear because of the applause, they perhaps needed a bigger gap so that we wouldn’t lose these precious words.

I think in another staging I’d like a short intermission mid-point so I could concentrate really well, as I really wanted to take it all in.

The collaboration to make this piece cohesive with the acting, photography, singing, words, were wonderful and there were children leaving the pinball parlour to come and see.

I think a DVD of the work would go down well so you can pause parts and relisten if you don’t get it all on the first sitting.  This could be sorted into chapters so you can pause.  Sometimes I knew I had missed something precious or just wanted to go a little bit more slowly.  It was however a triumph for writer and director and these are minor constructive suggestions.

(c) Words and Images, June Perkins

{please note still labelling and adding the photographs on this post, it was a large cast}

One thought on “Mapping the Heart: Tapping Multi-Arts – Tropical Writer’s Festival Part 2

  1. I really like the blurred photographs. They make me feel like you can really hear the movement in the song! Sounds like this was a really fun mesermerization with art.

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