Gr. 12 DP Solo Performances: An Introspective Approach

Gr. 12 DP Solo Performances: An Introspective Approach

by Kimi Pichardo, HS/MS Drama teacher and GCD Coordinator

 

“Why are we concerned with art? 
To cross our frontiers, exceed our limitations, fill our emptiness - fulfill ourselves…
To cross the frontiers between you and me.”

- Jerzy Grotowski, Towards a Poor Theatre

The past year has had a significant impact on the performing arts internationally, closing theatre houses around the world, forcing artists to adapt and innovate. Our Grade 12 DP Theatre students have also felt that impact. This year has been a challenging year, but also a year of deep reflection for many of us as we seek to fill ourselves with adventure and joy in different, and at times more simplistic ways. If art indeed reflects life, then at the root of all performance is the performer’s desire to communicate that which is in their hearts and on their minds to an audience. When choosing starting points for their Grade 12 Solo Performances, our students introspectively considered what has most impacted their lives in the past year: where we are, where we have been, the adventures we have all missed, and where we have yet to go. On Tuesday, March 30, the Grade 12 Solo Performances will be recorded and shared via YIS social media. We hope you will join us through these digital platforms. Here is a glimpse into our explorations...

Where we are...
For her Solo Piece, Aiko researched the COVID-19 pandemic and the physical effects of the disease on victims. Her piece replicates the impact of the virus within the body through movement inspired by Antonin Artaud’s essay on  “The Theatre and the Plague.” Using sound, lighting, projection and a plastic bag symbolizing a human lung, Aiko hopes to emotionally and sensorally impact the audience, encouraging them to critically reflect on their personal actions and choices to minimize risk to others. 

Where we have been...
Erica remembered a story from her childhood about the cat of an elderly woman that brought joy from the neighborhood back to his owner, and was inspired by the idea of small kindnesses brightening the days of those around us through difficult times. Engaging her skill as a powerful physical performer, she chose Jerzy Grotowski’s Poor Theatre which centers on a performer alone on a bare stage captivating an audience simplistically. In her performance she “shifts from silhouette to silhouette” portraying the elderly woman, her cat, a young child in the park, and a gardener. 

The adventures we have all missed...
This past year, Feiyang has missed diving trips with the YIS Underwater Explorers. As our resident Tech Master, Fei’s theatrical medium is light. He has chosen to take inspiration from the award winning Lighting Designer Robert Wilson. In his piece, he has explored creating atmosphere through color and shadow to express his own identity and the underwater quests that he has enjoyed. Through this experience of light, he hopes to encourage the audience to find new adventures wherever they are.

Where we have yet to go...
Gracing the YIS stage as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors and Paulette in Legally Blonde the Musical, Miki has always identified as a performer. In our Documentary Theatre performance The Heart of a Dragon, she developed skills as a playwright and director. Contemplating new skills she has yet to learn through the programme, she stepped out of her comfort zone to tackle one role she has yet to explore - that of a designer. Inspired by Simon McBurney’s The Encounter, her intention is to create an immersive sound experience to transport the audience and raise the hairs on the back of their necks through fear-scapes.

Although we are not able to have a live audience attend our Solo Performances this year, we hope you will enjoy the recored sessions on our Youtube channel to experience the creative explorations of our Grade 12 Theatre students.