photo by Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

International Home Theater Festival

This March I'll be showing new work during the International Home Theater Festival. This fine event was conceived by the Berkeley based writer and performer Philip Huang last year. Makers create an event in their own homes and invite the public to participate or witness.

What I am most excited about is the opportunity to think of a performance event in a new context. The architecture is decidedly different from a theater or studio space. There will be no built divide between audience and performers. What will that mean in terms of performing? Will I acknowledge the closeness and intimacy by peeling down layers of performative state - or will I rather go further into the realm of representation?

The intimacy of a private space that becomes semi-public space for a moment is an enticing opportunity. This will surely effect the experience for all parties. For me as a choreographer this is a chance to build a more immersive experience than in a performance space. The structures, sounds, smells, lights and knick knacks of a private home will become a part of the work and start interact with it both loaning meaning to it, and taking meaning from it.

I have no way of knowing what the audience expectations will be, but it will be interesting to experience the encounter. I'm composing audience surveys, and I find it thoroughly exciting!

Philip Huangs's idea is to empower artists to take initiative. Philip wants to set our minds free from third parties; this might mean institutions, funds and curators whose intervention is often seen elementary for the process of making and distributing art. His Home Theater Manifesto urges artists to make art in whatever circumstances they find themselves, with the resources they do have. A work of art doesn't become more worthwhile if it has been funded or produced by a third party - by someone outside the artist themselves or the immediate audience. This second year of its existence Home Theater Festival will go international. Events are scheduled to take place in Australia, Japan, North America and Europe.