Sunday, September 9, 2012

archiving: [storm]

We, at battery opera, have been archiving all summer, looking at and cataloguing stuff from the past 20 years. Amid the embarrassments and humiliations, there are moments of wonder.

This morning, I watched [storm] all the way through. It was the last collaboration with David, and remains my favourite of all our collaborations. I think this is because the road to it was filled with spectacular failures and humiliations, starting with Wake! in 1999, our very first work as company-in-residence at the Cultch, made amid the post-partum stress of our newborn child, old father-son relationships revisited through a brand new unknown father-son relationship. I have a memory of David, at the theatre before the show, calling me, at home with the child sucking on my breast, telling me that there were only 10 people in the audience. I think we broke the Cultch's all-time record for the lowest audience numbers.

Then there was Cyclops in 2003, which was another attempt to grapple with that father-son relationship, and as winner of the Alcan Award, with all eyes on it (more than 10! more than 10!), could only fail.

Finally in 2005, we made [storm] with all the heartbreaks and humiliations in both process and content. In there, distilled into a fiery, raw spirit, was still the story of fathers and sons. But this time, the darkness of old stories abated by the gentler, joyous and hopeful story of David and Junhong.

15 years to make a piece!

Do you know
how hard it is to move
with two broken legs
two broken arms
and a broken collarbone?
A broken heart?
But it's okay.
Bones heal.
Hearts heal.

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