Running forward towards him, I push my sad body desperately through the air that separates us. He is the only man I’ve ever seen up close, the love of my life. I thrust my arms around his shoulders but my forearms continue to cross, until my elbows have passed and not the thinnest thread could snake into my grasp. There’s no one there. I am startled, alone, and heartbroken. Martirio’s love is not only unrequited, but fulfilled by the arms of her younger sister, Adella, whose noose awaits her. A sadder fate than that of the Alba sisters is hard to fathom.
This week we’re on set with the brilliant Shaun Clarke and choreographer Viktor Plotnikov filming for his newest creation, The House of Bernarda Alba. Sections of the ballet occurring outside the infamous house (or those inside our heads, like many of mine) will loom stage right as literal projections of our subconscious exposed on a hanging screen. It’s all very new, to us and to Viktor, and the creation process has been peppered with discovery. Things I have learned this week:
Acting is really fun. The immediate feedback you get after an acting scene feels so different-and more satisfying, I think- than the kind you receive after running a classical variation. Maybe because you are being asked to pull upon something deeper than your lower abdominals?
Holding one arm straight out in front of you, hands in fists, legs in a squat, is an excellent work out.
It’s hard to appear as if frightened by invisible ghosts around you without ever casting your eyes downward. Who knew opening your eyes could be so difficult?
The first day’s process looks pretty cool in a time-lapse.
It’s also quite beautiful in this peaceful compilation of Day 2’s filming.
photos by Shaun Clarke.