Last Sunday hARTs Lane Studios, an experimental space run by New Cross artists, just five minutes walk from our campus, hosted an original and experimental performance exploring the essence and questions of female existence. An elf size door opened into a mystic world of wonder where unsettling, sweet or hilarious actresses led the audience around the space, awakening personal experiences with the use of innovative symbolism. The evening unfolded in a series of contrasting performances including video poems, sketches and silent acts exploring themes intrinsic to being a woman; puberty, maternity, emancipation and sexuality.
The public was free to walk around the space, yet some pieces reached such a peak of tension that people stood still; hypnotised by the various acts developing around them. The audience slowly became part of scene rather then the external observer.
One of the most effective acts, Trauma, featured different women slowly entering the room whilst moving the audience unconsciously around the space. The sound of dripping water could be heard under the eerie notes of a violin. While the melody hypnotised the spectators, short acts entered the scene: suspicious stocking legs hanging down from a rafter, a moving puppet, and a head appearing from the ceiling. The angelic entrance of a young girl carrying a mirror reflecting the spectators was brutally interrupted by a violent and repetitive banging on the outside window. This powerful climax created a sense of threat, but the women seemed undisturbed by this noise as if they were resigned to the trauma.
Contrasting lively sketches followed, some ironic; like a semi naked women having monologues about society’s frustrating and constant pressure on weight, calories, wrinkles, spots and hair. Others more reflective; like a monologue on the unchangeable state of post pregnancy and how women’s feelings about it are rarely taken into account.
The evening flowed thanks to the absence of formal introductions, which were replaced by small opening sketches. The first one being a strong and visual representation of the pain of menstruation, where the dancer violently broke an egg and whisked it while a disturbing figure slowly emerged from out of her skirt.
This structure of the performances represented a way to mix different themes. ‘The first half is more abstract, atmospheric and sound based, and the second half more sensitive and hearty,’ explained Melissa Ghidini and Tanya Guryel, who together with B Hanusova, were the producers of this event and the directors of the Run Collective. These three current Goldsmiths students describe their project as ‘a way to collaborate with artists from different backgrounds, trying to facilitate their professional development.’ They said that they are interested in ‘multi-disciplinary actions, and creating events that connect and cross through performance, art, literature dance and every kind of artistic discipline.’
There will be a third ‘Run’ event soon so keep an eye out for it!