where have i been?
december 06 - january 07
After a two-year hiatus in my global wanderings (during which time I
had my bionic hip installed and reconnected
with my local community), it was fantastic to be out and about in the
world once again.
began my journey with a well-deserved rest with my 98-year-old granny
in Sydney, and arrived in Sweden in time for new year's eve. Thanks to
an elegant black velvet evening gown given to me the day before I left
Wellington, I was able to impress the Swedes with my glamorous get-up
and sophisticated tequila-swigging.
The holiday continued with a trip to Norway - a ferry across the fjord,
Sandefjord by night and the Penguin movie dubbed into Norwegian (for six-year-old
Axel). In Oslo we hung out with Miff and went to the Nobel
Peace Centre (right).
By the time I got to London, I was ready to start some serious networking.
Meetings with Furtherfield
and other new media artists, friends and colleagues made for a full week,
with a bit of socialising and ice-skating thrown in to keep the holiday
Then I was off to Denmark, headed for Holstebro and the Odin
Teatret, where the Transit
festival would take place. But first, I'd promised myself that I wouldn't
go through Copenhagen for about the fifth time without stopping and having
at least a quick look at the city. Unfortunately it was not only winter
but raining as well ... I managed to check out some interesting shops
and the National Museum which is free and has a great children's museum
- full of things you can do such as dress up in costume, play school and
shops and castles (naturally it wasn't so much fun to do these things
by myself, but I used my imagination).
also found one of the best lion statues I've come across, outside the
Glyptotek. Most European lion statues have such a nervous and worried
expression, but this one was unusually ferocious.
Continuing as a tourist for another day, I visited Odense, the home town
of Hans Christian Anderson. It was also raining here, so Mila wisely purchased
two Emergency Ponchos and we touristed around quite dry under our plastic
shelters. Odense is a quaint little town, with lots of old cottages squeezed
together in the centre. We didn't visit HCA's birthplace, instead stumbling
across his childhood home - a single room that also served as his father's
cobblers shop. The woman working there was so excited to have customers
that she gave us a very detailed guided tour - who would have thought
there would be so much to say about a single, humble room!
On the train to Holstebro, I joined Cristina and Bruna from Teatro
delle Radici, and we were met at the station by Emanuela and Hans.
At the theatre I settled into the Suite Royale (where I'd stayed three
years before at the previous Transit) and began to get my head into gear
for the coming ten days. I was to be part of the "Women With Big
Eyes" collaboration - an experiment in putting together pairs of
"young" and "old" Magdalenas to devise a performance,
with the starting point being the short story by Angeles Mastretta. I
also found I'd been rostered onto the bar - everyone attending Transit
is given a task such as vacuuming or cleaning a toilet; obviously they'd
remembered that I was usually in the bar anyway, so might as well be in
charge of it!
the participants began to arrive there were many happy reunions with Magdalenas
from around the world, most of whom I hadn't seen for two or three years.
And then the work began ... the "Women With Big Eyes" collaboration
was very good for me, I enjoyed working with the others and was able to
experiment quite a bit with using different applications to project text
and images as a backdrop, completement and response to the actors. We
were to show the results of our four days of collaboration at the end
of the festival, and that was a satisfying experience for me.
I also gave a presentation about the Magdalena Project web
forums and email
list, and recruited some more translators for the site. The programme
of performances and presentations was inspiring and intense, as I've come
to expect from Transit festivals. Along with the networking, late nights
at the bar and early mornings to have time for a shower, it was a full-on
The highlights for me included meeting Annet
Henneman and learning about her work with refugees and European Union
parliamentarians; Cristina Castrillo's presentation; the Wayang Kulit
Balinese puppet show; Dawn's simultaneously hilarious and painful show
"Heroin(e)"; and the many conversations and dreams and possibilities
discussed in the spaces between everything else.
On the penultimate day, we held a ceremony in memory of Sally
Rodwell, showing photos and playing music from Crow Station. Dawn
Albinger sang a beautiful song she'd written for Sally, then we went out
to unveil a memorial stone in the grounds of Odin Teatret. Below, Deborah
Hunt and I with Sally's stone.
The festival came to a close with a fabulous party laid
on by the Odin techs (thanks!) and a feast prepared by Brigitte
Cirla and helpers (merci!). The theatre was cleaned, I met with Rina
about the Open Page
web site, and then I was in a car with Deb and Antonella,
driving to Ringkobing, the home of Teatret
Om. They were away on tour, but Deb and Anto were starting work on
masks for a new show with Om. Anto and I talked about our own collaboration,
I repacked my suitcase and managed to fit everything in, and then it was
time to begin the Great Journey back to the other side of the world ...
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