|Frankenstein was a major theatre project, financed by the Studiobuhne, Cologne, Germany.|
For the two different versions of Frankenstein (one studio, one main stage version), we worked together for 6 months. This is a very long time in any theatre climate, and it was a very satisfying work method, since it allowed me to train my actors in the languages of body and voice before we had to plot our show.
The actors/dancers were between 16 to 56 years of age, and from various backgrounds - from homeless people to architects, from students to manual workers. Over the months, we developed our own movement style, and everybody in the company was able and willing to enrich everyone else's experience.
The show was divided into three parts: a relatively conventional 'drama' intro, with spoken dialogue and relatively naturalistic stage settings. We were able to use period costumes from of the stock of Cologne Operahouse, which gave a sumptuous feel to the production.
The second part was pure dance drama, and narrated the birth of the monster and its early education. The music for this part was composed by us ourselves, using a range of sound effects and instrumentations. Again, this kind of painstaking work would have been hardly possible without the length of time and the generous provisions. The third part of the narrative, moving through deaths and disaster, used a mixture of movement and vocal work to convey its narrative of loss and isolation. At the end, our 'monster' went up in flames of red light to the music of Faure's Requiem.
Opinions about our work ranged from comments about 'therapy groups' (the 'amateur', spontaneous feeling was consciously emphasised by providing individual scope in the execution of the final choreography) to praise for the production's evocative and expressionistic feel.
The long production period had allowed us to work hard and concentrated to create something we held to be special, and in doing so, we had changed the way we assessed our own bodies and expressive abilities.
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