Legacy Dissemination

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On April 20, 2018, I received a proposal from Nate Speare titled “Pantheatre Legacy Dissemination Project Proposal”. A proposal actually made to Amy Rome, PhD, lecturer at University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN). Both are friends. Here is a brief presentation and response:

 

 

Nate Speare is an artist, actor, director and playwright who worked with me during an exchange residence at Malerargues some ten years ago. While training with me he wrote and performed a piece on Ronald Reagan’s Alzheimer’s which I helped devise and direct. A complex, acute, funny, pathetic and intelligent performance. In exchange he took over, tidied and completed an inventory catalogue of the Pantheatre Library. Nate is something of a scholar too, especially on the work of James Hillman, and all the way to Astrology. He now lives and works in Brooklyn, and is married with Ana Cantoran Viramontes with whom he codirects the newly created Nekyia Company – which points to further links with Pantheatre.

Amy Rome was and is a rock and jazz singer – Atlantic City casinos and all – who completed a practice-based PhD to become professor at UCLAN[1]. Her thesis assembled the biggest audio, video and written documentation on Pantheatre’s work; she has been involved in most Pantheatre events, at UCLAN, in Paris, at Malerargues. Every year she brings a selected number of her students to the Myth and Theatre Festival: always a welcome youthful and gifted contingent.

The Dissemination Project Proposal

The following are extracts. For a fuller description on the proposal, please request contacts Nate Speare and/or Amy Rome.

From Nate Speare :

  • Aim: “…the preservation (through transcription, editing and publishing) of Pantheatre’s lineage and legacy within archetypal thought and performance theory/practice… My main concrete intent would be to put a book together from transcribed choreographic theatre laboratory commentaries…”
  • “…published under Enrique Pardo’s name (edited by Nate Speare and Amy Rome)”
  • “I’ve been a contributing member of the Chogyam Trungpa Transcription and Editing project. In brief, Chogyam Trungpa (Tibetan Buddhist teacher who founded Naropa in early 70’s) died in 1987, leaving several audio archives of lectures and teachings that had not been written down. The project… transcribes them word for word, and then edits these documents, eventually compiling them into books published under Trungpa’s name. I have been finding this a fascinating way to make spiritual teachings more available to the public and honor the legacy of a teacher.”
  • “In recent months I’ve been thinking to myself, « what if I do this for Enrique Pardo? »”

From Amy Rome :

  • “From a different view: Currently I am in dialogue with Ethelyn Friend from Naropa & Enrique …in part … To do with parallels between the practices and theories of ‘choreographic theatre’ & ‘Viewpoints’ …”
  • “In the bigger long-term context, my effort is similar to what you propose: « a way to ask, what is really at the heart of Pantheatre’s work and how does it demand articulation of Enrique & Linda’s sometimes very different interpretations?”

20/04/2018 from Enrique Pardo:

A first response, a sort of Foreword.

French bureaucracy imposes three types of professional training assessment polls: prior, hot and cold. Prior, i.e. the terms of the program and of the expectations. Hot: assessment on the last day of training. And Cold: the conclusions two months after finishing.

Here is my « Hot » response to Nate. Hot with his proposal and hot with current affairs regarding legacy, especially Roy Hart’s and especially at the Roy Hart Centre, Malerargues in Southern France. These paragraphs are also « Prior »: updates and clarification on prior assumptions of the proposal.

I just received a form to fill from UCLAN concerning the Honorary Fellowship they wish to offer me. I am also filling a form for AFDAS (French professional training organism), and I have spent days filling in with Linda a questionnaire (27 questions with 3 proof documents each) in order for Pantheatre to be ranked as a French professional training institute (otherwise we are charged a VAT 20% tax as a « personal development » coaching enterprise.) On our third attempt, we succeeded: hours to write what they wanted us to write – i.e. to conform. This questionnaire is called DataDock. It almost killed me: « docking » with bureaucratic criteria of professional training. Sure, it involves public money even if in the form of tax exemption. I am going to write an article this : artistic ‘docking’ with political-civil bureaucracy and academia.

Things are also ‘hot’ on another training front: my opposition at the moment to almost all things « Roy Hart »; that is, specifically, Malerargues. Pace Roy Hart, the man, and long life certainly to his philosophy – when critically and maturely updated. I am especially opposed to the new formulation and praxis implied in the teacher certification by and in the name of the Roy Hart International Artistic Centre » – which is apparently the new title given to the defunct Roy Hart Voice Teacher Diploma.

Nate uses the term « legacy dissemination » which makes for interesting semantic ‘insemination’. I am glad he did not use « transmission » because that notion mostly involves a certified model, which I am afraid the Roy Hart certification has become. Certifié conforme, as the French would put it: in conformity and compliance with a pedagogical template, leaving out its performative nature on the one hand, and its psychoanalytic initiatory dimensions on the other.

My « book of the year » for 2018 happens to be Bruno Pinchard’s Philosophie de l’Initiation, a title which is in itself the sort of necessary and dynamic contradiction required in artistic ‘insemination’. I hope to write a chapter-by chapter gloss and commentary on why I give such consideration to a book about… Freemason rites of « initiation »! The other enterprise which I have been pursuing for years is: « Why Neoplatonism? », now centered on dialogues with Boston-based scholar (and Hillmanian), Gregory Shaw. I still have not found the answers to this question, though I am beginning to see an outline in the historical dichotomies and schisms between fiction and philosophy, myth and religion, theology and theurgy, and, generally, in the status given to the imagination and to magic. These fields of mind and image also involve a crucial notion: that of embodiment.

On all these counts, my legacy is one of research. No model, no technique, no doctrine – other than artisan poiesis – and certainly: no certified copy. Plenty of thinking and plenty of “why not’s”. A current motto: The voice also thinks. My question: how and why to become a performing artist today, and especially: « Why Theatre? »

One important point: Linda Wise and Enrique Pardo are two mature and very different artists and persons. As such there is no Pantheatre (no universe but multiverse, as current jargon puts it; no universe-city but multi-versity). This is important for the epistemology of a legacy definition and dissemination. Are Linda and I « complementary »? Sure: how can two strong artists with similar roots – who get on well and who have much in common, including « singing » and Roy Hart (and Hillman) – not be complementary? (Plus, we were born on the same parallel: Kenya and Peru, J.) Complementary, that is, IF juxtaposed adequately and with an adult attitude. We try hard, and soft. This is VERY important for Amy’s formulations at UCLAN – or I’m likely to contradict lots of statements made in the name of Pantheatre.

Further, on comparisons. My knowledge of Viewpoints, as mentioned by Amy Rome, is very partial. Mainly through Anne Bogart and through the graduating students I directed at Columbia University, who had trained (impressively) with her and with the physical training of Tadashi Suzuki. In fact, my speculative thinking on this comparison would probably go through the painter Robert Rauschenberg: I saw a piece titled Rauschenberg (?) by City Co (?) directed by Anne Bogart (?); my esthetic (and ethical) reflections could be made on that basis. Especially Rauschenberg’s seeming anti-psychology, his « superficial depth ». I am a fan of his, and wanted to write my Fine Arts thesis on his work, but could not. The psychological and academic critical tools were not available then to a young student in order to deal with Rauschenberg’s homosexuality and with the ironic intelligence of « camp ». Camp and Gay Studies emerged as I left Fine Arts college. (At the time my fellow students were still into LSD, but that is another matter. I mention it because an actor I directed last weekend in Milan is working on a Carlos Castañeda text. I was so excited: « At last I can ‘do’ Castañeda! ». I even heard myself say: everybody should try LSD or peyote. Thank gods I was in Italy and not in a USA university!)

Here is an appropriate quote, on Rauschenberg, in a book by David L. Pike (Linda Wise just reported somewhat estranged colleague Noah Pikes saying I was « light » on Jung!) titled – and this is especially directed at Nate Spear and to Nekyia Co.Passage through Hell (1997, Cornell University). It starts off with Rauschenberg’s famous and, to me, genius series (up there with Tiepolo, Rembrandt and Picasso): Thirty Four Drawings for Dante’s « Inferno (1959 – 1964). It got him the Venice Biennale prize – the first one to an American artist. It made New York the capital of the art world, at least for a few decades.

The quote: « Here is the transcendent narrative of the descensus ad inferos; Rauschenberg reminds us that at the same time, there is another, nonlinear, non-narrative movement documented by the work of illustration, compilation, commentary, translation, allusion. » Lots to say: to me Pike is referring to Sibylline genius, to an apparently superficial, oblique, disjointed and seemingly « light » passage to hell.

Finally, I want to mention philosopher Xavier Papaïs, become a good friend. Dialogues with him are impacting very strongly on my work and thinking. For me, the best and most inspiring today. The overall title of his seminars: Ars Magica. This year’s theme: Demons. His landmark lecture: Towards a Neoplatonic Anthropology: To Finish Off with Levy Strauss. (And he had never heard of Hillman… Ah, the French!)

Enrique Pardo. Paris, April 22, 2018.

[1] Dr. Amy Rome – Lecturer (Acting: voice and performance), School of Journalism, Media & Performance, University of Central Lancashire, UK.

 

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