Translated from the French
Voir l'original en Français
Docta Memoria / Learned Memory
No doctorate has been written on Roy Hart. This is a surprising lacuna that contains or has taken on the appearance of an aporia, that is to say a void or avoidance, possibly a moral obstacle or a form of tacit interdict linked with his violent death in a car crash, including his two closest loved ones. On several occasions, I have tried to encourage students to take on such a doctoral undertaking, which I would say is all the more interesting because of the inherent difficulty and resistance. I have suggested different approaches to persons who could engage in such cultural reflections, and I am even prepared to lend a hand. It is true that time passes and that most of the academic and cultural references belong to another era, namely to 1968 and the 1970s – but the distance can be actually an advantage for such reflections.
I am referring specifically to Roy Hart (1926 – 1975) and to his ideas.
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Images still to be included.
The title of this article may sound like an Indian mantra, but it isn’t quite: Kaya refers to Kaya Anderson to whom this article is dedicated, and Khoros is Greek: chorus. But I will owe up and this article should make clear why such references. I start with a confession: as a student I used to be rather mean and distrustful with all things Indian . Maybe it was a reaction to the fact that at the time I lived and studied in the very hub of London’s hippie Indian craze of the mid 1960s: Chelsea School of Art was right next door to the Antique Market on the King’s Road: incense, marihuana and sitars. I particularly distrusted Indian alternative philosophical attitudes and the forms of teaching associated with them. Not that I knew that much about the Vedas, yoga or Buddhism: I was prey to a common, arrogant bug amongst Western artists and thinkers, one that was (and still is, though less) particularly prejudiced and aggressive against two fundamental Indian notions: karma and guru. Predictably enough, poetic justice turned the tables on me: I met Roy Hart and started following him. Roy Hart was certainly not Indian but he knew well how close his model of teaching was to that of a guru, and what the meaning of working on karma implied. Lire la suite
The Metaphysical Voice & The Boots of Innocence
Nate Speare – a Brooklyn-based actor, director, playwright and astrologer, with serious knowledge of James Hillman’s work and ideas – sends news that “his Reagan is being revived per invitation of Dixon Place, lower east side in Manhattan, on November 4th (2017)”. I directed the piece some years ago as part of a training and study residence Nate did with Pantheatre. He took over the Pantheatre library and worked on a great archival catalogue. He also wore, performing Reagan, a pair of old black cowboy boots I lent him for the occasion. The piece contains docu-fictional revelations on Reagan’s Alzheimer’s fantasies – and on the fact that Nate when a kid was a fan of Ronald Reagan, if only to annoy, be contrary and imp-pertinent with his liberal East-Coast father. Nate is revising his Reagan to integrate the new presidential delirium: a ‘trumped up’ version of a tragic-comically ‘trumped-down’ piece: Reagan’s Alzheimer’s was actually, and in spite of being very funny, a terrible descent into hell.
Probably at exactly the same time when Nate sent me his email, I was directing an actor and theatre teacher in our Paris professional laboratory. We were going to tackle his working text for the first time. I asked him to lie down on his back, close in front of the audience and, before starting, to sigh deeply and calmly, for quite a while, relaxed and relieved. I had no idea what text he had chosen.
The following paragraphs comment and analyze a directorial session, weaving in psychological and philosophical threads. The integration of text into both choreographic theatre and voice performance is the “cherry on the cake” of my work, the core and cutting-edge of what I actually mean by voice work. It is also where I have taken, amongst other sources, Roy Hart’s voice philosophy, and it is in line with a post-modern (Derrida-like) definition I particularly like, by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben: “Listening to the voice in speech is what thinking is all about”.
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Comments and reflections after a performance by Waltrud Höfinger titled: Not a Song, A personal, poetical, musical performance about voice, performed at Malérargues, Roy Hart Centre, August 2017.
The title of the article is inspired by a book by Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector, titled Near to the Wild Heart (1943). Linda Wise, companion, theatre director, actress and teacher, who is studying it for a possible performance project, described it as “the most wildly introverted book she had ever come across”.
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Expanded from a lecture delivered in Torino:
IL GENIO DRAMMATURGICO ORACOLARE
The genius of oracular dramaturgy
14 luglio 2017 – Cavallerizza – Torino. Lecture by Enrique Pardo: on the occasion of a visit to the Museo Egizio, the director proposes a meditation on the invention of religions in Egitto, mother of all fictions. Special gratitude to the Cavallerizza I-REALE occupata for its hospitality.
Museo Egizio Entrance
The town of Torino has the surprising reputation of being one of the Europe’s capitals of magic. This is due especially to its Egyptian Museum, product of the fascination with Egypt in the 19th century after Napoleon’s expeditions, which were Masonic-driven enterprises to a large extent, seeking for the source and prestige of Egyptian esoteric magic. Bernardino Drovetti, a highly colorful and animoso (fiery) character joined Napoleon’s Egyptian party, to then remain in place as French proconsul and thus obtain all the permits needed to organize archeological digs, send them back to
Italy (he was from Torino…) – or sell them all over Europe. Later, in the 1890s, Sr. Ernesto Schiaparelli an archeologist of high repute, senator to the monarchy, expanded the Torino museum with his own extraordinary discoveries (he found Nefertiti!): he was particularly lucky to stumble upon the village of the artisans who built the palaces and temples of the Valley of Kings, and Queens. These sites were intact, preserved under desert sand. The atmosphere in Turin when the cases arrived and were opened was, well, “magic”.
Here are some reflections on the occasion of the visit to the Museo delle Antichità Egizie di Torino, organized by Piccola Compagnia della Magnolia who invited Linda Wise and me to direct a professional theatre course as part of their project Alta Formazzione MAESTRALE 2017. First class hosts and first class participants (the organizers’ choice.) Our project addressed Divinatory Theatre – and more precisely Il genio dramaturgico oracolare (The genius of oracular dramaturgy). I am a great believer, especially in laboratory contexts, in the maxim that says: “If you write “devil” on the wall, the devil will appear”. We wrote “Egypt”.
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Voir traduction française.
1 – BLUEPRINTS & DIPLOMAS
2 – DIRECTORS & DIRECTIONS
3 – MENTOR
4 – ART & THERAPY
5 – WHY ROY HART ?
6 – CASUISTIC CONSULTATIONS
see comments & echanges with Steven Levine and Sean Lewis, below.
1 – BLUEPRINTS & DIPLOMAS
Teachers, Cheaters, Gurus and Mentors: Roy Hart was all of these, and more, like most great guiding figures. Each of these designations has its own mindscape and values; how to differentiate them? How to gage the balance and interplay of their inherent blueprints and moods – their evolution in time and the influence of other models, current or historic – sometimes unacknowledged, sometimes unknown? And how to do this in Roy Hart’s case, more than forty years after his passing? The following are “post-Roy Hart” reflections written as part of a process of reviewing and revisioning the transmission of Roy Hart’s legacy, especially by the persons now actively linked to the Roy Hart International Artistic Centre. The place is important since the process is, precisely, taking place in Malerargues, a property and a château purchased in 1974, only months before Roy Hart’s passing, a place – real estate – which to a large extent kept the group that followed him together, at least for some time, for better and for worse – and which today includes mostly persons who never met Roy Hart. Lire la suite
Version française (en cours)
An original Hammond Organ. See footnote 1.
Hammond Organ  was the title of a concert on July 26, 2017, given at Lasalle, in the South of France, the neighboring village near Chateau de Malerargues. The concert was organized by the United Protestant Church of the Val de Salindrenque.
We are in Protestant country and the village of Lasalle (barely over 1000 inhabitants – in Winter!) must have over ten Protestant temples lined up along its single two-miles long street, all of different confessions. The subtitle of the concert says: From the psalms to Negro-spirituals and to XXth century Gospel, with the Hammond organ and organ player JP Delrieu. 1517 – 2017 : 500 YEARS of influences in the evolution of music in the world . PRESENTATION.
Written before the concert. Afterwords below
James Hillman once said to me: “It is important to be Protestant once a week”. He was Jewish, and I was (am?) Catholic (we are talking culture here, not religion.) If there is one title that James Hillman absolutely deserved, certainly in our times, it is that of being “The King of Soul” (yes, up there with Salomon Burke and his own Hammond). In fact in an editorial of an issue of Hillman’s Spring – A Journal of Archetype and Culture, the then acting editor, Charles Boer, at his imp-pertinent best, wrote that James Hillman should have the copyright on the word soul! He was addressing, obviously, white American high culture and psychotherapeutic circles, because by then the word SOUL had taken over black American and world popular culture. It was African-Americans who brought back the word SOUL, causing the revolution we all know, in music, in singing – and in musical theology: notice the close call between singing and sinning! Popular soul was black.
At the very same time and in a completely different context, Roy Hart was quoting the 19th century American romantic poet Henry Longfellow: “The voice is the muscle of the soul”.
Now for some reflections on the chain of synchronicities leading to and spinning off from these seemingly disparate cultural landmarks.
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Lacura, by Bibiana Monje
Democracy in America, by Romeo Castellucci
Enrique Pardo, Bilbao, April 2017
LACURA : TRAILER | CRITICAS
Traduccion al español pronto
Traduction française bientôt
This article follows-up on a first post on LACURA, the performance of and by Bibiana Monje presented in Madrid in November 2016 as an avant-première I described as a Miraculous Catastrophe . It was then premièred in Bibiana’s native Canaries Islands on March 17, 2017, this time ‘after the catastrophe’: the computers and multi-media effects behaved impeccably, plus, Linda Wise and I did some fine-tuning with Bibiana on some of the lessons learnt in Madrid on miracles and catastrophes. LACURA is turning into a big success, expanding beyond The Islands, as the locals call the Canaries, into La Peninsula – the Spanish mainland – and beyond. In this article I wish to focus on something that was picked up and commented by the critics, and which I consider essential to my sense and ambition of performance, something that one of the articles went as far as to put in terms of “emotional pornography”.
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Strophe, Antistrophe, Catastrophe
LACURA, Bibiana Monje, Madrid, 02/11/2016
Traduction française. Original en anglais (première partie), en espagnol (deuxième parite) – en cours de traduction au français.
Dans la tragédie grecque antique, le chœur chantait d’abord une strophe, habituellement une conjecture optimiste qui était ensuite inversée – littéralement: «re-tournée» – dans une clé mélancolique et souvent déprimée: l’antistrophe. La conclusion venait enfin avec l’épode: une résolution philosophique. Mais, inhérente à l’épode, à la tragédie même, il y a une autre réalité, une autre fin: la catastrophe – le désastre, un tournant fatal (mortel), la chute, «le renversement de ce qui est attendu».
Dans la théorie des catastrophes proposée par René Thom, j’ai une hypothèse favorite: le fait putatif que si l’eau est chauffée dans un vase parfait, elle ne bouillera pas. Sa température va continuer à monter au-delà de 100 degrés Celsius. La première bulle de vapeur n’apparaîtra tout simplement pas. Pour que la mutation catastrophique de l’eau en vapeur se produise, il doit y avoir une imperfection dans le récipient. C’est là que la première bulle va apparaître et déclencher la catastrophe: l’eau va se métamorphoser en un nouvel état: vapeur. Un nouveau paradigme se met en place.
Une catastrophe eut lieu au Teatro Luchana de Madrid, le 2 novembre 2016, pour la création de LACURA, de Bibiana Monge – à laquelle j’ai contribué en tant que directeur, ou plutôt codirecteur, puisque Bibiana avait conçu et écrit la pièce, et l’a produite avec des collaborateurs multimédia et éclairagistes. Elle a fait appel à moi pour la mettre en scène, littéralement, lorsqu’elle se sentait prête, elle m’a demandé de l’aider à monter sur scène – ceci, avant que les effets multimédias n’aient été mis en place. C’est ce que nous avons fait en six jours d’excellente folie à deux, affinant les états d’âme et les timings, les styles de jeu et les adresses au public. Quelques mois plus tard j’ai pris l’avion pour aller voir la première à Madrid. Lire la suite
An Othello Thing / Sean Lewis
Review by Helen Shaw
Commented by Enrique Pardo
This post is an insert into the « Algorithms and Shamanism » series – a sudden New York ‘alarm’. Thematic links will hopefully become apparent with the series.
Article intercalé dans la série « Algorithmes et Chamanisme »: une soudaine alarme arrivée de New York… Les liens avec les thèmes de la série devraient apparaître au fil des posts.
This is a review of a review, and it starts with a high note: I have said often that I think Sean Lewis’ performances are the most interesting I have seen in New York. In fact, he shares a top podium in my private Pantheon with Romeo Castellucci, but at the other end of the spectrum: fringe, fractious, distrusted, sometimes even hated. Helen Shaw’s writing on “An Othello Thing” is outstanding on many counts: its poise, its regard (looking over twice), its thinking and cautious consideration of the fascination, seduction – or anger – Sean Lewis can arouse. I must check-out her other reviews: Brava – a great ‘dive’ into that particular alarum! Lire la suite
From a letter to Haim Isaacs, singer, performer & writer.
Harold Bloom – I presume you know him, maybe well: one of the best if most polemic American literary critics. Here is a summary of one of his books (in an Academia.edu bibliography of Religious Studies):
Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.
Bloom makes a convincing case that by the middle of the twentieth century there emerges an over-arching religious orientation (as opposed to doctrine) that cuts across a variety of mutually exclusive theological traditions. That orientation is Gnosticism characterized by methods of obtaining knowledge of our inner selves, establishing and maintaining a personal relationship with the divine (often at the expense of social solidarity), and fostering an obsession with our unique individual identities.
This description is actually close to my take on what you quoted Penny Kreizer as saying when she left Malérargues, shortly after Roy Hart’s death (May 1975): that she felt a Christian wave descended upon the Roy Hart Theatre. My view, many years later… Lire la suite