Weird vs. Fantastical

3Seasons, choreographed by Olivier Wevers
Live performance offers an opportunity to activate an audience's imagination face-to-face. Yet oftentimes, performance art can confuse and even frustrate audience members. To create a live performance that inspires rather than alienates, I find a helpful distinction between weird and fantastical.

Weird provides a launchpad. Getting to fantastical requires craft. Part of this craft is an understanding of the numerous ways character and narrative seep into an audience's mind and heart.

Because storytelling, a foundation of performance, happens every day in multiple media, it is crucial to consider a broad as well as in-depth knowledge of how audience members participate in the lives of their social network, their superstars and their personal mythology. Stories are told through advertising, created about reality show personalities and performed in movies. Understanding, borrowing and refining the humorous and devastating ways to perform a story transforms weird into fantastical.

Weird verges on lack of experience, insularity or laziness. Fantastical references a cosmos, pushes boundaries and makes the audience breathless.

Comments

  1. I saw this show. I would go so far as to label: "Fantastically Weird". Enough with the writhing and twitching, the gal-umping about, the slamming of bodies, the lurking and vague enigmatic expressions; the miming of organs pulled from heaving chests, the earnest nothingness...the weird and crazy inducing, the yawning and nerve wracking silliness. A tissue paper sculpture growth with gaping maw was more interesting; hungry for substance!

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  2. Hmm. Which show?

    I have experienced so many shows recently and don't remember one with a tissue paper sculpture.

    I was writing in general about weird vs. fantastical.

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