Lola Arias sent through a video excerpt of her new show MI VIDA DESPUES (My Life After).
It’ll be appearing in places around Europe the rest of this year. Really hope I’ll get to see it, though not sure where. The video’s shot at the Sarmiento in Buenos Aires where it’s just finished a two month run. Vivi Tellas’s long artistic directorship there is ending with it – this is the last of her now 7 year-old Biodrama cycle of theatre works created around living people (usually just one) in Argentina. This commissioning programme was often confused with Vivi’s own, more directly ‘documentary’ style work she prefers to call ‘Archivos‘ (which I mentioned here), the difference being that in her work the subjects are actually live on stage, wheres in the Biodrama they were most often played by actors. Stefan Kaegi (of Rimini Protokol) was the inspiration for Vivi to start staging ‘real people’, and it may have been he who began the confusion as when Vivi invited him over to do a Biodrama, he walked over the road from the theatre into the zoo, and ended up making a show about certain people and their relationship with certain animals.
Apparently it was around that time when Lola and Stefan first met and they’ve since made two live documentary pieces together. I believe Mi Vida Despues is Lola’s first on her own, so it’s exciting to see, even from the video, the kind of theatre i discovered and loved in Buenos Aires combining with her own provocative, lyrical mischief. Above all though, it’s the explosive subject matter and brilliant concept she employs to convey it:
So instead of non-actors re-playing themselves, or actors playing ‘real people’, we have people whose job is normally acting, ‘reconstructing’ their parents: in some ways the only role no-one can ever fully avoid. My head spins when I think of this both contrasting and runnning parallel to the relationship / struggle with a collective past no-one ever wants to see repeating.
As the video makes clear, the cast includes children (and even a grand-child) of the ‘disappeared’ (desaparecidos) as well as the daughter of a former intelligence officer – whose brother turned out to be a kidnapped / adopted child from one of the infamous ESMA detention centres. That the above blurb from Lola’s site makes no mention of the casting detail may indicate how sensitive these matters remain. Apart from some very positive words from Vivi (who is of the generation who somehow lived through all that), I havn’t heard much about how the run went, so i look forward to Stefan and Lola’s wedding party in Berlin this summer where I hope to hear more. (I’m also looking forward to bouncy castles by the Spree…)