Posts Tagged ‘Timur Bekbosunov’

Marcel Duchamp said that the audience completes the work, and we got a taste of how our work would be completed with our invited dress rehearsal. We had about 100 people attend the rehearsal, and watching the audience interact with the production was an enormous joy–mostly because watching the audience is a significant part of the experience from every angle of the show. Whether you’re walking or seated, the rest of the audience is part of the performance in this configuration, and I love what that does for the audience’s engagement with the work.

My pictures of the audience are not particularly good but here’s Olga Koumoundouros’s Dive Bar in its proper state at last: populated by audience!

I was particularly encouraged by how exciting it was to be on the Pedestrian Pathway. I absolutely loved the ability to walk freely through the space as the performance happened and see the action from constantly different perspectives, leaning against the wall, passing my fellow audience members, catching a bit of action that is not the “main focus,” and so on. This walking path was in some ways one of the biggest experiments in a process full of experiments–and yet I think it’s a real success.

Here’s a shot of the team behind the Dive Bar: Anne, Olga, Timur, and me, courtesy of Dana Ross:

Opening night is finally here!

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We all spent Monday getting finishing touches in place to make the warehouse feel more like a performance space for Thursday’s opening, so the photographs are not particularly compelling…Luckily, Timur asked his friend, photographer Dana Ross, to stop by on Sunday, and he took some fantastic pictures:

Today we rehearsed two of the principal voodoo possession scenes, which seemed like a fitting first day to introduce the chromelodeon, Harry Partch’s amazing pump organ, which Anne has used in her orchestration for Scene 11, and which resides in Olga’s Dive Bar.

The sounds inspired us to have add a few more voodoo possessions, namely at the top of Act II by our Reveler Stacia Hitt:

And we’re adding filmmaker to Maria Elena Altany and Timur Bekbosunov’s many talents…and challenges in this production!

We got through all of Act I, even though time was against us for a full Act I run. Nonetheless, we got great work done, and lighting and video made massive strides. Among the trippy activities that happened throughout the day, pictures within pictures offered the most surprising perspectives around the space, like this one of Jason:

Our Revelers are now in full gear, manipulating the video cameras, creating a ruckus, and occasionally having spoken–and sung!–lines, like Justo Leon:

And Timur got to strut his stuff in full costume and wig on Olga Koumoundouros’s Dive Bar:

Transitioning from Timur on the catwalk to Cedric Berry in Mason Cooley’s Shack was an absolutely thrilling moment:

Now on to Act II!

Gwen requested we add “Don’t Rock the Boat” to the CRESCENT CITY playlist after we rehearsed the climactic “Judgement at the Swamp” scene. I would do so if I knew who sang it…and in any case, Gwen treated us to a beautiful rendition of it while she floated along.

I really don’t want to give too much away from the imagery of this scene but offer a few little tidbits from our rehearsal:

We also incorporated Jordann Baker’s stilt-walking skills:

And a first glimpse at Timur Bekbosunov’s Deadly Belle costume by Ivy Chou, complete with 7″ heels (another kind of stilts!):

Two more sessions got us that much further in the piece, and every step sees everyone more and more comfortable with the music, the space, and character. We started by reviewing what we have already worked on and added in a few layers, including video:

And giving more stuff for our incredible Revelers to do:

Elizabeth is working side-by-side with me at every rehearsal, which is an incredible way to work with a lighting designer. She has become the unofficial dramaturg of the production–but asĀ John ConklinĀ would say, “Design is dramaturgy!” I think people who see this show will see that’s the case in Elizabeth’s great design:

I knew today was going to be a good day when I won a free burrito at Hugo’s Tacos in Atwater Village! In monumental projects like this one, little victories like this one almost make you want to cry with joy.

The rest of the day was very productive, including a pretty revelatory rehearsal of the scene in which Marie Laveau invokes the voodoo gods, begging them to save Crescent City. The concept I had in mind was for the voodoo gods to be on the video screens looking into the city, as if looking down at Marie from the clouds. This arose partially from the practicality of trying to get the fantastic ensemble singing Anne wrote for the Loa as unified as possible, and partially from wanting to make the scene in the Swamp as powerful as possible. So we started the rehearsal introducing the singers to the loft area:

But then we started rehearsing the scene on the ground level, and the results were just too much fun to not try and include into the full performance:

So we decided that at a certain stage in the scene, the voodoo gods would descend into the space and pick up their offering from Marie. The path they took ultimately seemed to have one ideal option: through the Swamp.

Alice and I always talked about the Swamp as being the home of the gods, the murky place where the land meets the water, so it seems like the perfect ladder from the sky to the earth for them to descend into the city like a fog. Now that there is an intermission, I couldn’t let all of Act I go without any introduction of the swamp at all, so it seems like this is the ideal way to hint at the importance the Swamp will play in the final scene of the opera.

In short, the lesson of today was: It’s amazing what a free burrito can do to your creative impulses!