The white act in Castellucci’s Parsifal

After learning that Gala Moody didn’t have time to do Parsifal with us again, Frances suggested Bonnie Paskas, whom she studied with in Melbourne. Frances has made a couple of dance pieces with her and spoke in the highest tones (can one translate this to english: in den höchsten Tönen sprechen?). I saw a photo of her being eight-months pregnant, doing the camel yoga pose. It must be her, I thought! It took a couple rehearsals to figure out the rope support and placement she needed, in order to move in her kind of beautiful animal like way. Changing from being an upside down sleeping beauty, folded and spinning in a little package to some creature like being with a more awake and outgoing drive. Whenever I glimpsed at her floating beside me at four meter hight, she seemed to dream.

And yay, as a group we functioned really nicely! Everybody taking good care of themselves and the others, but also not over caring, as it can sometimes be with these things. Being generally attentive to where chocolate, a hug, our boundaries are, which is still the base for this practice, also outside the private sphere. This is also what we had to make the tech crew understand. Generally it was a good experience. The two stage managers were super fit in understanding how the scene functions technically. And though the programming technique of the ‘winching system’ was older than in Brussels, and we tried forth and back, we eventually figured that it needs a person sitting side stage with a walky-talky giving the visual cues to the technician up the wings pressing the up and down buttons.

It was full with the three contortionists in the changing room, but we had fun as you will see in a later post. And it was extra nice to see Anna Pons again, who was also part of the original cast from Brussels.

Periklis being the only guy constantly with us chicks worked so smoothly. There is simply no macho stuff, which one could still expect in the rope business. Also working with Lucio Gallo, who sang the Klingsor, was cool. He was open to learn the tying until he managed good.

It was a two week rehearsal process which also continued after the premiere. Later in an interview he would say that it is very tiring to sing and suspend at once. But he did a great job!

Different from Brussels where everything was absolutely set, there was a degree of improvising in our scene. Mainly because Lucio’s timing varied, so that sometimes he would finish almost before or totally after a three minute aria. Which meant for us that I had a long motionless moment of hanging before being winched up. And Periklis was always ready to jump around and spin, to tie or play wherever it was needed. The spinning is important for us ‘Blumenmädchen’ so that we could adjust and change our postures less visibly, and reduce the rope pressure.

At the end of Act II we enter the stage again, the armed flower maidens of Klingsor, defeated by Parsifal and the words:

“Mit diesem Zeichen bann ich deinen Zauber.” This was our call for the backstage pizza party ;) But before I loved to see the dismantling of the white walls.