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MERITXELL DE SOTO I DJ KENJI
Friday 30 September 8pm
Venue: Teatre Principal de Terrassa
Running Time: 70 min
* This piece contains flashing lights that can cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.
“How far is it between us and the world?”
This is the question, one that is so suggestive and crammed with political implications, that the young Monte Isla company is asking on occasion of its residency at TNT to explore the concept of landscape onstage.
A landscape is, on the one hand, a piece of fiction. The word can be used to refer to an act of consumption: ‘landscape’ (not ‘nature’) as an example of the West’s traditionally colonial attitude. But it can also mean a certain way of viewing —and a very different one to what we traditionally do in theatre. When we observe a landscape, we are not looking to judge or find meaning; it is merely a gentle sensorial experience of what comes into our gaze, as if touching with our eyes.
Monte Isla invites us to observe the stage as if it were a landscape, and to look at that landscape as if it were a painting, a slice of reality. We are first invited to do so by being shown that what we always see is a matter of montage. Honouring the fictionalising tradition and conventions of theatrical methods, Donde empieza el bosque acaba el pueblo thus becomes somewhere new to be discovered from that perspective. It is in the ever-subjective act of its contemplation where contact and exchange occur.
It is also a place where the human body (which has always been the expressive heart of all theatre) becomes dislodged and gives over to what is apparently inanimate. Celebrating non-intention and partly leaving the piece to configure itself alone, Monte Isla have built the performance around a combined array of lights, sound, sets and performers in the rehearsal room.
Neither a tidy house nor a wild forest. A garden, perhaps, that has fed on the chaotic and accidental that shapes nature at its wildest, and whose design makes no attempt to hide the fact that we are inside a fascinating machine that makes fiction on a human scale. Monte Isla seeks the poetic suggestion and revolutionary, transformational power of liminality, of that which is progress, midway between one thing and another, galloping in circles to see what might happen.