Material Bonds by Matías Dreva

I turn on the phone, check my e-mail, Telegram, WhatsApp and Facebook. I turn on the computer and I check everything again. I look for a notification that might reduce the uncertainty. One that tells me how my group fellows are wherever they are. What are they doing and how are they making it?. It is interesting to switch from living and working all together in a small theatre to be really far away from all of them. Especially nowadays when we have more communication tools than ever before. Dealing with group dynamics during a pandemic can be quite challenging.

However I wonder: how can I still be in touch and when do I feel more connected with them?, what is it that keeps us together in spite of the distance?.

In my opinion it cannot be only something as abstract as the ideas, ideals or common opinions. In my case, it is the material what makes me feel closer to them, the exercises that have been transformed into scenic material during the training.

Just as the birds take small sticks and different things in order to build a nest, the members of Ikarus  took dances, physical scores, songs, melodies, rhytms and texts and put them together. This led to the creation of some kind of structure where some of us perch and then fly again. Perhaps to come back to it, or not.

Each of us assimilates and modifies this material in several ways. It could happen that someone that teaches a song to the rest of the group might not be able to easily recognise it any more after a while, or that they end up running into it again on the other side of the world, but sang with a different accent.

A few months ago, some of us had the incredible chance to participate in the VII Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China. Although not all of us went there, it was interesting to play and dance the songs that some of the missing people taught us. As one of my fellows said, ¨it is as if they are walking and dancing next to us ¨. Their voice was not theirs anymore. It was the one from the audience that picked up, hardly but happily, the words to smoothen our fellows’ absence.

On the other side of the planet, on the narrow streets of a Chinese town we were all together.

This is how the training it is not only a bridge to creation but to human bonds. It shows me that when we go through the material in different corners of the globe we are “singing the same song”, something that unites us more than notifications.

Until where will this bridge lead us? Uncertainty, again.

Matías Dreva

12th April, 2020. Patagonia, Argentina.

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