Photos rule

 

THEATRE

 

DEAD SEA
rule

First performed: 2002 - National Multicultural Festival, Canberra.

   Devised and Directed by: Rainsford

   Performers: Rainsford, Mary Salem, Daniel Mounsey, Maia, Nick Stamatiou, Lesley Kitchen

The first influences for this work came on a 1999 tour by Chapel of Change to the Middle East.  When in Jordan, the company was inspired to start the development of a new work on the shore of the Dead Sea.

There we discovered an ethereal, barren landscape, sometimes with an eerie sourceless light caused by the very high evaporation and low elevation of the Sea.

The development of the work was interrupted by an unfortunate car accident in Beirut on the final leg of the tour. This saw members of the company ferried back across the borders of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan by the Australian embassies to be flown home for medical treatment.  As the plane left the tarmac of the Amman Airport, members of the company gazed out the window at the Dead Sea.  We breathed it in wanting to one day complete the work we had begun there.

You will see reflections of Faust, of Dante, an underplay of Christian mythology with particles of Eden, sifted and expressed like vignettes of a dream.

You will see the twins of duality in the co-joined character, Draki.  Hooked by a Motherfish, they are suddenly drawn apart, one seeds the day, the other seeds the night. Act One finishes with glimpses inside a Qumran cave, where scrolls are being written.

From the cave of the Qumran, images of the ever-time emerge.  Finally a wounded and blinded soldier emerges.  In his darkness he is alone, he walks the killing field, and cries at the mindless futility of the horror around him, and his own place amongst it.  A woman beside the Sea removes the bloodied bandage from his eyes, but she vanishes with the bandage, its bloodied proportions are placed in a box from which a carnival of mythical gypsies emerge.

The Draki union is forever broken, but in place of their sacrifice of love, a flower of light appears in the Dead Sea, it awakens potential and paradox for existence inside and around the Sea. From here the performance emerges into a ritualistic expression of the planting of 33 seeds of light.  We choose to express each seed as a seed of compassion, and in our current environment compassion for refugees.

‘Blurred places and fragments in the continuous everlasting layers of history.

Ambiguities, changes of scale, arbitrary breaks in the sea floor.

To spring from no visible light source, with altered proportions free from any dependence on the need to survive; drifting about in space.

Forms to describe the invisible, finally, to echo a higher reality and touch for a moment the very essence of the human condition.’  ~Rainsford