Complex, Sexy and Irreverently Imaginative
This Friday, Tangram will be preforming at WAC. Tangram redraws the boundaries of dance, new circus and physical theatre. Created and performed by classically trained ballerina Cristiana Casadio and world-class circus artist Stefan Sing, this compelling production from Berlin encapsulates the struggles of human relationships in a performance that is both beautiful and breathtaking. Whether she’s hanging from her partner’s fingertips like a marionette, or he’s shielding himself from juggling balls landing on him like missiles, the pair embodies both passion and fury. Imaginative, sensuous and cutting-edge, Tangram questions what it is like to surrender to love and asks us, who is in control?
As part of our 10x10 Arts Series, which seeks to educate and inspire theatergoers to explore new art-forms, we asked both Christiana and Stefan to answer 10 questions that will give us some insight into their artistry.
1) What are your favorite songs to jam to?
Stefan: everything which is minimal… when classical instruments, they have to be solo instruments… music which is present, but without giving too much information... John Cage, minimal electronic music.
Cristiana: classical music, especially string music... electronic music but less minimal than Stefan’s taste.
Both together: there is nothing better than live music.
2) What makes an interdisciplinary approach to art so powerful?
The intersection between two disciplines can be powerful because it's something unexpected and rarely seen. I do not think that an interdisciplinary approach is powerful in and of itself. Anything that is done well is powerful.
3) How does the title Tangram speak to the performance?
TANGRAM is an old Chinese intersection puzzle with seven different flat shapes. Using a small number of pieces you can illustrate almost everything you want. It' s a metaphor for our work: there are only two bodies and one object (the ball), but you can connect them in an infinite number of ways. Also the game is very minimalistic. This was also an important thought for our piece. We use only balls for our scenography, and we put them in different shapes to create new "stages sets."
4) Out of the following, which would you like to be and why?
- Pair of shoes
- Sea turtle
Stefan: Perhaps a sea turtle because I love to sleep and just chill and be slow.
Cristiana: I would like to be a clock, because the clock is always in the present (which is one of the most difficult things).
5) What do you find most exciting about exploring attraction, love, power and control using just your body?
Perhaps the control - because it requests a more subtle way of research.
6) What is the best advice that you have been given?
Stefan: Do not comment on things happening on stage with your facial expression. First of all, the actions should speak for themselves and second of all, leave space for interpretation for every single person in the audience.
Cristiana: Speak less and do more.
7) Are there moments in your performance that reflect your experiences as a married couple?
Yes and no. On stage everything is exaggerated… we would never be so bad and mean to each other. But in a small way, it is possible to see our relationship (and hopefully others can see their relationship dynamics too).
8) How does your work connect to the larger world?
Good question for which I do not really have an answer. It is possible that some people in the audience can see in our stuff aspects of their own life and perhaps it can give an impulse to live a better life. But in general, it doesn't connect concretely to the larger world - we are in the "artist bubble." Any connection to the larger world would be made by the audience.
9) Who do you define as a visionary?
People who have the courage to do things on stage without thinking about the response of the audience. It's not about provocation just for the sake of provocation, but it's about feeling the need to express something. To be specific: Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, John Cage and Merce Cunningham.
10) If you could incorporate another art form into your show, which would it be, and why?
Narrative Theatre - speaking on stage. But actually there is no other art form I really would like to incorporate. Stefan (the juggler) would like to be a better dancer. Cristiana would like to incorporate performing music on stage and be able to produce the music on her own.