Now, Four Scenes of the World was not traditional theatre by any means and by my definitions it was performance art or communical art. Theatre is defined as a "3d, kinetic art form where the message is performed from actor to the audience." There are also 6 traditional elements of drama based on the principals of Aristotle:
- Diction or Speech
- Song or Rythym
|The performance artist who strikes fear in all American theatre artists, Annie Sprinkle.|
Now, let's break down the actual drama. Before you entered the space there were videos of the women talking about their experiences as migrant workers in Hong Kong. Most of the women were severely abused and right before we went in the last video part was talking about how the woman was sexually assaulted by her employer and then not paid. I was already disturbed by this. Then you entered the space and you could look at traditional art pieces created by the women. A women from the Bethune House got up and made a speech about their work and what the charity does. Then it began.
It started with a theatrical game where the women passed a ball of string, creating a web and then the web was slowly untangled. Perhaps I was reading too much into it but it seemed to me to be a metaphor for their journies into our fair country. It all started out fun and games and then got very messy and then they had to work really hard to untangle it all. The woman who was in the video talking in the lobby was standing front and center and looked really happy. I was automatically having a reaction to her because she seemed at peace.
Forgiveness is not an easy thing for me as a person. I don't forgive easily at all, so the fact that this woman and all the other women could be so badly abused and then able to just live their lives and have fun and forgive those who had so badly hurt them touched me. Some of the people I saw the show with called me a girl and said I was reading far too much into the production and I think that statement could be true. The show explored safe spaces and where one goes for comfort after one is hurt. The piece also explored the idea of outer peace leading to inner peace.
I don't like the fact we live in a world where people treat each other so badly. I don't like the fact that women in our society could be abused as badly as every member of that cast was. But I find it beautiful and moving that they are able to stand up again after being knocked down. That the women of the Bethune House are strong together and use their strength to create something positive and beautiful rather than a giant performance piece about the bad things that happened to them. It is far too easy in life to dwell on the bad things about our jobs, relationships, lives and it is harder to look at the bright side every single day. These women were inspiring to me.
And I know some of the people I went with did not like the show, they found it emotionally manipulative and single sided but frankly, that's why I did like it. Because it showed me a view of the world in HK that we don't get to see very often.
|The maids on their day off in Central|