DISCUSSION: Breakfast at decibel -- Kaffee Klatsch with Aya Nakamura and Brian Lobel
DAO director, Trish Wheatley takes part in Showcase 2011's new-style feedback forum
As part of DAO’s coverage of the 2011 decibel Performing Arts Showcase we were invited to participate in the Kaffee Klatsch breakfast sessions. Translated from German, this was literally ‘coffee and a chat’, a time for two selected artists who had performed the previous day to gain feedback from their audience. Each round table discussion had a provocateur to get the conversations started and chair the session.
The provocateur for our session, Meli Hatzihrysidis of Arts Council England, kicked off with a brilliant summary of all the aspects of Brian Lobel’s performance of Ball and Other Funny Stories About Cancer. Early audience responses to the show have regarded this as the highlight of the first day and conversations flowed around the taboo subject matter. The discussion had many challenging moments and laughter followed by intense listening. The main focus was around how such a show might work with different types of audiences.
I was then invited to give feedback about the incredibly engaging showcase by Aya Nakamura of Urashima Taro. I explained how her exquisite mastery of the puppets had made these objects seem so real, so human and so alive. I never imagined for one minute that so many emotions could be teased from an object with a fixed face.
The discussions also covered the difficulties of fitting 55 minutes of narrative into the 30-minute showcase format.
At the end of the session it was clear that the artists, and I believe the delegates, had enjoyed and benefited from the session. The artists taking away the comments, and the delegates, particularly programmers, having a chance to get a better insight into options for booking the work.
Kaffee Klatsch sessions are therefore a welcome addition to the decibel programme.