Sounding Off Sep 24, 2016

by Elissa Favero

Sounding Off: Verdensteatret’s Bridge Over Mud

by Elissa Favero 

 

There’s a 1929 painting by the American artist Arthur Dove that I’ve loved for a long time, though I’ve only ever seen it in reproduction. It’s called Fog Horns, and though you can read in it landscape and layers of atmosphere and distance, it is as much about sound as it is space, as Dove’s title signals. Concentric ovals suggest the way sound travels, starting loud and concentrated at a center and then softening as it moves out from its source, waves of sound over and overlapping waves of water. 

​I thought of Dove and his painting last night in the middle of Verdensteatret’s Bridge Over Mud at On the Boards as a tuba sounded off, stage left, the rim of its circular brass bell...

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"If a City Could Have a Nightmare, It Would Look Like Bridge Over Mud" - The Stranger Previews Verdensteatret Sep 23, 2016

by Erin



The Stranger previews Verdensteatret's Bridge Over Mud:

Right now the stage at On the Boards looks like a landfill. A miniature train track snakes around glass plates, bones, crystal balls, angular sculptures, and piles of crepe paper fringe. Bullhorn speakers line the floor and ceiling. It's a mess.

When it's showtime, the lights go out.

Then stuff starts to move.

It turns out all the junk on the ground is a complex, room-...

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Bridge Over Mud - The Audience Has Spoken Sep 23, 2016

by Erin

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Review: Verdensteatret's Bridge Over Mud Sep 23, 2016

by Koushik Ghosh

Verdensteatret’s Bridge Over Mud begins with the same intention as the Annunciation but is different from the Latin version of Gabriel’s announcement to Virgin Mary. It begins, however, with the announcement of the arrival of glorious life. 

The screen on the left wakes up to light, light reflected by a primordial mud, somewhat mercurial in texture and color, moving in protoplasmic gestures, towards a unity of some sort.

While one can sense something akin to life taking shape on a small corner of the stage, leaving everything else to the mercy of ancient darkness, it does not mimic biology, mitosis, and cell division, but begins with a delicate addition that enables us to recognize shapes such as a mouth or eyes, which slowly form a recognizable face. A sudden rupture begins to deconstruct the shape that is familiar to new shapes that exist more singularly, more independently than a mammalian face, such as the kidney...

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"Psychedelic Norwegian Theater" - The Seattle Times on Verdensteatret Sep 22, 2016

by Erin


The Seattle Times on Verdensteatret's Bridge Over Mud:

Verdensteatret is the kind of theater company that baffles critics.

Reviews about the Norway-based collective — whose name roughly translates to “World Theater” — can be very specific about what Verdensteatret isn’t, but tend to get a little vague when they try to describe what Verdensteatret is.

 

The company’s latest...

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Verdensteatret Artist Note Sep 19, 2016

by Erin


photo courtesy Verdensteatret

Program Note from the artists of Verdensteatret:

…the great span between the work’s deafening noise and fragile, unsteady space seems to mirror the many extremes of human existence. It evokes a quote from Andrej Tarkovsky’s science fiction movie Stalker: “Weakness is something fantastic, strength is nothing.” (review in Klassekampen)

"You go as far as the shoes of reason will carry...then you jump..."

Bridge Over Mud marks our final move into a fully audiovisual practice – a distinctive form that changes character and direction all the time. One can experience the work as a kinetic installation, an inter-media orchestra or as abstract object-theatre. This creates a challenging complexity where opposing forces collide with "impossible paradoxes" on...

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Broen over Gjørme: in the words of the artists Sep 15, 2016

by Erin


photo courtesy Verdensteatret

The company describes the work Broen over Gjørme (Bridge Over Mud):

"A hybrid between concert, performance and installation,where the whole
space is played as one polyphonic audiovisual instrument."

We try to “play the whole room” like one big instrument. In this room everything is connected and can be played on from any thinkable angle. During the long working process in our studio in Oslo we have, step bay step, entered a total audiovisual laboratorium, a state of deep integration between musicians and performers, kinetic sculptures, video, sound, robotics, etc.

Broen over Gjørme can be seen...

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Bridge Over Mud - Nordwind Festival Write-up Sep 15, 2016

by Erin


photo courtesy Verdensteatret

A nice summary of the show form the Nordwind Festival:

The principal protagonist in BRIDGE OVER MUD is a rambling landscape filled with technological apparatus and intricate objects. Projections, abstract images and noises emanate from these objects, fading before you have time to comprehend, a electro-mechanical object theatre that can only be grasped in terms of association and emotion.

Prior to commencing work on BRIDGE OVER MUD Verdensteatret’s 12-strong team was on tour...

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