The Telepathic Bar
sound performance, premiere: Oct 7, 2016
THE TELEPATHIC BAR
outline of the project
Ferran Dordal Lalueza, Alexander Manuiloff + Rossen Pavlov
A sound performance taking place in a real bar where people can “hear” each other’s thoughts over some drinks, of course. Audiences become performers themselves in a game of heard, seen and projected suggestions. People's secret fears and hidden desires are placed under the spotlight, but so is the hypocrisy of contemporary life and its fake political correctness. "The Telepathic Bar" is a meeting point of the big topics of sex and politics, the subtle interplay between erotic and power, and is also intimately presenting the rising nationalistic, narrow-minded thinking, so indicative of the new realities in the world.
Photos: Konrad Fersterer
Through their radio headphones people are enabled “to hear” other people's thoughts, and questions like “Do people really think things like that?”, “Why is this person smiling at me?”, “Who could have said that?” become part of the unwritten script that always accompanies the ready audio file, while audiences become performers themselves in a game of heard, seen and projected suggestions. People's secret fears and hidden desires are placed under the spotlight, but so is the hypocrisy of contemporary life and fake political correctness. However, behind the masks that we use in social interactions all too often, there are always real people with their feelings, wishes and drama. The dramaturgical line bounces between the here and now of the present situation and a non-intruding fictional reality (possible past or probable future) giving thus a second layer to what is going on in the piece. This is a scenic reflection of social, and sometimes intimate relations which is trying to delve into the depth of what people truly think and what they try to hide.
“The Telepathic Bar” gives the option to audiences to start performing even only with their physical presence in the bar, but they can also chose to play “roles” or interact with each other as they find suitable, while deciding to just sit and observe the others is also a legitimate choice. The piece also gives people the opportunity to experience a night at a bar in a totally different, revealing way. The event later evolves into a music party, blurring the boundaries between performative and real life once again. But "The Telepathic Bar" is also a meeting point of the big topics of sex and politics, the subtle interplay between erotic and power, and is also intimately presenting the rising nationalistic, "closed", narrow-minded thinking which is so indicative of the new realities in Europe and the world beyond.
The very first idea of "The Telepathic Bar" was created in a cooperation between Theatertreffen's International Forum Alumni Ferran Dordal Lalueza and Alexander Manuiloff at Schwere Reiter theatre venue in Munich in 2015 and was later selected for the development programme Bloom Up of Goethe Institute and the Municipality of Munich, when in September-October the two creators worked together with sound designer and DJ Rossen Pavlov. The result at that stage was showcased at the Rodeo Festival of Independent Theatre in Munich in October 2016.
Ferran Dordal i Lalueza is a director, performer and dramaturg based in Barcelona. He studied humanities, scenic direction and dramaturgy, as well as theater studies. Since 2012 he has been a member of the performance collective Agrupación Señor Serrano (2015 Silver Lion at the Venice Biennial), whose performances are presented worldwide with great success (USA, China, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Holland, ...). In 2014 he was selected to participate in the Internationales Forum Theatertreffen. Recently he has been working with artists from different disciplines such as music, dance, visual arts and video. Since 2013 he has been collaborating with the Pedagogic Programme of National Theatre of Catalonia, and since 2014 has been a member of the dramaturgical advisory council of the theatre. He is the director of the Theater Review (Pausa.) and a dramaturgy teacher in Institut del Teatre (Barcelona).
Alexander Manuiloff is an award-winning Bulgarian writer, whose plays and dramaturgy works have been staged at some of Europe’s biggest and most important theatre festivals. The first Bulgarian writer to be ever presented with a text-perfromance at Berlin’s top theatre forum Theatertreffen in 2015. Part of the exchange programme of the Drama League, New York, 2012. Co-working with German group Rimini Protokoll on their newest project (Dec 2016). Scriptwriter of several films that toured many international festivals, including Cannes. Receiver of the Bulgarian Writers’ Guild Award for the best fiction debut book of the year in 2004. His works have been published in Bulgaria, Germany and the USA, and his writing has received a prize by the Association of European Journalists. Receiver of numerous scholarships including ones by Charles University in Prague, the US foundation TFAS, Goethe Institut, Deutsch-Amerikanische Institut Heidelberg. Featured by the German-French TV ARTE.
Photo: Schwere Reiter, Pathos Muenchen. The beginning of the creative process. Sept 2015
The team has headphones for 45 guests to the show, a transmitter, a ready audio-file as well as Rossen Pavlov's own music that can be played at the bar for the party.
Up to now we have developped a 40-minute file that was used for the presentation in Munich. More than 20 different voices have been used for its making. All of them were volunteers.
What we intend to do in the future is bring in some of the topics that are important for the people living in the place where we perform. Attitudes, realities, real loife situations belonging to the place and the time of the specific performance will be incorporated into the dramaturgical line. So our work will involve interviews with local citizens, which will take form in a unique workshop of around a week before the actual date of the performance. During this process we hope to find volunteers for recording separate small parts of the script. If that's not possible, small fee will be paid to those who are willing to participate.
During this week on the spot we will be searching for the right place for our performance. The bar needs to give opportunity for performative interaction between the people. In the same time, we will need to be able to communicate with the management of the bar in an easy-going way and they have to be open-minded with respect to our needs for preliminary testing time.
The tests don't have to take place in the evenings when the bar is open for guests, it can happen before that. For this phase we will need some volunteers. They could be students, some organisers or random people willing to spend some time in a bar and give us some feed-back, of course other invited artists will be welcomed, too, in case they have time for that.
The 45 headphones that we bought in the first stage of development will be shipped from Barcelona.
The following is a link to the audio file of the version the performance had in Munich in October 2016 (in German). Please, listen to it with headphones only to appreciate the special effects.