written by Pawit Mahasarinand
published in Daily Xpress on Friday, May 29, 2009
'Left Out' fills in the gaps--what your mother didn't tell you.
Actress, director and dance-movement therapist Dujdao "Dao" Vadhanapakorn follows up on the recent success of "Something Else" with a new work titled "Left Out", described as "a body talk from inside" and "a combination of dance, film and mind".
“I was inspired by my mother's stories," says Dao. "Things are often 'left out' of conversations, but I believe they should be told. The fact that they're not told doesn't mean they don't exist. These stories, including thoughts and feelings, are actually imprinted in many parts of our bodies.”
“But then, I've never been a mother!”
Dao does have a mum as a collaborator, though: Silpathorn Award-winning actress and director Sineenadh Keitprapai, the artistic director at Crescent Moon. Scheduling conflicts blocked the original notion to stage a performance around Mother's Day, and then, says Dao, "it developed into something more than a mother's stories - we started to explore what else is left out in women's roles in society".
“We began from sharing, in-depth, our personal stories. Given this highly personal nature, I used techniques from dance movement therapy [that I learned from University of London’s Goldsmiths College] to adjust the rehearsal space so she felt safe in sharing with me what she usually doesn’t speak of. From the start, I guaranteed to her that it’s not a therapy and that the process would be safe, and she’s had complete trust in me.”
“We spent about a month on this, and from it, we had images, information, feelings, and movements to develop characters and script. I wanted to make sure that she’s performing not only herself. Plus, the [‘left out’] stories will not be directly and explicitly told in spoken words, but suggested and communicated through movements.”
From what she revealed, and from Dao's own experiences, evolved characters and a script. “As a woman, at this age, in this society, I also have many that cannot be spoken of. For example, I wanted to share with someone, or to seek their advice on sex, but I couldn’t.”
The "left-out" stories will be communicated through movement and a short film by Manussa Vorasingha, with which the performers will interact.
"Left Out" also features original music by veteran composer Gandhi Anantakarn.
Despite its all-female cast and crew, Dao doesn't want to call "Left Out" a feminist production. "I think it depends on your definition of 'feminism'. We're just interested in communicating, through physical movement, some sensitive issues that are rarely dealt with. And [unlike the highly creative performance space of “Something Else”] we’re telling these stories in straightforward and simple ways.”
"Left Out" is at Crescent Moon Space at the Pridi Banomyong Institute from Wednesday, June 3 through Sunday, June 7 and again from June 10 to 14, nightly at 7:30pm.
Tickets are Bt300 (Bt200 for students)
at 08 1525 7671